News & Notes — 6/15/13

June 15, 2013 public libraries, The Hobbit, Timbuktu 14

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 websiteclick the following link to read a BBC story about the evacuation and project.

In Memoriam: 

  • 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.

Worth Reading:

For Writers & Bloggers:

covers by Sarah Hansen


Book Announcements:



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)

    Awesome lists: 

    One of Flavorwire’s suggestions for Father’s Day

    Really Cool:  

    • The first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out!  Squeeee!  You can also see it at thehobbit.comi09 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.

    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.

    14 Responses to “News & Notes — 6/15/13”

    1. George

      Some additions to the worst dads in books: Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter books & Denethor in The Lord of the Rings.

      • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

        Oh, Denethor! Definitely a bad dad, at least to Faramir. Vernon Dursley spoils Dudley rotten, which makes him a pretty bad father, but I’d say he’s a much worse uncle. 😉

    2. Silverlight

      I’m so glad Kimba showcased your blog! I actually picked up some new news and of course those audio books, I seem to forget about! Hve a great week!

    3. Jan

      You always find some great news…the map of libraries and museums, the hobbit trailer, the news about Iain Banks, the library in Timbuktu and so much more news. Thanks!