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Book News Roundup: World Book Night controversy and more

As an alternative to the encouraged craziness of Black Friday, which has been imported semi-successfully from America to the UK over the past couple of years (although not quite reaching the US’s levels of shopping madness), bookshops across the country played host to ‘Civilised Saturday’.

World Book Night 2016, which falls on 23 April, has released its list of giveaways, but some people are unhappy with this year’s selection due to its lack of diversity. The fifteen books chosen as part of the literacy campaign are all by white authors, with none of the specially selected titles – ranging from fiction to poetry and non-fiction – by ethnic minority or black authors. The full list can be read at the World Book Night website.

The World Fantasy Award body is seeking ideas for a revamped award statuette. The prize organisers are looking for a new design to replace the current one of H. P. Lovecraft, which has faced some backlash recently due to Lovecraft’s racism and controversial beliefs. Submissions are being welcomed until the beginning of April 2016.

Hatchards bookseller has awarded the title of best book of the past 200 years to an unexpected winner: Anthony Trollope’s nineteenth-century novel The Warden (1855). This book was selected out of 100 possible contenders, based on the bookshop’s customers’ votes.

The 2015 Saltire Book of the Year Award was won by Michel Faber for his The Book of Strange New Things. The Scottish literary award ceremony took place in Edinburgh on 26 November. Faber, who grew up in Australia but emigrated to Scotland in the 1990s, previously won the award for Best First Book in the year 2000 for Under the Skin.

Finally, Anne Enright won the Irish novel of the year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards – an awards event voted for by the Irish reading public – for her novel The Green Road.

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