News & Notes – 7/30/2022

July 30, 2022 News & Notes 4

News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff

Bookish News

Worth Reading/Viewing

  • A medieval carved ivory casket serves as an early graphic novel. Curator Naomi Speakman of the British Museum explains how the detailed panels of this small ivory box tell the popular medieval story of the Chatelaine de Vergy.
  • Joyce Carol Oates claims White male writers are being shut out. The data disagrees. (CNN)
  • Should We Still Study Shakespeare? asks Annika Barranti Klein (Book Riot.) She offers some reasons why we should, and why we might not want to, but for me the most compelling reasons to study Shakespeare (despite his problematic attitudes towards women, people of color, and Jews) are the sheer beauty of his language, and the overwhelming influence his work has had on our own language and culture. I am all for expanding the canon of “taught” literature to include more women, people of color, and non-Christian writers. I am even in favor of pruning some of the white male authors from the basic high-school canon. But Shakespeare is too foundational, his influence too great, to leave him out of the curriculum entirely.
  • How a Book Is Made (New York Times) follows the physical production of a book, from writing (typing) through printing and binding. I would have liked more exposition on how the printing and binding machines actually work, but the article, which includes both still photos and video clips, does give a good overall depiction of the process.
  • How do you organize your books? 9 authors share their favorite shelves (Washington Post) Shelfies by Elin Hilderbrand, Diana Gabaldon, Garrett Graff, Vanessa Riley, Emma Straub, Hernan Diaz, Jennifer Weiner, Chris Bohjalian and Christopher Buckley.


  • 10 Women Writing in the Time of Shakespeare (Mental Floss)
  • A National Parks Reading List (New York Public Library) Nonfiction about, and fiction set in, national parks.
  • 9 of the Best Witch Mysteries (Book Riot) I’m on a bit of a witchy kick at the moment, so I’ll definitely be checking out some of the books on this list. That said, it’s weighted heavily toward YA, with a little adult fantasy thrown in. There’s not a single witch cozy to be seen, nor a witchy mystery-romance, which strikes me as a rather major omission. (Sorry, but they really should have included Erin Sterling’s The Ex Hex, and mentioned at least cozy series, of which there are plenty.)

Cool, Fun, or Useful

Bookish Merch

Children’s book stack side table with drawers, DMW Furniture

I would love to add this “Antique Stack of Children’s Books Side Table with Drawers” to my living room or office/library. Alas, I don’t think it’s available in the US. (sold in the UK by DMW Furniture)

4 Responses to “News & Notes – 7/30/2022”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Yes, that one looked like fun. I’ll probably check out some of the books on the list. I was a little surprised they didn’t include the book by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, that is a companion to the Ken Burns documentary on the Parks.

  1. Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits

    I completely agree that we should still study Shakespeare. Maybe not as exclusively as some lit profs seem to think, but it is certainly worth studying his works. Beyond the beauty of the language, there’s so much to learn about our modern English that we can see changing as a result of Shakespeare’s plays. However… it shouldn’t be taught in a vacuum. You mentioned a bunch of problematic issues with his work that seemed glossed over when I was in school. Hopefully that aspect of it is better now than it was then.
    Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books Set In a Place I’d Love to VisitMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Oh, absolutely, Shakespeare should be taught with plenty of context, and with frank and open discussion of the problematic aspects of the works. But you’re entirely right about the impact on modern language—and culture, too.

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