• Stephen King won the best novel Edgar with Mr. Mercedes, about “a sicko who intentionally runs people over with his car.”
• Tomorrow, Saturday, May 2, is Independent Bookstore Day. Visit one and scarf some swag. “Maybe everything isn’t hopeless bullshit.”
• Books-A-Million is selling more non-book items in its stores, compensating for a decline in book and magazine sales. Other book retailers have long been doing the same. Are we witnessing an adjustment, or the slow death of the bookstore as we know it?
• While on the subject of funerals, reading poetry has become less popular than knitting, although it still beats going to the opera. Which means it isn’t finished yet, because—wait for it—the fat lady hasn’t sung!
• And while—still—on the subject of poetry (that’s what you get for having a National Poetry Month), the Library of Congress is in the process of making its archived poetry and literature readings available online.
• The Children’s Book Council is donating books to prisons, so incarcerated mothers can read to their children during visitations.
• Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer winner for poetry, on his sudden fame.
• Should the serial novel rise from the dead? Or has it been dead too long.
• Men’s rights activists are making a move on literature. Srsly.
• The White House is arranging for $250M worth of ebooks to be donated to low-income students.
• An eight-year-old successfully made a case against gender differentiation: nine publishers, including Scholastic, have agreed to stop labelling books as “for boys” or “for girls.”
• Literary speed dating: how not to find an agent for your book.
• Some writers are protesting PEN’s Free Expression Courage Award going to Charlie Hebdo, even going so far as to boycott the award ceremony. Others think their behavior lunatic: “The martyred editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stephane Charbonnier, famously said, ‘I prefer to die standing than live on my knees.’ The PEN dissenters believe he belonged on his knees.” Key players will participate in a panel discussion 5 May, the day of the award.
• Cat’s Cradle is coming to television! Which makes us happie, except for, you know, the whole we-hope-they-don’t-fuck-it-up thing.
• Oh, goodness, will they never learn. Another copyright infringement, this time a cover photo. (The image in question has already been replaced.)
• Baltimore libraries are remaining open despite the protests.
• 70% of kids say they want books that make them laugh. But the analysis runs a little deeper; YA authors would do well to read this.
• Paragraphs don’t get no respect.
• Finally, ten Shakespeare plays, extremely condensed. You no longer have an excuse to be (or not to be, ha ha) ignorant of Shakespeare.
Photo of Stephen King by Michael Femia, licensed under Creative Commmons.
Interested in being a correspondent for Town Crier? Write to editors at easystreetmag dot com. Here are some of the journals we follow:
The Daily Beast
Digital Book World
The Digital Reader
The Globe and Mail
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The New Yorker
The New York Times
The Paris Review
The Passive Voice
Poets & Writers
The Washington Post