A Charlotte Bronte manuscript sold for buttloads of money, people love libraries, Occupy Wall Street got justice for the theft of their library by New York City Police, Young Adult Books are kicking butt in sales and author Hugh Howey stirs massive controversy in the book blogging world. All this and more in this week’s Buzz Worthy News.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Sunday post: How New Titles.
And by manuscript, I mean a poem which sold for $141,000. But it’s Charlotte freaking Bronte, peeps! That’s badass!
Signed C Brontë, and dated by her on 14 December 1829, “I’ve been wandering in the greenwoods” is written on a piece of paper measuring just three inches square, and is difficult to read without a magnifying glass. Charlotte and her siblings all wrote in a tiny hand, to make the most of a scarce and expensive paper supply, but they were also short-sighted, so would have been able to see what they were writing themselves, even it was illegible to others.
The fascinating find provides insight into the life and mind of Charlotte Bronte, one of the three famous literary sisters.
Libraries are kind of like Batman – the lone defenders of our cities (against ignorance and its cultural devolution), working thanklessly, often tirelessly against evil (it’s what I call not-reading). It’s easy to feel like they’re becoming abandoned monuments to an age long gone where people didn’t think watching condensation falling down their slowly warming beer bottles is the height of entertainment.
But public libraries aren’t as ignored and they aren’t as generally unappreciated as some seem to think. Actually, they’re still a beloved and appreciated commodity in our community and I have the infographic to show for it.
Eighty-one percent of American adults use the Internet and almost as many people agree that free computer and internet access (including Wi-Fi) are very important services that libraries offer. In fact, 62 percent of libraries are the sole provider of computers and Wi-Fi for free in their community. Libraries also offer technology assistance, help with social services applications, tutoring and advice for job-seeking patrons. Over the past decade, public libraries have been increasing in number, but the growth hasn’t kept up with the population. Between 2000 and 2009, public libraries increased by 1.7 percent, but the national population increased by 11.7 percent.
It never ceases to amaze me how the media reports on OWS movement. “What do they want?” “Who are these people?” “WHAT MAGIC IS THIS?!”
Then there’s the, obviously necessary police intervention, for these clearly dangerous citizens. Like that girl in the photo who is obviously capable of doing so much damage with her 100 pound body.
It came to a serious boiling point when the New York City Police illegally seized and stole $47,000 of the OWS’s library like it was no big deal. Now justice has been served!
The Occupy Wall Street movement and OWS librarians sued New York City in federal court over the destruction of the Occupy Wall Street Library during a late-night raid on Zuccotti Park. According to the lawsuit, the city confiscated 3,600 books on November 15, 2011, but the city only returned 1,003 of the books.
MobyLives wrote more about the court case. Here’s an excerpt from the original lawsuit:
We believe that the raid and its aftermath violated our First-Amendment rights to free expression, Fourth-Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure, and Fourteenth-Amendment rights to due process, as well as the laws of the City of New York regarding the vouchsafing of seized property. We are demanding compensatory damages for the lost/destroyed books and equipment, which we have estimated at at least $47,000. In addition, because we believe the seizure and destruction of the books went beyond negligence to constitute a reckless and callous indifference to our constitutional rights, we are demanding punitive damages of at least $1,000.
Good job, guys!
Lawrence’s reposit to some intensely sexist drivel has waited 89 years to be published. It’s an interesting composition since DH Lawrence has a bit of a bad rep due some of his work that can and has been interpreted to depict him as a sexist pig. I’m not going to argue over whether Lawrence actually was sexist or not since I don’t know enough about him to judge, but this recently found opinion piece of his certainly does put him in a better light!
Found among the papers of Lawrence’s friend John Middleton Murry, by Nottingham University English lecturer Dr Andrew Harrison, the piece is a response by Lawrence to a vicious short article by one “JHR” in the April 1924 issue of the journal Murry edited, the Adelphi. Entitled “The Ugliness of Women”, JHR argues in his column that “in every woman born there is a seed of terrible, unmentionable evil: evil such as man – a simple creature for all his passions and lusts – could never dream of in the most horrible of nightmares, could never conceive in imagination.”
Lawrence posits that “the hideousness he [JHR] sees is the reflection of himself, and of the automatic meat-lust with which he approaches another individual,” ending: “Even the most ‘beautiful’ woman is still a human creature. If he [JHR] approached her as such, as a being instead of as a piece of lurid meat, he would have no horrors afterwards.”
Score one for D.H. Lawrence!
So LinkedIn, that social media site for professional people too busy to throw sheep at each other on Facebook, is looking to break into the publishing industry. This week, the social media site purchased Pulse for 90 million dollars. If anybody is counting, that’s exactly $8,999,924 more than what I currently have in my bank account.
Pulse is a news aggregator, which always gives me the mental image that it aggregates alligators for news purposes. That’s probably not what it means though because angry alligators isn’t really news worthy. Basically, it’s an app that pulls news feeds from multiple sources for easy reading pleasure.
Stanford graduate students Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta founded Pulse in 2010. Here’s more about Pulse from the release:
Pulse currently has more than 30 million users who have activated its iOS and Android-based news reader apps in more than 190 countries. Pulse is available in nine languages, and approximately 40% of users are outside the United States. More than 750 of the world’s leading publishers distribute their content through Pulse.
I should probably mention that 90 million dollars is good pay for two-ish years work. Nice work Akshay and Ankit!
This may not seem particularly Buzz Worthy but it shows a marked trend in publishing – both book and news. Amazon buys Goodreads, LinkedIn buys Pulse – these purchases aren’t synonymous in meaning, benefit and results. But they are similar in that what people read and how is, more than ever, becoming a social, consumer-controllable, electronic entity. Instead of waiting for the evening news at 6:30 to tell you what is important and newsworthy, people are going out and finding it themselves. Instead of reading books put out by publishers and finding new reads through bookstores, people are talking about it online, buying self-published fiction more tailored to their needs and wants. This isn’t all benefits because an effect is being had in positive and negative directions on the news industry and publishing industries. But change is still kind of, usually a good thing.
Publishing is dying, peeps be panicking, the end is nigh! Unless you’re talking about Young Adult or Children’s lit which has continued a steady and reliable trend of being fucking amazing. Also, it sells really well.
Adult Hardcovers are down by 6.7%, while Young Adult Hardcovers are up 11.2% from last year. The biggest change, though, comes with ebooks were adult ebooks are up an impressive 33.2%. However, this seems measly in comparison to the 120.9% increase of Young Adult ebooks.
Congratulations, self-published and indie authors. You are officially amazing and everyone wants you and your books. After Amazon’s been raking in a small fortune from selling self-published ebooks, Barnes & Noble finally decided to get in on the game. They have given their self-publishing platform a massive overhaul and relaunched it as Nookpress.
“NOOK Press authors can price their titles between $0.99 and $199.99 and receive a competitive royalty based on the given price. For NOOK Press NOOK Books priced at or between $2.99 and $9.99, authors receive 65 percent of the list price for sold content. For those priced at $2.98 or less, or $10.00 or more, authors receive 40 percent of the list price. NOOK Press authors will be compensated from the list price they set with no additional charges, regardless of file size.”
The Catching Fire Trailer is Out, People. Brace Yourselves.
I’m not even going to say anything. Imma just leave this here.
Hugh Howey Gets Down With The Sexism
So this week, author Hugh Howey posted an amusing anecdote about how a person at an event was totally rude and horrible. I agree that horrible people are horrible. I would probably talk about how horrible they were too. But Howey’s description of the event soured for some people when his comments went from general talk about a rude person to derogatory genderalizing. You can read the entire post here.
Some choice quotes:
“We had a nice chat, right up until the batshit craziest broad at all of WorldCon joins the conversation.”
“And this bitch was downright mean.”
“Now, picture Sheldon’s girlfriend from BIG BANG THEORY. Really. That was her if such a person really existed. Big-toothed and nodding and telling people how great they were.”
(While talking about a fantasy of his in which he won awards and she was there to see how well he did) “I may even have grabbed my crotch or something like that – the fantasy gets hazy. I told this story, and I called that poor girl who just doesn’t know how to interact with other humans, a bad word.”
“Suck it, bitch.”
In the comments, when people began complaining about his use of language in the blog post, Howey goes on to call them bitchy:
“Thanks, Nicole! Some people are just bitchy.”
Because that will make it all better! After further complaints about his language, Howey writes:
“I’m attacking someone for being a mean-spirited, rude, obnoxious, horrible, bad person.
Not even attacking, really. Just making fun of them.”
But, here’s the problem. Howey wasn’t attacking or making fun of her as a person. He specifically attacked her in a gendered way. She wasn’t just a bad person, she was a “bitch” and a “broad” and apparently an ugly one at that – as if an unattractive and rude woman was somehow even more offensive to his sensibilities. Though I find that one of the most aggravating parts of his rant since Amy Farrah Fowler played by Mayim Bialik (Her character has a name and identity outside of her relationship status, I just thought you should know) is a great character and the actress who plays her is beautiful – even dressed up as Amy.
By the way, Mayim Bialik (once again, that is her name) was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. And she has a goddamn Ph.D in neuroscience, asshole.
BUT PC Police, you were mean to Howey and this hurt his feelings. Bad on you, guys, for speaking up against misogynistic ranting when it was obviously just tongue-in-cheek.
“I feel the PR Police are being more rude to me than I was to this girl, whom I showed respect to by biting my tongue while being insulted by her.”
I’m sure, if she ever read that post, she’d feel very respected by the fact that in your mind she’s degraded as a bitch and a broad and that you had fantasies about grabbing your junk at her and telling her to suck it. I always know I feel like I’m being treated as a person first and my gender second when someone takes a moment to talk about degrading me through unwelcome sexual innuendo.
I think the real low point comes when a commenter contributes this:
“As a former kennel owner, I’m here to tell you that female dogs all over the planet take umbridge [sic] to the use of the word “bitch” when applied to an obnoxious human female.”
To which Howey replied an emphatic “LOL!!” I know! Hilarious! Get it? Obnoxious human females! They’re just the worst! Even animals would be offended at being associated with them.
Under intense public pressure, Howey went on to apologize.
I think I should qualify that sometimes, we all say something bad. I genuinely don’t think that this author spends his life and days as a raving misogynist bent on cowing the world with his junk. We live in a sexist, racist, homophobic world that is geared toward making it easy to, without even realizing it, add to that inequity with our words and actions. I think what Howey wrote in his original post was appalling. I think his initial reaction when many people tried to politely address his word choice was worse. I sure as fuck hope he means his apology and takes this opportunity to learn and grow. Until then:
Peeps, I am dissapoint.