News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
You may have wondered why I rarely link to articles in the New York Times or Washington Post. The answer is that both publications have paywalls, and offer only a limited number of free posts per month. While I understand why these publishers don’t (or can’t) offer their full website for free, I am not able to afford both of them, and at the moment, I’m not subscribed to either one. So my own access to them is limited. It also seems really unfair to post links to articles that you may not be able to see, if you’ve used up your free allotment for the month. So whenever I can, I try to find the same stories elsewhere, on free sites like NPR, the Los Angeles Times, or the Guardian (which incidentally has a really good book section.)
- Justice Department Reaffirms Reader Privacy Protections (Publishers Weekly)
- Scottish book listing witches’ names now published online. The book is over 350 years old, and lists the names of those accused of witchcraft, along with their town and sometimes other information. (BBC)
- Librarian Launches Subscription Box to Celebrate Black Authors (Huffington Post)
Sheri S. Tepper, prolific and well-respected author of fantasy, SF, and horror, died Oct. 22, 2016 at the age of 87. Much of Tepper’s work featured feminist and/or ecological themes, and she was nominated for all the major SF/F awards. In 2015, she was honored with the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award. In 2013, SF Gateway requested and published a short autobiographical essay by Tepper, reflecting on the roots of her feminism and eco-consciousness in her own life (particularly her feminism.) It makes compelling reading.
Natalie Babbitt, beloved children’s author of Tuck Everlasting, The Search for Delicious, and several other children’s books, died Oct. 31, 2016, of lung cancer. She was 84. Babbitt received a Newbery Honor for Kneeknock Rise and was awarded the first E.B. White Award in 2012. Tuck Everlasting, the story of a mortal girl’s friendship with an immortal family, remains a favorite with both children and teachers. Babbitt also illustrated several picture books, both her own and those by Valerie Worth.
Obituaries and tributes: Publisher’s Weekly (the most extensive and informative); NPR’s All Things Considered; WBUR’s Here and Now interviews Petra Mayer on Babbitt and Tuck Everlasting; Los Angeles Times; CNN (with pictured tweets.) Biography and bibliography: Goodreads; Wikipedia
- My Little Free Library Gives Out 300 Books a Month — And I’m OK With That (Karina Glaser, for BookRiot)
- Really Like an Author? Follow Their Agent! (Jessica Pryde, for BookRiot) I hadn’t thought of this, and it’s a good idea.
- Evil Off the Page: A Reader’s Experience in Prison (BookRiot)
- There Is So Much To Learn From Historical Romance Novels (Alison Doherty, for BookRiot)
- Unbound Worlds has a series of articles by SF/F authors on the books that influenced them the most. (Unbound Worlds) Go read the articles by your favorite authors — or about your favorite books.
- Also, check out the article on reading level analysis, below.
For Writers & Bloggers
- This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write (Shane Snow)
- Helpful Podcasts for Writers (and some other stuff). (Gail Carriger) Incidentally, Robin listens to Writing Excuses and highly recommends it.
- What Writers Need to Know About Patreon (GalleyCat)
- NaNoWriMo and looking at some terrible writing advice (Mary Robinette Kowal)
- Creativity in Progress: Finishing Projects (Gene Yuen Lang, for BookRiot)
Book & Movie Announcements
- Chris Pine has signed on to play Mr. Murray in A Wrinkle in Time. Other confirmed cast members include Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Mrs. Murray, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Storm Reid as Meg Murray. The Murrays are a mixed-race family in this reboot — which I can only applaud! (Deadline; also Empire Online)
- HBO acquired the US & Canadian broadcast rights for the BBC adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series. (GalleyCat)
- The new Wonder Woman trailer is out, and it looks good! The movie stars Gal Gadot; Chris Pine plays Capt. Steve Trevor.
- 100 Must-Read Books About Sisters (BookRiot) I’m appalled at how few of these I’ve read.
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- Ron Chernow sings Hamilton to congratulate Lin-Manuel Miranda on winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Now that’s class! (OK, the Hamilton/Miranda Pulitzer isn’t news; it happened last April. But the video is cute.)
That’s it for this week!