News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, giveaways on this and other blogs, and other cool stuff.
Books & Ebooks in the News:
|Illustrated manuscript from Timbuktu|
- Donate to help save priceless Timbuktu library collections. You may have heard about the desperate effort to evacuate hundreds of thousands of priceless manuscripts from Timbuktu as fundamentalist rebels took over the city. Those manuscripts are still under threat, this time from the less-than-ideal conditions in which they are being stored. They need to be properly cataloged, stabilized and conserved, and placed in archival storage until they can safely be restored to their native country. There’s a crowdfunding effort under way on Indiegogo. If you can donate, that’s great. Even if you can’t, please share this announcement; there are only 5 days left, and they’ve only met about $40,000 of their $100,000 goal. You can read more about the project at the T160K website; click the following link to read a BBC story about the evacuation and project.
- “Eddy Cue Takes the Stand at Apple Trial” The Apple VP asserted that his company was not part of any conspiracy between the major publishers to fix ebook prices through the agency model. (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly
- Also, “Random’s McIntosh Will Not Testify; Apple’s Snyder Goes Ballistic”
- “Children’s/YA Sales Rose 13% in 2012” (Publishers Weekly)
- The Bram Stoker Awards will be announced Saturday 6/15 (tonight) at 10:00 pm EDT. The Bram Stoker Awards go to the year’s best horror books. Follow this link to watch the live webcast. Click here for a list of nominated books and links to free samples.
- Acclaimed author Iain Banks, whose works included nonfiction, literary fiction, science fiction, and thrillers, died last Sunday in Scotland at the age of 59. The New York Times and The Guardian are among the many newspapers which marked his passing. Neil Gaiman, a friend and admirer of Banks, posted a moving tribute on his blog.
- “What Kids Are Reading” infographic from Renaissance Learning looks at the reading habits of high school students in 2012. Click these links for a summary or the full “What Kids Are Reading” report, click here. One caveat: Renaissance Learning is the company that produces the Accelerated Reader software and tests, which many public schools use to encourage reading and assess progress.
- “Want to Learn How to Think? Read Fiction”. Apparently, reading fiction increases our tolerance for ambiguity, which can lead to fewer snap judgements and less rigid thinking. (Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard)
- “Do you ever read any of the books you [weed]?” A cautionary tale about the Urbana Free Library director’s arbitrary decision to remove from the collection any nonfiction titles published before 2003. Seriously?!! My jaw is still hanging open. (Tracy Nectoux, Smile Politely)
- “Every Library and Museum in America, Mapped” Did you know there are more public libraries in the US than there are McDonald’s restaurants? I find that reassuring. You’ll also find a map of museums here. (Emily Badger, The Atlantic Cities)
For Writers & Bloggers:
|covers by Sarah Hansen|
- An interview with book cover designer Sarah Hansen, who has designed covers for top-selling self-published authors including Abbie Glines as well as covers for Big Six publishers. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- “Writers Live Everywhere” (and why shouldn’t they?) (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Here’s the cover reveal for Jennifer A. Nielsen’s The Shadow Throne, the third book in the Ascendance Trilogy, scheduled for release on March 1, 2014. I can hardly wait!
Free & Bargain books:
- Remember that the Sync free audiobook downloads begin May 30! You will need to download the Overdrive Media Console to be able to download the audiobooks. Here are this week’s and next week’s titles:
- June 13 to June 19: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (read by Will Patton; Scholastic Audiobooks) and Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (read by Robert Ramirez; Recorded Books)
- June 20 to June 26: Once by Morris Gleitzman (read by Morris Gleitzman; Bolinda Audio) and Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (read by Dion Graham; christianaudio)
- In honor of Father’s Day, “15 Books That Would Make Great Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts” (Flavorwire)
- Also, “The 10 Worst Dads in Books.” (Publishers Weekly)
- “Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads” These are more literary SSF than many, and include Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. (Annalee Newitz, NPR Books)
- “School’s Out” 5 Great Summer Reads for Teens” (Petra Mayer, NPR Books)
- The NYT list of Beach Reads for 2013 (New York Times Books)
- “50 most inspiring quotes about books and reading” (Ebook Friendly)
- The first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out! Squeeee! You can also see it at thehobbit.com. i09 has the trailer as well as a bunch of gorgeous stills (in the perfect shape for Facebook cover photos, should you wish to use them that way. Although why they cast someone as Bard who looks a lot like Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner is a bit perplexing.)
- OpenDyslexic is a free font designed by Abelardo Gonzalez to make it easier for dyslexic people to read by weighting the bottom of letters and slanting letters like d and b from left to right, in the direction you read. Find out more about it and even download the font.
Just for fun:
- “NSA Surveillance as told through classic children’s books” (The Guardian)
I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, lists, and links for News & Notes, so please let me know if you see (or write!) anything that might be good for this feature. You can leave me a comment or send me an email — my address is on the About/Review Policy/Contact page.