Greetings, bookworms! If you’re new here at LND, thanks to this past week’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week, then welcome! On Saturdays, I write Book News – short little tidbits of bookish or literary news that I find interesting and/or important. It’s certainly not exhaustive, but I think it’s fun and informative. I try to balance more serious news items with sillier things. And if you’re an LND regular, fear not! Book news awaits you, just like any other Saturday:
- Um, I think that’s called a library? In its never-ending quest to take over the world, Amazon is reportedly considering an e-book rental service, referred to as a “Netflix for books” service, that would allow readers to borrow e-books for a limited time for a subscription fee. The service would fall under Amazon’s already existing Amazon Prime, which currently gives Prime members free two-day shipping (full disclosure: I’m an Amazon Prime member and that two-day shipping is totally worth it) and movie streaming. The buzz around the Internets is mixed – some are all for it, as another way of getting books, digital or otherwise, into people’s hands. Some think it’s unnecessary, since many libraries already offer e-books for checkout. Your thoughts?
- Once upon a time, “gay” meant lighthearted and carefree. Now it’s once again at the center of another piece of ill-intentioned “advice.” Many readers, authors and bloggers were outraged this week when Publisher’s Weekly posted an article in which two YA authors spoke out about an agent who asked them to “straighten” a gay character in their novel. The result, besides the outrage, was the Twitter hashtag “Say Yes to Gay YA” and list after list of YA and adult novels featuring positive portrayals of LGBTQ characters (I personally love me some Tiny Cooper and thank the gods that David Levithan and John Green thought him up). You can find plenty of reading suggestions all across the Internet (the ALA’s Stonewall Awards are a good place to start), but the PW article includes links to additional resources.
- There are, of course, two sides to every story, so I also recommend that you read Colleen Lindsay’s blog post about the agent’s perspective on the “Say Yes to Gay YA” debacle. She makes some really interesting and valid points regarding the editing process and taken with the Publisher’s Weekly article, it gives a fuller picture of what might have really happened. I don’t know any of the people involved, so I have no idea what the truth is, but it’s probably something much more complicated than a blog post could ever fully explain.
- Just a boy, his fruit and some insects. Earlier this week, September 13th marked “Roald Dahl Day” in honor of the author’s birthday and 2011 is also the 50th anniversary year of the publication of James and the Giant Peach. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group created an interactive website that lets visitors send virtual “peach-grams” and try their hands at various activities. The original first edition was published in 1961 by Alfred Knopf and strange as it may seem, it did actually land on the ALA’s list of Most Frequently Challenged Books. I guess some people don’t like anthropomorphic insects?
- It’s a bouncing baby book! Laurel Ann, bloggess of the fabulous Jane Austen-loving blog, Austenprose, has good reason to celebrate this week herself: her new book, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, a collection of original short stories inspired by Miss Austen, has finally arrived! The book won’t hit bookstore shelves until October, but there are a few giveaways going on around the book blogosphere for those – like me – eagerly desperate to get our hands on a copy. Congratulations, Laurel Ann!
- Vampires and werewolves and hybrid demon babies, oh my! The first full-length trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, Part 1, was released this week. It’s the first time we’ve been given a close look at just how all that craziness plays out: the honeymoon (complete with feathers), the “impossible” baby (seems somebody didn’t pay attention in Biology class) and the werewolf/vampire showdown over the unknown demon baby. Bookworms, this movie looks so fantastically and awesomely bad! I can’t wait to see it and then mock it endlessly. (Yeah, I’m totally going to see it – I saw all the other ones. I can’t stop now.)
- I don’t like ending on a bit of a sad note, but Galley Cat posted this picture and it’s just so sad. For all of Borders’ missteps over the years, it’s never a good thing for the bookish world when a large chain like that closes. Like the photo and Mr. Jefferson say, I cannot live without books.
As always, happy reading!