News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.
- Fewer Americans have read a book in the last year, according to a Pew survey. The figure was 79% in 2011, but is now 72%. But there’s an encouraging sign as well: younger adults are more likely to have read a book than their elder counterparts. For statistics and more information, check out the full article.
- J. K. Rowling to give first on-air interview as Robert Galbraith (Entertainment Weekly)
- A Map of Middle-Earth, annotated by Tolkien, was discovered in illustrator Pauline Baynes’ copy of LOTR. Cool. (Citylab)
- Amazon is suing over 1,000 unnamed individuals who sold their services writing fake reviews for its site. The fake reviewers connected with merchants and manufacturers via Fiverr. (Bloomberg)
- #BoycottStarWarsVII: People Boycott The Force Awakens Because It Promotes “White Genocide”. Yes, this is really a thing. Apparently, some people are so dismayed that the new SW movie has (gasp!) people of color as major characters that they plan to boycott the movie. [shakes head in disbelief] Makes me wonder, along with The Mary Sue, how these people missed a major point of Star Wars (which granted, wasn’t terribly diverse in terms of POC the first time around, but still.)
- Chuck Wendig also has some thoughts “About That Dumb Star Wars Boycott” and representation in general, that are very worthwhile reading.
- Joyce Lillian Lavene, co-author with her husband Jim of numerous cozy mystery series including the Renaissance Faire mysteries, the Peggy Lee Garden mysteries, the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mysteries (as J. J. Cook) and the Retired Witches mysteries, died Oct. 20, 2015. Joyce was only 61 years old. (Obituary; also, friend and fellow author Judy Nichols remembers her on Goodreads.)
- Vera B. Williams, author and illustrator of children’s books, died Oct. 16, 2015 at the age of 88. (Obituaries: Boston Globe; Publishers Weekly)
Book & Movie Announcements
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is officially the 8th story in Rowling’s saga. The play takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, and is written by Jack Thorne, based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne, and director John Tiffany. The play is quite long, and will be presented in two parts. I don’t know about you, but I’m already trying to figure out how to afford both tickets and airfare. Here’s the synopsis, from the Pottermore website:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
- David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig to star in off-Broadway Othello. (New York Times)
- ant a signed copy of Cold-Hearted Rake, Lisa Kleypas’s new historical romance? Village Books is taking pre-orders. I ordered my copy!
- Shannon and Dean Hale to write YA “Captain Marvel” novel (Shannon Hale’s tumblr; announced at NYCC)
- Incredible Literary Jack O’Lanterns (BookRiot)
- 21 Masterfully Punny Tweets That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud (Buzzfeed). They will, I
For Romance Lovers
- Love romance? Bea and Leah Koch want to open the country’s first and only bookstore dedicated to romance, and they’re crowdfunding it on Kickstarter.
In honor of St. Crispin’s Day (10/25) and the Battle of Agincourt:
Kenneth Brannagh, Henry V (Shakespeare)
That’s it for this week!