A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.
So the big news this week is that EarlyWord is giving up the ghost. If you spend any time here, clicking on these links, chances are good you have clicked on a link to an EarlyWord story, because I link to them a lot. Or, I should say, I used to link to them a lot. This news that they will no longer be publishing their site depresses me on so many levels. Firstly, because they have just been such a handy site for news about fiction bestsellers and under-the-radar hits, as well as a great source about literary/movie adaptations. Where am I going to go for that kind of news now?
Secondly, they were a fantastic, team-written, professionally polished site. I'm not sure how they paid for themselves--only through advertising?--but if that is the case, then I am crushed that even they could not make it, financially. It happened at the Reader's Advisor Online (of which I was co-editor), of course, so this should all be familiar to me. But there seem to be so many resources and so much money in this world and NONE OF IT IS GOING TO PEOPLE WHO READ, WRITE, OR WRITE ABOUT BOOKS AND READING. Really. I know doctors and people who own cell phone stores are important. But are they really the only ones who can make any money these days? I guess the answer is yes.
On a related note I wish EarlyWord could post an entirely honest message about why they are stopping. In this age of tons of information and too much sharing we never really seem to hear the true reasons for anything.
Thirdly, this certainly seems to throw into sharp relief how the writing is on the wall for me too. Not like this will be a big loss for the Internet, but everyone gets to a point where they can't keep doing something--even something they love to do--for free. There is just not enough time in the world. The time came for RAO, the time came for Bookslut, the time has come for EarlyWord, the time is most likely coming for me. This makes me sad.
But anyway. Becky over at RA for All is still doing her part, and writing rousing calls for action for more title-awareness blogs/labors of love. God love her. Also, Jessica commented last week asking if I could suggest any sources to replace EarlyWord. Well, I'll look into it, but the best thing I can think of to do is to re-link to posts we did when RAO ceased publication: posts about how to keep up with reading news, and how to put together a database of titles that are coming soon. Many thanks, as always, to Cindy Orr for writing the lion's share of those posts.
EarlyWord is dead. Long live EarlyWord.
And now, onward:
"Toward a more diverse LibraryReads." (See? My very first link is to an EarlyWord story.)
"The campus novels (and movies) that get it right (and wrong)."
A look at how storytimes have evolved.
A previously unpublished Maurice Sendak picture book has been discovered.
Happy 110th birthday, Robert Heinlein!
Spencer Johnson, author of the business classic Who Moved My Cheese?, has died, aged 78.
Crime writer Helen Cadbury: Obituary.
British poet Heathcote Williams: has died.
Patricia Lockwood's memoir Priestdaddy has been optioned by Imagine Television.
Okay, not really book-related, but God how I agree with this: "Mr. Zuckerberg, please don't run for president."
NONFICTION BOOK NEWS
A book about "being delighted to be British." I MUST HAVE IT.
A new memoir titled Drone Warrior, by a person who killed alleged terrorists using drones.
Do we all still really just want to be popular?
Well, you know I'm totally going to have to read a book about why it's awesome to be awkward.
J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy is still going strong, and just made it to the #1 on the USA Today bestseller list.
In the Days of Rain: a new memoir about growing up in a conservative, separatist cult in England.
An excerpt from a memoir about a "journey to confront my rapist."
Okay, I know. I am sick to death of Milo Yiannopoulos news too, all right? But I feel I have to report on the continuing story. Now he is suing Simon & Schuster for canceling publication of his right-wing political dross.
New York Times: nonfiction about the author's abiding love affair with Africa; a history of the London Zoo; for all you car nuts, a look at Ford's entry into racing;a memoir of a Texas childhood; Mark Bowden's new book about the Vietnam War; why was virtually no one prosecuted for the 2008 financial crisis?; a new Robert Sapolsky book on psychology and neurobiology (described as "quirky," it looks like it could be interesting...but 790 pages?!?!?); a new book on Jane Austen as a radical.
IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of July 4.
Christian Science Monitor: 6 picture books for summer reading.
The Telegraph: 70 best books to read this summer.
School Library Journal: 36 stellar kids' books.
Three books that delve into the immigration debate.
AND NOW, YOUR OBLIGATORY NEIL GAIMAN LINK
Yeah, I won't be watching American Gods, and this is one of the reasons why: "American Gods' Slow-Motion Shots Turn Blood and Gore Into Stunning Works of Art." I weary of blood and gore.