News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Lulu.com launches academic alternative. The self-publishing site plans to launch Glasstree, a self-publishing venue for academic authors dissatisfied with traditional publishing’s low royalties and high prices. (The Bookseller)
- First Book and Every Child a Reader Announce New Partnership. First Book will donate a book to an underprivileged child for every library that participates fully in Children’s Book Week 2017. (Publishers Weekly)
- We Need Diverse Books opens nominations for first-ever bookseller award. (Publishers Weekly) If you’d like to nominate your local bookstore, you can find the nomination form at weneeddiversebooks.org/bookseller.
- Virginia State Board of Education rejects proposal to require notifying parents about explicit materials and offering them the chance to opt their students out of studying a particular text. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) The proposal could have affected books ranging from Toni Morrison’s Beloved to Romeo and Juliet, Slaughterhouse Five, and The Diary of Anne Frank.
- Why Would Anyone Sell Books For A Penny On Amazon? (Danika Ellis, BookRiot) If you’ve often wondered the same thing, Ellis’s article explains how it works — for very large volume sellers, that is.
- Falling In Love With Outlander (Aisling Twomey, BookRiot) This is the first review I’ve read that really convinced me that I will probably like the Outlander series despite my qualms about the main character’s infidelity. (Look, I know there is a reasonable rationale for it; she doesn’t know if she’ll ever get back and her husband isn’t even born yet, so he’s as good as dead to her when she’s in 18th-century Scotland. And there’s Jamie, and he’s not dead. But it still makes me uncomfortable.)
- Ursula Le Guin rebuts charge that science fiction is ‘alternative fact’ (The Guardian)
- Terry Pratchett docudrama reveals moment author realized he was ‘dead’ (The Guardian) Working with his assistant after he lost the ability to type, Pratchett wrote seven more novels in the years between his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2007 and his death in 2016.
Book & Movie Announcements
- Bloomsbury revealed the covers for the 20th anniversary “House editions” of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, coming in June 2017. The hardcover editions are pictured above; the paperback editions feature covers and page edges in the primary house color (red, yellow, green, blue, without stripes), with the house crest in black. No word yet on whether Scholastic will use the same design for the US version (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), but they’re likely to do something to mark the anniversary as well. Readers outside the UK will be able to (pre)order the books through Book Depository, though as of this writing, they haven’t updated their cover photos yet.
- New George RR Martin story The Sons of the Dragon due out this October in The Book of Swords anthology. It relates some of the history of the Targaryen family, but is unlikely to satisfy fans clamoring for book six in the Song of Ice and Fire series. (The Guardian)
- Hillary Clinton working on book of essays to be published this fall. (Forbes) The essays are based on quotations that have inspired Clinton throughout her life and political career.
- NPR’s 2016 Book Concierge is up and running! If you’re not familiar with it, the NPR Book Concierge lets you explore their best-books-of-the-year list by choosing genres and/or characteristics. Prefer “rather long” science books? The concierge offers you Siddhartha Mukerjee’s The Gene. “Seriously great writing” in “kids’ books”? Wolf Hollow and The Beach at Night. Go check it out.
- 100 Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Debuts (BookRiot) Some of these books go back decades, to my childhood and earlier; other are recent, or even forthcoming. What they have in common is that every one is an author’s first SF/F book, from Joe Abercrombie to Roger Zelazny, and a host of other terrific authors in between. You’re sure to find something here you’d like to try.
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- Beautiful Literary Star Charts Map Famous First Sentences. Sentence diagramming as constellations… a cool idea!
Book poster by graphic artist Risa Rodil. You can see more of her book quotes here.
That’s it for this week!