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Anythink Libraries' Shakespeare Society: Pizza and a Play

In the first of a new series of posts that feature librarians' successful ideas and creative solutions, Katharine Phenix from Anythink Libraries in Colorado tells us about "Shakespeare Society: Pizza and a Play," a popular program that has been running strong for six years!
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Do readers have an obligation to history to read "difficult" books?

I was recently participating in BookBrowse's online book discussion for Vaddey Ratner's excellent novel, Music of the Ghosts, in which the main characters are survivors of the Khmer Rouge. Needless to say, since it discusses the horrors Cambodian citizens endured during the genocide, it contains some pretty intense passages, and one of my fellow posters mentioned finding the subject matter "difficult" and therefore hard to read about. This comment prompted an offline discussion with others regarding books that cover topics that we generally don't want to dwell on, specifically humanity's ability to be unimaginably cruel to others or indifferent to their suffering.  The question arose: As readers, do we have an obligation to history... [More]


Five Female-Focused Historical Novels for Book Clubs

Women are at the heart of each of these historical novels, and so are the deep challenges of holding family together and pursuing personal dreams all at the same time. The Women in the Castle and Manhattan Beach both explore the effects of war on women and their families, while Love and other Consolation Prizes and Rebellion take readers across time and place to shine a light on the hidden ways we are all connected. Finally See What I Have Done offers an intimate glimpse into one family's complicated dynamics - sometimes what we think we see isn't always what is true, and sometimes we are not as connected as we appear to be. Each of these books are, or soon will be, available in paperback and are already available in e-b... [More]


Reading Makes You Healthy Infographic

You're about to curl up with that book you selected from BookBrowse's Editor's Choice, and you have tea brewing in the kitchen. It's time to dive right into another world.

Did you know that when you reemerge, you come back healthier, more empathic, and sharper? Reading also helps you live longer too. A study has shown that those who read for more than 3.5 hours per week are 23% less likely to die than those who do not read books.
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Four Exceptional Female Comic Book Writers

Leia Birch, the central character in Joshilyn Jackson's The Almost Sisters, is the writer of a comic books series published by DC Comics. While the characters and the comic are both fictional, in real-life, as is in the book, female writers are in the minority. The comic book world is chock full of men - they are both characters in the pages and the writers and illustrators creating those pages - but women have made significant contributions to the genre. From the early 20th century, when comics were just entering the newspaper scene and Nell Brinkley became famous for her well-loved illustrations to Becky Cloonan, who was the first woman to draw Batman for DC Comics in 2012, women have written and drawn comics for newspapers, mainstream pu... [More]

 

E-book sales fell 10% in 2017

Unit sales of traditionally published e-books fell 10% in 2017, compared to 2016, according to figures released by PubTrack Digital.


PBS's The Great American Read

The Great American Read, an eight-part series hosted by TV personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, will introduce viewers to PBS's list of the country's 100 favorite novels, created in partnership with the polling service YouGov. After the initial two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22--featuring celebrities, authors, "superfans" and "everyday Americans"--the multi-platform initiative will begin: throughout the summer, people can vote for their favorite novels on the PBS website and by using special voting hashtags on Twitter and Facebook


Andrew Sean Greer's "Less" is surprise winner of Pulitzer for fiction.

Andrew Sean Greer's novel Less and James Forman Jr.'s book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America are among the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners, each of whom receives $15,000.

Pulitzer-watchers see Less as a surprise win given that it was not prominent on other award nomination and "best of year" lists.


Three judges resign from Nobel literature committee

Three judges for the Nobel literature prize have resigned. Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund released statements or letters Friday to Swedish media but gave few details. Englund wrote in a letter to the tabloid Aftonbladet that his decision was linked to the Swedish academy's decision late last year to cut ties with the head of a Stockholm cultural center who was accused of sexual misconduct. The academy asked a law firm to investigate what influence the man, whom it did not name, had on the academy.


Sale of Waterstones to hedge fund likely to complete by end of April

UK bookstore chain Waterstones will likely be sold to hedge fund Elliott Advisors by the end of April, the end of the store's fiscal year, according to the Bookseller, which cited "a source with knowledge of the situation." Neither Waterstones nor Elliott Advisors has commented on the report.

Elliott Advisors is the U.K. arm of Elliott Management Corp., the investment management firm headed by Paul Singer, known for an interest in companies with heavy debt, for his financial support of the Republican Party and for his support of LGBTQ rights. Elliott Advisors is run by Singer's son Gordon Singer.


Amazon Study Reveals Explosive Growth of Third-Party Sales, Sales Tax Avoidance

A new report from the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Civic Economics reveals the continuing — and increasing — loss of jobs and essential state and municipal revenue as a result of the growing retail dominance of Amazon.com. The report documents both Amazon's sales and, for the first time, the explosive growth of sales through its third-party Marketplace from 2014 to 2016. And the report makes clear that Amazon's sales tax avoidance strategy has continued despite well-publicized agreements with American states.


Joan Silber's 'Improvement' wins PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Joan Silber has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel Improvement (which won the NBCC Award last month.)

All five finalists (Silber, Hernán Díaz, Samantha Hunt, Achy Obejas and Jesmyn Ward) will read from their work at the ceremony on May 5 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. Silber will receive $15,000; the other finalists will each receive $5,000.


Canadian Independent Bookstore Day

When U.S. booksellers celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, their neighbors to the north will be taking part in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, a "new look" version of Authors for Indies Day, which was launched in 2015 and had announced last fall that significant changes were in the works. Beginning this year, the Retail Council of Canada has adopted the project and renamed it Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.


Sing, Unburied, Sing wins Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

The winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for "literature that confronts racism and examines diversity" are:
Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Nonfiction: Bunk, by Kevin Young
Poetry: In the Language of My Captor, by Shane McCrae
Lifetime Achievement: N. Scott Momaday


Anita Shreve, best-selling author of 'The Pilot?s Wife,' dies at 71

Anita Shreve, author of 20 books including The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water, died of cancer Thursday at home in southern New Hampshire, she was 71. She had announced her illness almost a year ago,writing on Facebook: "This is a hard post to write. I have so been looking forward to going on book tour for my new novel, The Stars are Fire, and had hoped to meet many of you on my travels."