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HarperCollins partners with Scribd for ebook subscription service

HarperCollins has partnered with document-sharing website Scribd on a new ebook subscription service.

Dubbed “Netflix for ebooks,” subscribers pay $8.99 a month for the ability to check out an unlimited number of ebooks – up to 10 titles at time – from the Scribd catalogue, which includes backlists from HarperCollins and several small U.S. presses. The service allows readers to switch between browsers, Android, and Apple devices without losing their place.

HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray told the Associated Press that the partnership will provide the publisher with valuable data about Scribd readers. “This is going to help us make even better publishing and marketing decisions for our authors,” he says.

The international service is now available in Canada, although not all titles are accessible for download.

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Simon & Schuster to begin library lending in New York

Simon & Schuster, the last of the Big Six multinational publishers to venture into ebook library distribution, will make its entire ebook catalogue available to libraries in New York City. A one-year trial will begin at the end of April at New York and Brooklyn public libraries and by mid-May in Queens. There’s no word on Canadian distribution yet.

S&S did not disclose details about ebook rates, though it stipulated fairly generous conditions compared to other publishers. Unlike HarperCollins, S&S won’t limit the number of times a book may be checked out. However, S&S has stipulated that titles may be checked out only one user at a time.

Unlike Penguin, which instituted a six-month lending delay after titles go on sale in stores and online, new titles will become available for purchase upon publication.

Ebook titles will be available to libraries for a one-year term. Following the lead of Penguin, the one-year expiration date is designed to mimic the shelf life of print books. Titles will also be available for purchase through libraries, presumably to patrons who don’t want to wait on the hold list until the book becomes available.

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Are HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster next to merge?

Although speculation over the name isn’t as entertaining as the Penguin Random House merger, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster are being touted as the next publishing companies to join forces.

HarperCollins owner News Corp, which had previously expressed interest in purchasing Penguin, is said to be in talks with S&S’s parent company, CBS. Although talk of a deal is still speculative, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch is planning to spin off his publishing assets into a separate company next year.

According to the Financial Times, “Two people familiar with the situation cautioned that News Corp had expressed interest but that there had been no formal negotiations between the two companies, and another warned that a deal may not happen.”

If HarperCollins and S&S do merge, the new entity will become the world’s second-largest trade publishing company, after Penguin Random House.

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Is a merger in the works for Penguin and Random House?

Penguin House?

Are the big six publishers about to become the giant five? According to the Financial Times, Bertelsmann and Pearson are in talks to merge their respective publishing divisions, Random House and Penguin.

If a deal is successful, inside sources say Bertelsmann would reportedly have a stake of more than 50 per cent, with both companies’ CEOs taking leadership roles.

Although rumours of a merger have been floating around for a few months, it is still unclear whether the deal could pass competition regulations in certain countries.

In August, German publication Manager Magazin first reported on the talks, also suggesting a deal between Random House and News Corporation division HarperCollins was a possibility. A Bertelsmann spokesperson called the story “speculation.”

UPDATE: Pearson has released a statement confirming “it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

 

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BookNet bestsellers: cookbooks

Chef Michael Smith, who has this week’s best-selling cookbook, is a relative newcomer compared to Jean Paré, whose classic Company’s Coming series appears on the list five times.

For the two weeks ending Sept. 30:

1. Fast Flavours: 110 Simple, Speedy Recipes, Michael Smith
(Penguin Canada, $32 pa, 9780143177647)

2. The Looneyspoons Collection, Janet and Greta Podleski
(Granet Publishing, $34.95 pa, 9780968063156)

3. Canadian Living: 150 Essential Whole Grain Recipes
(Transcontinental Books, $29.95 pa, 9780987747426)

4. The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook, Mairlyn Smith
(Whitecap Books, $30 pa, 9781770500976)

5. Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics: Everyday Recipes for Family and Friends, Rob Feenie
(Douglas & McIntyre, $29.95 pa, 9781553658733)

6. Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
(Whitecap, $29.95 pa, 9781552859940)

7. The Soup Sisters Cookbook, Sharon Hapton and Pierre A. Lamielle
(Appetite by Random House, $22.95 pa, 9780449015599)

8. The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood, Sharon Hanna
(Harbour Publishing, $26.95 pa, 9781550175769)

9. The Chew: Cooking, Entertainment, and Style
(Hyperion/HarperCollins, $21.99 pa, 9781401311063)

10. Simple Dinners, Donna Hay
(HarperCollins, $34.99 pa, 9781443416559)

11. Most Loved Slow Cooker and Soup Recipes, Jean Paré
(Company’s Coming, $29.99 cl, 9781927126288)

12. 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes, Jean Paré
(Company’s Coming, $16.99 spiral bound, 9781897477069)

13. Healthy Slow Cooker, Jean Paré
(Company’s Coming, $16.99 spiral bound, 9781897477434)

14. Canadian Living: The One-Dish Collection
(Transcontinental, $26.95 pa, 9780981393896)

15. The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
(America’s Test Kitchen, $37.95 spiral bound, 9781933615998)

16. Adding Vegetables, Jean Paré
(Company’s Coming, $16.99 spiral bound, 9781927126271)

17. Canadian Living: The Slow Cooker Collection, Elizabeth Baird
(Transcontinental Books, $22.95 pa, 9780980992458)

18. Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen, Michael Smith
(Penguin Canada, $32 pa, 9780143177630)

19. Mostly Muffins, Jean Paré
(Company’s Coming, $16.99 spiral bound, 9781897069035)

20. Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking, Caroline Bretherton
(Dorling Kindersley/Tourmaline, $39 cl, 9780756686796)

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Harry Karlinsky’s Darwin novel longlisted for Wellcome Trust Book Prize

Vancouver psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky’s debut novel, The Evolution of Inanimate Objects, has been nominated for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize longlist.

The annual £25,000 prize is awarded to any book published in the U.K. that celebrates medicine in literature.

Published in Canada by Insomniac Press and in the U.K. by HarperCollins, Karlinsky’s fictitious biography of a man who may be a little-known relative of Charles Darwin is the only Canadian book on the 14-title longlist. The subject may have caught the attention of poet Ruth Padel, one of five judges at this year’s competition, who is the real-life great-great-granddaughter of the evolutionary biologist.

The Wellcome Trust Book Prize shortlist will be selected Oct. 11 and the winner announced in London on Nov. 7.

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Michael Ondaatje shortlisted for Dayton Literary Peace Prize

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Michael Ondaatje has been named a fiction finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for his novel The Cat’s Table.

The annual award, established in 2006 and based in the U.S., honours authors who have used the written word to promote peace in fiction and non-fiction. The winner in each category receives a $10,000 cash prize.

The Cat’s Table (Knopf Canada) tells the tale of one man’s unforgettable sea voyage from Sri Lanka to London.

The winners will be announced Nov. 11 at a ceremony at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio. The other finalists are:

Fiction:

  • Nanjing Requiem, Ha Jin (Pantheon Books)
  • Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)
  • Shards, Ismet Prcic (Grove Atlantic)
  • The Grief of Others, Leah Hager Cohen (Riverhead)
  • The Sojourn, Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press)

Non-fiction:

  • A Train in Winter, Caroline Moorehead (HarperCollins)
  • Day of Honey, Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press)
  • Mighty Be Our Powers, Leymah Gbowee (The Perseus Books Group)
  • To End All Wars, Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • What Is It Like to Go to War, Karl Marlantes (Grove/Atlantic)

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Fall preview 2012: Canadian non-fiction, part II

The season of high-profile literary awards and author festivals is on its way, and there’s no shortage of new releases from marquee names. In the July/August issue, Q&Q looks ahead at some of the fall’s biggest books.

TRUE CRIME

In 2009, police discovered a car in the Rideau Canal just outside of Kingston, Ontario. The car contained the bodies of three sisters – Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Shafia – and 50-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad. Authorities later arrested the girls’ father, brother, and mother, all of whom were convicted of first-degree murder for their roles in the honour killings. Paul Schliesmann’s Honour on Trial (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $19.95 pa., Oct.) examines the facts behind the case that horrified Canadians.

BUSINESS & FINANCE

He’s been a dragon in his den and gone to prison for his reality-television show, Redemption Inc. Now, Kevin O’Leary, businessman, pundit, and author of the hybrid memoir/business guide Cold Hard Truth, returns with The Cold Hard Truth about Men, Women and Money (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., Dec.), a guide to avoiding common financial mistakes. • O’Leary’s left-leaning opponent on CBC’s The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, Amanda Lang, has a leadership book out this season. The Power of Why: Simple Questions that Lead to Success (HarperCollins Canada, $33.99 cl., Oct.) postulates that asking the right questions leads to increased productivity.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

From the internal combustion engine and cold fusion to the Internet and the artificial heart, all scientific discoveries and technological advancements are the product of human ingenuity. In the 2012 CBC Massey Lectures, Neil Turok argues that science represents humanity’s best hope for progress and peace. The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos (House of Anansi Press, $19.95 pa.) appears in September. • Terence Dickinson is editor of the Canadian astronomy magazine Sky News and author of the bestseller NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. His new book, Hubble’s Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Images (Firefly Books, $49.95 cl., Sept.), is a visually sumptuous compendium of images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

CULTURE & CRITICISM

Novelist and short-story writer Thomas King, who was also the first native person to deliver the prestigious CBC Massey Lectures, has long been a committed advocate for native rights. In The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Doubleday Canada, $34.95 cl., Nov.), King examines the way European settlers and natives have viewed each other via pop culture, treaties, and legislation. • Poet and critic Kathleen McConnell explores the portrayal of women in pop culture through the ages in Pain, Porn and Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalion to Twilight (Wolsak & Wynn, $19 pa., Nov.).

In A Civil Tongue, philosophy professor and public intellectual Mark Kingwell predicted the devolution of political discourse into a schoolyard-like shouting match. His new collection, Unruly Voices: Essays on Democracy, Civility, and the Human Imagination (Biblioasis, $21.95 pa., Sept.), is about how incivility and bad behaviour prevent us from achieving the kind of society we desire.

Poet, publisher, and critic Carmine Starnino turns his incisive and cutting attention to CanLit in his new collection of essays, Lazy Bastardism (Gaspereau Press,  Sept.). • James Pollock believes that Canadian poetry lacks an authentic relationship with poetry from the rest of the world. His new book, You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada (The Porcupine’s Quill, $22.95 pa., Nov.), attempts to situate Canadian poetry in a global context, through examinations of the work of writers such as Anne Carson, Eric Ormsby, and Karen Solie.

A new anthology from Women’s Press brings together essays addressing specific concerns of LGBT communities and individuals across the country. Edited by Maureen FitzGerald and Scott Rayter, Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies ($64.95 pa., Sept.) takes up issues of education, law, and religion, among others. • For a brief moment in the 1960s, Montreal became a hotbed of Civil Rights activism, radically challenging traditional conceptions of racial hierarchies. The 1968 Congress of Black Writers included activists and spokespeople such as Stokely Carmichael, C.L.R. James, and Harry Edwards. David Austin chronicles this important gathering in Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex, and Security in Sixties Montreal (Between the Lines, $24.95 pa., Nov.).

Belles Lettres (McArthur & Company, $29.95 pa., Nov.) is a collection of postcards from authors such as Baudelaire, Flaubert, Proust, and Charlotte Brontë, collated and annotated by Greg Gatenby, the founding artistic director of Toronto’s International

Festival of Authors. • In The Other Side of Midnight: Taxi Cab Stories (Creative Book Publishing, $19.95 pa., Oct.), writer and anthologist Mike Heffernan chronicles the experiences of St. John’s cab drivers and their clients.

ENTERTAINMENT

In the years following Liz Worth’s Treat Me Like Dirt, the market for books about the Canadian punk music scene has been as frenzied as the audience at a Fucked Up concert. In Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk, (ECW, $22.95 pa., Oct.), Sam Sutherland looks at the historical context for Canadian punk progenitors such as D.O.A., the Viletones, and Teenage Head. • One early Canadian punk band – Victoria’s NoMeans­No – is the subject of the latest book in the Bibliophonic series from Invisible Publishing. NoMeansNo: Going Nowhere ($12.95 pa.), by Halifax author Mark Black, is due out in October.

Marc Strange, who died in May, was known for mystery novels such as Body Blows and Follow Me Down. He was also the co-creator (with L.S. Strange) of the seminal Canadian television series The Beachcombers. Bruno and the Beach: The Beachcombers at 40 (Harbour Publishing, $26.95 pa., Sept.), co-written with Jackson Davies, the actor who played Constable John Constable in the series, chronicles the iconic show and its equally iconic lead actor.

Since its release in 1971, Ken Russell’s notoriously blasphemous film, The Devils, has been the subject of heavy censorship in both the U.S. and the U.K. Canadian film scholar Richard Crouse examines the history of this cult classic in Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils (ECW, $19.95 pa., Oct.), which includes an interview with the film’s director, who died in 2011.

HUMOUR

Former model and current stay-at-home mom Kelly Oxford has found her largest measure of fame as a result of her sarcastic Twitter feed (@kellyoxford), which features such Oscar Wildean witticisms as “IDEA: ‘Bless This Mess’ novelty period panties” and “Some parents in China get their kids to work in factories and I can’t get my kid to pass me some Twizzlers.” The essays in Everything’s Perfect When You’re a Liar (HarperCollins Canada, $24.99 cl., Sept.) promise more of the same. • If you prefer your humour with a larger dollop of political satire, you’ll be pleased to know that Rick Mercer has a collection of brand new rants on the way. A Nation Worth Ranting About (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., Oct.) includes the author’s description of bungee jumping with Rick Hansen, and a more serious piece about Jamie Hubley, a gay teen who committed suicide after being bullied.

If you want to know whether you might be a redneck, ask Jeff Foxworthy. If you want to know whether you might be a native of Saskatchewan, check your birth certificate or consult the new book from author Carson Demmans and illustrator Jason Sylvestre. You Might Be from Saskatchewan If … (MacIntyre Purcell/Canadian Manda Group, $12.95 pa.) appears in September.

FOOD & DRINK

Rob Feenie is the latest Food Network Canada celebrity chef with a new cookbook. The host of New Classics with Chef Rob Feenie, who famously defeated Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America, offers innovative approaches to classic, family-friendly fare in Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics: Everyday Recipes for Family and Friends (D&M, $29.95 pa., Sept.). The recipes have undergone stringent quality control, each one having been approved by Feenie’s children, aged 3, 6, and 7.

Camilla V. Saulsbury’s 500 Best Quinoa Recipes: Using Nature’s Superfood for Gluten-free Breakfasts, Mains, Desserts and More (Robert Rose, $27.95 pa., Oct.) provides more healthy recipes based on the reigning superstar ingredient. • Aaron Ash, founder of Gorilla Food, a Vancouver restaurant that features vegan, organic, and raw cuisine, has achieved popularity among celebrity fans including Woody Harrelson and Katie Holmes. His new book, Gorilla Food: Living and Eating Organic, Vegan, and Raw (Arsenal Pulp, $24.95 pa., Oct.), collects 150 recipes, all of which are made without a heat source.

SPORTS


Rocker Dave Bidini returns to his other passion – hockey – in A Wild Stab for It: This Is Game Eight from Russia (ECW, $22.95 cl., Sept.), in which the author talks to various Canadians about the influence of the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series. The release of the book is timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the iconic series. • The man who made that series so memorable also has a book out this fall. Co-written with sports commentator Roger Lajoie, The Goal of My Life (Fenn/M&S, $32.99 cl., Sept.) traces Paul Henderson’s route through the OHL and the NHL, on his way to scoring “the goal of the century.”

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup, ex–CFL quarterback and coach Frank Cosentino has penned the appropriately titled The Grey Cup 100th Anniversary (McArthur & Company, $29.95 pa., Oct.). • Crime fiction writer Michael Januska offers his own take on 100 years of Canadian football history in Grey Cup Century (Dundurn, $14.99 pa., Sept.).

Q&Q’s fall preview covers books published between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. • All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time. • Titles that have been listed in previous previews do not appear here.

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BookNet bestsellers: Canadian fiction

Lawrence Hill takes three spots on this week’s list for Canadian fiction.

For the two weeks ending July 8, 2012:

1. The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje
(Vintage Canada, $22 pa, 9780307401427)

2. Room, Emma Donoghue
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443413695)

3. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9780062203960)

4. The Virgin Cure, Ami McKay
(Vintage Canada, $22 pa, 9780676979572)

5. The Wild Zone, Joy Fielding
(Seal Books/Random House Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781400025794)

6. Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan
(Thomas Allen Publishers, $24.95 pa, 9780887627415)

7. The Witch of Babylon, D.J. McIntosh
(Penguin Canada, $13.50 mm, 9780143175735)

8. A Good Man, Guy Vanderhaeghe
(M&S, $22 pa, 9780771086083)

9. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt
(House of Anansi Press, $22.95 pa, 9781770890329)

10. A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny
(St. Martin’s Press/Raincoast, $16.99 pa, 9781250007346)

11. The Headmaster’s Wager, Vincent Lam
(Doubleday Canada, $32.95 cl, 9780385661454)

12. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443408981)

13. Spell Bound, Kelley Armstrong
(Vintage Canada, $17.95 pa, 9780307359032)

14. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(HarperCollins Canada, $19.99 pa, 9780061974304)

15. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
(Vintage Canada, $21 pa, 9780676973778)

16. The Winter Palace, Eva Stachniak
(Doubleday Canada, $24.95 pa, 9780385666565)

17. Ru, Kim Thúy; Sheila Fischman, trans.
(Random House Canada, $25 cl, 9780307359704)

18. Any Known Blood, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $17.99 pa, 9781443409100)

19. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $17.99 pa, 9781443409094)

20. Everybody Has Everything, Katrina Onstad
(M&S, $22.99 pa, 9780771068980)

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BookNet bestsellers: Canadian fiction

Tanis Rideout makes her debut on this week’s list with her first novel, Above All Things.

For the two weeks ending June 24, 2012:

1. The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje
(Vintage Canada, $22 pa, 9780307401427)

2. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9780062203960)

3. A Good Man, Guy Vanderhaeghe
(McClelland & Stewart, $22 pa, 9780771086083)

4. The Witch of Babylon, D.J. McIntosh
(Penguin Canada, $13.50 mm, 9780143175735)

5. The Headmaster’s Wager, Vincent Lam
(Doubleday Canada, $32.95 cl, 9780385661454)

6. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt
(House of Anansi Press, $22.95 pa, 9781770890329)

7. Room, Emma Donoghue
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443413695)

8. Room, Emma Donoghue
(HarperCollins Canada, $19.99 pa, 9781554688326)

9. Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
(William Morrow/Harper, $19.99 pa, 9780061974304)

10. Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre
(Random House Canada, $32 cl, 9780307360861)

11. Alone in the Classroom, Elizabeth Hay
(M&S, $22 pa, 9780771037979)

12. The Last Crossing, Guy Vanderhaeghe
(M&S, $22 pa, 9780771087844)

13. Never Knowing, Chevy Stevens
(St. Martin’s Press/Raincoast, $16.99 pa, 9781250009319)

14. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $10.99 mm, 9781443408981)

15. The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
(HarperCollins Canada, $17.99 pa, 9781443409094)

16. The Winter Palace, Eva Stachniak
(Doubleday Canada, $24.95 pa, 9780385666565)

17. Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan
(Thomas Allen Publishers, $24.95 pa, 9780887627415)

18. Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
(Seal Books/Doubleday Canada, $5.99 mm, 9780770422059)

19. Spell Bound, Kelley Armstrong
(Vintage Canada, $17.95 pa, 9780307359032)

20. Above All Things, Tanis Rideout
(M&S, $29.99 cl, 9780771076350)

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Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

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