Footnotes, November 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.
- ‘The Every is about an all-powerful monopoly that seeks to eliminate competition’: why Dave Eggers won’t sell his new hardback on US Amazon.
- ‘Is it just me, or does this book suck?’ What’s the matter with book reviews?
- For the lolz: The Top 10 Books to Use as Bludgeoning Weapons in a Pinch.
- For the bedside table: 33 African Novels 400 Pages and Over.
- How Politics Makes Bad Books: The publishing industry has become a nest of frightened conformists and mediocrities.
- The TV series based on Hlomu the Wife, one of South Africa’s biggest self-publishing success stories, will soon be hitting Showmax.
- Amazon transformed the publishing industry. Has it done the same for literature itself?
- For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release.
- Hollywood loves books – authors are scrambling to join the supposed gold rush of TV or film writing.
- The oldest surviving book printed with movable type is not the Gutenberg Bible: Jikji, a collection of Korean Buddhist teachings, predated it by 78 years – and it’s now digitised online.
- More than 1,000 New Yorkers were asked to share their favourite books. Here are the 7 most popular recommendations.
- How do you create a cover fit for a classic? A look back at 60 years of Penguin’s Modern Classics.
- What is it with burning books? This time, it’s the idea of a board member at a school in Virginia, United States.
- Meanwhile, the Goddard school district in Kansas has removed more than two dozen books from circulation in the district’s school libraries, because apparently people are troubled by (checks notes) … diversity? Good grief.
- Ever dreamt of working in a bookstore? It’s not be as idyllic as it sounds. In fact, bookstore workers across the United States are beginning to unionise for better working conditions.
- Christos Tsiolkas has been awarded the $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Literature – one of Australia’s richest literary prizes.
- Struggling to find that new title? A brief explanation of the supply chain snags that have hit the book industry.
- A $2.2 billion Penguin deal can’t be good for books – inside Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster.
- The above lawsuit mentions a Grammy-winning singer who scored $8 million for her memoir, among other major contracts. So who got these amazing book deals?
- Ben Okri proposes a new artistic philosophy, ‘existential creativity’, as a mode for writers to confront the coming end times. Cheerful!
- And finally, Walt Whitman’s letter to a female admirer is the nicest romantic rejection in history.
Image: ‘Samizdat cartoons hidden inside a trade union fee book and a box of Turkish delight, and a match box with a tiny book hidden underneath the matches, from Romania, 1980s.’ Tabletmag/Wikipedia