Wednesday News: Tennessee Bible controversy, Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday, world’s best bookstore, Trojan’s Dash button
Tennessee librarians say no to Bible as official state book – The Tennessee Library Association is urging the governor to veto the bill that would accord the Bible status as the official State Book of Tennessee. The governor must either sign or veto the bill by next Tuesday, April 19th, and the TLA is hoping that the governor will consult the State Librarian, among others, to choose a more appropriate state book.
The library association’s board of directors and members are not opposed to the Bible itself, but think another book could be found that is more representative of Tennessee and significant to all of its residents, Susan L. Jennings, the association’s president, said in an emailed statement addressed to Haslam.
“The Bible does not solely belong to Tennessee and could be viewed as exclusionary to those Tennesseans who do not practice Christianity,” Jennings said. “In fact, every year, in cooperation with the Tennessee Association of School (Librarians), the Tennessee Library Association awards the Volunteer State Book award to honor the significant contributions of Tennessee authors.” – The Tennessean
Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have the freedom’ I had – There are a number of lovely tributes to Beverly Cleary, who turned 100 yesterday (April 12th). This one from the New York Times talks about the evolution of Cleary’s writing, and Sarah Larson’s piece in The New Yorker explores the enduring appeal of Cleary’s books (including the wonderful Ramona Quimby). The story linked above is punctuated by some great Cleary quotes provided in a recent phone interview from her Northern California retirement home (contrast this with the unfortunate case of Harper Lee), and includes an awful anecdote about how her mother denied her eyeglasses in school because she didn’t want them to mar her daughter’s appearance (although Clearly eloped anyway, which provides a good sense of her independent personality). Some of Cleary’s 40 books have been re-published this year with new introductions:
Cleary’s last book was “Ramona’s World,” published in 1999. Her plucky heroine remains frozen at age 9; her sister, Beezus, is 14 and just entering high school. Who knows what Ramona might have been like when she hit puberty. Cleary, for one, is happy to leave her before that nightmare. “I think writers need to know when to retire,” she says.
Yet Cleary’s books live on. In January, HarperCollins published new editions of three of her most popular works: “Henry Huggins,” “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” with introductions by Blume, Poehler and Kate DiCamillo, respectively. There are more than 40 Cleary titles in print, and you can even watch Selena Gomez and Joey King play her two most famous characters in the 2010 movie “Beezus and Ramona.” – The Washington Post
Readings Carlton wins top bookstore prize at London Book Fair – Melbourne’s Readings was named International Bookstore of the Year at the London Book Fair. The bookstore was the only Australian winner among the Fair’s International Excellence Awards.
The Bookstore award was “to highlight the absolutely vital role bookshops play worldwide in not only promoting new titles but also advising readers on the many excellent books already published but yet to be discovered”.
The judges said Readings took the gong for “its community outreach, support of Australian authors and its help for non-profit organisations working on literacy initiatives”. – The Sydney Morning Herald
Trojan condoms Amazon Dash button – No, it’s not a joke (I can actually see these things doing really well on a high school or college campuses). But even better are these Dash button hacks. Did you know that you can use these things to call Uber, order pizza from Dominos, and control the air conditioning in your new Tesla. – BoingBoing & Dash Button Dudes