Best Picture Books of 2013 | Minh Le – Can anyone resist a good picture book? There are some really beautiful and fantastical offerings in this list, which, among other things, marks the 50th anniversary of Where The Wild Things Are.
“With everything from a sweeping biography of Nelson Mandela to a story about a unicorn that can make it rain cupcakes, 2013 was another great year for picture books. This is particularly notable because 2013 was the first full year after the death of the legendary Maurice Sendak and marked the 50th anniversary of his classic Where the Wild Things Are.”Huffington Post
BBC News – Will e-publishing help Africa switch on to reading? – International internet use has increased by an average of 566% since 2000, but African internet usage has increased by 3,606%, which translates into more than 160 million people, most of whom are linked to the internet via mobile phones. This boom has, in turn, created incredible opportunities to nurture an African book culture, which many praise, but some view as more cultural imperialism than anything else.
Less than ten years ago, I was presenting at an Oxford Round Table discussion, and one of the scholars from Africa was soliciting American universities for discarded computers that could be sent to Africa to feed their growing tech needs. It’s going to be interesting to see how the continent continues to build their technological infrastructure and how digital publishing and online technologies more generally affect the book culture, which many have perceived to be significantly underdeveloped.
“‘The proliferation of smartphones across Africa, combined with the inevitable burst into e-commerce, means that we would be foolish to ignore what is about to happen with publishing in Africa,’ said Jeremy Weate, of Abuja-based Cassava Republic, publisher of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books.
A romance imprint entitled Ankara Press and an original crime series, Cassava Crime, are due for release later this year with the focus on an e-reading audience, while Max Siollun’s Soldiers of Fortune, a non-fiction work charting Nigeria’s recent military history, has been published digitally as well as in hardback.”BBC News
“The investigation concerns whether Barnes & Noble and certain of its officers and/or directors have violated Sections 10b and 20a of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.”4-Traders
Six Postcards From Famous Writers: Hemingway, Kafka, Kerouac & More – These are pretty cool: postcards from writers (would it have killed them to maybe include some women or authors of color???). The one from Kafka is especially interesting, because it contains what looks to be a somewhat whimsical illustration, which does NOT comport with the image of Kafka so many people have. Hemingway writes about the bulls in Spain — no surprise there. Still worth a look, though.Open Culture
What Is This Thing Called Novella? – I have always contended that novellas are a very specialized form, simply because they seem so difficult to do well, at least in Romance. I’ve read some books that seem like they should be novellas but have been stretched to novel length, and novellas that feel like they’re short-changing a complex story. I wasn’t really aware that these debates over the novella form were still so intense, and given how many readers, at least in genre fiction, seem to equate length with price-point, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the novella in the digital landscape. Will we see more of them, especially among authors trying to break out? Or will authors and publishers want more $$ and more alleged prestige from the longer form novel?
“It was Parris-Lamb who contended that the novella really isn’t anything unique in its own right, merely a term used to denote a short novel. He spoke about the tradition of publishing novellas. Usually too long for magazines, too short for most houses to publish economically, it has taken on a taboo quality. With the recent options for digital publishing, most literary agencies would rather market a “novella” as a novel, so as not to trivialize the work. Why demote a work to novella status when it can be marketed as it’s more prestigious older brother?”Publishers Weekly
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!