This Week In Books

Stop Donating THE DA VINCI CODE to Used Bookstores: This Week in Books

Sorry, Dan Brown, you’re not welcome at the Oxfam Shop in Swansea. Oookay, that’s totally not true. I’m sure the shop’s employees and customers would love to meet the man himself, but they ask–they beg–please, stop giving them copies of The Da Vinci Code. The charity shop has been receiving an average of one copy of the book per week, resulting in a dearth of space for other books. The situation grew dire enough that the Oxfam posted a sign asking customers to stop it with the copies. Don’t worry, Oxfam. Next time I’m in the UK, I promise I won’t show up on your doorstep with The Da Vinci Code. But how about this copy of Fifty Shades of Grey?

Whatever your opinion of Amazon, it has undeniably become the online book buying destination. So when the retailer launched Amazon Charts, their first weekly bestseller list, the book world took note. Amazon Charts will include not only their top 20 bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction, but also the 20 most read books in both categories. The list is unconventional with a unique array of features, which you can see for yourself.

Lately, when I read the news I hear a desperate, shell-shocked voice in my head. It mutters, “But that can’t happen…right?” But when I learned about the ceasing of all library services in Oregon’s Douglas County where residents voted down a ballot measure that would have saved their libraries from a funding crisis, that voice went silent. It did happen, it does happen, it will happen when we don’t make libraries a priority; when we don’t stop to consider the important services they provide, and I’m not just talking about books. I hear an ominous voice and it says, “Anything can happen.”

Netflix’s adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, Anne with an E, was released last Friday, and I’ve watched them all. I was ready to curl up into a new version of the cozy story I’d loved so much as a kid (although, truly, Emily of New Moon was my jam), but where’s the cozy at, Netflix? I’m going to watch the next season when it’s out, but I can’t deny HuffPost’s conclusion that the show seems to revel in Anne’s pain. That opening sequence tho.

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Tender: Stories by Sofia Samatar, published in hardcover and ebook from Small Beer Press.

Sofia Samatar’s first novel won three awards. Now you can dive into twenty of her stories collected for the first time in Tender: Stories. Discover the “Ogres of East Africa” or read a student’s paper on the maybe-urban-legend-maybe-not “Walkdog.” Feel your heart break reading “Selkie Stories Are for Losers” and wonder who if anyone is telling the truth in “An Account of the Land of Witches.” Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, said “These stories are windows into an impressively deep imagination guided by sensitivity, joyful intellect, and a graceful mastery of language.”

This Week In Books

People Who Read Books Are Nicer: This Week In Books

People Who May or May Not Wear Lab Coats Think We’re Nice

“…According to a new study, reading regularly could make you kinder and more empathetic.” Emphasis mine. Well, are we or aren’t we kinder? Because I already bought the t-shirt. Our friends at Kingston University in London conducted a cheeky study, finding that readers were more likely to act in a socially acceptable manner compared to those who preferred watching television. Readers of drama, romance, experimental, and comedy fiction got extra high fives for positive vibes. I personally suspect that the masterminds behind the study forgot to mention that watching television adaptations also counts.

Adapt This! PBS Announces Little Women Miniseries

Oh, you hadn’t heard? Apparently, we’re not done talking about new adaptations of classics. Netflix got Anne of Green Gables, Hulu got The Handmaid’s Tale, and now PBS and MASTERPIECE have announced they’re teaming up with Colin Callender’s Playground and the BBC for a television adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless tale of sisterhood, Little Women. Casting has yet to be announced, but we do know that the three-part miniseries will sit nicely beside the BBC Special Edition Pride & Prejudice DVD box set.

Those Bookish Clintons

First, we hear that former POTUS Bill Clinton is writing a book with James Patterson. The suspense novel, The President is Missing, will be published jointly by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Company in June 2018. Then, we get the news that Hillary Clinton will appear at BookExpo in New York City on the evening of June 1 (what’s that line going to look like?). Go on with your bookish selves, Clintons.

Dapper Tot Reads A Cool Million

Not only do you have to read about Britt David Magnet Academy kindergartner Breyden Suragh to celebrate the fact that he read a million words during the school year; you also have to visit the page to witness his epic-cool fashion sense. Someone get this child a book bow-tie! Six-year-old Breyden and his accomplished peers received celebrity treatment as part of his school’s “millionaire bash” for kids who reached that million-word mark. The reader and his school gained viral attention thanks to his uncle who gave his nephew a shoutout on Twitter. We applaud you, Breyden and crew.

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicholson, published by Quirk Books.

Think comic books can’t feature strong female protagonists? Think again! In The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen you’ll meet the most fascinating exemplars of the powerful, compelling, entertaining, and heroic female characters who’ve populated comic books from the very beginning. With vintage art, publication details, a decade-by-decade survey of industry trends and women’s roles in comics, and spotlights on iconic favorites like Wonder Woman and Ms. Marvel, The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen proves that not only do strong female protagonists belong in comics, they’ve always been there.

This Week In Books

The “Cursed Child” Comes To America: This Week In Books

The U.S Debut of “The Cursed Child” (Refresh Screen. Refresh Screen.)

I predict an internet apocalypse this fall when tickets for the Broadway production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” go on sale. The tea leaves at the bottom of this morning’s cuppa spoke of much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the ticket status switches from on sale to sold out (in the span of a half-second). Those Potterheads who sacrifice their firstborns for a golden ticket will finally have an opportunity to see the award-winning production’s U.S. debut at New York City’s Lyric Theatre in April 2018. Look out for the cast list in the coming months!

Let’s Hear It For Barbershop Books!

The National Book Foundation announced Barbershop Books’ 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize win. And oh how this community-based literacy program deserves that $10,000 prize. Working to help young black boys identify as readers, Barbershop Books has partnered with more than 50 barbershops across 20 cities in 12 different states to provide books to these underserved readers. The program makes books black boys want to read accessible in a place they visit regularly. I don’t know about you, but I was in dire need of that warm, fuzzy moment.

Librarians Call Out Little Free Libraries

A couple of Canadian librarians made a case against Little Free Libraries in a recent article for the Journal of Radical Librarianship, showing that Little Free Libraries predominantly appear in medium- to high-income Toronto neighborhoods. The pair critique these book exchanges as vehicles for virtue signaling by homeowners who aren’t necessarily working to water book deserts by planting them in affluent, educated neighborhoods. They also express anxieties over library budget cuts in Toronto and whether Little Libraries are growing at the expense of the public library system. Take it with a grain of salt–their study isn’t all-encompassing, but it’s an interesting conversation.

An Inviting First Look At Murder On The Orient Express

Entertainment Weekly presented a first look at the upcoming film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and the photos have done little to convince me that I do not, in fact, want to hitch a ride on this train. I’ll say no more–judge for yourself.

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Woman No. 17: A Novel by Edan Lepucki.

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has taken a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the guest house, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her teenage son, Seth. But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Seth takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new from Edan Lepucki novel defies expectation.