The Nobel Prize for Literarure

I know many people bash awards all the time because they never seem to get it right or because there’s some kind of agenda at play. But why can’t it be that sometimes the recipients of these awards are deserving? Why is that so hard to believe?

The Nobel Prize for Literature was announced yesterday. And I’ll admit that I didn’t know the recipient off the top of my head. So what did I do? I read about her. No, not Wikipedia. I read what respectable news organizations had to say about this woman who had just won the top literary prize there is. And based on what I’ve read she absolutely deserves it. All of the authors being considered deserved it. But you can’t slice up the award and give it out in fifths.

Svetlana Alexievich is a journalist who also writes books. Yes, they’re nonfiction. But honestly, someone who feels strongly that she shouldn’t be considered for an award for “literature” has probably never written anything longer than a tweet. I’m finding through my own reading that true stories are just as entertaining and thought-provoking as fiction.

Are you familiar with her work? Have any thoughts on a nonfiction author winning this award?

Ten Facts About Books for World Book Day (a day late)

Yesterday was World Book Day. At least that’s what popped up all over my WordPress Reader. I also happened to see at least one person call it Erotic Book Day. We’ll just assume she was trying to bring attention to herself because that can’t really be a thing. I surely hope not.

Anyway, yesterday was World Book Day. And I have no idea what we were celebrating. Was it someone’s birthday from a few centuries ago? Or maybe the original publication date of one of the most known works in history? I have no clue. But surely there’s some reason March 5th is the date. So in honor of the momentous day, here are ten “facts” about books. They’re from the UK and the list isn’t mine.

1. The Average UK household owns 203 books.

2. The British Library contains about 14 million books and needs roughly six miles of new shelf space every year just to add new items.

3. UK publishers release about 184,000 new or revised books each year.

4. Since 2011, sales of eBooks in the UK have overtaken sales of print books.

5. Jane Austen originally gave the nameĀ First Impressions to her book that was later published as Pride and Prejudice.

6. France has won more Nobel Prizes for Literature than any other country.

7. J.R.R Tolkien is said to have typed the whole of the LOTR with only two fingers.

8. In 2014, the town of Tuszyn in Poland banned Winnie-the-Pooh.

9. A 2013 survey reported that 18 percent of people don’t read print books.

10. “There is no friend as a loyal as a book.” -Hemingway

I think I took these from a UK tabloid because it really reminds me of Elite Daily. BUT these don’t seem too outrageous to think they aren’t somewhat true. So eh, just read the list knowing that I have no means to verify the accuracy of any of these statements. Well I could verify a few, but what fun would that be?

Happy Belated World Book Day!

On this day in 2014 I published Stop Choosing Between Writing and Reading.