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The "burnable" book of the title is a work of poetic prophecy, ostensibly written during the reign of William the Conqueror, which foretells in gory detail the demise of thirteen English kings. In a society where it's a hanging offense merely to think of the king's death, this is seditious stuff. More to the point for Chaucer's contemporaries, Liber de Mortibus Regum Anglorum prophesizes the assassination of the sitting ruler, Richard II. The central mystery of the book leads us through the mucky lanes of London, with cunning surprises around every corner.
But there are other drawings in Darwin's papers that defy explanation - until we remember that Darwin and his wife Emma (who, famously, was also his cousin) had a huge family of ten children. Scholars believe that a young Francis Darwin, the naturalist's third oldest son, drew this on the back of Darwin's manuscript for On the Origin of Species.
The practice of spacing an author’s books at least one year apart is gradually being discarded as publishers appeal to the same “must-know-now” impulse that drives binge viewing of shows like “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad.”
“I think the bottom line is that people are impatient,” said Susan Wasson, a longtime bookseller at an independent shop, Bookworks, in Albuquerque. “With the speed that life is going these days, people don’t want to wait longer for a sequel. I know I feel that way. When I like a book, I don’t want to wait a year for the sequel.”
From Library Journal:
Library participation in World Book Night US is increasing, with libraries hosting launch events around the country for the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.
Some libraries and bookstores host a special reception when the books arrive to foster community spirit among the volunteers. Last year, World Book Night US had volunteers in 5,200 towns and cities in all 50 states and a record 1,055 libraries and bookstores participate, program director Carl Lennertz said.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will host a public talk April 22 with several authors whose books have been selected for 2014 World Book Night US distribution. This is the first time NYPL is holding official World Book Night launch events; prior World Book Night events were held at the Barnes and Noble store in Union Square.
The guest list at the main library event includes writers Victoria Bond, Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, Walter Dean Myers, Esmeralda Santiago, T.R. Simon, and Tobias Wolff. The talk will take place at 6 p.m. in the 250-seat Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and will also be live-streamed on the Internet.
I'm a "giver" for the third time and delighted to be handing out copies of Jamie Ford's "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I will be picking up my books at my local branch library in Brooklyn, how about you?
From The Washington Post:
"We Virginians, we really love our history,” said Laura Wickstead, director of the Virginia Room at the City of Fairfax Regional Library. “That’s for sure.”
“We’re sitting within a virtual stone’s throw of the Library of Congress, the National Archives and these fabulous university collections,” Laura said, “but even these smaller public library collections are superb and have things you don’t find other places.”
There’s certainly a lot to love. After all, this is the part of the country that produced George Mason, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Virginia was a hotbed of the Civil War. More recently, it’s where the mysterious urban legend known as the Bunny Man did whatever it is that Bunny Men do.
The Toronto Public Library had received just shy of 500 hold requests for Crazy Town before the book became available Monday afternoon.
Talk about demand. With that many requests, considering the library's 21-day borrowing policy, it would take 10,500 days (or more than 28 years) for everyone with a current hold request to get their hands on a single copy of Crazy Town. Thankfully for them, the Toronto Public Library has ordered 145 copies, which would cut the best-case waiting period down to about 72 days.
The poets featured in Carolyn Forché's anthology "Poetry of Witness" have endured extreme conditions: warfare, censorship, forced exile. The Georgetown professor and poet herself calls the collection an "outcry of the soul." Jeffrey Brown sat down with Forché to discuss this style of writing and its enduring power.
"Now imagine that a reader can choose to be any character in the story. At any point in the book, the events are premeditated by the prior decisions of an instance of a character played by another reader and your actions is going to determine how another reader’s story will play out. With each juncture, your story is matched with someone else’s so your fates intertwines. With a tree like this, there will be multiple endings and not every branch will lead to an ending. Some unfortunately lead to the demise of a character. Perhaps only a few branches for each character will lead it to one of its favorable endings. Like how you may still be fatally struck by lightning in real life despite living healthily, your encounters are out of your control so you will never have ultimate control of your fate."
In this the 11th annual BookFinder.com Report we publish a list of the top 100 most searched for out of print book titles from the previous 12 months. The books featured in this 2013 edition of the report run the gambit of publishing from true to life memoirs to science fiction, cookery to crochet, and firearms to photography.
Most of the books published over the course of history are out of print today. For hundreds of years the lifecycle for the vast majority of books has been the same: a book is written, it is published, many people buy and enjoy it, the book begins to fall out of favor and then publishers stop printing copies and the book falls out of print. This happens to exceptional books, average books and books that perhaps should never have seen the light of day in the first place. This lifecycle remained the same from the days Gutenberg walked the earth until the very recent past; a book being out of print meant it was a dead book. Once a book was dead the only way you were going to read a copy was to find someone to lend, give or sell it to you, or convince a publisher that issuing a new pressing was going to be financially viable.
From The Atlantic. Subtitle is "and why the downturn might be over".
The Pew Research Center reported last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.