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:
- “One Way for an Indie Bookstore to Last? Put Women ‘First'” Chicago bookstore ‘Women and Children First’ has offered books by and about women, including children’s books featuring active heroines, for over 30 years. Now it’s for sale. (Cheryl Corley, NPR Books)
- Amazon’s Kindle Matchbook Program is up; it offers readers the chance to purchase an e-copy of books they already own (if bought through Amazon) at very low prices. Publishers have to opt in, and it looks to me as if they do so by title, since only some of the Avon titles I’ve bought are on my Matchbook list.
- So few new or popular titles are in the Matchbook program that NBC’s Helen Popkin complains about “70,000 shades of blah?”
- Amazon also unveiled an early-access program called Kindle First. You can choose one Amazon Publishing title a month for before-publication access, and get it for $1.99, or free if you’re an Amazon Prime member. (Publishers Weekly)
- HarperCollins honors the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis’s death by launching a world-wide campaign celebrating his works, beginning with a redesign of two websites dedicated to Lewis: www.cslewis.com and www.narnia.com. (Press release)
- Overdue book could lead to arrest if you live in Copperas Cove, Texas — as one man already discovered when he was arrested for not returning a 3-year-overdue book. (Our Town Texas)
- Neil Gaiman to Teach Fantasy Fiction Workshop at Bard College. I’m envious — what a treat for those students! (Maryann Yin, GalleyCat)
- “Present Tense: Allie Brosh, Donald Glover, and Hurting Right Now” looks at the difference between looking back on serious depression or other mental issues vs. reporting on it from the trenches, and finds value in the latter.
For Writers & Bloggers:
- NaNoWriMo started Friday, but it’s not too late to sign up!
- The Book Blogger Survey results are in! River City Reading posted Part 1: Your Blogs on 10/29. Sophisticated Dorkiness followed with Part 2: Some Blogger Attitudes on 10/30. And Literate Housewife concluded the trio of posts with Part 3: The Voice of Former Bloggers on 10/31.
- “Writers Illustrated: A Q&A with Jeff VanderMeer, author of ‘Wonderbook'”. Wonderbook is a ‘Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction’, and it offers an unusual twist: the text is heavily integrated with illustrations by a variety of artists.
Book & Movie Announcements:
- Peek Inside J. J. Abrams’ [and Doug Dorst’s] Absurdly Beautiful New Project . It’s two books in one: a novel called Ship of Theseus, purportedly by S. V. Straka, and the story of two students trying to figure out the mystery behind the enigmatic author, told in handwritten margin notes and ephemera such as postcards and letters, stuck between the pages. The project is called S. and is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local bookstores. (On Thursday, B&N was cheaper by about $5.) A word of caution: judging by the video trailer on Amazon, this is a more than a bit creepy. (Buzzfeed)
- And if that really gets you going, you can enter a cipher contest based on the book. The winner gets lunch with J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst.
- The trailer for ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is out! “The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past — to save our future.”
- Willy Nelson has signed a deal for his ‘unvarnished’ autobiography with Little, Brown, and Company. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Dreamworks bought the rights to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. (Maryann Yin, GalleyCat)
- Amazon Studios will make pilot for show based on Michael Connelly’s mystery/thriller series, Bosch. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- ‘Wimpy Kid’ holiday special in the works (Maryann Yin, GalleyCat)
Free & Bargain books:
- The 23 Best Parts of Being a Book Lover (Buzzfeed)
- This Map Will Delight Book Lovers Everywhere — it features over 600 titles in a map of a make-believe city. (Buzzfeed)
- Go Book Yourself bills itself as “Book recommendations by humans, because algorithms are so 1984.” Check out this Tumblr for great recommendations in the “if you like this, try this” format.
Just for fun:
- Googly Eye Books puts — you guessed it — googly eyes on book covers. A quirky, irreverent, and oddly amusing Tumblr blog.
That’s it for this week!
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.