News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.
- Romance novelists raise $400,000 for Georgia Senate races – with help from Stacey Abrams (The Guardian). Jezebel also covered the story.
- Allegheny County Jail has reversed its policy banning book delivery to its incarcerated population. (Literary Hub)
- Reed Is ‘Retiring’ BookExpo & BookCon (Shelf Awareness)
- Jason Reynolds bought up all his own books from local DC bookstores and gave them to readers. (Literary Hub)
- Baby Yoda stars in ALA’s new READ® poster and bookmark (American Library Association)
- The Pandemic Tanked My Reading Habits (Matt Grant, Book Riot)
- How Bookstores Are Coping: Expanded Holiday Hours; Watching Major Titles (Shelf Awareness)
- Nancy Drew Wasn’t the Only Girl Detective: Learn About 8 Other Classic Teen Sleuths (Book Riot) Is there a child in America who hasn’t read at least one Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, or another teen detective novel? Of the series listed in this article, I have read most of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, plus a smattering of Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, Dana Girls, and Judy Bolton. I agree with the author — the Judy Boltons are the best. I read my first few Judy Boltons as a child, but they were hard to find. When I stumbled across a trove of the books in a used bookstore about 15 years ago, I bought them all, giving me 22 of the original 38 titles. I haven’t read them all yet; I’ve been saving them for the right time… like the middle of a pandemic.
- Foretelling the Future of Vampire Books is a thoughtful essay on the ways in which vampire books reflect the times and cultures in which they are written, and what they might have to say in the future. (Zoe Robertson, Book Riot)
‘Tis the Season
- Book Riot’s Literary Advent Calendar 2020: a holiday-themed reading for each day between now and Christmas
- Looking for small, independent businesses to support during gift-giving season? How about these black-owned bookstores? Show your support for indie bookstores and black business owners at the same time.
- Give one of these book blankets to a book lover in your life (or maybe just snag one for yourself!) And pair it with a literary pillow (Book Riot)
- NPR’s Book Concierge now has books from 2013-2020.
- The Guardian‘s Best Books of 2020, broken down by category.
- 24 Best Historical Romances to Read (of all time) (O, The Oprah Magazine). The list offers more diversity than you would expect from historical romance: several LGBTQ+ novels, and several titles featuring Black, Latinx, and Chinese main characters. (I added a slew of titles to my to-read list!) And while I applaud that diversity, I will own my disagree with several of the editor’s choices here — not the authors represented, but which book is chosen for each. For instance, I would have picked Forbidden as my favorite Beverly Jenkins novel (and one of her best), The Devil in Winter or Mine Till Midnight over Devil’s Daughter for Lisa Kleypas, and for Julia Quinn, The Viscount Who Loved Me over The Duke and I (especially given the problematic issues surrounding consent in TD&I.) Don’t get me wrong: the listed books are good too; I just think my alternate picks are better. I am also dismayed that some authors were left off the list, Mary Balogh and Mary Jo Putney in particular.
- Romances by Indigenous Authors (Rebekah Weatherspoon, Twitter)