8   +   7   =  

The 65th National Book Awards took place last week in the U.S., and Ursula K Le Guin was a guest speaker, collecting the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (given to her onstage by the inimitable and seemingly ubiquitous Neil Gaiman). You can read a transcript of her speech here, as she talks sincerely and eloquently about the state of publishing today and the knowledge that ‘books aren’t just commodities’. The Awards ceremony was hosted by Daniel Handler, otherwise known to readers as Lemony Snicket. Handler caused quite a stir, not only for saying that ‘outside of the book world, [authors are] all considered losers’, but for a confusing, possibly racist joke too.
national-book-awardsWe’re into the depths of darkest winter now. It may not be snowing in the UK, yet, but it sure is elsewhere in the world. What better way for book lovers to welcome the cold months ahead than with some gloomy, chilling stories. From existential classics to modern tales of melancholy, take a look at the 50 titles in this extensive literary list over at Flavorwire.

Eimear McBride is on a roll this year, as she claims yet another prize for her book A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. McBride has won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for her experimental, stream-of-consciousness book.

The Night School series of books has now become a web series. C J Daugherty’s stories, about an elite group of students at a boarding school, are being adapted into short “webisodes” on youtube, where you can now view a trailer for the upcoming series.

In new publication news Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom, will be releasing a new book in September 2015 to be titled Purity. There aren’t a lot of details available yet, but it will likely be one of the hyped releases for next autumn.

For our American friends, this week is the pre-Christmas foodie holiday everybody loves – Thanksgiving. Can you think of the best Thanksgiving moments in literature?

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