News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Isaac Newton’s Lost Alchemy Recipe Rediscovered. Or at least one of them. Newton, like some other scientists of his time, was interested in alchemy; the rediscovered manuscript is an alchemical recipe for “Sophick mercury”, believed to be one of the precursors to the philosopher’s stone, which was thought to turn base metals into gold. (While this will evoke shades of Harry Potter for some readers, it’s of particular interest to fans of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy.) (National Geographic)
- Authors support occupation of South London library in protest against closure. The closure comes amid drastic cutbacks in library branches and services across Britain. (The Guardian)
- Authors Pen Letter in Support of NC Youth after the state passed a bill restricting use of public restrooms and locker rooms by biological sex.
- North Carolina bookstore manager urges authors in open letter not to boycott the state after Sherman Alexie cancelled an event at Malaprop’s in Asheville in the wake of the bill. (via Shelf Awareness)
- Ian McKellen returns $1.9 million advance, won’t write memoir after all. (Vanity Fair;
also Daily Mail)
- Toni Morrison wins MacDowell medal for lifetime achievement. (Boston Globe)
- Marilynne Robinson receives Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. (LOC press release) She talked to the Washington Post about it.
- Amazon to Release New Kindle with Rechargeable Protective Case, and also a solar-charged case. (Wall Street Journal; also The Verge)
- Goodreads hits 50 million reviews (Goodreads blog)
- Stop worrying about whether the younger generation reads. A recent Pew study shows that 88% of Millenials have read a book in the past year, compared to 79% of those over age 30. And they’re as likely as older Americans to have used a library. (Pew Research Center)
- Should Independent Booksellers Go Omni-Channel? In other words, should they sell online as well as in-store? Some are quite successful with a store-and-online model. (Judith Rosen, Publishers Weekly)
- Why Cutting-Edge Sci-Fi is Often Penned by Marginalized Writers (Noah Berlatsky, The Establishment)
- Is Catching Up With a Show After Getting Spoiled Worth It? (Natalie Zutter, Tor.com) You could ask the same question about books and book series.
- 34 Compelling First Lines of Famous Books (infographic by Scribendi)
- 20 of 2016’s Most Anticipated Book-to-Movie Adaptations (Entertainment Weekly)
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- How to disguise your router as a book. (Buzzfeed)
That’s it for this week!