News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
In light of the coronavirus and the impact it is having on all of us around the globe, I’m expanding News & Notes to include virus-related links, such as resources for people who are staying home for an extended period of time.
- Publishers Weekly is maintaining a list of closures and cancellations in the book world. From layoffs and curbside check-out offers at chain bookstores and well-known indies, to cancellation and rescheduling of events like BookExpo and BookCon, you can find it all in one post. (I had been considering posting some of them individually, but there are so many that I can’t possibly keep up… and why duplicate what PW has already done?)
- How the Book Biz Is Coping with the Coronavirus (Publishers Weekly)
- The 2020 Lambda Literary Awards Finalists have been announced. This is the shortlist, as it were; the winners will be announced on June 8.
- Penguin Random House has created a temporary open license for online story time and read-aloud videos and live events. The license is limited to teachers, librarians, and booksellers who are trying to move class reading and storytime online. Videos may not be made public, and livestreams may not be archived. Read more here.
Worth Reading/Viewing (not book-related this week)
- Russian media ‘spreading Covid-19 disinformation’ (The Guardian) Surprise, surprise. So please, everybody, check to make sure you are getting and sharing information only from reputable sites: the WHO, the CDC, Reuters, AP, and well-respected news sources like the BBC and New York Times. (The NYT has eliminated the paywall for its coronavirus coverage.) Don’t pass along tweets or posts that look like they’re from a doctor or nurse in Italy or the US, or from the friend of a friend of a friend, unless you can find that story in the reputable news outlets as well. And as for anything claiming to be a preventative or cure — there simply isn’t one yet, so don’t stop social distancing, washing your hands, and obeying CDC guidelines and state and local health directives.
- Grocery rules for your coronavirus lockdown: Buy beans, freeze milk, don’t hoard, and more (CNN)
Free Fiction Online
A number of authors and companies are offering free fiction to lift your spirits while you’re on lockdown. Some of these links go to Twitter, where you’ll find links to download the free books/stories.
- Scribd is offering one month free. The digital book service has a month-long free promo, and lots of bestsellers to borrow. ($9.99 after that, but you can cancel anytime.)
- Audible Stories. Audible is offering free streaming of stories and books for kids as well as classics often read in high school (or college). There are books in six different languages. Audible says they’ll continue doing this as long as schools are closed.
- Spotify has many of Maggie Stiefvater’s audiobooks for free, including the entire Raven Boys trilogy. Just download the app, search for her name and then look at her “albums.” (You will have to put up with the ads, unless you get the Premium version.) There are some audiobooks by other authors on Spotify, too, but you have to really search for them. (Thanks to Robin for the tip.)
- Fantasy author Jim C. Hines started a Twitter thread for authors to add links to their free (and hopefully upbeat) short fiction, starting with his own “The Creature in Your Neighborhood” and a podcast reading of “Goblin Lullaby.” Other authors who posted links include Beth Cato, Alex Acks (aka Alex Wells), Matthew Claxton, and Effie Sieberg.
- 3 romance novellas by Lucy Eden. ” I took 3 of my softest, sweetest, funniest, fluffiest & steamiest novellas, proven to cheer people up & break them out of book slumps. I bundled them up & they’re free for a limited time. Enjoy!” Content warnings (w/ spoilers): http://lucyeden.com/cw )
- The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles. ” Magic, mayhem, m/m romance.” First in a series. Also available in epub and mobi at https://gumroad.com/l/magpielord
- Widdershins by Jordan Hawk. “Gay Victorian magician. Dashing Pinkerton detective. Badass lady archaologist. They fight monsters.”
Free Movies & Shows
- Universal Pictures makes its current in-theater movies available on demand in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move includes movies like Emma and The Invisible Man, which will be available through rent-on-demand services like Apple, Amazon, and Sky. Rental prices are similar to two adult ticket prices (at least in my area), which is steep if you’re single but a bargain for families.
- THE SHOW MUST GO ONLINE Launches – Livestreamed Readings of Shakespeare. They plan to livestream readings of every Shakespeare play, in order of when they were written (insofar as that is known.) ” It’s all over Twitter right now that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while quarantined by the plague – if he carried on, we can too.” They plan one play per week. It’s not clear if the plays will remain available after the livestream.
- The Metropolitan Opera will be streaming one opera per day, beginning on Monday, March 16. (source: Broadway World)
- BroadwayHD Has a 1-week free trial, and nearly 300 stage musicals and plays in their vault (plus a couple of operas and a fair few ballets.)
More Lockdown Resources
- All the virtual concerts, plays, museums and other culture you can enjoy from home (CNN)
- Virtual School Activities: virtual tours, virtual field trips, and live webcams
- Five Gardens You Can Virtually Tour, Just in Time for the First Day of Spring (House Beautiful)
- A List Of Live Virtual Concerts To Watch During The Coronavirus Shutdown (NPR)
- And you can find more links on last week’s News & Notes – Coronavirus Closures Edition (3/14/2020)
Cool, Fun, and Awesome
A little Gilbert & Sullivan parody to alleviate the stress we are all feeling. (Content warning: While for the most part, the song is not political, there is one line that is very anti-Trump. If that bothers you, it may be best not to play the video.)
And one more list, just for fun: