Happy October, bookworms! We’re now in my favorite month of the year and it’s a three-day weekend! Things don’t get much better than this. Well, I mean they could – I could have a reading marathon planned (which I sort of do) and it could be a beautiful fall weekend (which it is, for the most part). What are your plans for the long weekend? What books will you tackle with your extra day off? Here’s the first October book news:
- Such a show-off. Surprising absolutely no one, J.K. Rowling broke a Goodreads record with the release of her new book, The Casual Vacancy. The novel set a new record for the largest “started reading” day.In Goodreads language, it means the largest number of people in Goodreads history started reading The Casual Vacancy on the same day it was released. The previous record holder was Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay (I totally knocked that one out in one day). The broken record is a testament to Rowling’s power to draw readers. Whether those readers like the book or not, well that’s another post.
- It’s a book, burn it! (Not really, though – don’t do that.) This past week, the American Library Association celebrated the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, an annual celebration “liberating literature.” The ALA released its annual list of Frequently Challenge Books and provided a ton of interactive graphics charting 30 years worth of banned books as well. Perennial banned favorite To Kill a Mockingbird made the top 10 list again, as did The Hunger Games, Brave New World, and the Gossip Girl series.
- Let us now pause for a moment of honored silence… How awesome is Libba Bray? Really, seriously, freakin’ awesome. Culture Map Austin has a fabulous Q&A with the author of The Diviners, in which she discusses how writing saved her life, the intimacy of young adult literature, and why her hometown in Texas reminders her of Tattooine, with a Wal-Mart. Bray is best known as an eclectic author, with her novels ranging from a Victorian fantasy trilogy, a modern satire on reality television and consumerist culture and now, a historical paranormal novel set during the roaring 1920′s.
- He’ll always be Jonathan to me. Danny Strong, best known as an actor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls recently won an Emmy award for writing the television adaptation of Game Change. Now rumors are floating that he’s being considered as the scribe of the Mockingjay film adaptation. Though I didn’t watch Game Change, his award was apparently well-deserved and he has another literary project in the works as well – the film version of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. As protective as Hunger Games fans are of their books, I can only hope Jonathan/Doyle/Danny is up for the challenging of adapting a highly anticipated – and highly divisive – book.
- Extraordinary! One devoted fan of Deborah Harkness has created the ultimate pintrest board – more than 500 images inspired by and mentioned in Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. Fair warning – there are spoilers if you haven’t read the books, but if you have, the pictures are a brilliant way of visualizing Harkness’ already exceptionally visual world. I’m literally in awe.
- May the force be with you! Star Wars fans, rejoice: October 6th is officially Star Wars Reads Day. Created by Lucasfilm, the day celebrates both reading and Star Wars. Several Lucasfilm publishing partners will come together for various events across the country. Expanding the Star Wars universe beyond his movies, George Lucas and his various companies have published hundreds of books detailing the lives of Star Wars characters both before and after the movies. Because everyone knows Jedi’s make reading look cool.
- I’ll admit this now – I’m including it solely because Stephen Colbert makes me giggle. Colbert has a new book releasing soon (America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t) and Amazon has a video of him conveying to readers and skeptics alike just how much he loves the book he just wrote.
As always, happy reading.