News & Notes – 3/07/2020

March 7, 2020 News & Notes 1


News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff

Bookish News

Worth Reading/Viewing

  • Are novelists obliged to tell the story of their private life? (Layla AlAmmar, The Guardian) Like the author of this piece, I support the call for more diversity in publishing and more #OwnVoices books, but that doesn’t mean fiction authors should be forced to prove their “right” to tell a story that may or may not draw elements from their own experience. (Frankly, authors should be, and for generations were, allowed a measure of privacy.)
  • Oprah, Macmillan Promise ‘To Do Better’ to Amplify Latinx Voices (Claire Kirch, Publishers Weekly)
  • How J. Edgar Hoover Used the Power of Libraries for Evil — in particular, the power of the card catalog. You may not know (as I did not) that Hoover began his Washington career as a clerk at the Library of Congress. He took the information-organization techniques he learned with him to the Justice Department and then the FBI. (Alana Mohamed, Literary Hub)
  • Fever dreams: did author Dean Koontz really predict coronavirus? That’s not actually the focus of this article, which explores how fiction about pandemics tends — as humans have done for millenia — to attribute agency to the disease’s existence and spread: gods, aliens, mad scientists, bioweapons. (In reality, as the author points out, “disease has no agency.”)
  • Why I Keep a Reading Journal And How To Start Your Own (Megan Mabee, Book Riot) This article isn’t about keeping track of your reading, but about having a place to write down the quotes that strike you from the book. Personally, I’m not sure I would call it a “reading journal,” since to me that encompasses much more than simply a collection of quotes… but I’m not sure what else to call it. I use my own version of this type of journal only for quotes that inspire or comfort me; most of them have to do with either creativity, or faith and spirituality.

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