News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Outrage as Belarus arrests authors, publishers in crackdown. (The Guardian)
- New bill would let presidents appoint the Register of Copyrights. Currently, that authority rests in the Librarian of Congress, an office overseen by Congress and not a part of the executive branch. (Publishers Weekly)
- Nonpartisan literary nonprofits fighting for freedom of expression. (Publishers Weekly)
- Every Amazon Books, Mapped. The locations of the physical stores Amazon has opened and plans to open. (Publishers Weekly)
- A 160-Year-Old Bookshop Opens Online, and closes its physical location. (NPR)
- Why I was wrong about children’s fiction. Scarlett Thomas taught writing, and looked down on children’s books. Until she wrote one. (The Guardian)
For Writers & Bloggers
- Writer’s block? Lin-Manuel Miranda has a playlist for that. It’s available on Spotify, but he also tweeted out a picture of the playlist so you can recreate it on your own “preferred music thingums.” (The Nerdist)
- National Geo Launched Free Website for Printing Detailed Topographical Maps. It’s pretty cool — and potentially useful for writers as well as hikers and climbers, since topographical maps give a sense of the terrain that regular maps do not.
Colin Dexter, the author of the acclaimed Inspector Morse mysteries, has died at the age of 86. His 13 mystery novels were highly regarded by readers and fellow writers alike. The Morse books were turned into a long-running series on British television, and spawned a spinoff that is still running, Endeavor, which follows the career of the young Morse. Dexter died at his home in Oxford.
Robert B. Silvers, editor and co-founder of the New York Review of Books, died Monday, March 20, 2017, at his Manhattan home. At 87, he was still the journal’s editor as he had been for the past 54 years — truly a giant in the field.
Book & Movie Announcements
- Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series has been optioned by a British television production company, the author announced on Monday. She will be an active consultant. It’s not clear whether it’s for a series or miniseries, but YAY! (Please, please, please let them get it right!) Also, King plans to start the next book in the series this summer, so possibly a 2018 or 2019 release date for that.
- Literary Tourism: Agatha Christie (BookRiot) lists lots of places Christie fans might want to go, from Greenway, the author’s home in Devon, to the same steamship voyage Poirot took in Death on the Nile. Unaccountably, there are no London locations listed.
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- Have you run into Laidlaw’s Rule yet? Mark Laidlaw sent out this tweet, and the twitterverse went crazy, with Facebook in hot pursuit.
That’s it: just take the opening sentence of any book (preferably well-known), follow it with “And then the murders began,” and tweet or post it with the hashtag #LaidlawsRule. Have fun! And do check out some of the best ones here. (22 Words)
That’s it for this week!