News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Amazon’s Grand Search For 2nd Headquarters Ends With Split: NYC And D.C. Suburb (NPR; NBC also takes a look)
- The 2018 National Book Awards were announced this week. Fiction: The Friend (Sigrid Nunez); Best Nonfiction: The New Negro: The Life of Alaine Locke (Jeffrey C. Stewart); Poetry: Indecency (Justin Phillip Reed); Translated Literature: The Emissary (Yoko Tawada, tr. by Margaret Mitsutani); Young People’s Literature: The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo). Isabel Allende received the lifetime achievement honors. (Read more at NPR)
- ‘Toxic’ is Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of 2018, while the Collins Dictionary goes with “single-use.” (NPR)
Author and screenwriter William Goldman has died at the age of 87. You can read my tribute here, with links to other obituaries.
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Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee also died this week, at the age of 95. Even if you’re not a comic book fan, you probably know Stan Lee—from his cameo appearances in the Marvel films, if nothing else. (He even shows up in the post-credit scene in Disney’s animated superhero movie Big Hero Six, as Fred’s father.) Cinema Blend reports that the cameos will continue after Stan’s death:
Even after his death, his tradition of cameos hasn’t yet seen its end. It has been announced that the legend will have a cameo in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which he wasn’t able to see before his passing, but the film’s director describes as “very poignant” and special now that he is no longer with us. Lee also previously recorded a cameo in the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse coming to theaters just one month after the Wreck-It Ralph sequel. Stan Lee’s last cameo might be in the highly-anticipated release of Avengers 4 coming in May 2019, but who knows? Excelsior!
Lee created or co-created a number of iconic comic-book characters, from Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four to Iron Man and the Hulk. He played a major part in the development of many Marvel franchises, including the X-Men and the Avengers.
Lee’s influence on Marvel, superhero comics, and comic culture was profound. Don’t take my word for it; check out some of these tributes:
- A Marvel Of A Man: Stan Lee Dead At 95 (NPR obituary—don’t just read it, listen to it, because there are snippets in Lee’s own voice)
- Remembering Stan Lee on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast (14 minutes long but worth listening to)
- Marvel Remembers the Legacy of Stan Lee (Marvel, on YouTube)
- Stan Lee, Marvel Comics visionary, dead at 95 (CNN)
- Stan Lee obituary (The Guardian)
- Lee’s Twitter account posthumously posted a clip of Lee talking fondly about his fans
- 30+ Artists’ Tributes To Late Comic Book Legend Stan Lee (Bored Panda)
- ‘Avengers’ Stars and Studios Honor Stan Lee in Tribute Ads—even rival DC. (Hollywood Reporter)
And if you’d like to watch a few of the movies and TV shows featuring Marvel characters (and some of those famous Stan Lee cameos), go to Netflix and type in Stan’s favorite catch-phrase: Excelsior.
Can You Help?
Romance author Julie Anne Long was among those forced to evacuate Paradise, California as the fires swept through the town. She escaped with her sister’s family, her cat, her laptop and some paper files, and nothing else. Her home burned to the ground. She lost everything, including her RITA award and her cherished guitars. She and her family are currently in a hotel. Someone has set up a GoFundMe asking for donations to help Julie out.
- Growing Up Surrounded by Books Has a Lasting Positive Effect on the Brain, Says a New Scientific Study (Open Culture)
- George RR Martin: ‘When I began A Game of Thrones I thought it might be a short story’. The Guardian‘s Alison Flood interviews Martin on fame, fortune, and of course, Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire.
- 8 Tips For Overcoming ‘Reader’s Block’ (Mental Floss)
- The Crimes of Grindelwald: do JK Rowling fans really want to read a script? (The Guardian)
- 12 Must-Haves for Setting the Perfect Literary Thanksgiving Table (Bookish)
- The 50 biggest books of autumn 2018 (The Guardian)
That’s it for this week!