According to Publisher’s Weekly, Children of Blood and Boneby Tomi Adeyemi won big at last night’s 24th annual Audie Awards. Held in Manhattan, the awards recognize outstanding audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Children of Blood and Bone is the debut novel from young author Tomi Adeyemi, and it depicts the story of a young woman called Zélie Adebola who leads her clan of maji against a brutally oppressive regime. A popular YA fantasy novel, the book the first in a highly-anticipated series and has already climbed the ranks of The New York Times’ bestseller list. The audiobook’s narrator is Bahni Turpin, known for her roles in Malcolm X and Cold Case Files.
The book took home the award for Top Audiobook of the Year, a well deserved win for such a striking debut. Other highlights of the evening included Edoardo Ballerini winning Best Male Narrator for his narration ofWatchers by Dean Koontz, Julia Whelan taking home Best Female Narrator for Educatedby Tara Westover, and Richard Armitage nabbing Best Audio Drama for The Martian Invasion of Earthby HG Wells.
Tomi Adeyemi and Bahni Turpin are no doubt very pleased with their win. We look forward to seeing more entries in this series!
After analyzing the the New York Times Bestseller Lists from 2008 to 2016, a team of researchers at Northeastern University in Boston have discovered what makes a book a bestseller. If you want to become a bestselling author, read on to find out what you need to keep in mind.
General fiction and biographies are more likely to make the bestseller list than other genres. Additionally, books that have a higher initial spot on the list are more likely stay on the list for a longer amount of time. Although fiction sells more copies than nonfiction, nonfiction books are more likely to maintain their bestseller status once they make it onto the list. However, fiction authors are more likely to make it onto the list with subsequent books than nonfiction authors are. This is mostly because many fiction bestsellers tend to be smaller parts of larger, successful series, but the study also shows that nonfiction authors who write in a similar way, focusing on the same themes for each of their books, tend to have more bestsellers.
Image Via Travel + Leisure
Sales within the first ten weeks of a book’s release are particularly important as they predict the book’s long-term success. Holidays are also important since they influence the sales and relative success of books in comparison to the rest of the market, although increased sales do make it more difficult for any one book to stand out.
In regards to gender, bestselling romance novels are more likely to be written by women. The researchers could not find any gender gap for bestselling fiction authors, but nonfiction bestsellers are more likely to be written by men.
So if you are trying to write the next “Great American Novel,” remember to make it part of a series, release it around the holidays, really push those sales for the first ten weeks and maybe your book will be the next to reach the top of the New York Times Bestseller List. And if you would like to know more about the research, you can check it out here on Science Daily.
An avid reader, Bill Gates doesn’t hesitate to share his favorite reads with the literary community, having recently shared his top five books of 2017. The new year brings new favorites, however, and the billionaire business giant announced his all-time favorite book that every reader should indulge in.
The New York Times bestseller examines the history and progression of the human condition around the world, ultimately arguing that the ideals of Enlightenment (i.e. reason and science) can enhance human success.
Gates described the core purpose of Pinker’s book, stating, “Enlightenment Now takes the approach he uses in Better Angels to track violence throughout history and applies it to 15 different measures of progress (like quality of life, knowledge, and safety). The result is a holistic picture of how and why the world is getting better.”
Gates had the opportunity to sit down with the author and discuss his arguments and findings, which you can check out below.
Though Enlightenment Now hasn’t hit shelves yet (it will be released on February 27, 2018) Gates was able to secure an early copy and found himself intrigued by meticulous yet straightforward exploration of each of the fifteen measures of progress that Pinker discusses.
“He manages to share a ton of information in a way that’s compelling, memorable, and easy to digest,” Gates said.
If the study of enlightenment and its connection to human progression sounds daunting and boring, don’t dismiss it just yet. As Gates notes, there are plenty of interesting facts to take away from Enlightenment Now, having shared his own five favorite facts from the book that, “show how the world is improving.” Here they are, in Gates’ words:
You’re 37 times less likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than you were at the turn of the century—and that’s not because there are fewer thunderstorms today. It’s because we have better weather prediction capabilities, improved safety education, and more people living in cities.
Time spent doing laundry fell from 11.5 hours a week in 1920 to an hour and a half in 2014. This might sound trivial in the grand scheme of progress. But the rise of the washing machine has improved quality of life by freeing up time for people—mostly women—to enjoy other pursuits. That time represents nearly half a day every week that could be used for everything from binge-watching Ozark or reading a book to starting a new business.
You’re way less likely to die on the job. Every year, 5,000 people die from occupational accidents in the U.S. But in 1929—when our population was less than two-fifths the size it is today—20,000 people died on the job. People back then viewed deadly workplace accidents as part of the cost of doing business. Today, we know better, and we’ve engineered ways to build things without putting nearly as many lives at risk.
The global average IQ score is rising by about 3 IQ points every decade. Kids’ brains are developing more fully thanks to improved nutrition and a cleaner environment. Pinker also credits more analytical thinking in and out of the classroom. Think about how many symbols you interpret every time you check your phone’s home screen or look at a subway map. Our world today encourages abstract thought from a young age, and it’s making us smarter.
War is illegal. This idea seems obvious. But before the creation of the United Nations in 1945, no institution had the power to stop countries from going to war with each other. Although there have been some exceptions, the threat of international sanctions and intervention has proven to be an effective deterrent to wars between nations.
If those facts don’t shock or interest you, then maybe Gates’ high opinion of it will be enough to make you contemplate reading Enlightenment Now.
“I’m glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture,” Gates wrote. “Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker’s ever written. It’s my new favorite book of all time.”
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress will be released on February 27th and is available for pre-order now on Amazon.
Featured image courtesy of Bill Gates/’Entrepreneur’
Despite women writers’ strong performance in literary fiction, they take up less than half of the slots in The Bookseller’s overall UK top fifty bestselling authors of 2017. The list is made up of an eclectic mix of genres including thriller authors Lee Child and James Patterson; Chef Jamie Oliver; health guru Joe Wicks; and children’s writers Jeff Kinney and Philip Pullman.
While there is still an imbalance between male and female authors submitting to major literary prizes, this year the UK top ten bestselling authors of literary fiction features only one male writer. Margaret Atwood has secured the number one spot as the bestselling literary novelist of the year. Atwood’s success this year was elevated by the television adaptations of her novels The Handmaids Tale andAlias Grace.
Image Via The New Yorker
In second place generating 1.1 million Pounds in sales comes the late Helen Dunmore for her novel The Birdcage Walk and collection of poetry published the same year, Inside the Wave. Dunmore passed last June after battling cancer. She is the author of twelve novels, three books of short stories, numerous books for young adults and children, and eleven collections of poetry.
Image Via The Independant
Sarah Perry came in third place for her novel The Essex Serpent, which won her the British Book Award’s fiction book of the year and overall book of the year including multiple other prizes from NPR, The Kirkus Review, The Independent, The Washington Post, and The Waterstone’s book of the year.
Image Via Radio Times
In fourth place came the author of The Power, Naomi Alderman. Alderman’s sales reached over a million Pounds in 2017. Her novel was met with endless praise and awards and explores a recognisable world in which women come to possess a fierce new power. Of The Power, NPR’s Michael Schaub writes:
Novels based on premises like the one at the core of The Power can quickly become little more than thought experiments, but Alderman dodges this trap deftly — her writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems almost limitless. She also has a pitch-dark sense of humor that she wields perfectly.
Image Via Los Angeles Times
Fifth place was given to Italy’s most beloved writer, Elena Ferrante, author of the acclaimed Neapolitan series and this year, The Story of a New Name, which is about to be adapted into a HBO series. Ferrante, the author’s pseudonym, raked in over a million Pounds in 2017 and her novel has won her a passionate following outside of Italy.
Image Via Twitter
The 6th spot on the list and the only featured male writer is Haruki Murakami, a faithful representative of modern Japanese culture and the self-established unofficial laureate of Japan, for his novels Kafka on the Shoreand The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. For millions of readers, Murakami is the primary source of the texture and shape of his native country, having been born in Kyoto in 1949.
Image Via Literary Roadhouse
The list also includes Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Maggie O’Farrell, and Arundhati Roy. This list lends an eye to how women live, imagine, and think across the globe. Now more than ever we need a compelling fiction to expand our capacity for empathy and imagination. Strong women’s voices such as those listed above are guiding us there.
David Levithan’s bestselling YA novel Every Day is becoming a movie, and it has everything good things have. One, it’s about a girl who falls in love with a spirit. Two, the spirit changes people’s bodies every day. Three, the two have to find each other every day. It’s a coming-of-age romance with magic and intrigue, and everything is stacking up for the movie adaptation. Get your first look here.
Image Via Orion Pictures
Image Via Orion Pictures
The story follows Rhiannon (The Nice Guys’ Angourie Rice), who notices her boyfriend is unusually warm to her one day. The next day, things go back to normal. It turns out he was possessed by a benevolent spirit called “A,” who finds itself in a different host every day. Rhiannon and “A” grow closer and closer, but their predicament is obviously complicated.
Sixteen different actors play the role of “A” throughout the movie, which, on its own, will be really exciting to see. They include Paper Towns‘ Justice Smith. It has a vaguely I’m Not There or The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus vibe (both movies where multiple actors play the same role). But sixteen for one character? Director Michael Sucsy has a fun job.
The through line, I think, with all the 16 actors who play A, it really had something to do with the eyes. Not the shape of the eyes… It’s a cliché or a phrase or an old adage — ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’ — and looking into these actors eyes in their audition, I saw a common thread that I suppose, if I were to shorthand it, would be something like an old soul and even though some of these actors were 15-20 years old, the thing that they all share in common is that they all really do have an old soul.
The story sounds wondrous and the script was adapted by Me, Earl and the Dying Girl’s Jesse Andrews. So it’s got a great crew behind it. Every Day is due out February 23, 2018.