I literally can’t believe that there’s only two more days until June. I guess time really does fly when you’re reading good books.
- It seems even presidents are not immune to forgetting to return a library book. Better late than never, a book George Washington borrowed from a New York City library 221 years ago was finally returned to its rightful place last week. Washington borrowed The Law of Nations by Emer de Vattel in 1789 from the New York Society Library. A routine inventory of archived materials revealed that he never returned the book. The estimated overdue fines? $300,000. Luckily, the staff at Mount Vernon offered to replace the missing book with another copy of the same edition.
- Twilight fans, here’s your chance to chat with Ms. Meyer herself. Meyer will host her own fan-centric press junket for the upcoming movie release of Eclipse. She’ll be picking Twilight fan websites out of a hat for an online promotion tour prior to the movie’s July release. Meyer cited a desire to give the fans a chance to ask detailed questions – questions often omitted in traditional media interviews, for the sake of appealing to a wider audience – as her explanation behind the somewhat unorthodox move.
- “Dear Tennis, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” Tennis fans and budding poets alike should find this news intriguing: Wimbledon organizers have appointed Matt Harvey as the tournament’s official poet. During the two week tennis championship, Harvey will compose a poem a day, presumably expounding on a game in which “love means nothing.” It might even start a trend. I’m sure there’s a few intrepid poets out there who could write eloquent verses about the hatred between the Red Sox and the Yankees.
- It’s Jane Austen come to life in a whole new way! The Babelgum website is now offering a new “Sex and the Austen Girl” webseries, based on Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Austen Addict” novels (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict). The hilarious and fun series features two actresses portraying Rigler’s main characters Courtney and Jane as they each attempt to navigate the other’s world. Two episodes are currently available, with a total of 20 planned.
- Is there a long-lost Shakespeare play floating around out there? Last week, The Millions reported that Arden, a publisher of scholarly editions of Shakespeare plays, released a “new” play by Shakespeare, a play that seems to have been lost and found several times throughout the years. The new play, as Arden published it, is called Double Falsehood and it may very well be the same play as the long-lost Cardenio, a Shakespeare-penned play that only saw two productions in 1613 before falling into obscurity after the Bard’s death. While The Millions lays out a detailed argument in favor of Double Falsehood as a genuine Shakespeare, Slate offers a rebuttal, blasting Arden for trying to “extend the brand.”
- It seems you can turn around these days without another celebrity announcing his or her intention to join the publishing world. Everyone from Demi Moore and Hilary Duff to Tyra Banks and Sharon Osbourne are trying their hand at writing, usually a novel (with a plot that sounds suspiciously like the celebrity’s life) or a memoir of sorts, instructing readers on how to life the best life. There’s no doubt that most of these publishing contracts come not from the writing, but from the celebrity status. But there is some question as to the value these books offer, especially when so many other writers are trying to have their say as well.
- Reading fans, get ready to vote. Amazon has announced the six finalists in their “Breakthrough Novel Award” contest. Three general fiction and three young adult fiction finalists have been designated. Now fans everywhere can read excerpts from each novel, read the reviews and opinions of the panelists and then vote for their favorites. The winner in each category will win a publishing contract with Penguin and a cool $15,000 advance. Voting ends June 2nd; winners will be announced June 4th.
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, bookworms!