News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Dead Sea Scroll deciphered to reveal ancient calendar (The Guardian)
- Walmart partners with Kobo to sell e-readers, ebooks (Publishers Weekly)
- Fire and Fury Sales Hit 1.7 Million (Publishers Weekly)
- ‘Staunch Prize’ launched for thrillers that avoid sexual violence against women, but not all authors applaud the move. (The Guardian)
- Winter Institute 13: Booksellers Tackle Diversity and the Sustainability of the Indie Model (Publishers Weekly)
Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning and bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy, died Monday at the age of 88. LeGuin is best known for The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and her EarthSea Cycle, beginning with A Wizard of EarthSea, but she also wrote short stories, poetry, children’s books (the charming Catwings series), essays, and several books on writing. Her work won praise from fellow writers, and she won multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. In 2014, the National Book Awards recognized her with its lifetime achievement award. Her career spanned most of her life; she submitted her first short story at age 11, and was still writing in her 80s.
(You can read my full tribute/obituary here.)
- Margaret Atwood: ‘I am not a prophet. Science fiction is really about now.’ (The Guardian)
- Reading Fantasy Shaped My Career—as a violinist. (Anna Boisen for Book Riot)
- Where to Start: The ‘Legendary’ Books of Ursula K. Le Guin (Signature) Inexplicably, the list leaves out two of Le Guin’s most widely-lauded works: her YA fantasy series, the EarthSea Cycle (beginning with A Wizard of EarthSea) and her utopian/dystopian novel, The Dispossessed.
- Read Harder: Romance Novels By or About a Person of Color (Book Riot) Tied to Book Riot’s “Read Harder” challenge, but equally useful if you just want to broaden your romance reading a bit.
- The 12 Most-Read Books of the 2018 Reading Challenge (Goodreads) In other words, what have our fellow readers been reading in January? (Hint: Fire and Fury tops the list.)
- 8 Great Adult Books for Teens Ready to Move On from YA (Bustle) Nice list, though what Ready Player One is doing on it is beyond me. (Isn’t it YA? That’s what my library seems to think.) Rebecca, though? Excellent choice. And I definitely need to read My Brilliant Career.
- The 100 best novels written in English (chosen by Robert McCrum for The Guardian) I don’t necessarily agree with all his choices—for one thing, his list is heavily dominated by white male authors (see below for alternatives by female authors)—but presenting the list in chronological rather than alphabetical order is a great idea.
- and the Readers’ alternative list of 15 titles not on McCrum’s list, based on Guardian readers’ suggestions.
- One in five doesn’t represent over 300 years of women in literature is Rachel Cooke’s response to McCrum’s list, and fills out the ranks with female authors neglected by McCrum. (The Guardian)
That’s it for this week!