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2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Longlist Revealed

On Monday, the American Library Association announced the 40 titles on the longlist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The list of 20 titles in each category is now available on the awards website. The six-title shortlist — three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals — will be announced in mid-October 2015.

The shortlist reveal was moved to October to better align with other major adult book awards and potential holiday sales. The two medal winners will be announced on January 10, 2016, at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals reflect the judgment and insight of library professionals and an ABA representative (this year Cathy Langer of Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store) who work closely with adult readers. The selection committee includes Booklist editors and members of the Reference & User Services Association’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section’s Notable Books Council.

The awards are funded through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York and are cosponsored and administered by Booklist and RUSA.

German Booksellers Association Files Complaint Against Amazon/Audible

On Monday, September 21, the association of German booksellers, Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V., lodged complaints with the German competition authority and the European Commission accusing Amazon and its Audible subsidiary of building a monopoly in the audio book business.

In a statement, the association said that Amazon and Audible were abusing their dominant market position to force publishers to accept “unreasonable conditions” for the marketing of audiobooks, according to Reuters. The German association estimates that more than 90 percent of all downloads of audio books in Germany are via the Audible or Amazon sites, or via the iTunes store, which is supplied by Audible.

The European Commission, which works closely with national competition authorities on antitrust matter, said it would assess the complaint.

With the filing of its complaint, the German booksellers association is now formally a party to the ongoing European antitrust proceedings against Amazon. The European Commission opened an investigation into Amazon’s e-book business in June, and, Reuters noted, Amazon is in the commission’s “crosshairs” for deals with Luxembourg that allow it to pay extremely low taxes.

Oyster E-Book Subscription Service to End

The Oyster e-book subscription service, which launched in 2013, will exit the business over the next few months and will be offering refunds to subscribers who request them, according to an announcement this week on the company’s blog.

The Wall Street Journal noted, however, that Oyster Chief Executive Eric Stromberg “appeared to suggest that the business model could later re-emerge in some form.”

“We believe more than ever that the phone will be the primary reading device globally over the next decade — enabling access to knowledge and stories for billions of people worldwide,” the company’s blog posting said. “Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realize our vision for e-books.”

WSJ reported that some of Oyster’s employees will be joining the e-book service Google Play Books.

Oyster offered subscribers access to a million e-book titles for $9.95 a month.

National Book Foundation to Honor James Patterson With Literarian Award

The National Book Foundation will present its 2015 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to literary activist and bestselling novelist James Patterson.

In its announcement of the award on Wednesday, NBF said:

For the past decade, Patterson has been a passionate campaigner to make books and reading a national priority. Patterson has donated millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to encourage Americans to read more books, donated over a million books to children and American soldiers, and created the website ReadKiddoRead — a winner of the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize — to help families develop healthy reading habits.

Patterson will receive the award, which will be presented by Carmen Fariña, New York City Schools chancellor, at the National Book Awards ceremony on November 18.

Financial Times, McKinsey Announce Shortlist for 2015 Business Book of Year

This week, the Financial Times and the U.K.’s McKinsey & Company announced the six titles on the shortlist for the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Now in its 11th year, the award recognizes the title that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues.

This year’s finalists, chosen by a panel of judges as the most influential business books of 2015, are:

  • The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment by Martin Ford (Oneworld Publications; Basic Books)
  • Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff (Flatiron/Macmillan)
  • Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin by Nathaniel Popper (Allen Lane/Penguin Press; Harper/HarperCollins)
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie Slaughter (Oneworld Publications; Random House)
  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics by Richard Thaler (Allen Lane/Penguin Press; W.W. Norton)
  • How Music Got Free: What Happens When an Entire Generation Commits the Same Crime? by Stephen Witt (The Bodley Head/Penguin Random House; Viking)

The winner of the award, which includes a prize of £30,000, will be announced at a dinner ceremony on November 17 in New York City. The authors of the remaining shortlisted books will be awarded £10,000 each.