News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
Joanna Cole, author of the bestselling Magic School Bus series, died Sunday, July 12, at the age of 75. The cause of death is listed as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Chances are that either you or a child in your life grew up reading and watching The Magic School Bus. Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen published 12 books in the original series, with a 13th due out this fall (The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution.) The series also spawned a chapter book series (Cole wrote some of the titles); three social studies titles (the Miss Frizzle’s Adventures series), also by Cole and Degen; a Scholastic Reader Level 2 series; a wildly popular television show (PBS, rebooted on Netflix in 2017); and a series of TV tie-in books.
- Library Supporters Urge Action on Bill to Provide Relief Funding for Public Libraries (Publishers Weekly)
- Colson Whitehead Awarded 2020 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction (Publishers Weekly)
- Barnes & Noble Regroups and Looks Ahead (Publishers Weekly)
- Borderlands Books owner publicly accused of sexual assault by daughter, domestic violence by ex-girlfriend, but he says he will remain at Borderlands. (Mission Local) The San Francisco bookstore specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and has often hosted author events. A number of authors have indicated they will no longer do events and signings at Borderlands. (CW: the first linked article contains details and may be disturbing to some readers.)
- The Bestselling [Print] Books of 2020 (So Far) (Publishers Weekly)
Worth Reading/Viewing/Checking Out
(not all book-related)
- As Bookstores Reopen, Stores Seek Safe Practices (Brooke Bailey Peters, Book Riot)
- ‘I stuck my foot in the door’: what it is like to be black in UK publishing (Grace Shutti, The Guardian) While I don’t know, I suspect black authors have similar experiences in the US.
- Growing Up with Percy Jackson (AM Gelberg, Tor.com)
- Hunting for mountweazels: Eley Williams on the fun – and responsibility – of dictionaries. The Guardian’s Justine Jordan interviews writer Eley Williams on dictionaries, mountweazels, neologisms, and her debut novel, The Liar’s Dictionary.
- Contemporary Native Literature: Looking Beyond the “Indian du jour” (Julius Lobo, Book Riot)
Free Fiction Online
- “The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer. Winner of the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. (Clarkesworld Magazine) There’s also an audio version if you prefer.
- “Give the Family My Love” by A. T. Greenblatt. Winner of the 2019 Nebula Award for Best Short Story. (Clarkesworld Magazine) There’s also an audio version if you prefer.
- 6 Accessible and Intuitive Apps that Read To You (Book Riot) Particularly helpful for auditory learners and those with certain learning or visual disabilities (such difficulty tracking across a line of print.)
- 30 Must-Read Black Romance Novels That You’ll Love (O: The Oprah Magazine)
- Celebrate Sci-Fi and Fantasy Subgenres with These 64 Books (Goodreads)