Footnotes, December 2021: Book links from around the web
At The Reading List, we’re trainspotters when it comes to interesting book links, and here are a number that caught our eye.
- Anne Rice, author of Interview With the Vampire, has died aged 80. Read Rolling Stone’s fascinating extended interview with the bestselling gothic novelist, from 1995.
- ‘I believe that writing also has to show what can be otherwise.’ Watch Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Nobel Prize lecture.
- Still have your copies of your kid’s Harry Potter books? We hope so. A first edition recently sold for $471,000 in the US at auction – a world record for a 20th century work of fiction.
- The first review of Yewande Omotoso’s new novel An Unusual Grief is in – and we’re excited.
- Depressingly, Siya Kolisi’s book Rise, one of the fastest selling books in the country since its release in September, is still not available in local libraries.
- Even more depressingly, former president Jacob Zuma’s ‘tell-all’ book Jacob Zuma Speaks has sold out, receiving over 2,000 pre-orders, according to his daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla. Sales of the book will go towards paying Zuma’s legal fees.
- As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to get your literary affairs in order. Take a leaf of of the book of a former high school student in Minnesota, who sent a $100 bill to the school library last week – 64 years after losing a book. Or, in Illinois, the repentant patron returned a book he had taken out 49 years earlier.
- If you’re feeling daunted at the mere thought of a new year’s resolution, take heart from the story of this 104-year-old woman, from a small village in India, who has recently learnt to read.
- If December is your downtime, here are some recommended reads – the 40 favourite books of Ernest Hemingway.
- Free ebooks your thing? These are the books that will be coming into the public domain in 2022.
- Is Superman Circumcised? A study of the superhero’s Jewish influences ‘beat off stiff competition’ to come first in this year’s Diagram Prize for the oddest book title of the year.
- Singer-songwriter John Legend has branched out into book publishing, ‘to build platforms for diverse voices that deserve to be heard’.
- HarperCollins has confirmed it will no longer publish a planned book by Chris Cuomo, who was fired by CNN recently, amid an inquiry into his efforts to aid his brother, Andrew Cuomo, the former Governor of New York, during a sexual harassment scandal.
- PEN International, the largest worldwide writers’ organisation, is celebrating its centennial this year.
Image: Anne Rice autographs copies of her new book Memnoch the Devil: The Vampire Chronicles on July 24, 1995 at Barnes & Noble in New York City/Rolling Stone