News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
Sheila Connolly, beloved author of a number of cozy mystery series, died April 20, 2020. Fellow writers say she had been fighting cancer. Connolly was the author of the Orchard Mystery, County Cork, Relatively Dead, Museum, and Victorian Village Mystery series.
Her first published book, Through a Glass, Deadly appeared under the pen name Sarah Atwell in March 2008. The first Orchard Mystery, One Bad Apple, was published in August of the same year. As Sarah Atwell, Connolly wrote two more books in the Glassblowing Mystery series, but she concentrated most on the many series she wrote under her own name. In her 12 years as a writer, Ms. Connolly published 40 books, a significant legacy for such a short time. She was a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America, and wrote a monthly blog post for the Killer Characters blog.
Ms. Connolly was born in the US in 1950, and lived in several states, most recently Massachusetts. A few years ago, she bought a cottage in Ireland. An art historian by training, she graduated from Wellesley College and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University; she then went on to earn an M.B.A. from UCLA Berkley. She worked as an art history, a municipal financial advisor, a fund-raiser, and a professional genealogist before turning to writing full-time. She was married and had one daughter.
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Bestselling romance author Donna Kauffman died April 9, 2020, of pancreatic cancer. She was 60 years old. Kauffman wrote more than 70 romances, most set in small towns. Her books featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists, and were published in 26 countries. Her most recent romance, Under a Firefly Moon, was released in February.
- The Pandemic Is Changing Book-Buying Patterns (Publishers Weekly)
- Kensington to Introduce Larger Mass Market Format (Publishers Weekly) Pro: larger, easier-to-read font and more white space, for those of us with aging eyes. Con: It’s going to seriously mess up the look of series on your shelves, and might not fit on shelves designed for mass-market books.
- Amazon Workers Stage New Protests Over Warehouse Coronavirus Safety in the US (NPR; see also The Guardian’s article)
- Amazon revealed as £250k donor to [UK] bookseller coronavirus fund (The Bookseller)
- Coronavirus Forces Organizers To Cancel San Diego Comic-Con (NPR)
- As the Pandemic Rages, Reedpop Looks Toward 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
- Check out Publisher’s Weekly‘s roundup of coronavirus impacts and closures in the publishing world
Worth Reading/Viewing (not all book-related)
- As Amazon Rises, So Does the Opposition (David Streitfeld, New York Times)
- As Bookshop [Website] Booms, Questions Arise (Alex Green, Publishers Weekly)
- Public Libraries After the Pandemic (Sari Feldman, Publishers Weekly)
- Authors Guild Finds Writers Are Losing Significant Income (Publishers Weekly)
Movies & Shows
Some of these are fundraisers or require tickets. Please consider purchasing or donating to keep these arts institutions alive!
- New York City Ballet Will Stream Free Ballet Broadcasts in April and May (Theater Mania) You can find the broadcasts on NYCB’s YouTube channel.
- The Globe Theater will stream one free play every 2 weeks (click link for dates.) You can see them on The Globe Theatre’s YouTube channel.
- The American Shakespeare Center is streaming 6 plays. Tickets are $10 per person. The ASC is a favorite of ours; they are only a few hours away, and in non-pandemic times, we usually attend between one and three performances a year. The ASC company performs plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights, and their performances are excellent. You can choose between Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Midsummer 90 (a condensed version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream), A King and No King, and The Grapes of Wrath — or watch them all!
More Stay-At-Home Resources
- From Harry Potter at Home to the National Shelf Service: bookish fun for the lockdown (The Guardian)
- 13 Virtual Train Rides From Around the World That You Can Experience Right Now (Travel & Leisure)
- Virtual Background for Online Meetings: DC Comics: Star Wars; Studio Ghibli
- Free patterns for homemade masks: Contoured pattern from Craft Passion; Better Fit Face Mask from Pretty Handy Girl