Book Bites: News and Views for November 13


Amazon opened a bricks-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, prompting a little bit of head-shaking and more than a few speculative think-pieces on the strange, possibly irrelevant strategy by the online retail giant. It’s hard to find anyone who actually has anything good to say about the move, but people are curious. Would you shop there?


Andre Alexis won the 2015 Giller Prize for his book, Fifteen Dogs, a somewhat absurdist philosophical tale about a pack of dogs awarded human-level consciousness. Alexis beat out four other novelists for the prize, in a year notable for an absence of the Canadian heavy-hitters that have previously dominated the shortlist. The Giller was handed out in a star-studded ceremony televised on the CBC.


More Amazon news: Amazon editors have compiled their lists of the Best of 2015, with Lauren Groff’s much buzzed-about Fates and Furies sitting in the top spot for print. Lists for Kindle format and several other genres have also been compiled.


Goodreads (yep, more Amazon news) has launched its annual readers poll, giving users the chance to choose their favorite books of 2015. The semifinal round of voting in all 20 categories is open until November 15, with a final round being announced November 17.


This week in book history: 1900 — Margaret Mitchell is born. 1962 — Naomi Wolf is born. 1852 — Louisa May Alcott has her first story published. 2004 — Stieg Larsson dies. 1851 — Moby Dick is published. 1960 — Neil Gaiman born.


    Karen Green

    Karen Green is a freelance writer and big city ex-pat now living in rural Ontario. She writes for numerous print and online publications, and considers her library card to be one of her most valuable possessions.

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