Book Beat: Arthur A. Levine Leaves Scholastic, Lambda Finalists, and More Murderbot!

Hello Book Lovers! It’s Christa here, and it’s Thursday, which means it’s time to talk about all of the bookish news from the previous week. For this Book Beat, there have been some award announcements, some industry shuffling, and some exciting adaptation news. So, let’s dive right in!

Arthur A. Levine leaving Scholastic

Arthur A. Levine’s name is legendary in the publishing industry. He’s been an editor at Scholastic for 23 years and his imprint, Arthur A. Levine Books, is home to so many fabulous authors like Emma Donoghue, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Bill Konigsberg, Daniel José Older, and Markus Zusak. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also the editor who brought Harry Potter to the U.S. market.

As of March 30th, Levine will be leaving Scholastic to start his own publishing company. Another senior editor at Scholastic, Nick Thomas, will be joining him. Levine has said their list will “center on diversity, ideally with a mix of 75% minority creators, including people of color, indigenous people, and LGBTQ individuals.” The name of the new publisher has not yet been announced, but they plan to launch in Fall 2020 with 20 titles, including 5 in translation.

Though it is sad to see Scholastic lose an editor like Levine, I’m excited to see what will come out of his new venture, especially with his fantastic track record and his commitment to diversity.

Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards (or The Lammys) have been announced. This year, over 1,000 books were submitted to 24 different categories (including the brand new Bisexual Poetry category!) from over 300 publishers.

I can’t imagine having to choose from so many great titles. But some of my personal favourites from the finalist lists are:

  • Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn  (Lesbian Fiction)
  • The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara (Gay Fiction)
  • Little Fish by Casey Plett (Transgender Fiction)
  • I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya (Transgender Nonfiction)
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Children’s/Young Adult)
  • On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden (Graphic Novels)

On a Sunbeam, First Second, 2018

The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony and Gala the evening of Monday, June 3 in New York City. And if you want to join the festivities, you can buy your tickets here. 

Canada Reads Shortlist and Defenders Announced

A few weeks ago, we shared with you readers this year’s Canada Reads longlist. This week, we’re happy to announce the shortlist, as well as their chosen defenders. They are:

  • Chuck Comeau defending Homes by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung
  • Lisa Ray defending Brother by David Chariandy
  • Ziya Tong defending By Chance Alone by Max Eisen
  • Yanic Truesdale defending Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated by Rhonda Mullins
  • Joe Zee defending The Woo-Woo by Lindsay Wong

You can read more about the books and their defenders here. So far, I’ve only read Brother by David Chariandy — and it was incredible. I’ve picked up The Woo-Woo and Suzanne to read next, and I’m hoping I can get to Homes and By Chance Alone by the time the debates start.

This year the theme is “One Book to Move You” and the debates will take place March 25-28. You can listen in on CBC Radio One at 11 a.m. EST, watch on CBC at 4 p.m. EST, or catch the live stream online at CBC Books at 11 a.m. EST.

Murderbot Returns!

It’s no secret that we love the Murderbot novellas here at Bookmarked. Luckily, we’re not the only ones. The series has won a Hugo, a Nebula, an Alex Award, a Locus Award, a British Science Fiction Award, AND a Bookmarked Awesome Award (the most impressive of them all IMHO).

Cover of All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

So there was a bit of a group happy dance when we found out Martha Wells is writing a full-length Murderbot novel! The title, Network Effect, was announced this week, and it’s set for a May 2020 publication date. It’s going to be a hard wait but, if it’s anything like the existing four installments, it will be so worth it.

This is How You Lose The Time War Optioned for TV

One last bit of good news before we wrap up for the week. Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar’s upcoming science fiction spy novel, This is How You Lose The Time War, has been optioned for the small screen. The book isn’t out yet but a story of star-crossed, time-travelling spies could not be more in my wheelhouse!

Out This Week

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
Squad by Mariah MacCarthy
If, Then by Kate Hope Day
The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson
The True Queen by Zen Cho

The Bird King, G. Willow Wilson, March 12th 2019 by Grove Press

Happy Thursday!

Christa Seeley

Christa Seeley

Books Editor. Maple Flavoured Darth Vader Fangirl.