by Lily King
Well, it’s another year done and again J.K. Rowling is at the center of one of the top book stories of the year. Rowling made headlines in July when The Sunday Times of London revealed her as the writer behind the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, author of the crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling. The book sold only 1,500 copies between its release in April and when Rowling was outed in July – afterwards, it soared to the top of the bestseller lists and signed first editions are currently selling for over $5,000.
In other news – yes, there was other news -
American icon Harper Lee filed a lawsuit in May to reclaim her rights to her one and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The suit, which alleged that Lee’s agent, Samuel L. Pinkus, duped her into signing her copyright over to him, was settled out of court in September. In October, 87-year-old Lee also sued a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, AL, for trademark infringement.
2013 also produced a bumper crop of exciting new releases from both enduring favorites, such as Thomas Pynchon, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood, and promising newcomers, such as Hanya Yanagihara, Anthony Marra, and Eleanor Catton.
AbeBooks Review: A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki › Play Video
We lost too many great writers again in 2013, including Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, Pulitzer Prize winner Oscar Hijuelos, and Tom Clancy, master of the post-Cold War military espionage novel. We also bid farewell to American master Elmore Leonard, Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, beloved if curmudgeonly British writer Doris Lessing, and South African anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela. All of them left us too soon.
There were a few surprise winners of literary awards this year, with underdog James McBride snagging the National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird, beating out veteran Thomas Pynchon, and a short story collection, Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing, winning the Giller Prize, Canada’s richest literary award. But the biggest surprise of 2013 was Eleanor Catton’s double win for The Luminaries. The 28-year-old, Canadian-born author from New Zealand won both the Man Booker Prize and Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction. It was a big year for Canada all around, with beloved short-story writer Alice Munro winning the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Though published in 2012, Chris Kyle’s autobiography American Sniper made the news in February, when the former US Navy Seal was shot and killed at a Texas shooting range.
Outspoken Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai published her memoir in October. Yousafzai was almost killed by Taliban gunmen in 2012, when she was just 15 years old.
And in November, Mrs. Jeff Bezos, Mackenzie, made headlines when she wrote a scathing one star review of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone. Using fact-checking based on ‘personal knowledge’, Bezos accuses the book of containing many inaccuracies.