News & Notes – Coronavirus Lockdown, Week 2 (3/21/2020)

March 21, 2020 News & Notes 4

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.

Bookish News

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): )
  • The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles. ” Magic, mayhem, m/m romance.” First in a series. Also available in epub and mobi at
  • Widdershins by Jordan Hawk. “Gay Victorian magician. Dashing Pinkerton detective. Badass lady archaologist. They fight monsters.”

Free Movies & Shows

More Lockdown Resources

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:

Bookish Quotes

Stay safe, stay healthy, and hang in there, everyone!

4 Responses to “News & Notes – Coronavirus Lockdown, Week 2 (3/21/2020)”

  1. RO

    You give lots and lots of good and valuable info here, and the freebie info is much appreciated. I agree – the spread of disinformation seems to be running rampant, and I’m starting to get all these strange messages via email (which I’m not opening, of course) I had to grab some fruit from the grocery stores, and there was literally no meat to be found as I walked around the store. I also noticed that pizza and cookies were missing too. Fruit, thankfully as in abundance, and it seems no one wants to eat healthy for some reason.(lol) Hope you’re safe and well. Hugs, RO
    RO recently posted…NOT MUCH TO SEE HEREMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thank you, RO! We have been avoiding the grocery store, and will continue to do so as much as possible. We can go at least another week without a trip, and maybe more. I stocked for several weeks a couple of weeks ago, and Mr. Bookwyrm about 9 days ago. I’ve got to figure out how to use up most of a gallon of milk before the 28th, though!