Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

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Book Reading/Image Source: Pixabay

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is finished, getting your first reviews can’t begin until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publication. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of books they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for kids, tweens and young adult books, but the other two will take almost any book you have (including children’s stories).

So how do you get your book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review?

If your book is within 90 days of the publications date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still begin there. The SFBR gets more than 1000 books a month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your chances of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

General Submission Guidelineshttp://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/general-submission/

If your book is more than 90 days past its publication date, or you really want to have it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some controversy about paying for a review, SFBR is a respected publication like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and doesn’t provide vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Reviewhttp://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/sponsored-review/

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Review

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

  • Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.
  • Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by the Manhattan Book Review?

The Manhattan Book Review uses the same format for the San Francisco Book Review. Different audience, so if you’re an East Coast author, you might be more interested in having the credit from MBR over SFBR. Personal taste is the only difference between the two for reviews. If you are a local SF or Manhattan author, they will also flag that in your review.

General Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/sponsored-reviews/

So how do you get your book reviewed by Kids’ BookBuzz?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by kids. They are select age appropriate books, but the kids read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger kids have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of books, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

The storm chasers hunting bolts in Australia’s Top End

Our photographer hits the road with seasoned storm chasers in the Northern Territory to track down some of the regions famous lightning storms

Im standing on a dirt track somewhere in the wilds of Australias Northern Territory and in every direction I look the indigo sky is being shredded by bolts of electrical energy. Its unlike anything Ive ever seen before. Ive been hunting a lightning show and boy have I found one.

Suddenly Im very conscious of natures imposing scale and, more importantly right now, my proximity to a bared-wire fence the kind of object thats likely to attract a strike. We should probably get in the car, says Mike ONeill, the veteran Darwin storm chaser who has led me here. Reluctantly, I agree.

The Top End is one of the worlds most active regions for lightning and sees almost daily storms between November and March every year. A single storm can produce more than a thousand bolts in a matter of hours. Intense tropical heat combined with sea breezes and coastal moisture provides the perfect fuel.

Storm chaser Mike ONeill, one of many avid storm photographers in Northern Territory. I probably do up to 1,000km on a chase. Photograph: Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

ONeill is one of a handful of storm chasers photographers and meteorological buffs in the region. Whenever and wherever nature decides to put on a show, one of them will be watching.

I probably do up to 1,000km on a chase, says ONeill. Sometimes you only have to go around the corner to get a decent photo, but sometimes you have to go towards Katherine or even towards Kununurra [in Western Australia]. It just depends where they are and how much time youve got.

I chase every day on my days off. Even before work if theres a storm on the coast, or after work sometimes until five in the morning. I cant live without it.

Signs of a storm

After waiting a week for a thick monsoon rains to clear the region, conditions have eased and tonights predicted storm is one ONeill seems excited about as we begin our journey.

From Darwin we drive south towards Adelaide River, stopping from time to time to assess the cloud formations around us. Other local enthusiasts including Willoughby Owen use radar at every step, honing their understanding of the storms progress as they go. ONeill, who has been chasing for 16 years, is feeling more instinctive.

Radars great but it cant tell you what youve learned from experience, he says. You can tell just visually looking at these clouds theyre a lot healthier out here. Youve got thick towers and where you see it anvil out at the top its actually pushed through the anvil, so its got strong updrafts. Thats the sign of a decent storm. Thatll definitely have lightning in it.

Willoughby Owen checks his radar. Photograph: Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

Storms in this region typically form because the sun heats the land during the day and sea breezes push in during the afternoon, creating boundaries between hot and cool air.

Over here in the Top End weve got easy initiation forced by the Arnhem escarpment, says Owen, whos fortunate that he finishes work about 4pm most days, just as the storms begin bubbling.

The cloud tops reach 45,000 or 50,000 feet, stronger storms 55,000 or 60,000 feet. When youre near tropical lows, when youre near a Madden-Julian Oscillation, you can get tops of 70,000 feet, which is extreme. The lightning can be more intense from those storms, and incredibly loud and violent.

Lightning is made when ice particles inside clouds collide at high speed and become charged the bolt is a sudden and dramatic discharge of that energy, and may be many miles long but around a centimetre wide. The average bolt produces a current of 6,000 to 30,000 amps. Compare that to a radiator that draws about 10 amps and you get a sense of their power. The temperature is also extreme, measuring 30,000C, five times hotter than the surface of the sun. The effect of increasing heat and pressure on the surrounding air is what generates the thunder clap.

Storm chasing is littered with jargon and at times it makes the already complex science seem impenetrable but ONeill and Owen do their best to explain. They tell me many lightning strikes are from cloud to cloud (known as C-to-Cs or crawlers) but some are cloud to ground (C-to-Gs).

Lightning is indiscriminate, ONeill forewarns. The earth has a natural charge. When a thunderstorm is nearby, objects on the ground a cow, telegraph pole, car, tree, anything get invigorated and send upward streamers. When the stepped-leaders come down from the clouds theyll try to make a connection. Thats when you get the bolt.

If someone in the vicinity of a storm notices their hair standing on end, thats a foreboding sign. And, according to the 30-30 rule, if the time between the visible lightning bolt and the subsequent clap of thunder is less than 30 seconds, youre within range of a strike.

Secret spots

Asked what makes a good storm photo, ONeill, who began taking pictures after reading a coffee table book by the renowned storm chaser Peter Jarver, says he has changed his approach over the years.

I used to be mad keen on just getting the lightning bolt in the centre of the frame but everyone does that now, he says. A lot of people go to the same spots and theyll all stand next to each other and get the same shots.

Im more of a composition man now. If I see people standing in a location, Ill go back 20 or 30 metres and get them in the photo. I just want a different aspect rather than a cloud with a bolt coming out. If theres a storm and theres power lines, Ill keep them in there, because its like manmade electricity and natural electricity, so its contrasting subjects. I just want to get away from the norm.

In any case, ONeill prefers to find fresh, unknown vantage points and spends hours hunting for them: We all have our secret spots, he says.

Mike ONeill sets up his camera beside a dirt road overlooking a range of ant hills. Photograph: Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

Having pulled on to the dirt road with the storm brewing around us, ONeill sets up his camera with his cars headlamps illuminating the ant hills in the foreground. He tells me Ill need a shutter speed of 10 seconds (longer as the sky darkens) and a low ISO setting, as well as my tripod and remote trigger.

But ONeill has an extra bit of kit a special lightning trigger which automatically senses when a bolt is being emitted and takes a photo. He used to think it was cheating but now relishes the images. Meanwhile, Im activating my shutter manually, hoping to get lucky. As the sky darkens and the storm erupts, I realise luck is already on my side.

Its going off, mate! ONeill says as were enveloped, bolts jumping out of the sky around us. I dont know which way to direct my camera.

ONeill soon gets back into the car. The metal body of the car makes it safer to be in its like a Faraday cage, he explains. Its good to be standing out there, but right now, nah. I value my life more than a photo.

Monster doggies

Willoughby Owen using a 70mm-200mm lens. Photograph: Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

During my first time storm chasing with Owen, he brings along his friend Jacci Ingham. The two often go out together, unlike ONeill who is steadfastly a solo chaser.

We dont see much activity but Ingham relays the magic of a potent storm in infectious fashion. MCSs [mesoscale convective systems] are great, particularly if you get around the back of them, she says. They produce massive, squiggly scrawlers that fill the sky like spaghetti. Theyre my favourite.

Over dinner on the way home I discover Ingham is YouTube famous. Shes had 27 million views, Owen says. I presume hes joking but he takes out his phone and shows me a viral video of Ingham storm chasing in Darwin in 2010 as a lightning bolt comes crashing down just metres away.

Both Owen and Ingham have been to the US to chase tornadoes. Its almost an annual pilgrimage for Owen, who has been eight times. And he says he only moved from his native New Zealand to Darwin for the meteorology.

I just love weather, he says. I love seeing its raw and powerful beauty, how it all forms, how it all plays out, the modelling, making a forecast theres a lot of chaos involved in making a forecast. I love how rapidly it can change and when you think you know whats going to happen, it does something slightly different or even the opposite. Youre always, always learning.

10 December 2009 was a memorable night. There was a massive amount of lightning over Darwin. There were bombs going off everywhere. The wind was savage, it was just going ballistic. You could read a book under it.

18 February 2015 was another. It was like a storm in Oklahoma, rotating, twisting massively, you could see the whole structure move. It was just a beautiful storm.

Willoughby Owen and Jacci Ingham spot bolts in the distance. Photograph: Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

On my final night in the NT, Owen and I find a picturesque storm cloud building at sunset. He has driven us to a secluded spot in Adelaide River a telegraph hill with panoramic views and the distant cell is firing out dog-leg bolts from the base of a vast cloud formation. We eventually turn around and realise more action is developing behind us.

Fuck me dead! he yells. Big, massive, monster doggies its going off tap! Owen is broadcasting the the scene to his Facebook Live followers and his tearaway enthusiasm belies his otherwise mild nature.

The view from the telecommunication hill, showing a vast cloud structure and a dog-leg lightning bolt shooting out from the lower right. Photograph: Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

Having set up my camera alongside his, I make a schoolboy error, allowing the weight of my long lens to topple the tripod and send several thousands dollars worth of camera gear crashing down the hillside. I quickly retrieve and reassemble my gear and Owen directs me to a patch of sky where he reckons the next bolt is coming. Hes spot on. Within seconds a powerful bolt illuminates the black sky. Im not sure my settings and framing are right but finally the image displays on the back of the camera its a little wonky and maybe a touch soft, but its there, Ive got it.

Get in! I shout, sharing Owens visceral joy for a split second before swiftly triggering the next shot. He has taught me that the best lightning strikes invariably occur while youre wasting time reviewing old pictures.

The bolts slowly become fewer and father between, and junk cloud eventually interrupts our view.

I get a text message from ONeill checking our progress. He told me he wouldnt be out chasing tonight.

Getting some from work! he says. Wish I was there, but getting some cool keepers. Stay safe!

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/27/the-storm-chasers-hunting-bolts-in-australias-top-end

Anita Cobby murder: ‘Everyone in the car that dreadful night had a passport to doom’

Thirty years after the trial of five men for the shocking attack on a Sydney nurse, then public defender Bill Hosking reflects on his part in it

The tragedy that would shock the whole of Australia began just before 10pm on 2 February 1986. A registered nurse, 26-year-old Anita Cobby, had been having dinner with friends after finishing her shift at Sydney hospital on Macquarie Street, next to state Parliament House in the city.

She caught the 9.12pm train to Blacktown in outer-western Sydney to her parents home, where she was living after recently separating from her husband. On arrival at Blacktown station just before 10, she went to find a phone to call her father. The usual routine was for Cobby to phone her father, Gary Lynch, to collect her by car. This was well before mobile phones and the public phone at the station had been vandalised, so Cobby decided to walk home.

As she did, an HT Holden Kingswood slowed beside her and stopped. Two of the five male occupants jumped out and grabbed her, pulling her into the car as she screamed. Cobby was then robbed, bashed, raped and tortured before having her throat cut. So severe was the cut, it almost left her decapitated. Her bloodied, naked body was left in a secluded cow paddock at Prospect, not far from Blacktown, and was not discovered for two days.

Everyone in the car that dreadful night had a passport to doom. None more so than poor Cobby.

When Cobbys body was found, the New South Wales government posted a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. In the hope of jogging memories, a police officer dressed as Cobby travelled on the 9.12 pm train to Blacktown while her colleagues interviewed passengers. Cobbys murder was front-page news. Gruesome details of the offences and the harrowing atrocity gradually unfolded.

Anita Cobby, who went missing on 2 February 1986. Photograph: AAP

Understandably, the community, indeed the whole of Australia, was outraged. Even the police involved in the investigation were deeply affected. Led by Detective Sergeant Ian Kennedy, a top detective of his day, it took police just under three weeks to track down, arrest and charge five men with the murder.

They were 19-year-olds John Travers and Michael Murdoch, and the Murphy brothers, 33-year-old Michael, 28-year-old Gary and 22-year-old Leslie. The five were hated and reviled by the community. They all came from deprived backgrounds and were of below-average intelligence. They were petty criminals accused of a major crime. I was briefed to appear for Michael Murphy.

Given the dreadful nature of the crime, the atmosphere in the community after the arrest of Cobbys alleged killers was one of brooding malevolence. It manifested at the first formal court appearance of the five accused at the tiny Westmead coroners court.

Opened in 1984, Westmead coroners court was brand new and located inside the grounds of the huge Westmead hospital complex. Uniformed police were present in large numbers in case of trouble. Ominously, a dummy dangled from a noose tied to a tree branch. A large crowd had gathered. Some held up placards calling for the restoration of the death penalty. Showing solidarity with Cobby, uniformed nurses were prominent. The magistrate was the city coroner, Derrick Hand. Formalities were short and Hand promptly fixed the committal proceedings for the more secure surroundings of the coroners court on Parramatta Road at Glebe.

As the prison van edged out of the Westmead hospital, the crowd surged forwards. They banged on the sides of the van and booed and catcalled. It was clear the chances of finding a sympathetic jury in the Sydney metropolitan area or the world were zero, and chances of finding a cool and impartial one were slight.

Bill Hosking QC, who acted as public defender for Michael Murphy. Photograph: Harlequin

Before the advent of the public solicitor and legal aid, the unrepresented accused standing trial was at a tremendous disadvantage. The role of counsel for the accused in any criminal trial can be controversial, particularly where there has been a grave crime. Defence counsel has a duty to act for his or her client with vigour, but also with ethical propriety.

There is a popular misconception that a true defence counsel must believe in the clients innocence. Nothing can be further from the truth. A competent and vigorous defence is essential to a fair trial. The personal belief of counsel is irrelevant. The lawyers duty is to argue, firmly, the case of their clients and not to express a personal opinion.

Often, this is forgotten by the public. The so-called cab rank principle simply restates the rule that barristers do not choose their clients. If it were the other way around, despised causes and hated accused would be denied an experienced, professional voice. Fearless independence for barristers is fundamental. Even more so where there is a public defender involved who holds that independent statutory office with all its privileges and its responsibilities.

In seeking the convictions of the five men, the crown relied upon the legal doctrine of common purpose. To explain common purpose, judges use an example of two would-be bank robbers. One drives the getaway car, while the other enters the bank and demands cash of the teller using a replica pistol. The teller refuses and is then shot. It turns out the pistol was not a replica. Both men are charged with murder although the driver has never left the car. There follow disputed questions of fact and law. First of all, was there an agreement to use a replica and not a real pistol? The answer could be decisive in determining the drivers level of criminal responsibility. Likewise, did the driver know his accomplice well enough to reasonably expect him to bring a real pistol and use it? In other words, you can still be guilty of murder if you have never set eyes on the victim let alone wanted them to be killed.

The defence of each of the accused in the Anita Cobby case was that Travers alone had the knife. Travers alone stabbed Cobby. He alone was to blame for her death. The crown case was, irrespective of what each actually did that night, all were equally responsible for her death and each was guilty of murder. Because each knew what Travers was likely to do, therefore all were equally culpable under common purpose. For the crown, this was true as a matter of law and, equally compellingly, as a matter of fact and common sense. Even so, questions remained as to the extent of each accuseds personal involvement. In that respect, their signed confessions were the crowns trump cards.

The defence claimed the confessions were obtained improperly and by force. To present the clients case, those allegations had to be put. They were all denied by the police. Mere presence that night in the car, then the cow paddock, leaving aside what each offender himself did, was a matter of the gravest wickedness. The law, through the courts, had the task of determining the degree of culpability using rules that have evolved over centuries and long before 1788 and the arrival of the First Fleet, carrying with it the invisible cargo of the common law.

The line of defence that emerged was, even accepting the crown case, the worst that could be sheeted home to Murdoch and the Murphys for the death, in terms of legal liability, was the crime of manslaughter. That line of reasoning was barely intellectually respectable but, nonetheless, required a competent presentation to the jury. Was only Travers accountable for murder and one or more of the remaining four only guilty of manslaughter? This had to be considered calmly and unemotionally and, I have to tell you, on these facts it was not an easy task, even for an experienced defence counsel like me. That initial question was limited, of course, to the homicide, not the rape and sexual brutality. My difficult role was to seek to protect the interests of Michael Murphy.

Anita Cobby, right, with her younger sister Kathryn Szyszka. Photograph: AAP

On 16 March 1987 when the trial began in historic No 5 court at Darlinghurst, the central criminal court, the bar table was crowded with five, sometimes six, robed barristers and their instructing solicitors for what the press soon described as the trial of the century.

Closest to the judge, with his own lectern, was the grim, unsmiling crown prosecutor, Alan Slipper Saunders, QC. The origin of the soubriquet Slipper is lost in the mists of time. It was definitely not derived from being a soft and comfortable opponent. The crown had no better or more able advocate. He dominated the bar table with his reputation, experience and sheer forensic skill. We had been regular opponents over the years. I didnt like him. He didnt like me.

The days proceedings always began with what became a ritual loud knock on the large oak door leading from the judges private chambers. Preceded by his tipstaff wearing a black frock coat and carrying a white staff topped with an elaborate gold crown, in came the judge. Not a tall man, he was resplendent, wearing the royal scarlet robes of a supreme court judge sitting in the courts criminal jurisdiction. Justice Maxwell was the epitome of duty, courtesy and dignity.

The usually solemn atmosphere at Darlinghurst was absent the morning the trial began. A huge number of potential jurors milled around in front of the sandstone pillars, spilling over on to the lawns fronting Taylor Square and Oxford Street. Television crews seemed everywhere, as were radio network reporters. The press had their usual, reserved, prime seats on the judges left, facing the jury.

The police had done their duty. The magistrate, Hand, his. Next, the crown prosecutor and his instructing solicitors were ready. The judge and the jury were now in place. Also present, in almost reviled solitude, were the lawyers all funded on the modest legal aid rates, except me, on the salary of a public defender. The others would only receive the extremely nominal legal aid fees of the time in accepting these briefs. Far from helping the four other barristers careers, or bank balances, appearing in this trial was a positively negative factor. There are no lawyers made rich on the meagre fees paid for by legal aid cases. It is done as a noble service by the profession.

The concept of legal aid itself seemed to be on trial. Legal aid is effectively the postwar creation of the NSW McKell Labor government, ensuring the honest battler is not subsumed by the power of the state. I lost count of the number of friends and strangers who asked me, Why on earth would you accept a case like this? or, Do you enjoy it? There is a simple answer, apart from duty. There are many, many occupations and professions which are not only more unpleasant but some are also very dangerous. There is the challenge of appearing in what you know is a losing brief for a particularly despised client. Particularly, where there is no real issue as to identity, and the crime is so harrowing and has such cruelty, there will be not a scintilla of public sympathy for your client. This was such a case. During it and afterwards I received considerable personal criticism for accepting the brief. Even my son, James, who was still at school, was criticised by other boys. They wanted to know why his father would appear in such a terrible case.

This trial clearly raised the question, does the community want symbolic or real representation for major criminals? Under our system the accused is not guilty until our grand, but still imperfect, system has run its full course. The spectacular miscarriages of justice staining our history highlights the still inherent dangers which arise through human fallibility. A major safeguard is that all court proceedings with the rarest of exceptions are open to the public and, perhaps more importantly, open to and subject to intense scrutiny by the media. There was certainly no absence of that for this trial.

In such a case, where there is justifiable community anger, counsel has at least two options. One can merely go through the motions to ensure it appears the formalities of a fair trial were observed. Alternatively, counsel does what he or she should do in every case. That is, to do ones professional best for a client who would not have a clue what that involves.

Opening the crown case to the jury, Alan Saunders QC lived up to his reputation, describing in detail the callousness Anita Cobby suffered. He described Cobbys ordeal as sustained degradation, brutal, unbridled lust culminating in one of the most savage brutal murders the state has ever known. Any wonder the media called it the trial of the century.

Anita Cobbys parents at her grave site. Photograph: AAP

The first witness set an atmosphere of indescribable sadness: Cobbys father, Gary Lynch. He was a tall, dignified figure. He gave brief, formal identification evidence relating to his late daughter. While he did so the silence in the courtroom was deafening. He then joined his wife at the back of the court where they remained for the duration of the trial. Gary and Grace Lynch attended the trial each day. They showed great dignity. Because of police fears, security was tight and gallery and lawyers alike were searched after each adjournment. In the process, Cobbys parents often had to stand in a line with their daughters killers lawyers. Never once did they show anything other than class. Propriety and protocol prevented us from exchanging a single word.

Michael Murdoch. Photograph: NSW police/AAP

There were no eyewitnesses to Cobbys ordeal, and the principal evidence was the individual confessions. It must be said, the account of one in the others confessions could not legally be used against another. This means the confession can be used to prove the guilt of its author but not prove guilt against any co-accused mentioned in it. This is a safe and fair way to view confessions, because the confessor may want to shift the blame to their co-accused. It should be for a jury, hearing evidence, to determine the accountability of each accused.

The exception to this rule is where the co-accused agrees with anothers confession. More astute police try this stratagem, to get offenders to agree with each others confessions, even in part, thereby implicating themselves. While not unlawful, the strategy is discouraged. Accepting the confessors account only against the person making it is a technical but important rule. The crown had the powerful advantage of not having to ask the jury to rely on circumstantial evidence alone but on the words out of each accuseds own mouth.

Leslie Murphy. Photograph: NSW police/AAP

At the outset, sadly, there could be no argument about the fact poor Anita Cobby had been murdered. The trial was all about, 1. the involvement of all or any of the accused; 2. if that issue were resolved adversely, the extent of involvement; and 3. having decided the extent of legal liability, whether the particular accused is guilty of murder or manslaughter.

In part, Michael Murphys case, and that of his two brothers and Michael Murdoch, was that Travers inflicted the fatal wounds on Cobby with a knife and was acting on his own account. Travers had pleaded guilty to this. So far as the murder charge was concerned there was really no direct evidence to support a conviction of the others for murder on the basis they assisted or encouraged Travers to commit murder. Michael Murphy allegedly told the police, I didnt want her to be killed. [Travers is] a maniac. Its his fault, I told him not to kill her Hes a fucking lunatic. I just wanted to piss off What I done Im prepared to cop. Its just that cunt, Travers

Michael Murphy. Photograph: NSW police/AAP

In legal terms, it was the defendants case that they were neither party to a common purpose to commit murder, nor had they intentionally assisted or encouraged Travers to commit the murder. That was not technical legalistic jargon. It was fundamental. It must be conceded on the crown case there was evidence they, as Travers co-offenders, were criminally liable either as principals or accessories for the murder, as well as the other grave crimes alleged. They denied this.

Defence strategy in this trial was to seek to avoid confronting and emphasising prejudicial evidence and to direct the focus to more favourable features. That is easy to say, but the harsh reality of the situation was such favourable facts were thin on the ground. Michael Murphys defence was a legal nightmare. On his instructions, he was not guilty of any crime. The law provides being present when a crime is committed is not an offence. But to infer that co-accused John Travers, who pleaded guilty, committed the murder of his own volition, was to stretch reality beyond credible limits.

Gary Murphy. Photograph: NSW police/AAP

The reading [of the accuseds statements] was damaging stuff, but nothing compared with the police photographs of the scene and the postmortem details. Again, what was my clients defence? I wasnt there, and If I was, it was for sex and not for murder.

Merely stating those horrible alternatives underlines the gargantuan task facing the defence. Given the basis of the Travers is a maniac defence, this unanswerable question always loomed large: Why, then, ever be in his company?

I repeat, this was not an easy case.

John Travers. Photograph: NSW police/AAP

The inscrutability and confidentiality of the jury room shields the tenor of their deliberations. They were instructed by the judge to banish prejudice and, to use the words of the jurors oath, to well and truly try and true deliverance make. Pre-judgment and prejudice would have brought swift verdicts. The jury deliberated all day and were locked up in a secret location overnight to continue their deliberations. They were obviously conscientious and, from time to time, sought Justice Maxwells help. All communications were proper and in open court in the presence of the accused.

First thing the next morning, all accused were convicted on all counts.

The morning for the sentencing had arrived. At 10am there was a slight delay, as Anita Cobbys parents were not in court. When they arrived, all that remained was the formal ritual of judgment. Everyone in court thought they knew the result: life. Even so, there still was the possibility that release one day would not be excluded. Personally, I wondered if a future government would ever be brave enough to give any of the five an opportunity for release, however deserving. It would be, I thought, decades away before such a decision would have to be made.

The judge entered and was seated. Then the five accused, together for the first time since the first day of the trial, were brought up into the dock. There were police everywhere. The atmosphere in the courtroom was one of unprecedented tension. So high was the emotion, at one stage, the experienced, calm and respected judge, Maxwell, was moved to tears.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/20/anita-cobby-everyone-in-the-car-that-dreadful-night-had-a-passport-to-doom

The Ken wants to fix business journalism in India with a subscription model

Four formerreporters and entrepreneurs are attempting to fix Indias broken business media landscape and simultaneously prove that theres an audience and business for paying for quality journalism in the country.

Subscription-based media is thriving in the West. The New York Times has seen its digital subscription base swell following the election of President Trump. In tech, The Information, founded by a former Wall Street Journal editor, has thrived with a mix of trend-based reporting and news scoops, while Stratechery, an analysis-focused newsletter/blog from Taiwan-based writer Ben Thompson, has also shown the model to be lucrative.

Butthis is India, a country where monetizing a product is difficult even if it is supremelypopular. Applesells more iPhones on launch weekend than it manages in India over a whole year, while addictive services like Netflix far cheaper than an iPhone have struggled to gain mainstream prominence thus far.

Starting WithBusiness Reporting

Yet subscription is the vision behind The Ken, a Bangalore-basednew media company that publishes a story per day behind a paywall. Access ispriced at $108 for overseas users, or 2,750 INR ($42) for those in India.

The site, which also offers $10 per month and $25/900 INR ($13.50) per quarter packages, is the most prominent subscription-based media play India has seen thus far. Its coverage is principally focused on technology and business, thats the domain its founding team has experience in, but there are plans to moveinto new areas further down the line.

We dont want to be seen as just covering startups, thats a very easy trap to fall into, co-founder and CEO RohinDharmakumar told TechCrunch in a recent interview. Wewant to expand our coverage andbe interesting enough on a daily basis but also slightly unpredictable.

The Ken which isnamed after an old fashionedEnglish word for knowledge is build around its community. Email is the primary communication medium, and the team of 11 takes it in turns to send daily missives to its user base including those who are registered but not paying that introduce the daily read withhumor and thought. Once a week, the site produces a story that sits outside of its paywall for anyone to read, acting as bait to lure in new subscriptions.

A sample of the daily email sent to readers

Beyond straight up pay-to-read, The Kenuses other models to help get its writing into the hands of more readers without the need for advertising. It has worked with corporate sponsors who pay to make some of its content available for free without any promotional material or advertising mobile wallet giant Paytm, for example, sponsored a week-long free pass while it is in the process of introducing corporate subscriptions, too.

Theres no plan for article-only or daily plans,Dharmakumar explained, because that would dilute the experience and take away from building a longer-term vision and community.

MakeMedia GreatAgain

Small disclaimer, Im one of The Kens paying subscribers because, beyond information gathering as part of my job, Im interested in observing the ways technology is disrupting daily life. Emerging markets where tech is advancing almost everyaspect of everyday living are a fascination and India, with its billion-plus population and nationwide diversity, is arguable the country where the impact of tech could be highest. Yet there are few media outlets able to tell this story with clarity, interest and above all accuracy.

With respect to that latter point,Dharmakumar explained that The Ken started up in response to what he observed to be the Indian populations general disinterest in media.

It became very apparent that there was a crisis of business journalism in India, he said. People were essentially not reading newspapers, just giving up. And Idont mean just young people, even experienced investors would prefer to catch up onnews via social media.

Coverage wasdumbed down, biased, and dense people couldnt relate to it and couldnt find value init,Dharmakumar added.

Inspired by some of the aforementioned subscription-based media plays Dharmakumar specifically mentions The Information and Stratechery the team of four decided it was time someone did something about this in India and they created The Ken. Initially the project started out with postings on social media, before introducing an email-registration-paywall to float the idea of a barrier between reader and subject matter.

Satisfied with what they saw, The Ken then went live to a paying audience.

Dharmakumar isnt revealinghow many readers it has right now, but he said the company has exceeded its own expectations at this point. Indeed, it actually became a profitable business within two weeks of the launch of its website before going on to raise $400,000 from a bunch of reputable angel investors this year. Some of those backers include the founders of notable Indian tech startups Paytm,TaxiForSure and Freshdesk. (Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma alsobacked FactorDaily, another ambitious new media startup we wrote about, alongside other India-based news websites.)

While $400,000 may not seem like a lot of money these days, its a significant amount to build a focused, lean media business, which has also been generating revenue right from day one. As journalists, weve seen too many instances of companies losing their focus and fire in the belly after raising too much money too early on,Dharmakumar wrote in a note to subscribers announcing the financing.

Business journalism lost the plot on this, many years ago when it started churning out articles that were either incremental, one-sided, dumbed down or dry and boring. We go to great lengths to make our stories anything but, he added.

Growing Into The Mainstream

Despite criticizing the status quo,The Kens CEO said the business isnt looking to rip out the existing media system in India, rather it sees a position working within it.

We are not attempting to replace traditional newspapers, we are a complement to one, he said. Peopleread the news to find out whats happening, we focus onwhat comes next, who is doing what, and where is the motivation?

The companys course for the next six month is to continue to do what it is doing while growing its audience and deepening its reporting pool. After that period, it will look to new coverage areas it can branchinto to give its readership a wider selection of stories and information.

Dharmakumar is also keen to expand The Kens readership beyond its initial focus on business professional and tech industrywatchers.

Want to take our stories to younger people who feel business news isnt for them, he explained.

First up, apps for Android and iOS will come, which will help expand from those who currently rely on email to access the site and its stories. Other planned features include a comment section forstories and a Slack channel toenables readers to engage with writers directly, potentially to help steer editorial focus or raise potential areas for storytelling.

You can find out more about The Ken by visiting its website here.

Note: the original version of this post was updated to reflect different pricing for subscribers in India and those based overseas.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/12/the-ken/

Photo of Hillary Clinton reading news Pence used AOL email goes viral

Photo shows the former presidential candidate reading an article about the vice-president using private email to discuss sensitive matters as Indiana governor

A photograph of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looking at a newspaper headline about vice-president Mike Pence using private email has gone viral on social media, with thousands of people commenting on it.

On Friday, Clinton was on a plane traveling from Boston to New York when a fellow passenger snapped a photo of her glancing down at the USA Today front page headline: Pence used personal email in office.

Pence and others involved in the Republican presidential campaign last year criticized Clintons use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.

Donald Trump and his running mate regularly said Clinton broke the law and endangered national security, complaints that led supporters at rallies to chant Lock her up!

Trump also threatened to send Clinton to jail if he won, a threat he has subsequently dropped.

Despite reports that other government figures including Obama administration defense secretary Ash Carter and Bush secretary of state Colin Powell had used private email while in office, the state departments internal watchdog said Clinton had broken department rules.

The FBI reviewed her emails for classified material. Though its director, James Comey, said last July Clinton had been extremely careless, the bureau found no criminal charges were warranted.

After the election, Clinton reportedly said she blamed two public statements by Comey for her surprise defeat by Trump.

Comey wrote to Congress 11 days before the election, to say new emails had been discovered on a laptop connected to Clinton aide Huma Abedin that could be relevant to the closed investigation.

Two days before the 8 November vote, Comey said no new evidence had been uncovered from the newly discovered emails.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/04/photo-hillary-clinton-reading-news-pence-used-aol-email

Oscars: The winners list

(CNN)The 89th Academy Awards were held Sunday.

Here is a complete list of nominees. (Winners are indicated in bold.)
    “Hacksaw Ridge”
    “Hell or High Water”
    “Hidden Figures”
    “La La Land”
    “Manchester by the Sea”
    Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea”
    Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”
    Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”
    Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”
    Denzel Washington in “Fences”
    Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”
    Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight” (WINNER)
    Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”
    Dev Patel in “Lion”
    Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”
    Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”
    Ruth Negga in “Loving”
    Natalie Portman in “Jackie”
    Emma Stone in “La La Land”
    Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”
    Nicole Kidman in “Lion”
    Viola Davis in “Fences”
    Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”
    Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”
    Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”
    “Kubo and the Two Strings”
    “My Life as a Zucchini”
    “The Red Turtle”
    “Zootopia” (WINNER)
    “La La Land” (WINNER)
    “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (WINNER)
    “Florence Foster Jenkins”
    “La La Land”
    “Arrival” – Denis Villeneuve
    “Hacksaw Ridge” – Mel Gibson
    “La La Land” – Damien Chazelle
    “Manchester by the Sea” – Kenneth Lonergan
    “Moonlight” – Barry Jenkins
    “Fire at Sea”
    “I Am Not Your Negro”
    “Life, Animated”
    “O.J.: Made in America” (WINNER)
    “4.1 Miles”
    “Joe’s Violin”
    “Watani: My Homeland”
    “The White Helmets” (WINNER)
    “Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)
    “Hell or High Water”
    “La La Land”
    “Land of Mine”
    “A Man Called Ove”
    “The Salesman” (WINNER)
    “Toni Erdmann”
    “A Man Called Ove”
    “Star Trek Beyond”
    “Suicide Squad” (WINNER)
    “La La Land” (WINNER)
    “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
    “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”
    “City Of Stars” from “La La Land” (WINNER)
    “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
    “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
    “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
    “Hail, Caesar!”
    “La La Land” (WINNER)
    “Blind Vaysha”
    “Borrowed Time”
    “Pear Cider and Cigarettes”
    “Piper” (WINNER)
    “Ennemis Intrieurs”
    “La Femme et le TGV”
    “Silent Nights”
    “Sing” (WINNER)
    “Arrival” (WINNER)
    “Deepwater Horizon”
    “Hacksaw Ridge”
    “La La Land”
    “Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)
    “La La Land”
    “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
    “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”
    “Deepwater Horizon”
    “Doctor Strange”
    “The Jungle Book” (WINNER)
    “Kubo and the Two Strings”
    “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
    “Hidden Figures”
    “Moonlight” (WINNER)
    “Hell or High Water”
    “La La Land”
    “The Lobster”
    “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)
    “20th Century Women”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/26/entertainment/oscars-winners-2017/index.html

    City Book Review Shows You Why You Should Get Your Book Reviewed (cool video)

    The folks at City Book Review have been doing book reviews since 2008, more than 20,000 reviews over the years. If you’re an author and need a review, give them a try.

    Now that your wrote and published your book, next up is how to get your book reviewed by a professional organization. Many bookstores won’t carry a book that hasn’t been reviewed by someone, and there are fewer and fewer local newspapers that review books any more. So your chances to get reviewed are harder each year. Luckily places like San Francisco Book Review and their sister publications have stepped up to help authors with book reviews, marketing, cover design and SEO.

    Crowds flock to Saudi Arabia’s first Comic Con

    (CNN)Dressed all in black with her face exposed, Fatima Mohammed Hussein has come to Saudi Arabia’s first Comic Con event dressed as Bat Girl.

    “The minute I stepped in, I couldn’t believe this is happening here,” she told CNN. “It’s a big move for Saudi to have something like that.”
    Hussein was one of the many Saudis who dressed up and flocked to the coastal city of Jeddah to celebrate pop culture, comic books, video games, and film between February 16 and 18.


      The three-day festival was part of a government initiative to bring more entertainment to Saudi Arabia, which bans public cinemas and theater.
      “When you enter into the tent, you forget that you are in Saudi Arabia,” Abdul Rahman Bakhsh, 25, an engineer and an avid YouTuber, who came to the event dressed in rustic armor over a black faux suede pullover and armed with a spear, told CNN.

      A post shared by Eng. Abdulrahman Bakhsh (@healthway_22) on

      With his friend, Ameer, he documented the Comic Con experience on YouTube video, starting with their search for costumes.
      “There is a lot of creativity in Comic Con. People really interacted with the event and their costumes were amazing,” Bakhsh said.

      Gender mixing

      Young men and women crowded into the tent, mingling near stands for comics and video games — a remarkable scene for a government-sponsored event in a country where gender segregation is imposed in many public spaces.


      .. #__

      A post shared by Saudi Comic Con (@saudicomiccon) on

      A long queue formed in front of the booth of a group of talented female artists who — with make-up — created scars, injuries and anime-inspired faces. “It was Hollywood-level creativity,” Bakhsh said.
      A separate female-only tent was set up for women who wanted to take off their traditional abayas and show off their costumes.


      Saudis at the event also had the opportunity to attend panel discussions with Charles Dance and Julian Glover from “Game of Thrones,” Giancarlo Esposito from “Breaking Bad,” and Mads Mikkelsen from “Doctor Strange.”
      Other panels featured Saudi producers and actors, including cast members from the upcoming Saudi superhero show, “Mas’hour” — meaning “Bewitched.”

      Comi Con history

      Comic Con events began in 1970 in San Diego and have slowly spread across the world. But before this festival, fans from Saudi Arabia had to outside the country to attend Comic Con events.


      A post shared by Saudi Comic Con (@saudicomiccon) on

      The Saudi version was organized by local company Time Entertainment. Its director Hisham AlSaeed said that Comic Con’s international presence gave Saudi Arabia the perfect opportunity to highlight homegrown talent.
      “There’s a lot of talent (here) when it comes to comics, animations, anime (and) movie production,” he said.
      AlSaeed said the initiative was inspired by the huge demand for a Comic Con in his country, illustrated paartly by the rise in people holding their own cosplay competitions at small, underground private events.
      “(Comic Con) has never been done publicly like this, it has just never been set up,” he said.


      The event, which was supported by the Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, is part of country’s “Vision 2030” program, which is promising a wave of cultural reforms to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy.
      AlSaeed said his team is planning to make this an annual event.
      “We’re considering this a soft Comic Con in Saudi Arabia, and then the next (one) will be way bigger.
      “I’m hoping by next year we have a full cast of ‘The Walking Dead’, but we also have a lot of casts of our own movies and TV shows,” he said.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/19/middleeast/saudi-arabia-comic-con/index.html

      Grammy Awards 2017: The Complete Winners List!

      Winners all around us!

      With all the awards that are given out at the Grammys, it’s amazing there are people who don’t win.

      But alas, there are some — and on the other end are the winners who take home the big honors!

      Ch-ch-check out all the winners (below)!

      Album Of The Year:

      25 Adele – WINNER
      Lemonade Beyonc
      Purpose Justin Bieber
      Views Drake
      A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Sturgill Simpson

      Record Of The Year:

      “Hello” Adele – WINNER
      “Formation” Beyonc
      “7 Years” Lukas Graham
      “Work” Rihanna Featuring Drake
      “Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots

      Song Of The Year:

      “Formation” Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyonc Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyonc)
      “Hello” Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele) – WINNER
      “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
      “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
      “7 Years” Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

      Best New Artist:

      Kelsea Ballerini
      The Chainsmokers
      Chance The Rapper – WINNER
      Maren Morris
      Anderson .Paak

      Best Pop Vocal Album:

      25 Adele – WINNER
      Purpose Justin Bieber
      Dangerous Woman Ariana Grande
      Confident Demi Lovato
      This Is Acting Sia

      Best Pop Solo Performance:

      “Hello” Adele – WINNER
      “Hold Up” Beyonce
      “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber
      “Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” Kelly Clarkson
      “Dangerous Woman” Ariana Grande

      Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

      “Closer” The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey
      “7 Years” Lukas Graham
      “Work” Rihanna Featuring Drake
      “Cheap Thrills” Sia Featuring Sean Paul
      “Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots – WINNER

      Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:

      Cinema Andrea Bocelli
      Fallen Angels Bob Dylan
      Stages Live Josh Groban
      Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin Willie Nelson – WINNER
      Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway Barbra Streisand

      Best Dance Recording:

      “Tearing Me Up” Bob Moses
      “Don’t Let Me Down” The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya – WINNER
      “Never Be Like You” Flume Featuring Kai
      “Rinse & Repeat” Riton Featuring Kah-Lo
      “Drinkee” Sofi Tukker

      Best Dance/Electronic Album:

      Skin Flume – WINNER
      Electronica 1: The Time Machine Jean-Michel Jarre
      Epoch Tycho
      Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future Underworld
      Louie Vega StarringXXVIII Louie Vega

      Best Contemporary Instrumental Album:

      Human Nature Herb Alpert
      When You Wish Upon a Star Bill Frisell
      Way Back Home: Live From Rochester, NY Steve Gadd Band
      Unpsoken Chuck Loeb
      Culcha Vulcha Snarky Puppy – WINNER

      Best Rock Performance:

      “Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” Alabama Shakes
      “Don’t Hurt Yourself” Beyonce Featuring Jack White
      “Blackstar” David Bowie – WINNER
      “The Sound Of Silence” Disturbed
      “Heathens” Twenty One Pilots

      Best Metal Performance:

      “Shock Me” Baroness
      “Slivera” Gojira
      “Rotting in Vain” Korn
      “Dystopia” Megadeth – WINNER
      “The Price Is Wrong” Periphery

      Best Rock Song:

      “Blackstar” David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie) – WINNER
      “Burn the Witch” Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
      “Hardwired” James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica
      “Heathens” Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
      “My Name Is Human” Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

      Best Rock Album:

      California Blink-182
      Tell Me I’m Pretty Cage The Elephant – WINNER
      Magma Gojira
      Death Of A Bachelor Panic! At The Disco
      Weezer Weezer

      Best Alternative Music Album:

      22, A Million Bon Iver
      Blackstar David Bowie – WINNER
      The Hope Six Demolition Project PJ Harvey
      Post Pop Depression Iggy Pop
      A Moon Shaped Pool Radiohead

      Best R&B Performance:

      “Turnin’ Me Up” BJ The Chicago Kid
      “Permission” Ro James
      “I Do” Musiq Soulchild
      “Needed Me” Rihanna
      “Cranes in the Sky” Solange – WINNER

      Best Traditional R&B Performance:

      “The Three Of Me” William Bell
      “Woman’s World” BJ The Chicago Kid
      “Sleeping With The One I Love” Fantasia
      “Angel” Lalah Hathaway – WINNER
      “Can’t Wait” Jill Scott

      Best R&B Song:

      “Come and See Me” J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (PartyNextDoor Featuring Drake)
      “Exchange” Michael Hernandez & Bryson Tiller, songwriters (Bryson Tiller)
      “Kiss It Better” Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna)
      “Lake By the Ocean” Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell) – WINNER
      “Luv” Magnus August Hiberg, Benjamin Levin & Daystar Peterson, songwriters (Tory Lanez)

      Best Urban Contemporary Album:

      Lemonade Beyonc – WINNER
      Ology Gallant
      We Are King KING
      Malibu Anderson .Paak
      Anti Rihanna

      Best R&B Album:

      In My Mind BJ The Chicago Kid
      Lalah Hathaway Live Lalah Hathaway – WINNER
      Velvet Portraits Terrace Martin
      Healing Season Mint Condition
      Smoove Jones Mya

      Best Rap Performance:

      “No Problem” Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz – WINNER
      “Panda” Desiigner
      “Pop Style” Drake Featuring The Throne
      “All The Way Up” Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
      “That Part” ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

      Best Rap/Sung Performance:

      “Freedom” Beyonce Featuring Kendrick Lamar
      “Hotline Bling” Drake – WINNER
      “Broccoli” D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
      “Ultralight Beam” Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
      “Famous” Kanye West Featuring Rihanna

      Best Rap Song:

      “All The Way Up” Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared)
      “Famous” Chancelor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Rihanna)
      “Hotline Bling” Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake) – WINNER
      “No Problem” Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)
      “Ultralight Beam” Chancelor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesemer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream)

      Best Rap Album:

      Coloring Book Chance The Rapper – WINNER
      And the Anonymous Nobody De La Soul
      Major Key DJ Khaled
      Views Drake
      Blank Face LP ScHoolboy Q
      The Life of Pablo Kanye West

      Best Country Solo Performance:

      “Love Can Go To Hell” Brandy Clark
      “Vice” Miranda Lambert
      “My Church” Maren Morris – WINNER
      “Church Bells” Carrie Underwood
      “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban

      Best Country Duo/Group Performance:

      “Different for Girls” Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
      “21 Summer” Brothers Osborne
      “Setting The World On Fire” Kenny Chesney & P!nk
      “Jolene” Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton – WINNER
      “Think Of You” Chris Young With Cassadee Pope

      Best Country Song:

      “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
      “Die A Happy Man” Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
      “Humble and Kind” Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw) – WINNER
      “My Church” busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
      “Vice” Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

      Best Country Album:

      Big Day In A Small Town Brandy Clark
      Full Circle Loretta Lynn
      Hero Maren Morris
      A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Sturgill Simpson – WINNER
      Ripcord Keith Urban

      Best New Age Album:

      Orogen John Burke
      Dark Sky Island Enya
      Inner Passion Peter Kater & Tina Guo
      Rosetta Vangelis
      White Sun II White Sun – WINNER

      Best Improvised Jazz Solo:

      “Countdown” Joey Alexander, soloist
      “In Movement” Ravi Coltrane, soloist
      “We See” Fred Hersch, soloist
      “I Concentrate On You” Brad Mehldau, soloist
      “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” John Scofield, soloist – WINNER

      Best Jazz Vocal Album:

      Sound Of Red Ren Marie
      Upward Spiral Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling
      Take Me To The Alley Gregory Porter – WINNER
      Harlem On My Mind Catherine Russell
      The Sting Variations The Tierney Sutton Band

      Best Jazz Instrumental Album:

      Book of Intuition Kenny Barron Trio
      Dr. Um Peter Erskine
      Sunday Night At The Vanguard The Fred Hersch Trio
      Nearness Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau
      Country For Old Men John Scofield – WINNER

      Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:

      Real Enemies Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
      Presents Monk’estra, Vol. 1 John Beasley
      Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles John Daversa
      All L.A. Band Bob Mintzer
      Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom Ted Nash Big Band – WINNER

      Best Latin Jazz Album:

      Entre Colegas Andy Gonzalez
      Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective On The Music Of Woody Shaw Brian Lynch & Various Artists
      Canto Amrica Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta
      30 – Trio Da Paz
      Tribute To Irakere: Live In Marciac Chucho Valdes – WINNER

      Best Gospel Performance/Song:

      “It’s Alright, It’s OK” Shirley Caesar Featuring Anthony Hamilton; Stanley Brown & Courtney Rumble, songwriters
      “You’re Bigger [Live]” Jekalyn Carr; Allundria Carr, songwriter
      “Made A Way [Live]” Travis Greene; Travis Greene, songwriter
      “God Provides” Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter – WINNER
      “Better” Hezekiah Walker; Jason Clayborn, Gabriel Hatcher & Hezekiah Walker, songwriters

      Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song:

      “Trust In You” Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren & Paul Mabury, songwriters
      “Priceless” For King & Country; Benjamin Backus, Seth Mosley, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters
      “King of the World” Natalie Grant; Natalie Grant, Becca Mizell & Samuel Mizell, songwriters
      “Thy Will” Hillary Scott & The Scott Family; Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott & Emily Weisband, songwriters Track from: Love Remains – WINNER
      “Chain Breaker” Zach Williams; Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith & Zach Williams, songwriters

      Best Gospel Album:

      Listen Tim Bowman Jr.
      Fill This House Shirley Caesar
      A Worshipper’s Heart [Live] Todd Dulaney
      Losing My Religion Kirk Franklin – WINNER
      Demonstrate [Live] William Murphy

      Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:

      Poets & Saints All Sons & Daughters
      American Prodigal Crowder
      Be One Natalie Grant
      Youth Revival [Live] Hillsong Young & Free
      Love Remains Hillary Scott & The Scott Family – WINNER

      Best Roots Gospel Album:

      Better Together Gaither Vocal Band
      Nature’s Symphony In 432 The Isaacs
      Hymns Joey+Rory – WINNER
      Hymns And Songs Of Inspiration Gordon Mote
      God Don’t Ever Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson (Various Artists)

      Best Latin Pop Album:

      Un Besito Mas Jesse & Joy – WINNER
      Ilusin Gaby Moreno
      Similares Laura Pausini
      Seguir Latiendo Sanalejo
      Buena Vida Diego Torres

      Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album:

      iLevitable ile – WINNER
      L.H.O.N. (La Humanidad O Nosotros) Illya Kuryaki & The Valderamas
      Buenaventura La Santa Cecilia
      Los Rakas Los Rakas
      Amor Supremo Carla Morrison

      Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano):

      Races Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizarraga
      Hecho A Mano Joss Favela
      Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo) Vicente Fernandez – WINNER
      Generacin Maquinaria Est. 2006 La Maquinaria Nortena
      Tributo A Joan Sebastian Y Rigoberto Alfaro Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea

      Best Tropical Latin Album:

      Conexin Fonseca
      La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell Formell Y Los Van Van
      35 Aniversario Grupo Niche
      La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario La Sonora Santanera
      Donde Estn? Jose Lugo & Guasabara Combo – WINNER

      Best American Roots Performance:

      “Ain’t No Man” The Avett Brothers
      “Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” Blind Boys Of Alabama
      “Factory Girl” Rhiannon Giddens
      “House Of Mercy” Sarah Jarosz – WINNER
      “Wreck You” Lori McKenna

      Best American Roots Song:

      “Alabama At Night” Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks)
      “City Lights” Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
      “Gulfstream” Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars)
      “Kid Sister” Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers) – WINNER
      “Wreck You” Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna)

      Best Americana Album:

      True Sadness The Avett Brothers
      This Is Where I Live William Bell – WINNER
      The Cedar Creek Sessions Kris Kristofferson
      The Bird & The Rifle Lori McKenna
      Kid Sister The Time Jumpers

      Best Bluegrass Album:

      Original Traditional Blue Highway
      Burden Bearer Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
      The Hazel Sessions Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
      North And South Claire Lynch
      Coming Home O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor – WINNER

      Best Traditional Blues Album:

      Can’t Shake The Feeling Lurrie Bell
      Live At The Greek Theatre Joe Bonamassa
      Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II) Luther Dickinson
      The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers Vasti Jackson
      Porcupine Meat Bobby Rush – WINNER

      Best Contemporary Blues Album:

      The Last Days Of Oakland Fantastic Negrito – WINNER
      Love Wins Again Janiva Magness
      Bloodline Kenny Neal
      Give It Back To You The Record Company
      Everybody Wants A Piece Joe Louis Walker

      Best Folk Album:

      Silver Skies Blue Judy Collins & Ari Hest
      Upland Stories Robbie Fulks
      Factory Girl Rhiannon Giddens
      Weighted Mind Sierra Hull
      Undercurrent Sarah Jarosz – WINNER

      Best Regional Roots Music Album:

      Broken Promised Land Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard
      It’s A Cree Thing Northern Cree
      E Walea Kalani Pe’a – WINNER
      Gulfstream Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars
      I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In The Evangeline Country (Various Artists)

      Best Reggae Album:

      Sly & Robbie Presents… Reggae For Her Devin Di Dakta & J.L
      Rose Petals J Boog
      Ziggy Marley Ziggy Marley – WINNER
      Everlasting Raging Fyah
      Falling Into Place Rebelution
      Soja: Live In Virginia Soja

      Best World Music Album:

      Destiny Celtic Woman
      Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers Ladysmith Black Mambazo
      Sing Me Home Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble – WINNER
      Land Of Gold Anoushka Shankar
      Dois Amigos, Um Sculo De Msica: Multishow Live Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil

      Best Children’s Album:

      Explorer Of The World Frances England
      Infinity Plus One Secret Agent 23 Skidoo -WINNER
      Novelties Recess Monkey
      Press Play Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could
      Saddle Up The Okee Dokee Brothers

      Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):

      The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo Amy Schumer
      In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox Carol Burnett – WINNER
      M Train Patti Smith
      Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A.Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia) (Various Artists)
      Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink Elvis Costello

      Best Comedy Album:

      …America…Great… David Cross
      American Myth Margaret Cho
      Boysih Girl Interrupted Tig Notaro
      Live At The Apollo Amy Schumer
      Talking For Clapping Patton Oswalt – WINNER

      Best Musical Theater Album:

      Bright Star Carmen Cusack, principal soloist; Jay Alix, Peter Asher & Una Jackman, producers; Steve Martin, composer; Edie Brickell, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)
      The Color Purple Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson, principal soloists; Stephen Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Scott Sanders & Jhett Tolentino, producers (Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis, composers/lyricists) (New Broadway Cast) – WINNER
      Fiddler On The Roof Danny Burstein, principal soloist; Louise Gund, David Lai & Ted Sperling, producers (Jerry Bock, composer; Sheldon Harnick, lyricist) (2016 Broadway Cast)
      Kinky Boots Killian Donnelly & Matt Henry, principal soloists; Sammy James, Jr., Cyndi Lauper, Stephen Oremus & William Wittman, producers (Cyndi Lauper, composer & lyricist) (Original West End Cast)
      Waitress Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Neal Avron, Sara Bareilles & Nadia DiGiallonardo, producers; Sara Bareilles, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)

      Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media:

      Amy (Various Artists)
      Miles Ahead Miles Davis & Various Artists) – WINNER
      Straight Outta Compton (Various Artists)
      Suicide Squad (Collector’s Edition) (Various Artists)
      Vinyl: The Essentials Season 1 (Various Artists)

      Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:

      Bridge of Spies Thomas Newman, composer
      Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight Ennio Morricone, composer
      The Revenant Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers
      Star Wars: The Force Awakens John Williams, composer – WINNER
      Stranger Things Volume 1 Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers
      Stranger Things Volume 2 Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers

      Best Song Written For Visual Media:

      “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: Trolls – WINNER
      “Heathens” Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots), Track from: Suicide Squad
      “Just Like Fire” Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk), Track from: Alice Through The Looking Glass
      “Purple Lamborghini” Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross), Track from: Suicide Squad
      “Try Everything” Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira), Track from: Zootopia
      “The Veil” Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel), Track from: Snowden

      Best Instrumental Composition:

      “Bridge of Spies (End Title)” Thomas Newman, composer (Thomas Newman)
      “The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade For Big Band)” Tim Davies, composer (Tim Davies Big Band)
      “Flow” Alan Ferber, composer (Alan Ferber Nonet)
      “L’Ultima Diligenza Di Red Rock – Verisione Integrale” Ennio Morricone, composer (Ennio Morricone)
      “Spoken At Midnight” Ted Nash, composer (Ted Nash Big Band) – WINNER

      Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella:

      “Ask Me Now” John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley)
      “Good ‘Swing’ Wenceslas” Sammy Nestico, arranger (The Count Basie Orchestra)
      “Linus & Lucy” Christian Jacob, arranger (The Phil Norman Tentet)
      “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa)
      “We Three Kings” Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis)
      “You And I” Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier) – WINNER

      Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:

      “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Featuring Take 6)
      “Do You Want To Know A Secret” John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa Featuring Renee Olstead)
      “Flintstones” Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier) – WINNER
      “I’m A Fool To Want You” Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)
      “Somewhere (Dirty Blvd) (Extended Version)” Billy Childs & Larry Klein, arrangers (Lang Lang Featuring Lisa Fischer & Jeffrey Wright)

      Best Recording Package:

      Anti (Deluxe Edition) Ciarra Pardo & Robyn Fenty, art directors (Rihanna)
      Blackstar Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie) – WINNER
      Human Performance Andrew Savage, art director (Parquet Courts)
      Sunset Motel Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)
      22, A Million Eric Timothy Carlson, art director (Bon Iver)

      Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package:

      Edith Piaf 1915-2015 Gerard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf) – WINNER
      401 Days Jonathan Dagan & Mathias Hst Normark, art directors (J.Views)
      I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It Samuel Burgess-Johnson & Matthew Healy, art directors (The 1975)
      Paper Wheels (Deluxe Limited Edition) Matt Taylor, art director (Trey Anastasio)
      Tug of War (Deluxe Edition) Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)

      Best Album Notes:

      The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer (Kris Kristofferson)
      The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp Ted Olson & Tony Russell, album notes writers (Various Artists)
      Ork Records: New York, New York Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, album notes writers (Various Artists)
      Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle) – WINNER
      Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890-1990 Richard Martin, album notes writer (Various Artists)

      Best Historical Album:

      The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 (Collector’s Edition) Steve Berkowitz & Jeff Rosen, compilation producers; Mark Wilder, mastering engineer (Bob Dylan) – WINNER
      Music Of Morocco From The Library Of Congress: Recorded By Paul Bowles, 1959 April G. Ledbetter, Steven Lance Ledbetter, Bill Nowlin & Philip D. Schuyler, compilation producers; Rick Fisher & Michael Graves, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
      Ork Records: New York, New York Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
      Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966-1983 Bernard Horowitz, Andreas K. Meyer & Robert Russ, compilation producers; Andreas K. Meyer & Jeanne Montalvo, mastering engineers (Vladimir Horowitz)
      Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890 – 1900Michael Devecka, Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Michael Devecka, David Giovannoni, Michael Khanchalian & Richard Martin, mastering engineers (Various Artists)

      Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical:

      Are You Serious Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird)
      Blackstar David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony – WINNER
      Dig In Deep Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer (Bonnie Raitt)
      Hit N Run Phase Two Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James, Prince & Justin Stanley, engineers; Dylan Dresdow, mastering engineer (Prince)
      Undercurrent Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz)

      Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:

      Benny Blanco
      Greg Kurstin – WINNER
      Max Martin
      Ricky Reed

      Best Remixed Recording:

      “Cali Coast (Psionics Remix)” Josh Williams, remixer (Soul Pacific)
      “Heavy Star Movin’ (staRo Remix)” staRo, remixer (The Silver Lake Chorus)
      “Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five (Timo Maas & James Teej Remix)” Timo Maas & James Teej, remixers (Paul McCartney & Wings)
      “Only” (Kaskade X Lipless Remix) Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X)
      “Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)” Andre Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses) – WINNER
      “Wide Open (Joe Goddard Remix)” Joe Goddard, remixer (The Chemical Brothers)

      Best Surround Sound Album:

      Dutilleux: Sur La Me Accord; Les Citations; Mystre De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony) – WINNER
      Johnson: Considering Matthew Shephard Brad Michel, surround mix engineer; Brad Michel, surround mastering engineer; Robina G. Young, surround producer (Craig Hella Johnson & Conspirare)
      Maja S.K. Ratkje: And Sing … Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Maja S.K. Ratkje, Cikada & Oslo Sinfonietta)
      Primus & The Chocolate Factory Les Claypool, surround mix engineer; Stephen Marcussen, surround mastering engineer; Les Claypool, surround producer (Primus)
      Reflections Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (yvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)

      Best Engineered Album, Classical:

      Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra) – WINNER
      Dutilleux: Sur La Me Accord; Les Citations; Mystre De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)
      Reflections Morten Lindberg, engineer (yvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)
      Shadow of Sirius Silas Brown & David Frost, engineers; Silas Brown,
      Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 Shawn Murphy & Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra)

      Producer of the Year, Classical:

      Blanton Alspaugh
      David Frost – WINNER
      Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
      Judith Sherman
      Robina G. Young

      Best Orchestral Field:

      Bates: Works For Orchestra Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
      Ibert: Orchestral Works Neeme Jarvi, conductor (Orchestre De La Suisse Romande)
      Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B-Flat Major, Op. 100 Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
      Rouse: Odna Zhizn; Symphonies 3 & 4; Prospero’s Rooms Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic)
      Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra) – WINNER

      Best Opera Recording:

      Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus) – WINNER
      Handel: Giulio Cesare Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico)
      Higdon: Cold Mountain Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program For Singers) Mozart: Le Nozze De Figaro Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra Of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt)
      Szymanowski: Krl Roger Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecien & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)

      Best Choral Performance:

      Himmerland Elisabeth Holte, conductor (Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen, Ragnfrid Lie & Matilda Sterby; Inger-Lise Ulsrud; Uranienborg Vokalensemble)
      Janek: Glagolitic Mass Edward Gardner, conductor; Hakon Matti Skrede, chorus master (Susan Bickley, Gabor Bretz, Sara Jakubiak & Stuart Skelton; Thomas Trotter; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bergen Cathedral Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir Of Collegium Musicum & Edvard Grieg Kor)
      Lloyd: Bonhoeffer Donald Nally, conductor (Malavika Godbole, John Grecia, Rebecca Harris & Thomas Mesa; The Crossing)
      Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1 Krzystof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir) – WINNER
      Steinberg: Passion Week Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir)

      Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:

      Fitelberg: Chamber Works ARC Ensemble
      Reflections yvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene
      Serious Business Spektral Quartet
      Steve Reich Third Coast Percussion – WINNER
      Trios From Our Homelands Lincoln Trio

      Best Classical Instrumental Solo:

      Adams, J.: Scheherazade.2 Leila Josefowicz; David Robertson, conductor (Chester Englander; St. Louis Symphony)
      Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony)
      Dvork: Violin Concerto & Romance; Suk: Fantasy Christian Tetzlaff; John Storgards, conductor (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra) – WINNER

      Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vols. 8 & 9 Kristian Bezuidenhout
      1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2 Gil Shaham; Stephane Deneve, conductor (The Knights & Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra)

      Best Classical Solo Vocal Album:

      Monteverdi Magdalena Kozena; Andrea Marcon, conductor (David Feldman, Michael Feyfar, Jakob Pilgram & Luca Tittoto; La Cetra Barockorchester Basel)
      Mozart: The Weber Sisters Sabine Devieilhe; Raphael Pichon, conductor (Pygmalion)
      Schumann & Berg Dorothea Roschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist
      Shakespeare Songs Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker) – WINNER
      Verismo Anna Netrebko; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Yusif Eyvazov; Coro Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia)

      Best Classical Compendium:
      Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer – WINNER
      Gesualdo Tonu Kaljuste, conductor; Manfred Eicher, producer
      Vaughan Williams: Discoveries Martyn Brabbins, conductor; Andrew Walton, producer
      Wolfgang: Passing Through Judith Farmer & Gernot Wolfgang, producers
      Zappa: 200 Motels The Suites Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Frank Filipetti & Gail Zappa, producers

      Best Contemporary Classical Composition:

      Bates: Anthology Of Fantastic Zoology Mason Bates, composer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
      Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony) – WINNER
      Higdon: Cold Mountain Jennifer Higdon, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist
      Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto Christopher Theofanidis, composer (Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & Northwest Sinfonia)
      Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky C. F. Kip Winger, composer (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)

      Best Music Video:

      “Formation” Beyonc – WINNER
      “River” Leon Bridges
      “Up & Up” Coldplay
      “Gosh” Jamie XX
      “Upside Down & Inside Out” OK Go

      Best Music Film:

      I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead Steve Aoki
      The Beatles: Eight Days A Week The Touring Years (The Beatles) – WINNER
      Lemonade Beyonc
      The Music Of Strangers Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
      American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry (Various Artists)

      [Image via Getty Images.]

      Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-02-13-grammy-awards-2017-complete-winners-list-adele-chance-the-rapper

      The 100 best nonfiction books: No 53 The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902)

      This revolutionary work written by Henry Jamess less famous brother brought a democratising impulse to the realm of religious belief

      The United States is a society, first described in Thomas Jeffersons revolutionary words in 1776, that constantly rewrites its narrative in law, philosophy, economics and belief, as well as through poetry, drama and fiction. In moments of change, its finest writers have often found new forms of expression and ideas that both illuminate the American story and help to redefine it.

      William James, brother of the more famous Henry, was a classic American intellectual, a brilliant New Englander and renowned pragmatist a celebrity in his time who coined the phrase stream of consciousness. He responded to the cultural and social ferment of the late 19th century with the Gifford lectures, given in Edinburgh during 1900-02. When he turned these talks into a book, James, a Harvard psychologist and the author of The Principles of Psychology, placed himself at the crossroads of psychology and religion to articulate an approach to religious experience that would help liberate the American mind at the beginning of the 20th century from its puritan restrictions by advancing a pluralistic view of belief inspired by American traditions of tolerance. Like his brother, he was obsessed by the problem of expressing individual consciousness through language; this is just one of the principal themes of The Varieties of Religious Experience.

      Psychology aside, this is an odd book in many ways, especially for its unorthodox approach to the precepts of organised religion. One commentator has described it as a classic that is too psychological to have shaped most religious inquiry and too religious to have influenced much psychological research. And yet, in the words of Psychology Today, it remains the most notable of all books in the field of the psychology of religion and probably destined to be the most influential book written on religion in the 20th century.

      The James family, who were originally Scots-Irish, like many of the first Americans, exerted a powerful influence on William James in the genesis of this text. His father, Henry Snr, was not just an unorthodox Calvinist, he was also (with Emerson and Jung) a disciple of the cult mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, who was determined to find a theory which would explain how matter relates to spirit. Swedenborgs desire to understand the order and purpose of creation had led him to investigate the structure of matter and the process of creation itself: his ambition was intoxicating and his teachings inspired a democratisation of religious impulses that appealed to the unorthodox Jameses, father and son.

      The idea that all citizens were equally and independently close to God sponsored among the James family the conviction that religious experience should not become confined within the narrow prison of a denomination. The same irreverence towards categories encouraged William James to adopt a high-low style that gives his writing a fresh and populist character thats rather different from the mature style of his brother the novelist. William used his populism to suggest that any religious experience was true if the consequences of holding it were pleasing to the individual concerned. This restatement of the American pursuit of happiness gave his audiences a new appreciation of human dignity grounded in everyday reality.

      In his approach to religious experience, William James writes that he had to face a hard problem: first, to defend experience against philosophy as the real backbone of the worlds religious life; and second, to make the reader believe that [the life of religion] is mankinds most important function.

      James begins his argument with the assertion that religion answers basic human needs. From here, he separates belief from its tribal origins. Religion, he says, has become a consumer item for individuals. His only concern about religion is what it tells us about what goes on in the single private man. Then he comes up with a famous definition:

      Religion shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.

      Using potted biographies of well-known writers and thinkers, including Tolstoy and John Bunyan, William James concludes a long and fascinating exploration of the healthy mind, the sick soul, and the divided self, with closing chapters on mysticism, saintliness, atonement and conversion. Here, too, he presented an account of God as a finite being, inextricably caught up in world affairs, and linked to human activity and ambitions. He closes with a witty question: Who knows whether the faithfulness of individuals here below to their own poor over-beliefs may not actually help God in turn to be more effectively faithful to his own greater tasks?

      A signature sentence

      And the moment we renounce the absurd notion that a thing is exploded away as soon as it is classed with others, or its origin is shown; the moment we agree to stand by experimental results and inner quality, in judging of values who does not see that we are likely to ascertain the distinctive significance of religious melancholy and happiness, or of religious trances, far better by comparing them as conscientiously as we can with other varieties of melancholy, happiness, and trance, than by refusing to consider their place in any more general series, and treating them as if they were outside of natures order altogether?

      Three to compare

      William James: The Principles of Psychology (1890)
      William James: Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907)
      Louis Menand: The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America (2001)

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/06/100-best-nonfiction-books-53-the-varieties-religious-experience-william-james

      From book to boom: how the Mormons plan a city for 500,000 in Florida

      The Mormon church owns vast tracts of US land, and now envisages a huge new city on its Deseret Ranch but at what cost?

      Everything about the Deseret cattle and citrus ranch, in central Florida, is massive. The property itself occupies 290,000 acres of land more than nine times the size of San Francisco and almost 20 times the size of Manhattan. It is one of the largest ranches in the country, held by the one of the biggest landowners in the state: the Mormon church.

      On an overcast weekday afternoon, Mormon missionaries give tours of the vast estate. Fields, orange trees and grazing animals stretch as far as the eye can see. While central Florida may be best known for Disney World, the ranch roughly an hours drive away is nearly 10 times bigger. It is home to a jaw-dropping 40,000 cows and has grown oranges for millions of glasses of juice.

      Now there are ambitious, far-reaching plans to transform much of this land into an entirely new city, home to as many as 500,000 people by 2080. Deseret has said that while nothing will be built here for decades, its plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable and the alternative is piecemeal development. A slide from a 2014 presentation explains: We think in terms of generations.

      The Deseret Ranch in central Florida. The Mormon church has said it plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable. Photograph: John Raoux/AP

      Deserets plans, which were given the green light by local county commissioners in 2015, are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state and have attracted high-profile attention. Critics have accused the plans of putting already stressed natural habitats and critical resources, such as water, in further jeopardy.

      This is not a typical housing development. It is an entire region of the state of Florida and it is the last remaining wilderness, said Karina Veaudry, a landscape architect in Orlando and member of the Florida Native Plant Society. It is, she stressed, a plan on an unprecedented scale: This project impacts the entire state, ecologically.

      For years, environmental groups protested that it was too risky to build so much on such ecologically important land particularly in one of the few areas of Florida that hasnt already been consumed by sprawling developments. We fought it and fought it and fought it, said Veaudry, who described it as nothing less than a David and Goliath struggle.

      Except this time, Goliath was part of the property empire of the Mormon church.

      Faith and property

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long influenced urban developments in America through specific ideas about town planning. In the 1830s, the churchs founder, Joseph Smith, laid out a vision for compact, self-sufficient agrarian cities. These were utopian in conception and have been hailed as a precursor to smart growth planning.

      The plans for the Deseret ranch in central Floridahave shone a spotlight on another side of the churchs influence: its investments in land and real estate. Today, the church owns land and property across the US through a network of subsidiaries. Its holdings include farmland, residential and commercial developments, though it remains notoriously tight-lipped about its business ventures.

      The church has been buying up land in central Florida since the 1950s, starting with 50,000 acres for Deseret Ranch since expanded almost sixfold. Its most recent major acquisition, by the church-owned company AgReserves, was another 380,000 acres in the states north-western panhandle the strip of land that runs along the Gulf of Mexico. Deseret Ranchs website quotes the late church president, Gordon B Hinckley, as saying that farms are both a safe investment where the assets of the church may be preserved and enhanced and an agricultural resource to feed people should there come a time of need.

      Across America, subsidiaries of the church reportedly hold 1m acres of agricultural land. This is thought to include land in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas. Church companies are also thought to hold land outside the US, including in Canada and Brazil. In 2014, when church-owned farms in Australia were put up for sale, reports estimated their worth at about $120m (72.8m).

      The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City where the church has its headquarters. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

      Recent real estate investments by church companies include the 2016 purchase of a 380-unit apartment complex in Texas, estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and, in Philadelphia, a shopping area, a 32-storey apartment block and a landscaped plaza being built across the street from a newly constructed Mormon temple.

      In Salt Lake City, where the church has its headquarters, a church company is currently working on a new master-planned community on the citys west side for almost 4,000 homes. Last year, another investment was unveiled: the new high-end 111 Main skyscraper. Goldman Sachs is reportedly signed up as a tenant.

      This city was built by Mormons. In the 19th century, early Mormon settlers gave Salt Lake City bridges, miles of roads, rail and other infrastructure. Hundreds of businesses were also set up: banks, a network of general stores, mining companies. The citys Temple Square is filled with statues glorifying the pioneers.

      Nearby is a more contemporary monument to the investing and enterprising church: the City Creek Center, a new shopping mall with 100 stores and a retractable glass roof. It cost an estimated $1.5bn. At its grand opening, a church leader cut a pink ribbon and cheered: One, two, three lets go shopping!

      The church said its investment in the mall would help revitalise central Salt Lake City as part of a wider multibillion-dollar initiative called Downtown Rising. Bishop H David Burton said it would create the necessary jobs and added that any parcel of property the church owns that is not used directly for ecclesiastical worship is fully taxed at its market value.

      The City Creek Center project has been controversial, however even among Mormons. Some current and former church members have questioned why money invested in such projects isnt spent on charitable initiatives instead.

      In 2013, Jason Mathis, executive director of Salt Lake Citys Downtown Alliance business development group, said the church was an interesting landlord. Theyre not worried about the next quarter, he explained. They have a much longer perspective they want to know what the city will look like in the next 50 or 100 years.

      The City Creek shopping centre in Salt Lake City, which reportedly cost $1.5bn. Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

      Black box finances

      Projects such as the Salt Lake City shopping centre have certainly focused attention on the churchs investments, but it remains secretive about its revenues and finances.

      An entity called Deseret Management Corporation is understood to control many of the churchs enterprises, through subsidiaries focused on different commercial interests including insurance and publishing.

      Several church ventures bear the name Deseret itself a term from the Book of Mormon meaning honeybee and intended to represent goals of productivity and self-sufficiency.

      In central Florida, the churchs Deseret Ranch is understood to sell cows to Cargill, a Minnesota-based trading company, and oranges to Tropicana, as well as renting land to hunters and other companies.

      Deseret, however, declined to confirm this. It said: As a private investment affiliate of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Ranch does not release financial information or details about our production and customers.

      The churchs press office in Salt Lake City also did not respond to emails from the Guardian.

      Previously, church officials have emphasised that finance for its companies investments do not come from tithing donations (church members are supposed to contribute 10% of their income each year) but from profits from other such ventures.

      But these and other claims, even when offered, are also difficult to verify. Ultimately their finances are a black box according to Ryan Cragun, associate professor of sociology at the University of Tampa.

      Cragun previously worked with Reuters to estimate in 2012 that the church owns temples and other buildings worth $35bn and receives as much as $7bn in members tithing each year. But he says the church stopped releasing annual financial information to its own members many years ago.

      Estimating their total land holdings? Good luck, says Cragun. Nobody knows how much money the church actually has and why theyre buying all of this land and developing land.

      The Mormon church-owned skyscraper at 111 Main in Salt Lake City. Photograph: City Creek Reserve

      A new city for Florida

      Over the last half-century, Florida has become something of a laboratory for ambitious and sometimes surreal master-planned communities. In southern Florida, for example, the founder of Dominos Pizza funded the construction of a Catholic town called Ave Maria. Closer to Orlando is the town of Celebration, developed by the Walt Disney Company, where shops on meticulously maintained streets sell French pastries and luxury dog treats.

      Across Florida, more new subdivisions and developments are planned. Many of these projects have drawn criticism for their potential impact on Floridas already stressed water resources.

      Sprawl is where the money is, and people want homes with big lawns and nearby golf courses, a columnist for the Florida Times-Union newspaper recently lamented. He suggested the state should step in to ban water-hungry grass varieties and introduce stronger planning procedures to limit large-scale developments.

      The ranchs plans are the largest of these yet. Indeed, they are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state, and this land lies in an area thats been called Floridas last frontier.

      In 2015, local Osceola county officials approved the North Ranch sector plan, which covers a 133,000-acre slice of Deseret property. As part of this plan, tens of thousands of these acres have been earmarked for conservation lands, not to be built on; and, in addition, Deseret has insisted that it will also continue ranching operations here for generations in the future.

      But most of this land, under the approved plan, could be transformed into a new urban landscape. By 2080, it could be home to as many as 500,000 people. The plan explicitly refers to a new fully functioning city.

      It envisages a massive development complete with a high-intensity, mixed-use urban centre and a variety of centres and neighbourhoods. There would be 16 communities and a regional hub with a footprint of around one square mile equal to [that] of downtown Orlando.

      The Lake Nona complex of master-planned communities where the grass is greener. Photograph: Claire Provost

      New office blocks, civic buildings, high-rise hotels and apartment buildings are among the structures anticipated, along with new schools, a hospital, parks and a university and research campus. New motorways and rail lines would connect it all to Orlando and cities along Floridas eastern coast.

      The document argues that the plan is necessary to prepare for expected population growth. More than 80% of the vacant developable land in the very area where demographic and economic forces are propelling an increasing share of the regions population and job growth is located on Deserets North Ranch, it says.

      In an email to the Guardian, Dale Bills, a spokesperson for Deseret Ranch, said it offers a framework for future land use decisions but will not be implemented for decades.

      Were not developers, but the sector plan allows us to be involved in shaping what the ranch will look like over the next 50-60 years, Bills said. When growth does come to the region the plan will help create vibrant communities that are environmentally responsible and people-friendly, he said.

      The plan also provides for continued farming operations, Bills added, meaning that generations from now, Deseret will still be doing what we love growing food and caring for the land.

      Meanwhile, the ranch has set aside another, smaller block of its land for a separate and more immediate project called Sunbridge, to be developed by the Tavistock Group known in the area for its Lake Nona complex of master-planned communities just south-east of Orlandos international airport.

      A render of the Lake Nona development. Photograph: KPMG

      On a weekday afternoon, the still largely empty Lake Nona development is silent. Signs planted by the road proclaim it is where the grass is greener. At the visitors centre, a pair of well-dressed women chat over coffee. A sales agent hands out glossy brochures with aspirational verbs embossed on its cover: DISCOVER. EVOLVE. INNOVATE.

      Still under construction, Lake Nona describes itself as a city of the future with super-fast internet connections, one of the top private [golf] clubs in the world and homes ranging from luxury apartments to sprawling estates. Less than an hours drive from the ranch, it offers a potential hint of whats to come.

      The damage is done

      Until this happened [the ranch] was a quiet neighbour, said Jenny Welch, 54, a registered nurse and environmental activist who lived in the area for decades before leaving earlier this year. When I first moved here in 1980, I thought it was great because it would never be developed. This is such environmentally important land. Its a wildlife corridor. There are wetlands.

      Major concerns about the Deseret North Ranch plan have included how much water it will consume, the impact of proposed new roads and the amount of land set aside for conservation.

      Veaudry, the Orlando landscape architect, said environmental groups tried to engage with the Deseret plans from the beginning by raising concerns but also suggesting enhanced measures to protect local ecosystems.

      But, she said, what was ultimately approved was pretty much the nail in the coffin for decades-long efforts to establish a north-south ecological corridor to allow wildlife and ecosystems to flow across the state. It would put literally a city right in the middle of it, she said.

      The new city envisaged for this land wont be constructed overnight. While the overall plan for the area has been approved, more approvals will be needed on specific details. This has not reassured critics.

      Florida environmentalist Charles Pattison has argued that the long time frame only makes it harder to monitor the project. People involved in this today will not be around to see [it] through to completion, as many new administrative and elected officials will come and go over that time, he said.

      The main guidelines, the amount of conservation, how wide the buffers have to be, all of that is already approved and set, said Veaudry. As far as I understand it, the damage is done. Locals know what happened. The Mormon church is the largest landowner here. And they have enormous resources.

      The second half of Claire Provosts exploration of Mormon city planning will appear tomorrow. Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion, and explore our archive here

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/30/from-book-to-boom-how-the-mormons-plan-a-city-for-500000-in-florida

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