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 ALA announced the winners of the Newberry, Caldecott, Printz, and a plethora of other awards.
- Recorded Books has been bought by a private investment group. (Publishers Weekly)
- Take Your Child to the Library Day is today! Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Check this list to see which libraries near you are participating, and head on over to the library!
- Scribd now offers a Kindle Fire app in addition to its Android and iPad/iPhone apps.
- “A Wearable Book Feeds You Its Characters Emotions As You Read” Developed by MIT’s Media Lab, the book (really an augmented e-reader) plays on your physical senses, matching lighting, pressure, and even temperature to what you’re reading. (Meghan Neal, Motherboard.vice.com) But as these Bookish writers point out, there are books we wouldn’t really want to feel that intensely — especially in public.
- Main Street Books bought by the Hall family. Publishers Weekly interviews the new owner/manager, 25-year-old Emily Hall. It’s nice to see that this indie bookstore, at least, has a future.
- ‘Madeline in New York’ exhibit will honor Madeline’s 75th anniversary (New York Historical Society)
- Amazon 4th quarter sales up 20% over last year. (press release)
- “A Novelist Inspired by Vintage Snapshots” – FineBooks Magazine’s Nate Pederson talks with Ransom Riggs about the inspiration for the Miss Peregrine novels.
- “Why We’ll Never Stop Arguing About Likable Characters“ (Andrew DeYoung, Huffington Post)
- “In Defense of the Cozy” In a video interview, Rhys Bowen and Lauren Henderson talk about what makes a cozy mystery and why they should be as well-respected as noir mystery. Bowen gives the best and most inclusive definition of a cozy I’ve come across.
- ‘Learning at Home’ report examines children’s use of educational media. Key findings include: on average, children age 2-10 spend 29 minutes a day reading print books compared to 5 minutes reading ebooks. They watch an average of 42 minutes/day of educational TV. 83% of 2 to 10-year-olds live in a household with high-speed Internet access; 55% in a household with a tablet, and 21% in a household with an e-reader. 31% have ebook access and use it, while 32% have ebook access but don’t use it. And (no surprise) girls spend more time reading print books than boys.
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “Simon451 Unveils College Writing Contest” for writers of SF, fantasy, horror, and supernatural fiction who are 18 or older and in college. (Publishers Weekly)
- Still worried about writers’ incomes after a recent (and flawed) survey suggested most writers earn less than $1000?
- Jami Gold points out problems with the survey, and discusses other surveys with more optimistic (and realistic) data.
- Jim C. Hines posts about his writing income in more detail, talking about advances vs. royalties. He also gives links to a number of other interesting posts on writer income.
Book and Movie Announcements:
- The Fault in Our Stars trailer is here! I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that Robin and I are going to see it, and that I have to read the book first. So I guess I’d better get started!
- The Empire Striketh Back, the sequel to last summer’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, looks to be just as hilarious and clever as its predecessor. It releases on March 18. (CNet)
- David Baldacci is writing a MG/young YA fantasy series. The first installment, The Finisher, will be released by Scholastic on 3/04/14.
Free & Bargain books & Giveaways:
- Kim at The Midnight Garden is giving away a signed copy of Fangirl!
- A bunch of Lisa Kleypas’ romances are on sale for $3.99 and up on Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere. (Check prices before you buy.)
- SYNC released its list of 2014 free audiobook titles. The books will be available over the summer, two per week, and include Code Name Verity, Peter and the Starcatchers, Cruel Beauty (a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast) and Eoin Colfer’s WARP: The Reluctant Assassin, along with classics such as Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, The Time Machine, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list – 98 books in all genres
- [Mostly] true stereotypes about book lovers (Huffington Post)
- Five Writers Who Took Romantic Revenge in Print (Mental Floss)
- Learn to write Gallifreyan in 9 easy steps. If you’re not familiar with Gallifreyan, it’s the language spoken by Time Lords like Dr. Who, and Loren Sherman has developed a really awesome-looking alphabet code based on it. (i09; more information at Loren Sherman’s website)
Just for fun:
- Sherlock fans, there’s an actual blog by John Watson. For real. OK, it’s fictional, part of the online stuff the BBC put together, but it’s there and it’s Watson’s blog, complete with comments from his friends (and sister Harry). If you’re a Sherlock afficionado, give it a look.
- There’s also a Sherlock personality quiz, this one from Masterpiece Mystery. Apparently, I’m Molly. (I have better taste in men, though. I’ve never dated a master criminal, for one thing.)
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.