And now onto the book-relevant news:
The winners of the Locus Awards were announced this week. The awards for best science fiction and fantasy novels went to China Miéville (Embassytown) and George R. R. Martin (A Dance With Dragons) respectively. Catherynne M. Valente took home THREE awards – for best young adult novel (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making), best novella (Silently and Very Fast), and best novelette (White Lines on a Green Field)! Huge congratulations to all the winners!
As some of you may have heard, A Monster Calls won both the Carnegie Medal (for children’s literature) and the Greenaway medal (for illustration) last week. This week author Patrick Ness spoke out in defense of this generation’s teenagers in a really moving article for The Guardian. (Seriously, just read it.)
And our very own blogging friend Sarah from Clear Eyes, Full Shelves also pulled out her opinion hat and wrote very passionately in defense of young adult literature.
NPR is putting together a list of the best young adult books, and they are asking for help which is really very smart of them, in our opinion. Make sure to stop by and comment with your top five picks. Let’s tell them about all the ones they missed!
It seems like the other news was all of the less-progressive-more-crotchety quality. Perhaps the curmudgeonly world is feeling threatened after statistics released this week from the Association of American Publishers indicated that ebook sales topped hardcover sales in the first quarter of 2012 (including a 28% increase in ebook sales from 2011)? Perhaps we are just due for this generation’s “real literature is dead” outcry? Either way, a group of authors chimed in this week for the New York Times, in response to this Room for Debate topic:
“Is "summer reading" now just "reading"? Have novels become more entertaining, and less of a cultural touchstone or a political voice?”
Any reader can tell you that this is a ridiculous question. William Deresiewicz writes a very rational response, saying in part: “The novel is a sturdy old contraption that continues to outlive its mourners.” Matt de la Pena takes up the role of chief mourner, saying in part: “We don’t want our ideologies to be challenged. That’s too much work. We want escape.” Really? I (Catie) think a lot of readers would disagree. There were four other responses which all fell somewhere in between these two.
Shannon Hale also caused a bit of an outcry this week when she published a, if not malicious, then rather uninformed post on her blog speaking against self-publishing. However, she was very gracious and open to comments and has since published an updated post in which she attempts to back track quite a bit. I particularly enjoyed Rick Walton’s comment on the later post, in which he compares the whole self-publishing system to the “Got Talent and Idol shows.” Now where are Simon, Paula, and Randy to tell us which ones are good?
Oh right, that’s supposed to be us.
And just to wrap things up on a lighter note, here are two book trailers that were released this week – one for Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina, which we will be reviewing soon and one for Zoe Marriott’s upcoming book Frostfire.
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Of course, now I'm feeling depressed again because it appears that, if the above trailer for Frostfire is accurate, the cover for the upcoming book has been blue-washed. Apparently Tatiana was right about that!
Maybe we should chat about Brave again?
See you next week for more news!