Bit of a light news week as temperatures fall and the holidays turn up. Enjoy some potpourri!
Master List of “Best Books of 2016” Lists
For nine years running now, David Gutowski is aggregating every ‘best of’ list he can find at his beloved site Largehearted Boy. At writing, the list is more than 400 lists strong, with entries ranging from the usual suspects (best fiction, best memoirs, etc.) to the unexpected and esoteric (best historical geology books, for example). The breadth and depth of Gutowski’s collected lists is always stunning, and it serves as a nice reminder that in any given year, even the most voracious of readers only cracks the surface of the available and deserving material.
New Program Offers Croatian Readers 100,000 Free eBooks
A group of government agencies and private donors have partnered with ebook platform Total Boox to create Croatia Reads, a new program built on that offers Croatian residents and tourists alike free unlimited access to the 100,000 bestselling ebooks in the world. Details about how the list was compiled are few, and I would love to know more. This is the first experiment of this size and scope I’ve seen, and if it works, what amazing potential for making more books more available to more people!
NYPL Transforms Former Apartment into Teen Tech Center
In the early twentieth century, many branches of the New York Public Library contained hidden apartments to house custodians charged with shoveling coal to keep the furnaces running overnight. Thirty-two of the current branches once contained these apartments, though only a few remain, and the venerable institution has done all kinds of cool things with them. Most recently, the apartment in the Washington Heights branch was turned into a (now-open) center for after-school activities, media and computer programs, and more for teen patrons. Hard to think of a better way to bring a glorious old building into the present. (And here’s a free idea for the romance writers in the house: an early-20th-century romp between a bookish beauty and a library custodian who invites her up for a closer look at his….shelves.)
Book Riot Reveals 2017 Read Harder Challenge
This update is coming from inside the house! Book Riot has revealed the third annual Read Harder Challenge, created by founding contributor Rachel Manwill. As always, the challenge contains 24 tasks intended to help you expand your reading life and explore new genres, subjects, and perspectives. New this year are six tasks contributed by some of the Riot’s favorite authors, including Roxane Gay, Celeste Ng, and Daniel José Older. If you’re looking for a readerly resolution for the new year, look no further.
We’re giving away a $250 Barnes & Noble shopping spree. Go here to enter.