Wednesday News: ALA, Ashley Madison, books bought and sold
Librarians Celebrate Diversity at ALA 2016 – Publishers Weekly’s summary post for the recent American Library Association conference, which was held this year in Orlando and focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Speakers included Michael Eric Dyson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Viet Than Nguyen, who received the Carnegie Award for Excellence in Fiction for The Sympathizer. Although attendance was down, the mood of the conference was “high-energy,” according to PW:
The librarians who did make it to Orlando certainly injected a large measure of positivity to grief-stricken city. In addition to highlighting diversity issues in their main program, librarians held a moving memorial for the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting, participated in a two-day blood drive, and set up numerous volunteer opportunities in the community. And, in support of free speech, a number of librarians were recorded outside the exhibit hall reading from banned LGBTQ-themed books for an upcoming advocacy campaign. – Publishers Weekly
Infidelity website Ashley Madison facing FTC probe, CEO apologizes – My favorite (not) thing about this article and interview with the new CEOs of Ashley Madison isn’t the revelation that the site used “fembots” — aka computer programs that simulated real women — to interact with men on the site; it’s that the company is being rebuilt with better security and privacy controls. Bwahhahhhaaa. Assuming they can get through the lawsuits and the FTC investigation, that is.
But it faces a mountain of problems, including U.S. and Canadian class action lawsuits filed on behalf of customers whose personal information was posted online, and allegations that it used fake profiles to manipulate some customers. The site’s male-to-female user ratio is five to one, the executives said.
An Ernst & Young report commissioned by Avid and shared with Reuters confirmed that Avid used computer programs, dubbed fembots, that impersonated real women, striking up conversations with paying male customers. – Reuters
Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview – A comprehensive list from The Millions of almost a hundred new books releasing somewhere from now to the end of the year. I’m interested in quite a few, from Jacqueline Woodson’s (adult novel) Another Brooklyn to Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed (a reworking of The Tempest). Anything you’re looking forward to?
This year is already proving to be an excellent one for book lovers. Since our last preview, we’ve gotten new titles by Don DeLillo, Alexander Chee, Helen Oyeyemi, Louise Erdrich; acclaimed debut novels by Emma Cline, Garth Greenwell, and Yaa Gyasi; new poems by Dana Gioia; and new short story collections by the likes of Greg Jackson and Petina Gappah. We see no evidence the tide of great books is ebbing. This summer we’ve got new works by established authors Joy Williams, Jacqueline Woodson, Jay McInerney, as well as anticipated debuts from Nicole Dennis-Benn and Imbolo Mbue; in the fall, new novels by Colson Whitehead, Ann Patchett, and Jonathan Safran Foer on shelves; and, in the holiday season, books by Javier Marías, Michael Chabon, and Zadie Smith to add to gift lists. Next year, we’ll be seeing the first-ever novel (!) by none other than George Saunders, and new work from Kiese Laymon, Roxane Gay, and (maybe) Cormac McCarthy. We’re especially excited about new offerings from Millions staffers Hannah Gersen, Sonya Chung, Edan Lepucki, and Mark O’Connell (check out next week’s Non-Fiction Preview for the latter). – The Millions
First published book on heliocentric theory heads for auction – If you have an extra $2M lying around, you may be able to acquire De Libris Revolutionum Eruditissimi Viridoctoris, written by Nicolaus Copernicus’s only student, Georg Joachim Rheticus. Rheticus was not trying to get the jump on his mentor, though, and by publishing his own work, he was finally able to convince Copernicus to get his own manuscript out from under the bed. Or wherever.
Rheticus (1514-1574) published this first book on the subject based on his studies under Copernicus, all the while imploring his master to finally publish the master work which had been finished for 25 years. Copernicus resisted publishing De revolutionibus orbium coelestium for 30 years due to his fear of the Catholic Church, but when Rheticus published this book in 1540, Copernicus finally gave Rheticus the go ahead to publish the major work for him. . . .
This book is a landmark work and if it sells for the mid-point of its ultra conservative estimate, $2 million, it will become one of the top 20 most valuable scientific documents ever sold. – Gizmag