The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

Friday Field Notes 082115

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Is it just me or did this week seem to be two, possibly three weeks rolled into one? It seemed to stretch on forever. Of course, the weekend will probably fly by–I’ve entirely too much to do. But whatever my schedule, I have got to find time to read—it would behoove me and everyone around me. Things get ugly when I go two weeks in a row without turning the page of a book. No one needs to see that.

Now, on to bookish news . . .

Boston’s pretty proud of its House Slam, poetry slam team—and for good reason. With their National Poetry Slam win last weekend, they became “the first venue in history to simultaneously hold the country’s three major slam titles,” according to Poetry Slam, Inc. (The Artery). Congratulations all around!

Apparently, there’s a book on Amazon’s best-seller list that makes kids fall asleep in minutes—which is just what their parents want (Fortune). The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep employs word and sentence structure to lull kids to sleep—something like hypnosis. I’m not sure how I feel about it . . . but I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures.

Here’s an intriguing way to get people to read—offer anyone reading a book on a city bus, a free ride. That’s exactly what the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca did this summer (Good magazine).

If you’re like me, you’re counting the days ’til autumn (31!).  With that in mind, Amazon gives us their 20 favorite fall book picks. Warning: if you are a true bibliophile, you may want to steer clear; the titles are pretty fluffy.

Did you know that R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series, doesn’t read nonfiction? In his words: “I never read it. I hate anything real.” This tidbit and more in this week’s By the Book (The New York Times). P.S. I can understand this line of thinking. After all, you live life–why do you need to read it, too? However, in the interest of full disclosure, I do tend to enjoy the nonfiction works I read; they’re just rarely my first choice.

And here we go again.  Rumor has it, a new movie plans to turn Jane Austen’s life into a romantic comedy (The Guardian). I’m trying to remain optimistic, but . . .

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This marked the first week back after traveling for three weeks. Needless to say, the weekend has never looked so good. I plan to crack open Outlander, which I didn’t get to, despite the fact I carried the book in my carry-on–overseas. Not that I would change anything, mind. I’m fairly certain I’d be thrown off-kilter if I didn’t have a book to read . . . just in case. And here’s hoping it would have made for good holiday reading, if only I would have had the time for such shenanigans.

In other bookish news . . .

If you’re looking to write a bestseller, you might want to look into the Master Class taught by James Patterson.

If, by some chance, you’re not sure where to begin with the works of Stephen King, here’s a reader’s guide (The Oyster Review).

James McBride is working on a book about James Brown, titled Kill ‘em, and Leave (ABC News).

Bustle lists nine words about reading that every book nerd needs to know. Book bosomed? Why yes, thank you, I am.

The Smithsonian gives us access to the world’s oldest multicolor printed book. Printed in 1633, its pages were much too fragile to turn—but thanks to digital imaging, we can now flip through it with ease (and no lasting trauma).

Ta-Nehisi Coates talks books (The New Yorker).  He states, “. . . I still believe in that, you know? That stories should sometimes thrill people.” I totally agree.

Speaking of which, The Story of Kullervo, a 1914 manuscript by J.R.R. Tolkien, will soon be published (PBS). So, there’s that.

And finally, we bid a final farewell to Ann McGovern. Chances are good, you’ve read one of her children’s books at one time or another (Stone Soup, anyone?). “’Sometimes,’ she once observed, ‘when I look at a sad, shy face in the audience, I see the lonely child I once was and I hope that maybe my words can have some influence on a life’” (The Washington Post). I’m fairly certain she got her wish, several times over.

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{Powell’s is #1 in Readers’ hearts}

Well, summer is in full-swing. Any big vacation plans coming up? You know, The Guardian asked readers to submit their favorite indie bookstore. The result: The 10 best independent bookshops in the world (according to readers, naturally). If you find yourself in the neighborhood, you simply must stop in.

And here are a few other bookish bits from the week . . .

A U.S. foundation is set to ship almost $900,000 worth of supplies to Cuba, to build a state-of-the-art facility to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s books, letters, and photos (The New York Times).

Time gives us a look at their original review of The Diary of Anne Frank, which was first published in the Netherlands on June 25, 1947.

8 Iconic Children’s Book Authors Reveal Their Favorite Picture Books (Time).

A bookshop in Santa Cruz introduces their summer series for draft lovers—it includes showcase, a signing, a discussion, and a swap. And beer.

Sally Mann talks books (The New Yorker).  I know, I know, By the Book is a series, not news–but I do love it. So, here it is . . .

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This week, USA Today gave us their 25 hot books for summer. It is about that time. After all, this weekend marks the last days of May–then summer fare is fair game.  Time to kick back, relax, and settle in with a good book.

In other bookish news . . .

People interviews Judy Blume. My favorite quote: “I’m happy for anybody to read my books because I don’t like books being characterized for certain readers.” I do believe, if I wrote books, I’d feel the same.

Flannery O’Connor is set to appear on a new U.S. postage stamp. She’ll make her debut June 5.

The Boston Public Library comes under fire for tossing The Prospect Before Us, by James T. Callender, a rare 18th century book (worth $19,500, we might add) into the pile for a library book sale.  Whoopsie! Lucky for them, they realized the error of their ways in time–though it doesn’t appear they’ll live it down any time soon.

Chinese and American authors take a stand against BookExpo America’s focus on China, without regard to the country’s known issues of censorship and intimidation. Ruediger Wischenbart, BookExpo’s director of international affairs, explains “it’s important for them to have a seat at the table and engage in a cultural and commercial exchange that could have a positive impact on the future of publishing both at home and across the globe.” Hmm, right . . .

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{Twain and Keller–sounds like they could have had a stage show}

As you read this, I hope you’re preparing for a long holiday weekend. I certainly am–in between gatherings,  and gardening, and miscellaneous projects I hope to get in some good reading. Seems it shall be a face-off between Dorothy Whipple’s The Priory and Shusaku Endo’s Deep River (book club, you know–once again I skid at the last minute).

Now, this week, in bookish news . . .

We now know what Shakespeare really looked like–thanks to a 400 year old botany book. The intrigue. (BBC)

Seems Mark Twain and Helen Keller were friends.  The way they spoke of one another . . . we should be so lucky as to have such friends.

There’s always hullabaloo surrounding one book or another in the school system. The thing I love about this story concerning the Kite Runner, is this student’s response: “If they expect you to choose your future, you should be able to choose your own books” (Skye Satz). Perfect, non?

We’ve talked of the Future Library, before–and Margaret Atwood shall be placing her book in the time capsule next week. While it’s highly unlikely any of us will be around in a hundred years to read it, we can watch the live stream of the encapsulating ceremony.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, here’s the most popular book set in each state, according to Good Reads (via The Stand).

Finally, here’s what Bill Gates’ beach reading list looks like.

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