paper trail

Aleppo bombing reports called "fake news"; Hong Kong publishers struggling after 2015 crackdown

Claire Louise-Bennett. Photo: Conor Horgan

Gwen Ihnat examines the truth behind the stories of the late Carrie Fisher’s novels, many of which have become bestsellers in the days since her death.

At the Los Angeles Times, Carolyn Kellogg writes that 2017 needs to make up for 2016’s lack of a blockbuster book, “the book you see people reading on subways and on planes, that you hear about on the radio and on TV talk shows, that seems to be everywhere at once.” 

LitHub highlights the most ||overlooked books| of 2016. Selections include Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador, William Giraldi’s The Hero’s Body, and Claire-Louise Bennett’s Pond.

Columbia Journalism Review rounds up the best journalism of the year. Articles that make the cut include John Carreyrou’s expose on Theranos for the Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed’s reporting scoops throughout the presidential campaign, and Nikole Hannah-Jones’s first person piece about New York City public schools for the New York Times.

The Daily Beast reports that Russian-backed media outlets, as well as far-right US websites like InfoWars, are dismissing the Russian-led bombing of Aleppo as “fake news.” In a video for In The Now, a sister-site of RT, newscaster Eva Bartlett said, “They want you to think there’s one side to this story—one truth. That Assad is going from city to city killing his own people, for some crazy reason, with the help of Russia. The question is, do you buy it?”

One year after the disappearance of several Hong Kong booksellers, The Guardian looks at the effects of China's crackdown on publishing in the territory. Banned political books had once been a must-have for tourists from the mainland, but both supply and demand has lessened in the wake of last year’s events. ”Bookshops have closed. Publishers have left. Authors have stopped writing. Books have been pulped. Printers are refusing political works. Translators have grown weary of being associated with certain topics. Readers have stopped buying,” writes Ilaria Maria Sala. “And the whole industry is wondering if hard-hitting books on Chinese politics still have a future in the former British colony.”