The winner of the 2018 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction is Pulse Points by Jennifer Down. The prize is one of three literary prizes that Readings awards each year, the other two being the Readings Children’s Book Prize and the Readings Young Adult Book Prize. Each exists to celebrate the work of early-career Australian writers. There are 14 short stories in Pulse Points, each very different, but all dealing in the moments of everyday life that sting.
Readings, Oct. 18
Alex Harrington writes: “As a reference librarian, I get a lot of the same questions day in and day out. How do I find a book on my topic? How does the printing system work? Where is the bathroom? I used to get frustrated or annoyed answering the same questions 20 times a day, but then I remembered this XKCD comic, and it reminded me of a few things. One: We are here to teach people the things they don’t already know. Two: Everyone has to learn a thing before they know it.”
ACRLog, Oct. 18
Sharpening participants’ problem solving and collaboration skills by mashing up real-time adventure, immersive theater, gaming, and old-fashioned entertainment, escape rooms are a natural for libraries. And, as Ellyssa Kroski demonstrates in Escape Rooms and Other Immersive Experiences in the Library, published by ALA Editions, they’re feasible for a range of audiences and budgets. Kroski explains the differences between highly structured escape rooms and more casual immersive experiences.
ALA Editions, Oct. 18
Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé has been awarded the 2018 New Academy Prize in Literature. She was named the winner at a ceremony held October 12 at the Stockholm Public Library main branch in recognition of the role played by Swedish librarians in nominating authors for the award. Condé receives the 1 million Swedish kronor award for an authorship that “describes the ravages of colonialism and the postcolonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming.”
Book Riot, Oct. 12
Silvana Reyes Lopez writes: “Space opera novels are full of world-building, all-around action, and interesting characters. Space opera is inside the science fiction genre, and from there you can travel the stars, finding new books to read. It might contain fights or lost empires, or princesses running from their kingdoms and enemies trying to kill each other. It has everything for everyone, so you can’t go wrong on the direction you choose. Let’s go down this list of the 25 of the best space opera books.”
Book Riot, Oct. 18
Thunderous applause echoed across Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School’s gymnasium as one of their own was surprised with a $25,000 national award October 16 for her efforts in engaging students and boosting literacy skills. Jennifer Gordon, a librarian at the Cambridge school, was named as a recipient of the Milken Educator Award. No one at the school knew who had won the award until the envelope with Gordon’s name was opened. Officials with the Milken Family Foundation said Gordon’s influence in her students’ and colleagues’ lives is what made her stand out.
Boston Herald, Oct. 17
City of Thieves by David Benioff was banned from a Lee County High School in Fort Myers, Florida, after a parent complained of the book being “vulgar.” The book had been randomly assigned to approximately 30 students, and the parents and students had a chance to review the work and express concerns. At the time, no concerns were brought forward, though according to a local news report, some students did ask to exchange City of Thieves for another book.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Oct. 17