Halted merger applauded by writers’ orgs

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Writers’ organizations in Canada and the U.S. have applauded the ruling by a federal judge to block the merger of publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

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Writers’ organizations in Canada and the U.S. have applauded the ruling by a federal judge to block the merger of publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

The largest American writers’ organization, the Authors’ Guild, described the ruling in a Washington, D.C., federal court as “a major victory for authors.” Guild president Doug Preston added that consolidation in the industry “leaves authors with fewer potential buyers of their manuscripts, which restrains their power to negotiate advances and other terms.”

The Writers’ Union of Canada responded similarly. “We don’t want to see any publisher depart the Canadian market, especially if they currently engage in the development of Canadian-authored lists,” said union CEO John Degen. “This proposed sale would have been a de facto departure. Simon & Schuster Canada is an important buyer for the works of Canadian authors. We prefer to see them independent and unabsorbed.”

Penguin Random House has indicated that it plans to appeal the ruling.

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The latest book by Terry O’Reilly, the star of CBC radio’s program about advertising Under the Influence, is one of three finalists for this year’s National Business Book Award.

The three finalists are Billion Dollar Start-up: The True Story of How a Couple of 29-Year-Olds Turned $35,000 Into a $1,000,000,000 Cannabis Company, by Adam Miron, Sébastien St-Louis and Julie Beun; My Best Mistake: Epic Fails and Silver Linings, by O’Reilly; and Opening Doors to Diversity in Leadership, by Bobby Siu.

The winner of the $30,000 prize will be announced Nov. 16.

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Manitoba gardeners can log into a virtual book launch tomorrow at 2 p.m. to find inspiration for the next growing season.

The 2023 Prairie Garden book, subtitled Climate-Aware Gardening, contains a number of articles on what gardeners can do to mitigate or prepare for climate change. The launch will feature guest editor Danny Blair, a University of Winnipeg geography professor who is co-director of the Prairie Climate Centre, as well as contributors Linda Dietrick and Sandra Venton.

To register for the online launch see wfp.to/gardener.

Buy on mcnallyrobinson.com

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Former Attorney-General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould visits McNally Robinson Booksellers’ Grant Park location on Monday at 7 p.m. to discuss her new book, True Reconciliation: How to Be a Force for Change (McClelland & Stewart). The launch features a conversation hosted by Murray Sinclair, the first Indigenous judge in Manitoba and the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Wilson-Raybould’s book discusses what individuals and organizations can do to advance reconciliation.

Buy on mcnallyrobinson.com

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Winnipeg veterinarian Philipp Schott returns to the bookshelves this fall with a third instalment in his popular series of books featuring unexpected and odd tales from his career.

He launches the book, The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten, at McNally Robinson’ Grant Park location on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a reading as well as a conversation with the Free Press’s long-time humour columnist Doug Speirs.

Buy on mcnallyrobinson.com

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Toronto journalist Menaka Raman-Wilms visits McNally Robinson’s Grant Park location Thursday to launch her debut novel, The Rooftop Garden (Nightwood Editions).

The Rooftop Garden is the story of a researcher who studies seaweed in the warming ocean and who travels to Berlin to search for a missing childhood friend. Raman-Wilms, a former Globe and Mail Parliament reporter who now hosts the Globe’s daily podcast, The Decibel, will discuss the book with CBC weekend host Keisha Paul starting at 7 p.m.

Buy on mcnallyrobinson.com

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Two Brandon University historians and a colleague from North Dakota examine the Winnipeg General Strike and place it in historical context in a new book that grew out of a centennial conference held in 2019.

Editors James Naylor and Rhonda L. Hinther from BU and Jim Mochoruk from UND launch For a Better World: The Winnipeg General Strike and the Workers’ Revolt (University of Manitoba Press) Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson’s Grant Park location. The event will be hosted by Julia Smith, a U of M professor who was part of the team that produced a graphic novel book on the strike.

Buy on mcnallyrobinson.com

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