Greetings, bookworms. If you’re viewing this on the actual LND website, you’ll notice it looks a bit different. I decided a needed a bit of a change in my theme and cover image. I’m still tweaking some things (moving from a three-column layout to a two-column layout means there were some casualties), but I’m happier with the simplified and cleaner look. Any feedback is much appreciated! And while you’re here, check out the book news:

  • While the verdict may still be out on the wisdom of publishing Harper Lee’s second novel, her publisher Harper Collins is moving ahead. (Side note: What are the odds Lee’s publisher would share her name?) The cover image (or, at least the UK placement holder cover image) of Go Set A Watchman was recently released. As Book Riot correctly points out, it does have the similar look and feel to J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Since the cover art and image is not yet finalized, it’s likely to change, but it does suggest Harper Collins is going for a more minimalist approach. Thoughts?
  • Harper Lee isn’t the only longtime author making a comeback. Apparently, a long-lost Dr. Seuss book was recently discovered and Random House Children’s Books will publish it later this year. The book features a brother-sister sibling set looking for a pet (the book is helpfully titled What Pet Should I Get?) and was likely written some time between 1958 and 1962. The manuscript was discovered by Dr. Seuss’ widow while she sorted through old papers. Other materials discovered will serve as the foundation for two more picture books.
  • And since people are apparently finding lost things… Book Riot has a hilarious post about 11 other literary items to find now that we’re on a roll with these sorts of discoveries. Among their suggestions? A grocery list from John Green (since that thing would sell like hot cakes), a confession from John Grisham for his crimes against the middle grade genre (I seriously laughed aloud at that one), and the little known “lost” essay from Lois Lowry titled Bitch, Please, I Invented Dystopia because, basically, she did.
  • Why try getting a bunch of authors together in one physical place when a cyberspace will do? The Twitter Fiction Festival is attracting some great literary names, including Margaret Atwood, Chuck Wendig and Lemony Snicket. The Festival, which will be held this year on May 11-15, celebrates “the art of storytelling” on Twitter and it’s quite impressive how much the virtual event has grown in the last few years. Many published authors participate by releasing snippets of stories in 140 characters and the anyone in the general public can join in. For more information, visit the Twitter Fiction Festival website.
  • You know what they say: don’t judge a book by its cover. Because now that cover might be able to judge you. A Dutch artist has invented a book cover designed to detect how a reader might be judging it based on a scan of the reader’s face. Based on that judgement, the book either remain locked to a reader, or unlock so said reader can actually read. Putting aside the truly creepy notion of sentient books that can tell what we’re thinking or feeling, the idea is interesting, though potentially problematic. For example, overly excited expressions will be interpreted as judgement (and thus keep the book locked) when, in fact, the reader might legitimately be interested – i.e., excited – to read that book.
  • Book Riot has been on a roll lately (see above) with excellent post after excellent post, and I want to highlight a couple of my favorites. First up, Derek Attig offers suggestions for feminist genre fictionbooks that celebrate and promote women and women’s stories without being too “literary” or tragic. (His words, not mine.) He’s got some excellent suggestions, including Tamora Pierce’s books, Octavia Butler and others. Then, Jessica Pryde provides the 10 Essential Reads for Romance Newbies, which wins my favor not only for including Sarah MacLean (always, always read Sarah MacLean), but for offering a broad and diverse range of sub-genres and themes (contemporary, historical, paranormal, steampunk, etc). Keep up the good work, Book Rioters!

As always, happy reading.