Buzz Worthy News
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: James Franco makes a hilarious cameo, US version of Memoir censored, Archie Comics donates a mil in books, and Norway gets digital.
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: Hot New Titles.
This is my last Buzz Post of the year, Cuddlebuggery Readers. I’m taking a two week break from the news to spend time with my family over Christmas. So, whatever holiday you personally celebrate, I hope it is a happy one! I’ll see you after the new year!
Indie’s First A Rousing Success
I mentioned it a few weeks back, and now the numbers are in. Indie’s First was a hit, y’all. In an introspective piece by author Denise Kiernan, we are given some of the behind the scenes on how the day went.
I joined a group of enthusiastic authors, all of us happy to promote a store that has promoted us over the years. Malaprop’s bookseller Cindy Norris scheduled us to work in shifts throughout the day. We had already submitted the titles of books that we wanted to recommend to customers, the idea being that hawking your own wares feels awkward at best, but talking about other people’s writing is something we do all the time anyway. Malaprop’s also created a display of books we authors had written, and had t-shirts made for us that read “Thanks for Shopping Indie.” The shirts differed in color from those of the staff so that we might be easily identified in case someone wanted to strike up a conversation or ask us to sign their books.
The response of readers and shoppers was overwhelmingly positive. Readers wanted to chat about Kiernan’s current reads and favorite books. There was even the occasional opportunity to catch customers who didn’t know about Indie’s First unawares.
Many customers I met were unaware prior to entering Malaprop’s that authors were on hand working, and got a kick out of chatting or leaving with a signed book to give as a present. For me, it was nice to finally meet some of the other authors who live in town, and put some faces with names and email addresses. The store was swamped, the cafe was packed, and the convivial, party-like atmosphere could have sucked the cynicism out of even the crabbiest of Scrooge-ian shoppers.
And finally, yes, the actual numbers.
Malaprop’s manager Linda Barrett said that the weekend’s sales were up a whopping 46% over last year. “Both days were terrific,” she said, “but Indies First/Small Business Saturday was much busier in foot traffic and sales.”
She felt that the publicity surrounding the event itself was a boost. “Authors and bookstores working together to promote the value of supporting independent bookstores on Small Business Saturday provided media with a great story,” she explained. Norris also credited the authors who promoted Indies First on blogs, Facebook and Twitter prior to the event itself.
Fantastic! And don’t forget, even if you didn’t take part this year, there is always next year!
Archie Comics Is Full Of Holiday Cheer (And Awesome)
In a move that will make me sing their praises forEVER, Archie Comics has donated more than $1,000,000 worth of children’s books to the Toys For Tots foundation. Oh, yeah! That is so freaking amazing! From the company press release:
“Archie Comics wants to encourage its fans to join in with a new initiative called ‘Archie’s Give-a-Book Program,’ to spread the gift of giving to children. Making books available to every child to encourage creativity and literacy is an important mission to Archie Comics.”
Now why can’t more people understand this? *cough*publishers*cough* Seriously, though, this is such a great thing and kudos to them for being willing to fork out that kind of cash to do it. Archie Comics will also be publishing a special Toys For Tots comic story in Archie Double Digest #246.
Maya Angelou Honors Mandela With Poem
It’s video day here at Cuddlebuggery, I guess. I’ve got two great ones for you! The first is a poem that Maya Angelou wrote in honor of Nelson Mandela. The source, by the way, has some other interesting Mandela related stuff, too.
James Franco Stars In Little Failure Book Trailer
I’ve never heard of author Gary Shteyngart before (perhaps his new memoir, Little Failure, is aptly named), but I do now. And I am intrigued, and highly amused. My reason? I stumbled across this hilarious book trailer featuring James Franco, Rashida Jones, Jonathan Franzen and the author himself. Really, anyone who can poke fun at themselves in such an funny way is okay in my book.
The author, chronic blurber, and budding non-fiction writer has his first memoir Little Failure coming out in January. To create some hype, the Super Sad True Love Story author released a book trailer with some serious guest cameos.
Now let’s see if I can embed this thing for your viewing pleasure. 🙂
Jason Segel To Play David Foster Wallace
You may know him as the endearing Marshal on How I Met Your Mother, but soon, Jason Segel will be known for a more literary role. The actor will play David Foster Wallace—author of Infinite Jest, who committed suicide in 2008—in an upcoming movie entitled “The End of the Tour”.
James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”) will direct from a script by playwright Donald Margulies, who adapted Lipsky’s book “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace.
Costarring with Segel is Jesse Eisenberg, playing Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky.
[The story] finds Lipsky accompanying Wallace across the country on a book tour promoting “Infinite Jest,” just as Wallace starts to become famous. Along the way, jealousy and competition bubbles up between the two writers as they discuss women, depression and the pros and cons of fame.
I’m guessing this role will be quite a change for Segel.
New Film Adaption Of Anne Frank
It’s one of the saddest stories every kid should be required to read, and now Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Ari Folman plans to put his own perspective to the story. The Diary of a Young Girl will soon be an animated movie, with both the script and direction placed in Folman’s hands.
The filmmakers have been granted complete access to all of the archives of the Anne Frank Fonds Basel, founded by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, as well as to all the branches of the Anne Frank Fonds worldwide. Folman and Elbaum, who was a co-producer on Folman’s latest, The Congress, negotiated the rights for the worldwide release on all media and in all languages for the new animated film. The Congress, a biting Hollywood satire set in a near-future world and starring Robin Wright, won the European Film Award for best animated feature on Saturday.
What do you think of that, readers? Sounds interesting to me! Ari Folman seems pretty excited, too.
“Bringing the Anne Frank Diary to all screens is a fantastic opportunity and challenge,” Folman said. “There is a real need for new artistic material to keep the memory alive for younger generations.”
Norway To Digitize Every Norwegian Book
Google Books, eat your heart out! Norway has plans to digitize every book that’s every been written in Norwegian. In case you didn’t count them (I sure didn’t!), that’s hundreds of thousands of books. Fully digitized.
By law, “all published content, in all media, [must] be deposited with the National Library of Norway,” so when the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people’s language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years.
If you happen to be in Norway, as measured by your IP address, you will be able to access all 20th-century works, even those still under copyright. Non-copyrighted works from all time periods will be available for download.
Hmmm… I wonder how much of a pain it would be to learn Norwegian and try to change my citizenship. I’m sure my husband won’t mind the move. All for the greater good.
Anyway, they plan to be done by 2020, but I don’t see how that can happen, since thousands of books are being written every freaking year. But good luck, Norway! Hopefully the US will join you soon. (ahahaha. Yeah, right.)
Found Transcript Of Black Prisoner From The 1850’s
I’m checking the attic at my parents’ house the next time I go to visit. Who knows what goodies may be hiding up there? A prime example of this is The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict by a man under the pen name of Rob Reed, purchased by a rare bookseller in upstate New York.
Though little to nothing is known about how the book came to be in the hands of the family that sold it, and in such pristine condition, no less, its authenticity has indeed been verified by Yale University as being written in 1858 and is now slated for display (and research) in Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
“It’s still a very unusual thing for us to find any previously unknown document from this period by an African-American writer,” Mr. Smith said. “From a literary point of view, I think there’s no other voice in American literature like the voice of this penitentiary narrative, which has a very lyrical quality. And from a historical perspective, what makes this so fascinating at this moment is the deep connection between the history of slavery and the history of incarceration.”
Yale is preparing the book for publication and will go immediately into my TBR. Even though the life of a black prisoner in the 1800’s will be a tough read, I bet it will be fascinating!
Source(you should read this, sooooo interesting!)
New Book Gives In Depth Look At Transgender Teen Life
The teenage years are tough enough already without adding in the confusion of gender identity. Susan Kuklin compassionately follows the lives of six transgender teens from before, during and after their personal transformations in her new book, Beyond Magenta. She explains her thought process:
It suddenly came to me – what if you’re imprisoned by your own body? And I began thinking about people who are born as one sex but never believe that they really are that sex. It occurred to me they must go through a long process of finding out and learning to express who they are. I decided I wanted to learn more about that.
Each of the teens involved was interviewed by Kuklin for several hours. The book’s title came from a poem, written by one of the teens:
In his poem, the narrator responds to the question, “What are you?…you gotta choose…Pink or blue?” with the words, “…I’m a real nice color of magenta.” After a lengthy deliberation of options for the title, Kuklin sent her subjects a group e-mail suggesting Beyond Magenta, and was happy when they all agreed to it.
According to senior editor of Candlewick Press, Hilary Van Dusen, the manuscript sat on her desk for a while before she could decide where it would fit in their list. Everyone she showed it to agreed that it should be printed, despite its potentially controversial subject matter. Everyone was inspired by the joy and courage of the participants.
Jessy, one of the teens involved, talks about his reasons for participating:
“Above all, what inspired me to participate was the kind love, support, and warmth I received from those around me,” he said, “especially from those at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, who stood by my side every step of the way during my transition.”
“Being interviewed by Susan made me reflect upon myself in all kinds of ways. It made me realize how far I’ve come from where I started, and I was able to see how much I grew mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was able to share heartfelt experiences and perspectives, as the interviews made me dig into my deepest thoughts and feelings.”
For Susan, each of these young people is a friend. After all, this book was four long years in the making!
“I am not objective at all, but am completely passionate about these teens,” she said. “I hope the book shows readers that these teenagers are not stereotypes, but are lovely, interesting, multidimensional individuals from whom they can learn. My ultimate hope is that readers can see reflections of themselves in some facets of these teens. My second hope is that the book will give people more of an understanding when they see someone a bit different from themselves – an understanding that that person is not too different after all.”
Libraries Found Irrelevant (Or Not, Depending On Your Source)
Oh the dizziness of my brain. In the space of 2 days, no less than 3 stories about the new Pew Survey on libraries came out, all of them with conflicting findings. Let’s just take a gander, shall we? First up is Publishers Weekly, which says that libraries may indeed be unessential:
“As a perception study, it is reassuring to know that Americans still have a warm and fuzzy feeling about their public library, but information about how they are actually using libraries is limited. Or, even more critically, what they want from libraries in the future,” Kenney noted. “This isn’t a criticism of the data, just an acknowledgment of its limits.”
As a library manager, Kenney said he was somewhat surprised to see such positive data in the report for the 18-29 age demographic. “Traditionally this group, 20-somethings, has the lowest usage and least positive perception of libraries,” he noted. “Typically, they rediscover libraries when they have kids of their own, in their 30s. But this data shows them to be stronger users than 16-17 year olds, and on par with older adults.”
Basically, their point is that even though people say they strongly support the library, there’s no proof the people who support it are actually using it. Okay. Moving on to the second interpretation, this is by Galleycat with a more optimistic view:
Ninety percent of Americans aged 16 and older said that if their local public library closed that it would impact their community, and 63 percent said that it would have a major impact.
These Americans say that libraries play an important role in their communities. In fact, ninety-five percent of these citizens said that the materials and resources available at public libraries are important in giving anyone the chance to succeed. In addition, 95 percent of those surveyed said that public libraries promote literacy and a love of reading. The report also found that majority of people (94 percent) report that the public library improves the quality of life in a community.
Even though the overall article is positive, there is once again that undertone of the negative. Are libraries still relevant? Are they technological enough? And the final article, in NPR:
More than 6,200 people ages 16 and older were interviewed by phone for the study, which was released Wednesday. It found that 90 percent of those Americans think “the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community” and a whopping 95 percent “agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.” Despite wide agreement that public libraries are important, significantly fewer Americans (54 percent) said they have used one in the past year. And Pew didn’t ask what might be the most crucial question: Would Americans be willing to pay higher taxes to keep their public libraries open?
This one actually made me laugh. Pew research called 16-year-olds on the phone? I just can’t picture that. What 16 year old is going to sit on the phone and talk to a bunch of dusty researchers?
“So do you like your library?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess.”
“Do you think your library closing would have a significant impact on your community?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess.”
“Have you visited your local library in the past year?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess.”
Suddenly the study seems suspect.
Look, I think we all know that libraries are important to the community, even those in the community who don’t frequent the library personally. There are a TON of people who go to the library who won’t be contacted via phone or don’t HAVE a phone and I’m sure these people are also big fans of the library. Heck, I’m pretty sure that Pew Research doesn’t call people on their cell phone and guess what? I haven’t had a land line for 10 years.
Now, I’m not calling the Pew Research into question. I am calling out the interpretation of the info, though. Let’s take this all with a grain of salt, people. Firstly, libraries low on technology? Piffle.
Let’s look at all the stories I’ve covered about libraries and their technology in just the past couple of months: overdrive kiosks in libraries, 24 hour libraries, espresso machines(the book kind, not the coffee kind) in libraries. And that’s just the news stories. I can rent ebooks, mp3 audiobooks, and use their considerable online libraries for whatever research I need. My library has two self checkout areas, a whole slew of internet connected computers for anyone to use for homework, work, whatever. It also has free wireless. Every week they have wii play days where local kids can come and hang out. And right now they’re trying to start up ereader rentals. At my sister’s library in Washington (state) they have a full on coffee shop, where they do poetry readings, author presentations, etc. I mean, honestly, to say you don’t think a library has enough technology is like saying you’ve never darkened their doors.
Secondly, the fact that 90% of people polled STILL BELIEVE IN LIBRARIES is HUGE! And the fact that 54% of them have been IN a library is also nothing to sneeze at. I mean, we now have the Affordable Care Act because a very small element of the population had desperate need of it. There are some who would have us believe that libraries are a relic of the past, filled with dust and nothing much else. But 54% of people don’t think that’s true and that ain’t bad!
And as for the last question, will taxpayers be willing to pay to keep libraries around? I think yes. Every time they’ve tried to make significant cuts to our library(they once tried to hack at it by 70%!) the taxpayers have come out against it. Call me an optimist, but I think there are plenty of people who will fight to keep them around.
Sources HERE, HERE, and also HERE.
US Edition Of Memoir Is Different Than UK
Apparently we Americans can’t handle gayness like the Brits (or so the publishers suppose), because the US version of Morrissey’s autobiography deliberately edits out passages that give more detail on the two year relationship between The Smiths’ singer and photographer Jake Owen Walters.
The US release downplays Morrissey’s anecdotes about his two-year relationship with photographer Jake Owen Walters, and removed his name from a story about a night out they had together with Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders.
Many other details about the 90s relationship have also been modified for the US version and a photograph of Walters as a young boy is missing.
It is not specifically noted that Morrissey and Walters were lovers in either edition, but the singer makes it clear the pair were involved, each holding a great fondness for the other.
From the article, it sounds as though Morrissey is generally a private man, and also didn’t give any explicit details about his relationship with Walters, even going so far as to label himself a “humasexual…I am attracted to humans.” So why in the world would the publishers take a red pen to the edition to be released in the US? Perhaps because of something else the author reveals?
In the book, he speaks of how “Jake and I neither sought nor needed company other than our own for the whirlwind stretch to come…for the first time in my life the eternal ‘I’ becomes ‘we’ as, finally, I can get on with someone”.
The singer explains how he met Walters at a dinner in Notting Hill and the pair “fell together in deep collusion…and ate up each minute of the day”.
Whatever the reason, it’s clearly ridiculous for the publishers to think they wouldn’t get found out. Age of the internet, people. The internet knows all.
Brenna Aubrey talks about her personal publishing journey.
Yes, the book lover stereotypes are kind of true. (At least for me)
Reviewers and Twitter etiquette. Quote of the day: “You don’t know who your enemies are until you review their books.” HA.
Amazing gifts for literary people. OMG, I am so getting that book map!
Nine signs you might be living in a YA novel. Wouldn’t number 4 be nice? Yes, please!
Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.
All I Need written by Susane Colasanti, reviewed by Books For Kids
This book falls right in the middle of what I like and what I don’t. On the one hand, it is super sweet and focuses on real love and developing lasting relationships. In the other hand, there is a lot of sex talk and high school drama.
I like the way the relationship between the characters develops. They know they have something real and they take things pretty slow. They give themselves time to get to know each other before getting too serious. Both characters are likable, which is a must with a romance heavy story.
Did I just watch a whole book trailer AND ENJOY IT? Because that appears to be a thing that just happened. Normally they’re kinda silly and pointless but that was actually funny.
I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who avoids book trailers! James Franco is freaking brilliant in this trailer. There’s another book trailer previous to this one (perhaps where the two husbands met? lol) that is also pretty dang funny, if you want to check it out.
Anne Frank’s story as animation movie, seems like a great move! I think it will appeal more to children and I think it’s such an important piece of history. I can’t wait to see how that is going to work out.