News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Shakespeare Folio Discovered in France (New York Times) A previously unknown First Folio has been found in a French public library.
- A Harry Potter study-abroad course (i09) For $5000, you can earn 3 college credits and visit every Harry Potter site known to wizard (or witch.) I don’t think they actually teach magic, though.
- Authors Sign Up to Raise Barnes & Noble’s Black Friday Sales (New York Times) 100 prominent authors, from Donna Tartt and Dan Brown to Jessica Day George, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan and Shannon Hale, have signed books which will are available only in Barnes & Noble stores (not online.) That is, assuming any are left after Black Friday! (additional author list from Jessica Day George’s Facebook page)
- Why Are We Embarrassed to Have Guilty Pleasure Reads? (Huffington Post) As Jessie Gaynor points out, we’re not embarrassed to enjoy popular or light TV shows, so why do we sometimes hide our enjoyment of chick lit, YA, romance, fantasy, or mystery?
- Scroobius Pip’s poem, “Library” (read by Chris Hawkins; see below)
P.D. James, author of the Inspector Dalgliesh and Cordelia Grey mystery series as well as The Children of Men and Death Comes to Pemberley, died Thursday at the age of 94. Some of her Dalgliesh novels were adapted for television by ITV and later the BBC, and broadcast in the U.S. as part of the Mystery collection on PBS. Her mysteries were well written, absorbing, and intellectually satisfying; A.S. Byatt says of her work that it “was on the borderline between crime fiction and literary fiction.” Rest in peace, Ms. James, and thank you for many hours of fascinating reading. [Obituaries: BBC (quoted); The Guardian; Washington Post]
Book & Movie Announcements
- Neil Gaiman Announces Air Dates for Good Omens Radio Adaptation (GalleyCat). Click this; you need to see Neil Gaiman holding a flaming sword!
- A Non-Comprehensive-But-Awesome Accounting of Your Favorite [SFF] Books of 2014 (Tor.com)
- Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors (The Hollywood Reporter)
Just for Fun
Neil Gaiman reads from a “bad Neil Gaiman” writing contest (Wits radio show)
That’s it for this week!
I am pulling off so many books from the Tor.com 2014 SFF list! The article about the new Shakespeare Folio is also very cool! Nice round up of cool stuff as always – Thanks!
Stephanie recently posted…Saturdays in the Garden – The Gratitude Edition
Thanks! Yes, I’m pulling some off that Tor.com list, too; it’s a great roundup of what was good this year.
Bea @Bea's Book Nook
I was surprised when I heard about P.D. James but mainly because I thought she’d died a few years ago. The news about the Shakespeare folio was quite cool.
Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Bea Reviews A Last Goodbye by J.A. Jance
I would love to see that folio!
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I hadn’t heard about PD James but am saddened. I listened to one of her books not to long ago and found I enjoy her much more in audio than in book form so I’m looking forward to try more. The folio sounds amazing and wouldn’t you have loved to be there when they discovered it! How exciting! I kind of want to take that Harry Potter class. That sounds like a lot of fun.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…My Perfect Pantry – Review
The class does sound like fun, doesn’t it? PD James is a terrific author, though sometimes a bit dark for me. I read a bunch of her books in my 20s, but I don’t think I’ve read one since; I should probably try them again. She had a good long life – 94?! Wow.
R_Hunt @ View From My Home
Thanks for the TOR list.
Sad to see about PD James– I loved the movie version of Children of Men, but haven’t read her books (yet).
I agreed 100% with the article about being embarrassed by our books–please, can we just get over this?! I feel this is still alive and well in small doses on certain book blogs (not any of my go-to ones, so no one try to figure out if I’m talking about you!) There’s nothing wrong with any genre if it gives someone pleasure, and I think we’ve come a long way from the days of “women’s” fiction vs literary fiction.
R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…Shadowmarch Review
I agree, Rita – though maybe not quite far enough, if people still feel embarrassed about their reading choices. I have to admit that I’m not immune to a little embarrassment myself, especially when I see what some of my college friends are reading. I’ve sometimes explained my own preference for lighter fiction by pointing out that I read challenging books for my job, so of course I choose entertaining rather than heavily challenging books for my downtime. But I shouldn’t feel the need to justify it.