Friday News: More 2017 books, on “March,” ending “book deserts,” and Amazon’s NYC store
50+ anticipated books for 2017 – Vulture has released two lists of anticipated books for 2017, 25 books across genres (linked above) and 33 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels (hey, Verge, where’s the Romance???), including Tolkien’s Beren and Luthien, a newly discovered Michael Chrichton novel (Dragon Teeth), N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone, Teju Cole’s Blind Spot, Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, and Durga Chew-Bose’s Too Much and Not in the Mood. There are even a few titles that may appeal to Romance readers, including And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz, and All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg:
It’s 2017 and as a society we’re only just beginning to understand that not every love story needs to end with a wedding. Jami Attenberg’s latest novel is as funny, sexy, cynical, and yet hopeful as its heroine: a single woman approaching her 40th birthday whose journey will be relatable for anyone whose idea of happily ever after breaks the traditional mold. – Vulture
John Lewis’ new nonfiction comic book wins a National Book Award – Compelling profile of both John Lewis and his new trilogy, March, which looks at the U.S. Civil Rights movement from the perspective of a young Lewis, who is now a Georgia congressman. Nate Powell produced the artwork and Andrew Aydin wrote the script. Despite the breakthrough quality March seems to have, Lewis readily admits he was inspired by Aydin’s own comic book trilogy, Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story:
This modest 16-page comic was first published in December 1957 and cost a dime. Its story describes heroism not in terms of super strength or X-ray vision, but in the forms of passive resistance practiced by the heroes of the civil rights movement.
In its time – and as a result of reprints and translations – it spread the gospel of nonviolent resistance around the globe. In certain places, it was considered dangerous to possess. It led Ed King, a prominent minister in the Mississippi movement, to have copies destroyed. If you were stopped and caught by the wrong people with the propaganda of racial justice, you could be killed.
The MLK comic was published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which had been active during the Montgomery bus boycott. It is attributed to two writers, Alfred Hassler and Benton Resnick, and was produced for free in an old studio owned by Eliot Caplin, brother of popular cartoonist Al Capp, and drawn beautifully by an anonymous artist. Designer Eddie Campbell suspects the artist may have been Sy Barry, who worked for years illustrating The Phantom, a cartoon often set in Africa and featuring black characters. – The Undefeated
A nationwide effort launches to turn ‘book deserts’ into literary oases – A new program, The Book Rich Environment Program, pairs the National Book Foundation with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development to distribute books to the roughly 4 million children and their families who reside in public housing, many of whom do not have easy access to libraries. Penguin Random House, Hachette, and Macmillan have agreed to donate books (PRH has already pledged 200,000 books).
The National Book Foundation is working with publishers to make sure the books donated are appropriate for a wide range of ages and reading levels, and that they reflect the diversity of the communities participating in the initiative. . . .
The Urban Library Council and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading are additional partners. After the first book giveaway to housing residents, the Book Rich program will work with local libraries to provide community programming. The National Book Foundation will be a key part of those efforts, and with helping to connect these communities with authors. – Los Angeles Times
Amazon Is Opening Its First Book Store in New York City – Amazon continues its foray into U.S. cities with a new bookstore in Manhattan, which represents some of the most expensive real estate in the U.S. At what point will we no longer refer to Amazon as a “digital” property?
The shop, a 4,000-square-foot location in the city’s Columbus Circle complex, joins Amazon stores in Seattle, San Diego and Portland, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company also plans to open stores in Chicago and Massachusetts and is considering building another store at a different location in Manhattan. – Forbes