News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Romantic Times is closing up shop. Also known as RT Book Reviews, the organization has sponsored the RT Booklovers Convention for many years. The email sent to newsletter subscribers did not give any reason for the closure. RT’s website will remain live for another year without new content; then it, too, will disappear.
- Wodehouse prize for comic fiction withheld after judges fail to laugh (The Guardian) The judges were unable to find a book worthy “to join the heady comedic ranks of PG Wodehouse.”
Tom Wolfe, former journalist and best-selling author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and a number of other books, died Monday, May 15, 2018, at the age of 88. A pioneer of the New Journalism, Wolfe brought fiction techniques such as internal monologue into his journalism and nonfiction, and incorporated journalistic techniques into his fiction.
Though I wasn’t drawn to his work (or rather, to his subjects) in general, I plowed through The Right Stuff in a weekend. The book is a history of the test pilots and high-speed experimental planes of the 1940s and ’50s and the early years of the U.S. space race, culminating in the Mercury program. Compelling and fascinating, the book popularized the phrase “pushing the envelope”; it was later made into a movie starring Sam Shepard, Dennis Quaid, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, and a host of other well-known actors.
Photo from author’s website.
Obituaries and tributes: The Guardian; Los Angeles Times; NPR; Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Bibliography and Biography: Goodreads; Wikipedia
- Barnes & Noble: why it could soon be the bookshop’s final chapter (The Guardian)
- In Recovery with Romance Novels (Robin Lovett, Publishers Weekly) Lovett, a survivor of sexual assault, writes about why the romance genre has been so important in her ongoing recovery from PTSD. (As a reader who has dealt with anxiety and panic disorder, some of my reasons for loving the genre are similar—particularly the optimistic predictability of the HEA.)
- There’s underlying sexism when the romance genre is criticized, novelists say. (CBC Radio’s ‘The Current’) Novelists Sarah MacLean and Mary Bly (an English professor who writes as Eloisa James) were interviewed for this article.
- CBC also did a piece on romance in the Trump and #MeToo era, interviewing Sarah MacLean and Jackie Lau/Laura Jardine—who thereby outed herself to her inlaws as a romance writer.
- Everyone falls in love: diversity in the romance industry. Marketplace interviews the Koch sisters, owners of The Ripped Bodice bookstore, on, well, diversity in romance publishing.
Upcoming Books, Movies, & TV
- A new edition of Tales of Beedle the Bard with illustrations by Chris Riddell is set to publish in early October. The cover is reminiscent of illustrated children’s books from the early 20th century, and feels perfect for a book of (whimsical) fairy tales. Amazon has previewed the book but doesn’t have it available for preorder yet. (Link goes to Amazon US, but you can also see—and preorder—the British edition at Bloomsbury.com/uk .)
- Jill Shalvis, Melissa Foster and 5 other authors launched ‘Ladies Who Write’, a website and newsletter featuring their romance novels. The other authors are Kristen Proby, Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Marina Adair, and Sawyer Bennett.