Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Children's Books in the Media


From School Library Journal:
Eliza T. Dresang, author, professor of library science, and children's literature champion, has died at 72. Click here

From the National Post:
President Obama acted out Where the Wild Things Are for the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll. Click here

From the New York Times:
Republicans see a political wedge in the Common Core standards. Click here

From the Morning News:
"You're OK, Mom, but you're no Tolkien": S.E. Hinton on her then 7th-grade son's reaction to being required to read The Outsiders. Click here

From Animation:
Moonbot Studios has acquired film rights to Ellen Potter's Olivia Kidney trilogy for a series of live-action movies. Click here

From NPR:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants author Ann Brashares tries traveling in time in her new novel. Click here

From the L.A. Review of Books:
A look at David Levithan's career as YA author and editor. Click here
From the Post-Standard:
After 82 years, Eric Carle has been reunited with the childhood playmate who inspired his recent book Friends. Click here

From CBS Sunday Morning:
"My goal is to write 49% of the book, and then to let my audience create the 51%" – Mo Willems. Click here

From the Washington Post:
The fight over Common Core is misguided, says an opinion piece. Click here

From the Daily Record:
British children's author Jonathan Emmett says boys lag behind in reading because publishing is "dominated by female gatekeepers." Click here

From the Associated Press:
Nancy Childress, daughter of "Dick and Jane" artist Robert Childress, is auctioning her father's original artwork. Click here

From the New York Times:
A century later, children are still finding sanctuary at Brooklyn's Brownsville Children's Library. Click here

From BuzzFeed:
Diversity is not enough: on race, power, and publishing. Click here

RIP for OED as world's finest dictionary goes out of print

Compilers of the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary fear the mammoth masterpiece can only appear online as printed volumes will not be commerically viable

The Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary Photo: Alamy

It is the world’s most definitive work on the most global language, but the Oxford English Dictionary may be disappearing from bookshelves forever.

Publishers fear the next edition will never appear in print form because its vast size means only an online version will be feasible, and affordable, for scholars.
It’s all academic for now anyway, they say, because the third edition of the famous dictionary, estimated to fill 40 volumes, is running at least 20 years behind schedule.

Michael Proffitt, the OED’s first new chief editor for 20 years, said the mammoth masterpiece is facing delays because “information overload” from the internet is slowing his compilers.
His team of 70 philologists, including lexicographers, etymologists and pronunciation experts, has been working on the latest version, known as OED3, for the past 20 years. 

Hugo Best Novel in science fiction and fantasy shortlist znnounced

Orbit leads Hugo Best Novel shortlist 

Four out of five of the books nominated for Best Novel at this year’s Hugo Awards are published by Orbit in the UK.

The 2014 awards will be presented at the World Science Fiction convention, Loncon 3, in London on 17th August.

The Hugos recognise excellence in the science fiction and fantasy community.
Little, Brown's Orbit imprint leads the Best Novel list, with nominations for Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice; Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross; Parasite by Mira Grant; and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

The final book in the category is Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles, by Larry Correia (Baen Books).

Other accolades include awards for best novella, short story, film and television episode.
Earlier this year it was announced that television presenter Jonathan Ross would be hosting the Hugos, but he stepped down after protests on Twitter accusing him of sexism.
Author Neil Gaiman said in a blog post that he was “disappointed in the people, some of whom I know and respect, who stirred up other people to send invective, obscenities and hatred Jonathan’s way over Twitter”.

A full list of finalists for the Hugo Awards is here.

Japan's Wizarding World of Harry Potter Opens in July

Shelf Awareness

Universal Studios Japan, which was originally unveiled two years ago, has set a July 15 opening date for its Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, reported.

An announcement ceremony held Friday included Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and Harry Potter production designer Stuart Craig, who helped plan and build the attraction. 

The Japanese version of the Wizarding World "will include Hogwarts castle--the first of the new attractions to be unveiled today--Hogsmeade and multiple attractions," wrote.

Irish Bookseller John McNamee on EIBF and European Competition

Outgoing president of the European and International Booksellers Federation John McNamee discusses interoperability for ebooks, VAT, and offers advice for future survival in the book biz.

This week's #EtherIssue discussion will look at author Jonathan Emmett's finding about boys' reading and the gender balance in the industry.
Event on Thursday, April 24:
Join us to hear from publishing and technology experts on strategies for direct-to-consumer marketing, audience development, technology solutions, and new ideas on how to make the most of your backlist content! Register now!
More from PP:
Jeff Baron has penned a series of novels for kids that teaches the ins-and-outs of the Hollywood pitch. He talks to us about this rather curious and fun project.
From the Archives:
Publishers who want to sell direct-to-consumer need to make payment processes as frictionless as possible. New social media purchasing tools may be the answer.

Posman Books: 'We'll Take Manhattan'

Shelf Awareness

Posman Books, which has three locations in Manhattan, has signed on for a fourth store, in lower Manhattan in Brookfield Place, according to the Wall Street Journal. Brookfield Place is the new name for the World Financial Center, which is across West Street from the World Trade Center complex.

Posman Books at Rockefeller Center
Brookfield Place is undergoing a $250-million renovation and includes extensive office and retail space and, soon, "a dining terrace of upscale casual eateries and a European-style marketplace." The dining terrace is opening this spring, and the rest, including Posman Books, which will have 2,000 square feet of space, is scheduled to open next year.

"You're going to have locals from Battery Park City, the tourists and then the office population," Robert Fader, v-p of Posman Books told the Journal. "No question that the whole area is going to be hot from the river to Broadway."

Fader added that Posman plans to open five stores in five years. Its current stores are in Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center and Chelsea Market. The booksellers' expansion plans are particularly striking considering the recent wave of negative news about bricks-and-mortar bookstores in Manhattan, culminating in last week's closing of Rizzoli Bookstore

Book Trade News from PW


State Taxes Take a Toll on Amazon Sales : In one of the first efforts to quantify the impact of states accruing more tax revenue from Internet purchases, a study released this month found that sales dropped for Amazon when the online charge was introduced.

Convicted Publisher Violates Probation : Legal woes continue to mount for a Manchester publisher convicted of a $200,000 fraud scheme, the latest round alleging that he violated a condition of his probation by publishing an e-book through Amazon.

Jennifer Weiner is Right About Reviews: "Romance is the hardest genre to read, and not because of the stigma. It's because critics don't take it seriously." From Noah Berlatsky, at Slate.

From Obscurity to Bestsellerdom : This past weekend, a little-known book called "All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw" was resurrected from obscurity when it surged to the top of Amazon’s rankings and became the bestselling book in America, thanks to a "New York Times" article by book critic Dwight Garner.

Posman Headed for Brookfield Place: Posman Books has snagged some space at the lower Manhattan shopping center, which is now 85% leased.

Rankine Wins 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize

Nonprofit literary organization Poets & Writers revealed that Claudia Rankine has been awarded the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize.
The prize, which comes with $50,000, is awarded annually to an American poet of "exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition." more » »

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: 'Prelude to Bruise' by Saeed Jones

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: ‘Prelude to Bruise’ by Saeed Jones

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire is posting a poem a day throughout April. For today’s poem, we’re pleased… Read More

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Poem of the week: Present Tense by Michael Schmidt

     Monday 21 April 2014  

Recalling Donne's sermon on Job 19:26, with a bit of Ovidian metamorphosis thrown in, this modern meditation on memory and resurrection shifts between past, present and future
Fifty shades of blue
Fifty shades of blue … 'alone he hugs his knees, among forget-me-not, bluebell and campion'. Photograph: Alamy

Resurrection takes various forms in this week's poem, Present Tense, from Stories of My Life by Michael Schmidt. In the opening lines, it's an organic recycling, begun by worms and helped by the digestive processes of other small industrious creatures. The geographical dimension of bodily decomposition ("north and south") recalls John Donne's sermon on Job 19:26: "Shall I imagine a difficulty in my body … because I have lost an Arme in the East and a leg in the West … some bloud in the North and some bones in the South?" But here there's nothing distressed or macabre in this. A calmly regular trimeter pulse helps the process seem natural and benign, while the verb "travels" lets light into underground darkness. As for Donne, the bodily dispersal complicates, but in no way cancels, the promise of personal resurrection: "Christ will have to raise/ An entire field … "

There's also an Ovidian kind of metamorphosis that is central to the poem. The literalised concept of resurrection on judgment day ("an entire field") leads to the older, pagan image of woman as tree ("like Laura"). When Daphne was changed into a laurel tree in Metamorphosis, her first awareness began with finding "her feet benumb'd and fastened to the ground." So the woman in Schmidt's poem will "stand/ On trunks for feet and pray/ Like Laura turned to tree/ With bough and bloom …" The simile: "like Laura," leads, of course, to Petrarch, Number 23 of the Canzoniere, as well as to Ovid. At Apollo's decree, laurel provided the wreath for acclaimed poets and military victors. Is either profession significant to the old man?

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: ‘Thanksgiving in the Catskills no Cell Reception or Internet’ by Tommy Pico

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: 'Thanksgiving in the Catskills no Cell Reception or Internet' by Tommy Pico

By on

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire is posting a poem a day. For today’s poem, we’re happy to bring… Read More

Sophie Hannah: 'It's surprising how many poems turn out to be about sex'

The crime writer and poet on contrasting literary disciplines, the poetry of sex and the genius of Agatha Christie

Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah: 'Writing is like a whole other world in which I can make what I want to happen, happen.' Photograph: David Hartley/Rex Features

Sophie Hannah's talents are unusual: she is a bestselling crime writer (author of nine novels) and prize-winning poet (her fifth collection, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot award). Her poetry is studied by GCSE, A-level and university students. And all her writing is characterised by a zestful intelligence. Her new crime novel The Telling Error explores the psychology of an erring middle-class mother without diluting a bold plot about the stabbing of a newspaper columnist. It is a novel in which hi-tech and low behaviour collide. She has also just edited The Poetry of Sex for Penguin – the sort of idea that, in the wrong hands, could be a fiasco; with Hannah at the helm, it's a triumph.
    How far apart are crime writing and poetry?
    I have been interested in both equally all my life. All through childhood I wrote verses and mysteries. There is, for me, one connection: structure. My poetry is metrical, rhyming. My crime novels are highly structured. I never start out with a dead body. I start with an impossible scenario. Opening questions should be mysterious, weird, intriguing and contain the seeds of the solution. The structure has to be meticulous – I'm a structure freak.

    When and how did you become a crime writer?
    I had the idea for my first crime novel, Little Face, in 2002, the day after my first baby, Phoebe, was born. When she was six months, we went to Crete where I wrote the synopsis: a woman goes out leaving her baby with her husband. On her return, there is a baby in the house and it is wearing her daughter's babygro, but it is not her baby.

    25 books every writer should read

    25 Books Every Writer Should Read
    The hard work, the MFA vs. NYC debate, the negativity, the importance of a good Twitter account, the parties you have to go to, the readings you have to do, the people you should meet, the agents you need to impress — amid all the different ways writers have found to obsess over what it takes to be successful, we sometimes forget the most important thing of all: great writers need to be great readers. 

    Of course, you can’t read everything, but once you’ve moved past the totally obvious titles, consider adding these 25 books to your TBR… Read More

    THE ROUNDUP from PW including You Don't Own Your Kindle Books: Amazon reminds one customer.

    George Saunders' Six Favorite Books: Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, and more.

    You Don't Own Your Kindle Books: Amazon reminds one customer.

    The Genre Debate : In the third of the "Guardian" series on literary definitions, Elizabeth Edmondson argues that Jane Austen never imagined she was writing literature. Posterity made that decision for her.

    The Millions on the London Book Fair : Many tote bags, but few industry solutions.

    Enhanced E-books and Scholarly Writing: For scholars in the humanities, the "enhanced" e-book format is a game changer. Now we can much more easily disseminate our work in art history, archaeology, and many other scholarly fields that have presented high hurdles to print publishing.

    This Charlotte Brontë Novel Is Way Better Than 'Jane Eyre'

    HuffPost Books - Claire Fallon

    This year, on Charlotte Brontë’s 198th birthday, it’s time for me to finally admit a secret that’s been haunting me for some time. I think Jane Eyre, Brontë’s masterpiece, is kinda overrated. I know what I’m saying sounds radical. It's one of the great Victorian classics -- and trust me, I would never advocate for totally dismissing this beloved novel. When I first read Jane Eyre as a teenager, I fell passionately in book love with it, and I was inspired to make the rounds of the Brontës, inhaling Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre, over and over again.

    Jane Eyre spoke to my very soul, summing up all the adolescent angst that had plagued my uneasy transition into young adulthood. The Brontës and Jane Austen initiated me into the world of classic literature, but Jane Eyre was the book that felt most viscerally true and resonant. So it was with surprise that I realized, upon rereading it some years later for a college course, that I no longer found the novel virtuosic in its verisimilitude. It seemed maudlin, overwrought, almost absurd at points, and the triumphant finale of Jane’s marriage to the deeply flawed Mr. Rochester troubled me. 
    Reading A Room of One’s Own, I agreed with Virginia Woolf’s assessment that Brontë’s anger at the restrictions she faced as a woman weakened her control as a writer, leading to unevenness and bizarre shifts in tone throughout Jane Eyre. Studying the racist, colonialist and anti-feminist implications of Rochester’s imprisonment of his “mad” Creole wife Bertha Mason caused me to further question my formerly high regard for the book. For the same course, I read Villette for the first time, and I found myself wondering why Brontë’s fourth novel hadn’t achieved greater fame than the second novel I now found so patchy and weak.

    Despite my newfound academic concerns about Jane Eyre’s worth, as time wore on I realized the intellectual establishment still felt comfortably assured of it. It appeared at number 12 in The Guardian’s series on the top 100 novels of all time, and Flavorwire recently put it at number 2 on their list ranking the best 19th-century British novels -- outranking Middlemarch and Pride and Prejudice in a decision I can only describe as criminal. (Okay, that’s a bit hyperbolic. A bit.) Villette rarely, if ever, appears on these lists (though Flavorwire sneaks it in at number 48); Jane Eyre has been established as “the” Charlotte Brontë novel quite definitively.

    Tuesday Poem

    Over at the Tuesday Poetry hub this week, you’ll find ‘Untitled’ by Ema Saikō
    This week’s hub editor is Janis Freegard, and she shares a little background about her interest in this poet:
    I developed an interest in the poetry of nineteenth century Japanese writer and artist Ema Saikō after hearing I’d received the Ema Saikō poetry fellowship at New Pacific Studio in the Wairarapa. To me, this poem contains many aspects typical of her writing: observations of daily life, an appreciation of the natural world and the joys of sake! And I keep coming back to her idea that “planting flowers and not loving them is like not planting them”.

    Read more here, and see all the Tuesday Poem posts on the sidebar at the site. Poets from NZ and around  the world sharing poetry every week. 

    Doris Pilkington Garimara, Author Of Rabbit-Proof Fence, Dies At 76

    PEOPLE Posted:  

    “Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, which helped awaken Australians to the plight of the Aborigines, was translated into 11 languages. The Australian Film Institute named the movie version the year’s best film, and it won prizes at a dozen film festivals around the world.”