So if you've been reading Citizen Reader for a while you might know two things: I used to be the co-editor of the (now defunct) Reader's Advisor Online blog, a title and library awareness blog meant to get readers' advisory librarians up to speed on all things titles, authors, awards, book to media adaptations, publishing, and other news, each and every week; and because that blog very helpfully provided lists of each week's new title releases, I used to do a Monday morning New Nonfiction list with commentary.
Well, the RAO blog closed down. Which means I'm out a job, and I'm also out a handy source of new nonfiction title listings every week. And if you read our post about how (mostly) Cindy Orr prepared those new titles lists, you know it was a shit-ton of work. So, sadly, for now I will not be posting New Nonfiction lists, with or without commentary.
But I thought I'd take a whack at a weekly look at reading and book news. Because I am writing this without a sponsor, I also feel like I can finally comment on these news tidbits in a way that I could not at the Reader's Advisor Online. Fun! (Well, for me, anyway, time will tell if any of you enjoy it.) Alas, this weekly feature will not be as comprehensive as the RA Run Down used to be. Without receiving payment, I just can't give it as much time.
So, let's try this, shall we? This week will be a rather unfocused list of links. I hope to fine-tune and organize as we go. Suggestions? Let's have 'em!
And now: Citizen Reading, the June 27, 2016 edition:
One of my favorites: Anne Tyler's got a new novel coming out, a retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. (Although that link is to a not particularly positive review of the book.)
I like books, and I like being a mom, but something about this announcement of BOOKMOM, a new blog, makes me want to puke a little bit. I think it's this quote from the blogger: "I felt overwhelmed with the idea of introducing books in a way that would resonate and instill a lifetime love of reading." Yeah, like I could even think any sentences that coherent when I was looking for books to read to my babies and then my toddlers. Mainly I thought, "What could I find to read to these guys that I could stand to listen to 50 times over too?" Doesn't help that it's part of a website, sponsored by Simon & Schuster, called Tips on Life and Love.
Amazon has named its "Best Books of the Year So Far," so you know, you better go check that out. Because Amazon is your Lord and Master, and will soon be dropping these books by drone at your house whether you like them or not.
The Center for Fiction reveals its 2016 Fellows. Ever heard of any of these authors?
God, do I hate the word "bromance" (I hate it SO MUCH), but this is an interesting article about 97-year-old Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and his 96-year-old literary agent, Sterling Lord. Both were heavily involved with the Beats, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. 97 and 96, and still working! And working in books and arts! Just imagine. What great lives.
Michael Herr, groundbreaking journalist and author of Dispatches (about the Vietnam War), has died, at the age of 76. Michael Herr's Dispatches is one of the books I couldn't get myself to take off my shelves. He also co-wrote the screenplay for "Full Metal Jacket," which is excruciating to watch, but is a really important and really excellent movie about the many horrors and endless stupidities of war, including the dehumanization and cruelty that takes place in the military before anybody even GETS to the war. Jesus. It's time for me to re-watch "Full Metal Jacket."
Publishers embracing video--wow, way to move with the times, publishers. How many years did that take you? (This also doubles as this week's Obligatory Neil Gaiman Post--a video of him singing while driving around to visit indie bookstores is included!)
Saucy covers at a bookstore near you.
Hey, some of my prayers do get answered: Nicholas Sparks Productions is shutting down. The company, founded in 2012, was dedicated, big surprise, to adapting Nicholas Sparks's horrible sappy novels into horrible sappy movies.
From the "no kidding" file: most companies have policies against social media use at work, and most employees use it anyway. Excuse me. I must go link to this very fascinating article from my LinkedIn profile.
Breastfeeding in novels: I'm largely ambivalent about this list (as I was largely ambivalent about breastfeeding itself, thank you very much, although I was thankful to be able to do it), but I am glad there is a shout out to Elisa Albert's very angry and very excellent novel of motherhood, After Birth.
Now here's a list I can get behind: Summer Reading for Wretched Assholes Who Prefer to Wallow In Someone Else's Misery
Muhammad Ali inspired a lot of books.
Go buy a book at Barnes & Noble, would you, for the love of all that's holy?
I'm just going to say this: I LOVE TELEVISION. It is, aside from reading, my other lifelong love. So you can imagine I'll be eating up Flavorwire's new "Trendspotting in TV" column. Up this week? TV's Sexy Jerks.
So, what kind of reading news do you want? Categories? Suggestions in general?