News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.
- Utah school district that banned Bible considers removing Book of Mormon (The Guardian) To be clear, the Davis school district didn’t remove the Bible from all schools, just elementary and middle schools (based on a parent’s complaint.)
- Book Riot has a thorough (and depressing) roundup of the week’s book-banning news.
- AI Is About to Turn Book Publishing Upside-Down (Thad McIlroy, Publishers Weekly)
- ChatGPT’s secret reading list: Turns out the bot is a giant sci-fi/fantasy nerd (Adam Rogers, Insider) ChatGPT4 has apparently been trained by ingesting, among other things, the first Harry Potter book, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Hunger Games, Dune, and a lot of other SFF. That’s in addition to classics now in public domain. Essayist Adam Rogers is less interested in the copyright implicates (which are significant), and more interested in both how scientists have been figuring out the ChatGPT’s fictional tastes (which, he points out, mirror those of the white men who dominate the tech world in general), and what the impact might be on ChatGPT’s output.
- All the rage: the rise of the menopause novel (Lisa Allerdice, The Guardian)
- Consent in Romance (a guest post by Eliot West for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) West first discusses what we mean by consent, and what a better definition might look like, before recommending several books and authors that explore consent particularly well or in interesting ways. I came into the conversation early, but I imagine by now there are a lot more recommendations in the comments.
- The Ethics of Writing Hard Things in Family Memoir (Kelly McMasters, Literary Hub)
- A Cosmic Twist: The Elemental Art of Spinning (Kosmos) In this lovely philosophical/ spiritual/literary essay, writer and spinner Lory Widmer Hess explores the act and imagery of spinning in mythology and fairytales, as well as through history.
- How I’m Retraining My Shrinking Attention Span (Carolini Ciucci, Book Riot)
- “A poem’s not a thing” (a sonnet by Lory Widmer Hess)