Category Archives: Book News

Banned Books Week



This is a great timeline of books that have been challenged and another list of 25 banned and challenged books. And, lest you should think this is an old-fashioned problem, debates have been ranging in the past few weeks about banning Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park and Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,”  though the Randoplh County, North Carolina school board is reconsidering their decision.

(art from the American Library Association Banned Books Week press kit)


2013 Fictional Fifteen

Forbes has once again released its Fictional Fifteen list for 2013.

Year over year, I love this list and see the fluctuations.

It cracks me up that the first two people on the list aren’t really people… Scrooge McDuck and Smaug and I’m glad to see Jay Gatsby back on the list as he tends to drop on and off over the years.

Here are the folks from Forbes talking about the characters


J.K. Rowling, crime novelist?

This news tidbit was too good not to pass along.

CuckoosCallingCoverJ.K. Rowling has been outed as the author of a crime novel published under a pseudonym. Read the story here.

Meanwhile, I’m scampering off to check the online catalogue for the library and put this one on hold.

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One just doesn’t cut it

chips(via the Stark County District Library on Facebook. It’s not my image.)


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Thrilled! Mr. Penumbra’s is now a book!

I love listening to podcasts on my commute or while running.  Some stick with me for yearspenumbra, like Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four Hour Book Store, originally run on Escape Pod.  Every so often, the story and it’s unusual book store would fly through my mind and I would wonder if the author was successful in landing a book deal.

A chance browsing on Amazon showed me that it has:  Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four Hour Book Store.  And the library sent me the alert that I have it!  Off to read this long anticipated book.

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Book Vending

Fullerton library installs $35,000 book vending machine | machine, books, library – News – The Orange County Register.

A local art gallery here in Indy has an art vending machine and I’m thinking about squirreling away $10 I don’t need to buy a piece from it someday. It’s just too clever not to.

I think this idea of a book vending machine is great. When I interned in DC in college, I always read in the Metro or the shuttle van to the Washington Times offices (which weren’t on a Metro line then).

I have a hunch that if this was in my library system, I’d use it there too, inside, just because it looks like fun.

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Book lovers’ havens

Take a few minutes and ogle these amazing places devoted to books.

I’ve been to three of them and they are as wonderful as the photos. Better, really, of course.

This mandala bookshelf is also quite impressive and very clever for a small apartment.

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Turning it off

I’m not a big TV watcher by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t have cable, but I do like streaming shows and the library has a good DVD collection.

But, on the other hand, it’s been slowly creeping into my life more and more. More TV means less other things… fewer books, fewer journal entries, fewer phone calls or letters to friends.

no TVSo, 14 days in to 2013, I’m setting a resolution for the year: LESS TV.

I’m capping my TV at 4 hours a week, starting today. That means 4 one-hour shows. Or two movies. Or eight sitcom episodes. You get the idea.

When I was a graduate student, I was much more on this plan. Thursday nights I would turn on NBC for the sitcom/ER line-up and that was pretty much it. In college, I would devote Tuesdays (or was that Wednesdays?) to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and X-Files on Sundays.

This is still probably more than that, but I don’t have homework anymore.

I think it’s going to be a bit of a challenge, truthfully. While I still read (of course), it seems like of late, I’m much more likely to put in a DVD instead of pick up a book. I don’t like this change and want to unplug and keep my brain in better shape. For the year of wanting to read quality books (instead of a set number) it feels like it’s a necessary change.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Oops! (no, it wasn’t us)

Found this funny tidbit at Fast Company:

Some classic public domain books for the Nook appear to be stripped of any mention of the word “Kindle,” no matter what the context, resulting in some odd reading.

One blogger recently discovered that his downloaded 99-cent Nook version of War and Peace, ported by Superior Formatting Publishing from the Project Gutenberg version, changed all mentions of the word “Kindle” to “Nook.” Tragicomic results ensued, such as the sentence “It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern.” Further investigation by Jonathan Zittrain’s Future of the Internet site discovered that Superior Formatting had performed a global find-and-replace on the popular book. It is unknown how many other public domain works for the Nook have been stripped of any mention of “Kindle.”

Just goes to show that there is no substitute for some old-fashioned editing instead of find-and-replace.

Back on the Shelves

Twelve copies of Fifty Shades of Grey are back on the shelves of the Brevard County, Fla., libraries.

After the public outcry, the library system decided to put the racy book back into its collection. They made an official announcement on Monday.

A quick look at their catalog shows 209 holds currently for the book.

Also, if you haven’t seen this great video of Ellen DeGeneres reading the audiobook version, check it out. 

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