News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Obama nominated Carla Hayden for Librarian of Congress. She will be both the first woman and the first African American to hold that post — and the first professional librarian since 1954. (Publishers Weekly)
- Iranian media add $600K to the fatwa against author Salman Rushdie. (The Guardian)
- Van with $350K of rare books stolen in Oakland (Melville Books)
- Simon & Schuster Creates Imprint for Muslim-Themed Children’s Books (New York Times)
- The LA Times Book Prize finalists were announced (Los Angeles Times)
Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird and its belated prequel Go Set a Watchman (published in 2015), died Feb. 19, 2016, at the age of 89. As per her wishes, her funeral was private and without fanfare. (The Guardian) Obituaries: The Guardian; New York Times
Umberto Eco, philospher, polymath, and best-selling author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, died in his native Italy on Feb. 19, 2016 at the age of 84. In addition to his novels, Eco wrote a culture column and was a noted professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna. Obituaries: The Guardian; NPR
- You Don’t Have To Be Beautiful — On YA Fiction And Beauty As A Priority (The Belle Jar)
- How Not To Worry About Teens Reading – a response to David Denby’s New Yorker essay. (Jeff O’Neal, for BookRiot)
- A Masterful Emily Dickinson Movie (Richard Brody, for the New Yorker)
For Writers & Bloggers
- Free Photo Packs for Bloggers (medusa dollmaker blog)
- An Illustrated Guide To Writing People of Color (If you happen to be a person of another color.) (MariNaomi, on Buzzfeed)
Book & Movie Announcements
- Calling all Whovians: The Doctor Who Coloring Book is Out Today (well, actually, Feb. 23) (mental floss)
- Looks like we’re getting a Lord of the Rings Trilogy Coloring Book, too. (The Bookseller)
- Speaking of Doctor Who, if you were devastated when Netflix lost Doctor Who, cry no more: Amazon Prime is picking it up in March
(new seasons 1-8) (zap2it)
- Disney Locks in Ava DuVernay for ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (Shadow and Act blog) DuVernay (Selma) will direct the film, which is scripted by Frozen’s Jennifer Lee. No word yet on a date, and Deadline reports DuVernay is also in negotiations with Dreamworks for a SF film, Intelligent Life.
- Emily Blunt (Into the Woods) is in talks to play Mary Poppins in the Disney sequel, set 20 years after the first movie in Depression-era London. (fandango)
- Casting is complete for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Freebies & Bargains
- The Neverwhere radio play is currently available to stream at BBC Radio 4. It’s an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, and it will only be streamable for another 24 days. The case is amazing and includes James McAvoy as Richard (the main character) along with Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee, Anthony Head, and a lot of other really good actors.
- The books that Ernest Shackleton took on the ship Endurance (BBC News Magazine)
- 19 Books to Read Before the Movie Comes Out in 2016 (BuzzFeed)
- 13 New Books That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again (Bustle) OK, “new” is stretching it, as this list includes books like Stardust and The Tale of Desperaux. But it’s a good list. Just ignore the major blooper of substituting the cover of Karen Robards’ Shiver for Maggie Stiefvater’s book of the same name.
Really Cool / Just for Fun
This poster shows the relationship of modern Indo-European and Uralic languages; the size of the branch and leaves gives some indication of the number of speakers. You can order a copy through HiveMill.
That’s it for this week!