News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- HarperCollins and Amazon have come to an agreement, and the publisher (like several others) will henceforth control prices on its ebooks. So we can expect the prices on Harlequin, Avon, Harper, William Morrow, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, and other HC subsidiaries and imprints to go up. (Slate)
- The most banned and challenged books of 2014, according to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (Los Angeles Times)
- And the perceived role of libraries is changing (ALA’s annual State of America’s Libraries report)
- Amazon Lawsuit Takes On Fake Reviewers – or more specifically, sites that sell fake reviews. (Forbes) At least one of the sites changed their FAQ and review policy after Geekwire did a story on them.
- Feds OK Amazon’s delivery drone tests (for real, this time) (PBS News)
- Recent research strongly suggests Shakespeare wrote much of Double Falsehood, a play published in 1728 by Lewis Theobald. Theobald claimed he based the play on three original Shakespeare manuscripts, now lost, but if the researchers are right, he actually cribbed most of it. (Association for Psychological Science) (Also Playbill)
- A passage from an early draft of A Wrinkle in Time sheds light on L’Engle’s “political philosophy” (Jennifer Maloney, for The Wall Street Journal; you can read the full 3-page passage here.)
- Envisioning a Colorado Haven for Readers, Nestled Amid Mountains of Books (Julie Turkewitz, New York Times) A residential library with a focus on the American West, nestled in a valley at 10,000 feet. (Altitude sickness could be a problem.)
- David Gerrold on the pain and disappointment of hosting the Hugo Awards in this year when a bunch of diversity-haters succeeded in gaming the nominations. Well written, and the supportive comments are worth reading, too. (Incidentally, I’m considering buying a supporting membership next year just to fight this kind of politics.)
- Why We Shouldn’t Sugarcoat YA (BookRiot)
- Being a Feminist in the Kid’s Section (Danika Ellis for BookRiot) A bookseller talks about the dilemma she faces every time she’s asked for recommendations for a boy or a girl.
Book & Movie Announcements
- Sir Ian McKellan will play Cogsworth in Disney’s live-action Beauty & the Beast, joining cast members Emma Watson (Beauty), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Dan Stevens (Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Kline (Beauty’s father) and Audra McDonald (the wardrobe). (Variety; IMDB)
- Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs. Erik Didrikson, the clever, tongue-in-cheek poet behind the tumbrl Pop Sonnets, has a book coming out October 6. He rewrites famous pop and rock songs in Elizabethan sonnet form. If you haven’t read any, you should check out his blog. Great fun!
- Eddie Redmayne is the frontrunner to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts, according to Variety. No offer has been made yet, so don’t get your hopes up too high.
- A new book explores Improbable Libraries, including a camelback bookmobile, library boats, and a “story tower.” (The Guardian) The book by Alex Johnson is available in the US and UK, and probably other countries as well.
- 16 Great Library Scenes in Film (BookRiot)
- 50 Great Genre-Bending Books Everyone Should Read (Flavorwire)
- 9 Of The Worst Habits Of Book Lovers That Leave Us Broke, In Pain, And Lonely (But It’s All Totally Worth It) (Mariana Zepada, for Bustle)
- The Most Overrated Books of All Time (Ranker) You will probably disagree with some of these. That’s OK; you can vote them down (if you think the book is actually good) or up (if you think the book sucks.)
- 16 Incredible Library Bars in London (Buzzfeed) This is a thing? Why are there none where I live?!
- Six award-winning modern libraries (Slate’s The Eye)
- Libraries of the Rich and Famous, part 2 (BookRiot) I want Neil Gaiman’s library in my basement.
- 25 Gifts for Under $25 for Writers and Book Lovers (Aerogramme Writer’s Studio) #2 is a great idea.
Really Cool / Just for Fun
LEGO Libraries & Bookstores (BookRiot)
That’s it for this week!