News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- The ALA announced the 2017 Newbery, Caldecott, and other awards for young readers. You can read about the Newbery Medal winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and this years Honor medalists here.
- Ransomware attack paralyses St. Louis libraries as hackers demand bitcoins. (The Guardian)
- The NYT is dropping several bestseller lists, including mass-market paperbacks, graphic novels/manga, middle-grade ebooks and YA ebooks. (Publishers Weekly) Publishers are surprised and unhappy about the cutbacks, particularly comic book/graphic novel and mass-market publishers.
- Hugo Awards to trial “Best Series” category. (Hugo Awards website)
- Sales of Orwell’s 1984 surge after Kellyanne Conway talks of “alternative facts.” (The Guardian)
- For Librarians, 2017 Is Off to a Rough Start (Publishers Weekly) Libraries face potentially difficult challenges in the year ahead, particularly given President Trump’s determination to cut the National Endowment for the Humanities, which has given significant grants to libraries and the ALA over the years.
- Independent Bookstores are on the upswing; the ABA added 87 new members in 2016. (Publishers Weekly)
- Harry Potter character provides name for new species of crab. Yep, Severus Snape is being immortalized — as a crab species. (The Guardian)
- Gene Luen Yang is taking his Read Without Walls initiative nationwide. The initiative, which officially launches in April, challenges readers of all ages (particularly children and young adults) to read more diversely, whether in terms of characters, topic, or format.
- How ‘Sherlock of the library’ cracked the case of Shakespeare’s identity. (Robert McCrum, The Guardian) Afficionadoes of the various “Shakespeare wasn’t written by Shakespeare” theories may not agree, but Heather Wolfe’s research does indicate that Shakespeare himself is the author of the plays, and that “Shakespeare the player” and the William Shakespeare from Stratford-on-Avon, who married Anne Hathaway and left her his second-best bed, are the same person — a fact which I didn’t realize was ever in doubt. The most interesting point for me is that there is still information and evidence to be found, despite all the scholarship and research that has been done in the 400 years since his death.
- Bibliomania: the strange history of compulsive book buying (Lorraine Berry, The Guardian)
Interesting Blogs & Blog Posts
- Dice. Card. Go! is a website that reviews board and card games — most of which I’ve never even heard of. Here’s a list of all their reviews.
Book & Movie Announcements
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Hogwarts textbook, is now available at Audible, narrated by Eddie Redmayne.
- 12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms (Mental Floss) — an interesting etymology of words we only use in specific idioms: left in the lurch, to ride roughshod, and so on.
Really Cool / Just for Fun
That’s it for this week!