News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, giveaways on this and other blogs, and other cool stuff.
Books & Ebooks in the News:
- The Independent will no longer review gender-specific children’s books, which it claims (with justification) are demeaning. UK organization Let Toys be Toys is also promoting the de-genderfication of books (and toys).
- “Roxana Robinson Elected President of the Authors Guild” (GalleyCat)
- “NCAC, ACLU Join Fray in So. Carolina Lit Controversy”. The background, in case you’ve missed it, is that the SC state legislature cut some funding for two public universities because students were being assigned controversial books — specifically, Allison Bechdel’s graphic memoir at one school, and a collection of essays on gay/lesbian issues at another school. (Publishers Weekly)
- Barnes & Noble launches self-publishing platform Nook Press in the UK. (The Bookseller) Nook Press is also expanding into 6 other countries: France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. (Good E Reader)
- Kobo is battling the Canadian government over agency pricing for ebooks. Seems to me we’ve seen this show before, in the US. Kobo has some ammunition, though, and has won a temporary stay. (Good E Reader) For a less sympathetic viewpoint, check out The Digital Reader’s post.
- “Digital Publishing on the Rise in Canada” (article and infographic, Good E Reader)
- “One reason to look forward to getting older” is that older adults spend a lot more time reading for pleasure. (Washington Post, and datawovn)
- Apple’s trial for ebook price-fixing may be delayed. Originally set for May, the trial is facing delays due to motions from both sides. (Publishers Weekly)
|illustration by Christopher Myers|
- “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature” (Christopher Myers, New York Times Sunday Review)
- “Children’s Books By and About People of Color Published in the United States” – statistics, from 1994-2013. What’s really appalling is that there are few children’s books about African Americans now than there were in the 1990s.
- “Updating the Copyright Act? It’s up to all of us” (Parker Higgins and Mitch Stoltz, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
- “The Long Summer of Not-Reading” (Peter Damien, Book Riot)
- “Do spoilers for books actually improve them?” (The Guardian)
- “Neil Gaiman on Why Scary Stories Appeal to Us, the Art of Fear in Children’s Books, and the Most Terrifying Ghosts Haunting Society” (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- How many books are on your TBR list? Book Riot is running a short poll. (Omigosh, probably around 900 on all my lists put together.)
- Opportunities for Writers: April and May 2014 is a lengthy list of contests, grants, prizes, magazine opportunities, lectures, and programs compiled by Aerogramme Writers Studio. (On the basis of this list alone, I’d say they are worth following.)
Book and Movie Announcements:
- The Giver trailer is out!
- Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf finally being published, according to The Guardian. Son Christopher Tolkien has edited the manuscript, a task he’s quite familiar with after editing many of his father’s other posthumously-published works. The book will also contain a series of lectures Tolkien gave on the poem.
- George R. R. Martin and Game of Thrones TV series creators will split books four and five into two seasons each, giving the author time to stay ahead of the show. Season 4, coming soon, is already based on the second half of book three. (Maryann Yin, GalleyCat)
- Want a walk-on in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay? Charitybuzz is auctioning one off, along with time to meet the stars. The estimated value is $10,000 (US); bidding was up to $9,000 as of Thursday morning. The auction closes on Thurs., 27 Mar 2014 at 2:00:00 p.m. EDT. You can read more about it on Screen Rant.
- The Maze Runner has a teaser trailer:
- 15 Cool Typography Designs of Your Favorite Literary Quotes (heavy on the Harry Potter quotes!)
- 33 Reasons Why You’re Addicted to Books – great quotes about books and reading from Buzzfeed.
- The 100 Most Beautiful Words in the English language. Awesome. (Eidetic Traces blog)
- The 10 Worst Boyfriends in High School Literature. An irreverent, funny, and mercilessly accurate take on heroes from the books a lot of us read in high school English classes. (Though Catalog)
- The Fictional Places That Attract Real-Life Tourists (The Atlantic)
- Check out this bookcase with a built-in ladder!
- And Is This The Most Awesome Library in the World? shows us the Mafra National Palace library in Portugal. They use bats for bug control. Seriously. (Book Riot)
- “The Awesomeness of My Little Free Library” (Swapna Krishna, Book Riot). I’d love to do something like this, but we live on a relatively quiet street in the ex-urbs. (And the property owners’ association would probably say no anyway. Spoilsports.)
I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, lists, and links for News & Notes, so please let me know if you see (or write!) anything that might be good for this feature. You can leave me a comment or send me an email — my address is on the About/Review Policy/Contact page.
I am an Oxford comma girl! 🙂
Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Me too: absolutely, definitely, and without question. 😉
Lots of cool stuff in this post as always! The very first article you link to about de-genderfication struck a chord. I was recently talking to my sister and she mentioned that my nephew was currently reading Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series and I popped out with “But those are girl books!” and immediately wanted to punch myself in the face. Thankfully I was not speaking to my nephew and it definitely made me think about how I perceive books and gender. Thanks for all the good links to explore!
Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard
You know, I’ve caught myself doing the same thing, despite the fact that I don’t really believe in “girls’ books” and “boys’ books.” Or rather, I believe that some books are written and more are marketed that way, but that a good book should transcend any such boundaries. Yet the gendered books concept has become really ingrained in readers and book-buyers as well as publishers. (Which begs the question: why would publishers want to limit a book’s potential audience?)
Glad you enjoyed the other links, too!
I love that bookshelf as I am short. 🙂 thanks for keeping us in the know!
Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard
I’m short, too, so I could use a whole roomful of those shelves! Or just give me a room walled in floor-to-ceiling shelves with one of those ladders-on-rails like we used to have when I worked at Waldenbooks. That would make me happy. 🙂
I’m an Oxford comma girl all the way! 😀
Lots of good links and now I’m off to read them, starting with the TBR pile.