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Book News: Kirkus Lives, Tóibín Wins the Costa, Kurt Wallander Returns, and More

  • Kirkus Reviews Again: Following recent reports of its demise, the book review publication Kirkus Reviews has received a stay of execution, according to Publishers Weekly:

    In an email to colleagues today, Kirkus Reviews managing editor and nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau said the publication...is working toward an arrangement with an acquiring company to continue publication.

    The future of Kirkus is by no means assured, however:

    Liebetrau said details will be forthcoming in the next two to three weeks, but asked publishers to "please begin sending galleys to the appropriate editors immediately. We will publish a second issue in January, and then reassess the situation and hopefully continue publication in February and beyond."

    Here's hoping for a long and fruitful second life! And that the pre-publication reviews stay just as deliciously cranky as ever.

  • Brooklyn Dodges a Wolf: Colm Tóibín has won the prestigious Costa Novel Award (formerly the Whitbread) for Brooklyn, beating out the Man Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

    Toibin and four other authors will each receive 5,000 pounds ($8,100) from Whitbread Plc's Costa coffee-shop chain, which grants annual awards for books in five genres — novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children's literature.

    Also taking him some grande prizes are Graham Farmelo, for his biography The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom, and poet Christopher Reid. All five are in the running for the grand prize, the Costa Book of the Year Award, worth 30,000 pounds (that comes to about $48,006.50 USD). The prize will be announced on January 26th.

    Click here to read the Powells.com interview with Tóibín.

  • Fleshly Apple: The Wall Street Journal is offering info on the iSlate, which is currently the favorite rumored named for the Apple Tablet. However, since the WSJ conceals most of the article for subscribers only, we can thank The Daily Beast for a handy Cheat Sheet summary:

    The much-anticipated Apple tablet, believed to be called the iSlate, will ship in March and will cost about $1,000....The device will have a 10- or 11-inch screen for watching television, surfing the Internet, playing games, and reading books and newspapers. The high price tag is about the same as that for an Apple MacBook laptop. Apple is expected to reveal the device on January 26 or 27.

    What do you think: is a grand too much to shell out for the world's awesomest eBook reader (even with nationwide WiFi)?

  • Fresh Kills: Fans of Swedish crime writing and British TV dramas, rejoice:

    Kenneth Branagh returns to British television on 3 January as Kurt Wallander in the second series of the BBC's adaptations of Henning Mankell's novels. The three new films were shot on location in Ystad with a mix of British and Swedish actors, continuing the successful formula of the first series.

    The second series begins with Faceless Killers on 3 January, followed by The Man Who Smiled on 10 January and The Fifth Woman on 17 January.

    I'm not sure when the program will come to these shores, but it will most likely arrive via BBC America. Until then, U.S. viewers who want a little melancholy with their murder can catch up with Wallander, now on DVD.

    Here's a preview of the new series:

Book News Round-up:

  • Bel Canto author Anne Patchett throws out some Q.s for Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert to A.

    In case you missed it, today is the publication of Gilbert's eagerly anticipated follow-up, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage — which is why Patchett's first question is, "So, Liz, is marriage going to survive?"

  • The venerable Baby-sitters Club series, which ceased publication in 2000, is about to be revived "for a new generation."

    To keep everything up-to-date, Scholastic is updating references to technology and fashion (when the "Sweet Valley High" series was reissued in 2008, its publisher also took a similar approach). We doubt many girls would even know what Walkmans or cassette tapes are (kids, there were days before iPods), and getting a perm is, like, so last millennium.

  • Powell's has been designated a source of "quality independent media" by the online news site Firedoglake!

    Powell's Books is an independent bookstore chain in Portland, Oregon that also has a strong presence online. Think of it as a better alternative to Amazon.

  • Even as Kirkus rises from its own ashes following a year that could be described as "The National Book Review Massacre," the lit-blog GalleyCat has announced that it will start publishing book reviews "to help fill this gap in literary coverage."

    Prospective reviewers and those who want their books reviewed can email GalleyCat here.

  • Are rare books too good for the rich? And while we're at it, are Jaguars, private planes, mansions, and money also too good for them?
  • Seventy-three years is a very long time to keep a school library book. But coming clean and returning the book gets you an automatic 4.0 GPA.

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

4 Responses to "Book News: Kirkus Lives, Tóibín Wins the Costa, Kurt Wallander Returns, and More"

    Miss Gretchen January 5th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I luvs yuz, you know that. But I hate bit.ly. I like to see the site I'm clicking on before I do it like some mindless lab rat. Anyway, this is to inform you that the bit.ly URL for Colm Tóibín is not working.
    I had previously noted that Tóibín got a shout out from Sebastian Barry at The Guardian and am interested in this novel.

    crabbily yours, as usual, (Happy New Year to all and may many books go to everyone who values them!)

    Chris Bolton January 5th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Miss Gretchen,

    Sorry for the trouble, the link is fixed now.

    Miss Gretchen January 5th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Grazie. BTW, j'adore the Season 2 teaser of "Wage Slaves." Looks like a new love interest for poor sweet Mitch? I hope so! The scenes of the rain were beautiful.
    *much more contented after dinner* -- Miss G

    Chris Bolton January 5th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Why, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's so nice to use a camera that cost about ten times the budget of the entire first season.

    Mitch? In love?? J'accuse!!

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