The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

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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 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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For those of us residing in Idaho, there’s really only one bookish news item worth mentioning. That being, Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See) has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient.

With that, a few other bookish bits from the week:

We bid farewell to M.H. Abrams. He was 102 (New York Times). And might I just say, college just wouldn’t have been the same without his Norton Anthology of English Literature.

We caught a sneak peek at Dr. Seuss’ book What Pet Should I Get (CNN)—and by peek, I do mean peek (CNN).

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti celebrated World Book Day by posting a photo of five wee books floating on the International Space Station (  How fun is that?

The Oyster Review provided us with their very own 100 Best Books of the Decade.

U.S.A. Today offers some weekend picks for book lovers, in case you haven’t a clue what to read in the coming days. Luckily, I know exactly what I’ll be reading: Peace like a River, by Leif Enger. I have until next Thursday to finish it. Book club, you know.

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I love this cover from Simon & Schuster (Children’s Publishing, Summer 2008, obviously). The colors, the banner–the sweet, handsome fellow. The sweet, handsome fellow being Kenny the rabbit, in case you’re unfamiliar–from Tony DiTerlizzi’s Kenny and the Dragon. The book cover includes the equally-handsome dragon. One look at their faces was all it took to purchase the book for my nephew. Thankfully, the story matches the illustrations in delight. Anyway, speaking of bunnies and such, we’re heading into the Easter holiday. Wherever you may roam, whatever you may do, I hope your days are bright and colorful, with more than a little time to kick back and read a good book.

In the meantime, a few bookish bits from the week . . .

The Paris Review announces The Paris Review for Young Readers. I love how they open the announcement with E.B. White’s quote: “Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time.” So true.

Speaking of E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web is voted best children’s book of all time (The Telegraph).

David Newby gives us his top 10 quests in children’s books (The Guardian).

And there’s a new Choose Your Own Adventure book on the scene—although, it was originally written over a decade ago. All the same, word on the street is it’s the scariest of them all.

Sara Cooper gives us 9 tricks for looking smart in a book club (The Washington Post). Now I feel as though I should include a disclaimer for you serious bibliophiles. Mainly, while this post was written in jest, you may want to forgo the reading. At the very least, skim over #4 which could produce ticks and other nervous conditions.

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