Angela Haupt writes: “It started with a happily ever after. In 1972, Avon Books published The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen Woodiwiss—a hefty historical romance that traded chastity for steamy sex scenes. It arrived in the thick of the sexual revolution, and readers loved it: It was an instant bestseller that’s credited with birthing the modern romance genre.”
Washington Post, Apr. 15
Mihir Paktar writes: “You probably already know about Project Gutenberg, OverDrive, Centsless Books, and some of the other best free ebook download sites. In this article, we’ll look beyond them to find free ebooks from sources you may not have heard of before. This includes one of the best forums to get books, a place to dig up old-school pulp fiction, and some better ways to get the classics.”
Make Use Of, Apr. 19
Simon & Schuster has said it will not pull out of a seven-figure book deal with Mike Pence after some of its employees called for the contract to be scrapped, stating that “we come to work each day to publish, not cancel.” An open letter circulated by staff at S&S said that the publisher had “chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Pence,” in a two-book deal struck earlier this month and reported to be worth $3–4 million.
The Guardian (UK), Apr. 21
Anne Holmes writes: “National Poetry Month is here (arguably the most wonderful time of the year, but we’re biased), and we’re excited to share what we have in store. The centerpiece of our annual April festivities is the release of 50 newly digitized recordings to the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. Among this year’s additions are readings and conversations featuring consultants in poetry Robert Hayden, Anthony Hecht, and William Jay Smith. For the first time streaming from the archive, you can also listen to recordings from Carolyn Kizer, May Miller, Michael McClure, Shreela Ray, John Okai, Sapphire (right), Paul Theroux, Quincy Troupe, and dozens more.”
Library of Congress: From the Catbird Seat, Apr. 15
Librarian Tayla Cardillo writes: “Earlier this year in the Murray (Utah) School District, the book Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff was challenged after it was brought in by a 3rd-grade student for their teacher to share with the class. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, after the book was read to the class some families reached out to the school district to complain, upset that this book was shared with their children without their permission. But the Murray School District’s response to these challenges did not stop there. The school district also chose to put its equity book bundle program on hold while they reviewed the titles included in this program.”
OIF Blog, Apr. 19
In Episode 61, Call Number with American Libraries talks with school librarians about how they changed their work and services during the pandemic. First, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with three school library media specialists about how they bootstrapped a bookmobile to provide free titles to kids learning remotely. Next, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart talks with Melissa Jacobs, director of New York City School Library System and the New York Department of Education’s Department of Library Services, about how librarians in the largest school district in the US operated during the pandemic.
AL: The Scoop, Apr. 20
Author and Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon) recently launched the Life-Changing Libraries project, which highlights the importance of library spaces for primary schools. On April 12 she shared an open letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking, “How can a child become a reader for pleasure if their parents or carers cannot afford books, and their primary school has no library, or that library is woefully insufficient?”
BookTrust (UK), Arr. 13