At Catapult, Jennifer Abel Kovitz has been promoted to associate publisher and director of marketing, while Julie Buntin moves up to director of writing programs.
This year on American Express Small Business Saturday, the Obama family visited Washington’s recently-opened Upshur Street Books. They purchased Purity, by Jonathan Franzen; Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, by Salman Rushdie; Elske, On Fortune’s Wheel, and Jackaroo, by Cynthia Voigt; A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd; Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, by Jeff Kinney; and Dork Diaries 1, by Rachel Renee Russell.
In other news, the NYT Book Review named its 100 notable books of 2015.
In the UK, where book prizes get named for their sponsors, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction has landed a five-year sponsorship deal with an investment firm and will rename itself the Baillie Gifford Prize.
In Italy, as Mondadori awaits government sign-off on their purchase of Rizzoli’s publishing assets, head of RCS Media’s Bompiani Elisabetta Sgarbi has left the company and will start a new house, The Ship of Theseus, set to launch in May 2016. Leaving Bompiani to join her at the new company are Mario Andreose, Eugenio Lio, and Anna Maria Lorusso — and authors including Umberto Eco and Sandro Veronesi have already said they will move with Sgarbi (and seem to be investors in the company as well). The new house will be distributed by Feltrinelli, which will provide other support services as well.