Books

What’s the Matter with Fiction Sales?

According to 2017 estimates released this summer by the Association of American Publishers, sales of adult fiction fell 16% between 2013 and 2017, from $5.21 billion to $4.38 billion. The numbers, though not a major worry, raise questions about the books the industry is publishing and what consumers want to read.
From What’s the Matter with Fiction Sales?
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What Does Immersing Yourself in a Book Do To Your Brain?

Through this consciousness-changing dimension of the act of reading, we learn to feel what it means to be despairing and hopeless or ecstatic and consumed with unspoken feelings. I no longer remember how many times I have read what each of Jane Austen’s heroines felt—Emma, Fanny Price, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice or in her newest incarnation in Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice. What I know is that each of those characters experienced emotions that helped me understand the range of the often contradictory feelings each of us possesses; doing so leaves us feeling less alone with our particular complex mix of emotions, whatever our life’s circumstances. As expressed in the play Shadowlands, about the life of C. S. Lewis, “We read to know that we are not alone.”
From What Does Immersing Yourself in a Book Do To Your Brain? | Literary Hub
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The Art Of Sci-Fi Book Covers

The Art Of Sci-Fi Book Covers

Video from Nerdwriter showing and discussing the art of sci-fi book covers.
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What Do You Think of Reading Books as a Punishment?

From an article in The New York Times, a judge imposes juveniles to read from a list of books and report on their reactions.

  • A Virginia judge handed down an unusual sentence last year after five teenagers defaced a historic black schoolhouse with swastikas and the words “white power” and “black power.”

    Instead of spending time in community service, Judge Avelina Jacob decided, the youths should read a book. But not just any book. They had to choose from a list of ones covering some of history’s most divisive and tragic periods. The horrors of the Holocaust awaited them in “Night,” by Elie Wiesel. The racism of the Jim Crow South was there in Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” The brutal hysteria of persecution could be explored in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.

  • 6 Books to Read in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Death

    Historians and biographers have spent much ink celebrating and interrogating the life and influence of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 50 years since his assassination on April 4, 1968. Readers interested to know more about the iconic civil rights hero can choose from a wide range of literary options — from shorter books that give an easily digestible overview of his life, to multi-volume tomes exploring his every action in great detail. While some books take a holistic approach toward the life of the man, others focus in on sub-topics of his legacy.

    In honor of the 50th anniversary of his death, here are 6 books to read about Martin Luther King, Jr: Full article here
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    'Dancing Bears' Offers A Look Into How Countries Adapted To Life After Communism



    Polish journalist Witold Szablowski's nonfiction book, Dancing Bears, introduces readers to people in formerly communist countries who have a hard time adapting to life after the being freed from oppressive regimes.

    Story on NPR
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    ‘Frankenstein’ Manuscript Shows the Evolution of Mary Shelley’s Monster

    In honor of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein’s publication, the British publisher SP Books is releasing a facsimile of Shelley’s original manuscript. According to Roslyn Sulcas of the New York Times, the limited run will produce 1,000 copies of the facsimile, which will be available for purchase starting March 15.
    From ‘Frankenstein’ Manuscript Shows the Evolution of Mary Shelley’s Monster | Smart News | Smithsonian
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    Book clinic: why do publishers still issue hardbacks?

    However, there are no signs that the practice is coming to an end: last year sales of hardback fiction grew 11%. When the ebook arrived 10 years ago, some pundits suggested format did not matter. But they were wrong. A beautiful hardback is a joy, something to cherish, shelve and pass on, and readers are prepared to pay for that just as some people still prefer the cinema over television.
    From Book clinic: why do publishers still issue hardbacks? | Books | The Guardian
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    The Best Things Found Between the Pages of Old Books

    WHAT SECRETS HIDE AMONG THE pages of old books? There might be a lock of George Washington’s hair, the story of an forgotten luminary of American literature, or a centuries-old manuscript full of mystery. We asked Atlas Obscura readers to send us their stories about the most amazing items they found in books, and you sent us hundreds of responses—from the gross and macabre to the utterly charming and deeply surprising.
    From The Best Things Found Between the Pages of Old Books - Atlas Obscura
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    Reading Suggestions from a Michigan Bookseller, Books from Shithole Countries

    Petosky’s McLean and Eakin Booksellers have borrowed a phrase from the Commander in Chief to promote the reading of books from Haiti and Africa. They are continuing to take suggestions.

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