paper trail

Andrew Carnegie Medals shortlist announced; Ta-Nehisi Coates on the upcoming Albertine Festival

Ta-Nehisi Coates

The American Library Association has announced the Andrew Carnegie Medals shortlist. Finalists include Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and Michael Chabon’s Moonglow for fiction, and Patricia Bell-Scott’s The Firebrand and the First Lady, Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, and Patrick Phillips’s Blood at the Root for non-fiction. Winners will be announced in January.

After buyouts and layoffs last summer, Politico reports that The Guardian is still struggling. The paper had “£48 million in negative cashflow” in the beginning of the last financial year, and despite reassurances from management and attempts to increase memberships, employees aren’t optimistic about the paper’s future. As one journalist put it, “We know that the trajectory is you just eventually run out of money.”

Lincoln Michel, the author of Upright Beasts, has come up with a list of books to read after you’ve finished watching the TV series Black Mirror.

Three computer science researchers told BuzzFeed that Facebook’s decision to fire its Trending editors team “made an already big challenge even more difficult” by putting fact checking in the hands of robots. Assistant professor Kate Starbird, said that the company’s reliance on algorithms is based on “an assumption that we’re more comfortable with a machine being biased than with a human being biased, because people don’t understand machines as well.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about the upcoming Albertine Festival, which he is curating. The program this year takes a cue from James Baldwin by using an excerpt from No Name in the Street in its promotional materials and focusing on issues of race and identity. But when asked about whether he spent his time in Paris visiting historical Baldwin haunts, Coates said, “I really didn’t. . . . The last thing I wanted to do was look like some poseur.”

At BookRiot, Jessica Woodbury wonders if the Man Booker Prize is bucking the trend and becoming more relevant with time, rather than less. Woodbury writes that 2016 winner The Sellout, “a biting and gutsy satire about race that will make you raise your eyebrows,” doesn’t fit with her impression of the Man Booker Prize, which seemed to be “mostly about historical novels involving mostly-British tumult or middle-aged meditations on life written in thick prose.”

Mysterious Press owner Otto Penzler says that although he owns an e-book publishing company, he doesn’t “possess a reading thingumajig.” Penzler also admits to owning “virtually all the books written by Ayn Rand.”