News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, giveaways on this and other blogs, and other cool stuff.
Books & Ebooks in the News:
- The National Book Festival is moving off the Mall and into the Washington Convention Center in 2014. New Park Service regulations, intended to preserve the grass on the National Mall, make moving to the Convention Center more cost-effective. This opens up evening events and films, but apparently means the festival will only be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2014 rather than on both Saturday and Sunday as in years past. (Library of Congress press release; also CityPaper ArtsDesk)
- National Book Critics Circle names finalists for 2013 honors. They include, in fiction, Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), Someone (Alice McDermott), The Infatuations (Javier Marías, translated by Margaret Jull Costa), A Tale for the Time Being (Ruth Ozeki), and
The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt). Other categories include nonfiction, poetry, autobiography, biography, and criticism. (Publishers Weekly)
- Simon & Schuster is launching ‘Simon451’ imprint to publish SF and dystopian/apocalyptic fiction.
- Anthony Horowitz will receive an OBE for services to literature, according to an article on the New Years honors list in The Guardian. Horowitz writes the popular Foyle’s War series for the BBC; he’s also the author of the Alex Rider YA spy novels and House of Silk, the only Sherlock Holmes sequel authorized by the Doyle estate. (The Guardian; Wikipedia)
- Tor.com debuts a new YA Roundup feature which will focus on YA news, new releases, cover reveals, and so on.
- “Simon and Schuster Expands Ebook Library Program” and is adding Overdrive, but the program is still limited to only a few library systems nationwide. (Publishers Weekly)
- Ebooks are on the rise, but print is still strong, and only about 4% of readers read only ebooks. These are the unsurprising results of a recent Pew survey. (Publishers Weekly; Pew Internet) Last Monday I blogged about why I read more ebooks these days, and several people chimed in with thoughtful comments – come check out the conversation!
- Secondhand bookstore’s sales skyrocket after owner requests help on Facebook. When his sales were well below what he needed just to keep operating, David Ford made his financial woes public on FB, and his sales and foot traffic increased. (Daily Mail)
- Goodreads Author Program now has 100,000 authors
Worth Reading (or listening to):
- “Bringing ‘Dead Authors’ to Life for Book-Smart Comedy” (NPR, Arts and Life)
- “Who Gets To Be a Superhero?: Race and Identity In Comics” (NPR’s Code Switch)
- “The Bad Side of Goodreads’ Reading Challenge” (Richard Lea, The Guardian) I don’t entirely agree with him, but it’s food for thought.
- “Borrowing characters”:There’s an interesting conversation at Reading is Fun Again on whether it’s OK for writers to use other author’s characters in their work (assuming copyright is not an issue.)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “When to listen to your readers – and when to ignore them” (Laurel Snyder, on the NaNoWriMo blog)
- Interesting challenges:
- Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014 (hosted by Book’d Out) Thanks to Don’t Be Afraid of the Dork for pointing me to this one. It looks like fun, but I don’t want to take on too many.
- 50 States Challenge (hosted by Somerset Books)
- A Year in Re-reading (hosted by Lianne at Caffeinatedlife.net) – I’ve signed up for this one!
- Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge (hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer) – this one runs from March 1st through 31st, and I’ve signed up for it, too.
- The Reading Bingo Challenge 2014 and The YA Reading Bingo Challenge 2014, both from Random House Canada.
Book and Movie Announcements:
- Patrick Rothfuss confirms he has 2 novellas and a short novel releasing before Doors of Stone. A novella centering on Bast will come out in the Rogues anthology this year; another novella will focus on Auri. The novel is about Laniel Young-again, a character in a legend mentioned while Kvothe is chasing bandits in The Wise Man’s Fear. The author mentioned all three in an AMA on Reddit this week; there are a lot of other interesting tidbits in the chat as well.
- Sherryl Woods’ ‘Chesapeake Shores’ series is coming to TV. Hallmark will adapt the popular contemporary romance series, set in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay and featuring the members of the O’Brien family. Hallmark has experience with filming small-town romance; they recently adapted Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove novels into a series featuring Andie MacDowell. (Hollywood Reporter) If you’re not familiar with the books, you can read my reviews of the entire Chesapeake Shores series and the latest novel, A Seaside Christmas by clicking the links.
- Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson is rebooting the documentary series Cosmos with 13 new hour-long episodes on Fox and the National Geographic channel. This is going to be awesome! He and the writers explain why they’re doing this in the video at the above link; below, you can see the trailer for the new series.
Free & Bargain books and Giveaways:
- No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer. A mixed bag, but there are some good books and quite a few gift certificates being given away. The hop runs through Jan. 21.
- Kindle bargains: Under the Never Sky (Veronica Rossi); The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Anne Shaffer); Stardust (Neil Gaiman); Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater). Check prices before you buy; they can change unexpectedly.
- SFF in Conversation: Women Write SFF (Andrea K Höst’s Keeper Bookshelf ) – an annotated list of some of the best women authors in SF and fantasy. Well worth perusing.
- Nine Mystery Authors Like Agatha Christie (Open Road Media) contains a few names I didn’t know. Be sure to check out the additional suggestions in the comments.
- 25 Big Books That Are Worth Your Time (Flavorwire)
- Luzme is an ebook pricing service that will help you find the best price on ebooks in your country. The service is available for the US, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, and Spain so far. You can also set it to alert you if the price on a particular book drops.
- Did you know Goodreads can show you your stats? — complete with a pie chart of which categories you read most in a year and a breakdown of each year’s reads by the star ratings you gave them. Go to your My Books page and click Stats. Then click on various years, etc. and see what you come up with. The graphics are decent, too, if you want to take a screenshot for your blog.
Just for fun:
- Sherlock, the Musical (above) Alas, this song is all there is. But it’s well-written and surprisingly well-produced, and a whole lot of fun as it gently mocks the show. And as Stubby the Rocket points out over on Tor.com, the performers do a really good job of mimicking Cumberbatch’s and Freeman’s acting styles.
- Who’s Your Literary Boyfriend? (a quiz from Barnes & Noble Book Blog). I got Mr. Darcy, with Peeta as a runner-up — but where is Gilbert Blythe?
That’s it for this week!
I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, lists, and links for News & Notes, so please let me know if you see (or write!) anything that might be good for this feature. You can leave me a comment or send me an email — my address is on the About/Review Policy/Contact page.