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PBS Announces Key Authors Appearing on The Great American Read TV Series

A number of well-known authors, celebrities, and other notable figures will appear on PBS’ The Great American Read, a new eight-part television series supported by a nationwide reading campaign.

The new PBS series will explore the power of reading through the lens of America’s 100 best-loved novels, as chosen by the public. Authors to be featured include Margaret Atwood, Lesley Stahl, Devon Kennard, and Junot Díaz, among other writers, who will each share their personal stories and connections to their favorite titles.

Over the summer of 2018, viewers can read and vote on their favorite works of fiction through a national survey conducted by YouGov, as PBS partners with major literary organizations and its member stations on a multi-platform digital and social media campaign to promote the program.

Episodes of the show will explore the nominated books through themes like “Heroes,” “Villains & Monsters,” and “What We Do for Love.” The series, created in partnership with the production company Nutopia, will conclude with a finale and countdown to “America’s Best-Loved Book.”

The list of all 100 titles will be made available prior to the first episode, a two-hour special event on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. on PBS stations (check your local listings).

WNBA Seeks Pannell Award Nominations

The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) is now accepting nominations for the 2018 WNBA Pannell Award, which “recognizes bookstores that enhance their communities by bringing exceptional creativity to foster a love of reading and books in children and young adults.”

The award, selected by a panel of publishing professionals, will be presented to one general bookstore and one children’s specialty store. The winners are chosen from nominations submitted by customers, sales reps, store staff, and customers. Each winner will receive a $1,000 check and a framed signed original art piece from a children’s book illustrator during a presentation at BookExpo this May. 

Booksellers who would like to nominate a store can either complete the online nomination form by February 3, or e-mail WNBAPannell@gmail.com with the name, e-mail address, and phone number of the person making the nomination; that person’s connection to the nominated store; the bookstore name and address and contact information for the bookstore owner or manager; and a brief statement of the reasons for nominating that store.

The Pannell Award Committee will then follow up with nominated bookstores for a formal electronic submission with details about the store’s programs and contributions to the community as well as any supplementary material, including photos and media coverage.

Three Booksellers Join MPIBA Board of Directors

Members of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) have nominated three of their bookseller colleagues to join the regional association’s Board of Directors.

The booksellers who will begin their three-year terms on the MPIBA Board this month are: 

Stephen King to be Honored at PEN Literary Gala

PEN America has announced that bestselling horror writer Stephen King will receive the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award on Tuesday, May 22, at the annual PEN Literary Gala.

The free speech organization gives out the Literary Service Award each year “to a critically-acclaimed writer whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition, engendering empathy and imagination in even the darkest hours.” Previous winners include Stephen Sondheim, J.K. Rowling, Tom Stoppard, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, and Margaret Atwood.

King has written more than 50 books, all of which have been international bestsellers and some of which, including ItThe StandThe Dark TowerMisery11/22/63, and Under the Dome, have inspired films and TV shows. In addition to writing, the renowned author is also an advocate for freedom of expression, literacy, and access to information, which he and his wife, Tabitha, support through philanthropy.

Scribner will release his newest novel, The Outsider, on May 22, at the award presentation. Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive officer of Simon & Schuster, will also be honored as the publisher honoree that night.

Sourcebooks Launches “Love Your Library Like a Carnegie!” Campaign

Independent publisher Sourcebooks has announced its new “Love Your Library Like a Carnegie” campaign, which will give grant money to two nominated libraries.

The campaign was inspired by librarians’ support for Sourcebooks’ Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict, which was selected as the number-six LibraryReads pick for January 2018 and tells the story of the woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from industrialist to philanthropist. 

The public can nominate their favorite library on the Sourcebooks website. Voting has begun and will run until March 19, 2018, when the winners will be announced.

The two winning libraries will receive a $4,000 prize. In addition, one online voter will receive a $100 gift card, and 10 of those who voted will win a signed edition of Benedict’s first book, The Other Einstein.

National Book Foundation Elects Three to Board of Directors

The National Book Foundation (NBF) announced Wednesday that it had elected three new members to the organization’s Board of Directors.

The three new members beginning their first terms on the NBF Board are Lucia Ferreira, co-head of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Global Development and Impact Investing Practices; Michael Lynton, Chairman of the Board for Snap Inc.; and Michelle Weiner, head of the books department at Creative Artists Agency.

More information on each new Board member can be found here.

Proposed New York State Budget Includes Measure on Sales Tax Fairness

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $168 billion state budget released Tuesday includes an “Internet fairness conformity tax,” the New York Times has reported.

The tax, a holdover idea that failed to win approval from the Legislature last year, would require so-called “marketplace providers” like Amazon to collect sales tax. 

According to the Times, this tax hike is one of several, including a statewide payroll tax, that Cuomo has introduced into the budget to counteract the effects of the federal tax plan signed into law in December, which instated a reduction in deductibility of state and local taxes.

IngramSpark Ignite Awards Honor Two ABA Bookstore Members

ABA member bookstores Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, and Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., were honored at Ingram Content Group’s inaugural IngramSpark “Ignite” awards.

The new awards program recognizes booksellers, publishers, and libraries that have “exhibited outstanding indie publishing best practices in 2017.” Winners were recognized in three categories: “Best Practices in Indie Publishing” for publishers; “Best Practices in Community Engagement” for bookstores and libraries providing support to indie authors; and “Rising Star” for new indie authors in 2017 who excel at marketing.

Village Books and Politics and Prose, along with two libraries, received honors in the “Best Practices in Community Engagement” category and took home prize money to further their success in the book industry in 2018.

See all of the winners here.

2017 National Jewish Book Award Winners Announced

The Jewish Book Council has announced the winners of the 67th annual National Jewish Book Awards, which honor the best of Jewish literature for the year. Some of the winners for 2017 include:

  • Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year Award: Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun (Schocken Books)
  • JJ Greenberg Memorial Award in Fiction: A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman and translated by Jessica Cohen (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • The Holocaust Book Award in Memory of Ernest W. Michel: The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures From the Nazis by David Fishman (ForeEdge, an imprint of University Press of New England)

See all of the 2017 winners here.