News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Lost portrait of Charles Dickens to be displayed at writer’s former home (The Guardian)
- Missing six lines from Jane Austen letter discovered after 200 years, and are revealed to be about laundry (The Telegraph)
- Revealed: AmazonSmile helps fund anti-vaccine groups (The Guardian) AmazonSmile is the company’s automatic charity donation program. A customer signs up for AmazonSmile and chooses one charity (which has already registered with the company, or is listed with GuideStar) to receive “0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products.” Amazon has not barred charitable organizations from the program as long as they met the eligibility requirements and do not “engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities.” To be fair, a number of organizations with much more laudable missions also receive AmazonSmile donations. Some are large and well-known, others are small. For the latter in particular, every penny helps, and AmazonSmile let supporters to help financially (in a small way) without any additional impact on their own pocket. I can’t fault the program as a whole, but I do feel concerned that Amazon isn’t vetting eligible organizations better, particularly in light of growing anti-vax sentiment and the resulting outbreaks of preventable and potentially dangerous diseases.
- On a related note, Amazon pulls books offering dangerous ‘cures’ for autism (The Guardian)
- What no one tells you about #KonMari and book regret (Guiltless Reading blog)
- J.K. Rowling found out her books helped save this baby’s life. Her response was magic. (Upworthy) This is a lot more about the parents and the child; even if Rowling hadn’t been involved, it’s a moving story.
- What will you be reading next year? London book fair’s star attractions (The Guardian)
- The 50 Best One-Star Amazon Reviews of Wuthering Heights (LitHub)
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- An artist envisioned Disney princesses with careers based on their characters — and they make so much sense (Insider)
That’s it for this week!