Harper Lee: Mockingbird Sequel Controversy
When it was announced that Harper Lee would release a second novel, 55 years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, book nerds went wild. Then the controversy started. Is 88 year old Lee being taken advantage of in the wake of her former lawyer and sister’s death? Does her new attorney have her best interest in mind? After the disastrous interview from her editor at HarperCollins, even more questions arose, along with more commentary. Most recently, Lee’s attorney released a statement that Lee was “extremely hurt and humiliated” that the media was suggesting she was unfit to publish. Many still doubt the legitimacy of the statement and Lee’s want to publish this long, lost book, considering her history of selling rights then suing to get them back. Despite the continuing controversy, sales for To Kill a Mockingbird have nearly tripled in anticipation of its sequel, while pre-orders for the new book sent it to the top of Amazon’s charts. Go Set A Watchman takes place 20 years after the events of To Kill A Mockingbird. The new novel is set to publish in July 2015.
And ICYMI: The cover that was released for Go Set A Watchman is only placeholder art, so be on the lookout for the new cover soon!
BookExpo America: The Ongoing Diversity Issue
Last week, BookExpo sent out an email announcing the Children’s Book & Author Breakfast line-up for this year’s conference, and once again it consists of only white authors. Scheduled to attend are Nathan Lane (serving as Master of Ceremonies), Rainbow Rowell (Carry On 10/2015), Oliver Jeffers (The Day the Crayons Came Home, 08/2015) and James Patterson (Treasure Hunters: Secret of the Forbidden City, 09/2015). Now, it could be that no one else was available. It could also be that these authors were chosen because of the new releases coming out later this year. But, for an organization that was lambasted so much for similar actions only a year ago, you’d think they’d know better. And no sooner had the email gone out, authors, readers, and industry professionals took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
80 Books Blog also wishes to express our disappointment in BEA coordinators. #WeNeedDiverseAuthors
Got an email from BEA about the Children’s Author Breakfast…still so very white.
— Tqwana Brown (@TqwanaBrown) February 5, 2015
Minimum Wage, Diversity Top Concerns at Wi10
The Winter Institute, a convention for booksellers, was this past week in North Carolina. Among the chief concerns booksellers spoke about was the national mandate to raise minimum wage. Booksellers worry that increasing minimum wage will force them to close like Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
The other hot topic of the conference was lack of diversity in bookselling. A suggestion by the owner of Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia was to create an “emerging leader scholarship program to encourage a more diverse group of people to become booksellers.” Be the change, people!
Oprah’s Book Club 2.0: Ruby
Oprah has chosen Ruby by Cynthia Bond as her book club pick. The book, published last year by Hogarth Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, has 20,000 books in print, but will be making a new print run of 200,000 books. Ruby is the story of a young woman who escapes Texas in the 1950’s and moves to New York searching for her mother. Oprah has also purchased the film and television rights through her studio, Harpo Films. It’s definitely on 80 Books To-Read list!
Win a copy on Goodreads!
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