The Reading Report: Book News from July 7 – 13, 2014

14 July 2014 by 4 Comments
the reading report: book news The Reading Report is a weekly list of book news and links we found interesting from the previous week. Actual links may not be from the previous week. We can't read EVERYTHING in a timely manner.    

The Best Things All Week

George R.R. Martin flipped a big ol’ bird at a reporter morbidly speculating about Martin’s health and potential death before completing his popular book series. via The Guardian.

I admit, I’m guilty of doing this with The Dark Tower series, and yeah, that sort of makes me an asshole, too. Sorry, Mr. King.

A letter from Zora Neale Hurston to Langston Hughes. via The American Reader

“Without flattery, Langston, you are the brains of this argosy. All the ideas have come out of your head.”

Is “people laughing with books” the new “women laughing with salad?” via Huffington Post

something something new Harry Potter story via Time

The Worst Things All Week

Singapore banned three books over gay stuff and “unconventional” families. Oh, and these are children’s books. via Huffington Post

A mathematician tried to figure out which books we were buying and not reading based on . . . wait for it . . . Kindle highlights. The author acknowledges that it’s “just for fun” but the methodology is so problematic that–for me, anyway–it renders the entire exercise a bit pointless. “Like, it totally could be people not finishing the books? or it totally could be a bunch of other factors, IDK! But here, why don’t I publicize it anyway!” Sigh. Editors of major publications, where you be? (via WSJ)

Things That Were Not So Great But Could Turn Out Okay

A self-proclaimed “extremely progressive liberal” bookstore owner fires employees due to an attempt to unionize, completely misreads his customer base. via NYT

“So what happens when a bookseller and those he serves, after years of political harmony, fall suddenly and dramatically out of sync?

Well, then you’ve got a fight on your hands.”

Amazon, in a bizarre move, suggested to Hachette that they both give authors all the money from their book sales until the dispute ends. via The Guardian. Don’t get me wrong, it would be an amazing windfall for authors–but the very public and transparent way that Amazon went about trying to win author favor was staggeringly clumsy. While I don’t think Amazon is in the wrong for wanting to renegotiate contracts, they have handled this whole dispute rather gracelessly.

In the “Woe is Authorship” File

As it turns out, it’s kind of hard to earn a living off of writing. via The Guardian

“‘If you want to live by your writing,’ [Carmen Reid] says, ‘you have to make it wonderful, absolutely relevant and exactly what millions of people are desperate to read. No one ever said that was easy.'” This.

Authors We Might All Have Crushes On

Roxane Gay wrote a restaurant review that is not a restaurant review for The Morning News. It’s lovely, as everything she writes tends to be.

Things To Read

An interview with Edan Lepucki (author of California) at The Nervous Breakdown:

“It was really dark on that stretch of Sunset and it was in a place where there weren’t a lot of businesses. It felt really creepy. That got me thinking: What if the streetlights didn’t work anymore ever? How dark would those streets feel?”

Featured review: The Novel: A biography. via LARB.

“In recent years, while the bookish among us were bracing ourselves for the bookless future, stowing our chapbooks and dog-eared novellas in secret underground bunkers, the poet and scholar Michael Schmidt was writing a profile of the novel.”

What was your favorite book news this week?


Susie is the Bitch-in-Chief at IB and is also a contributor at Book Riot. She's an ice cream connoisseur, an art fanatic, a cat-mommy of three, and a wife. She runs the @thebooksluts Twitter account and may be slightly addicted.

4 thoughts on “The Reading Report: Book News from July 7 – 13, 2014

  1. Ahahaha, “something something new Harry Potter story” :-)

    “Unconventional families”?? Oh noes!! We mustn’t let the children know of this! Next thing you know, they could become… *whispers* open-minded, free-thinking individuals!

    • It’s super dangerous for children to read about two boy penguins raising a baby penguin together. SUPER DANGEROUS.

      • *whispers urgently* I knoooow, just think what awful lessons they might learn about love and diversity and gay parents being good, caring people!!! *fans self with NOM pamphlet to prevent fainting*

        Aaand breaking character b/c I can’t see “NOM” w/o suddenly wanting to go, “Nomnomnom!!”…and then I start picturing those bizzare snack commercials that end w/ the character going, “OMNOMNOM!!!” XD

  2. The entire George R.R. Martin flipping off a reporter is the entire reason why I decided to try reading ASOIAF hahahaha.

    Also holy shit there was so much wank over the banning of those books here in SG, especially after they decided that destroying the copies of those book that they had was the way to go (WTF EVEN). I think the people I hang with are rational and all of them are extremely unhappy over it. My fave so far of the actions taken in protest was the organisation of the reading of those books at one of the National Libraries… And the fact that because of this a lot of authors are now no longer willing to work with NLB and are boycotting their events and made it very clear that the reason for the boycott is this entire banning situation

    Seriously though, what kind of library DESTROYS BOOKS (I cannot get over this). I personally was of the opinion that if they didn’t want kids to be reading those books they could have put those books in the adult section instead as a sort of happy medium between taking it out of the children’s section and completely eradicating it… And the best part of it all is that the penguin story is actually based off of a true story of two male penguins in a zoo. -.-“

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