BOOK RIOT
Critical Linking: August 31, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

But with “Fault,” Fox’s homevideo division is specifically reaching out to 13 to 17-year-old girls and women over 18 with an extended cut of the film on most digital platforms three weeks before its disc is available to purchase through traditional retailers on Sept. 16.

Around 75% of “Fault’s” audience on opening weekend was largely under 25 and female (around 80%), according to Fox. And CinemaScore found that 52% of the audience consisted of females under 18; females under 25 made up 69% of ticket buyers.

The Fault in Our Stars being released digitally three weeks early in hopes of enticing teens to buy it that way first. Interesting.

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Bruce Springsteen has teamed up with writer and cartoonist Frank Caruso to transform his 2009 song “Outlaw Pete” into a children’s book. “When Bruce wrote ‘Outlaw Pete’ he didn’t just write a great song, he created a great character,” Caruso said in a statement. “The first time I heard the song this book played out in my head.” The book will hit shelves on November 4th.

The Boss wrote a children’s book, though it’s not entirely clear whether it’s really meant for children.

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There is an endless list of components that make up the framework of our individual identities. In growing up and coming of age, one of life’s toughest questions is challenged: “Who am I?”

With this in mind, one of the most significant benefits of reading books in childhood is that it encourages you to consider this in the first place. Reading offers countless advantages from helping children to learn language and broaden their vocabulary to encouraging them to develop hobbies and understand different cultures and points of view. Studies have even shown that reading for pleasure when young can have a greater influence on the child’s success in school than their economic or social background.

Speaking of children’s books, they’re pretty powerful when it comes to identity formation for young readers. I would venture to guess the same can be said about adult readers who read these books, too.

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With the long weekend, perhaps there’s no better time to binge read these 25 superhero comics.

Critical Linking: August 30, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

The supermarket chain Aldi has withdrawn Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Revolting Rhymes from its Australian stores following a complaint on its Facebook page.

An Aldi spokeswoman said the book had been pulled after “comments by a limited number of concerned customers regarding the language used in this particular book”. Other books by the legendary British children’s author will continue to be stocked, she said.

So a few customers complain on Aldi Australia’s Facebook page and the company pulls a book from its shelves? Okay then.

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Fortunately, novels have long been mostly exempt from the perennial argument that media can induce young people into dangerous behaviors. In fact, more often than not, you see books held up as a counter-example to those concerned about negative influences (mostly violence) in video games, movies or music. Last year, when Jim Carrey “distanced himself” from the violent Kick-Ass 2 in the wake of Sandy Hook, executive producer Mark Millar said he “never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more boy wizards in real life.” Shakespeare is another one that gets held up a lot — Shakespeare is violent! Is he causing school shootings? Well, of course not — in part because literature is less visceral in some ways than film and video games and even music, so the arguments tend to be less visceral too. Books sometimes get mentioned as part of the list of media that could be a “risk factor,” but have mostly been off the hook. And that’s a good thing. If we start banning books with violence and sex in them (er, again), we’ll lose more than if we ban violent video games. Not that we should ban either, mind you.

It is interesting to me that this particular study offered no pre-reading measurements for control and that it focused exclusively on women. Flavorwire’s takedown on why books can’t be faulted for dangerous behavior is solid.

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He says some of his favorite stores have been in buildings converted from other uses. Examples include Elliot Bay Books in Seattle, Washington, which used to be an auto repair shop, and the Tattered Cover in Denver, Colorado, which has a location in a former theater.

“You can see, OK, here’s the lobby, the theater boxes, the pit orchestra, the stage,” Manson says. “You can just see the theater, and now it’s filled with books.”

He’s also visited many bookstores not on his original list — shop owners keep telling him of other stores they love.

Bob Manson is living the book lover’s dream: visiting independent bookstores all across America.

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Great examples of street art and murals about reading, books, and libraries.

Critical Linking: August 29, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

It’s disheartening to realize that you missed out on a lot of classics, despite the fact that you technically “completed” them, because the timing or presentation just wasn’t right. These are some of the top offenders, and here’s why we’re giving them a second chance.

I really should go back and give Ethan Frome another chance. (Who am I kidding, this is never happening).

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“The city drops folks from three shelters off here every morning and picks them up in the evening. So they come here because of that,” said Badalamenti, a social worker who in May became the D.C. Public Library’s first health and human services coordinator.

Social workers in libraries make a ton of sense, and I’m surprised it’s so rare.

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The posters are something of a tide-shift in Mockingjay’s marketing. These images are being released after a series of in-universe (and super-creepy) promos like the“together as one” TV address from President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and images of Panem’s “Heroes.”

The marketing for Mockingjay is some of the best I’ve seen for a movie franchise.

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Pointing to the need for pricing flexibility at a time when bookstores face a growing number of economic challenges, some booksellers question whether it’s time for publishers to stop printing suggested retail prices on book covers and dust jackets. They argue that publishers should instead offer net pricing, like many bargain book wholesalers do, and let bookstores determine the margin they need and the price their community will pay. While it might not alleviate showrooming—customers checking their cell phones for the lowest prices—removing printed prices could help bricks-and-mortar stores’ profitability.

Extremely interesting. Books are one of the last products that regularly have the price printed on the packaging, which restricts pricing flexibility.

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Can we interest you in a bookish t-shirt that not-so-subtly displays your love of reading? Can be yours for less than $20, shipping included. Get it here.

Critical Linking: August 28, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

We’ve translated these 12 famous first lines from novels into emojis. Can you name them?

I was so ready to hate this literary emoji quiz, but found it delightful despite myself. (There’s probably an emoji for this feeling).

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For more than two centuries, the Darby Free Library has remained both a vital part of its community as well as a historical landmark. Built in 1743 by Quakers, it remains the oldest public library in the nation. But a financial crisis has left it in danger of shutting down by the end of the year. Currently 60 percent of Darby residents and 1,500 people a month regularly use the library’s services.

A $50,000 cut to their budget is a huge hit for a library this small. Seems like enough people use it that maybe they can raise it.

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EDC’s CEO Randall White told the outlet that his company broke things off with Amazon in 2012 because, despite selling more books to Amazon than ever before, its business was declining. It was not an easy choice. EDC was making $2 million annually through Amazon. But the gambit, which also involved cutting ties with Costco, Target, and Sam’s Club, paid off.

Not sure that this would work for all publishers, but this publisher (of Everybody Poops, no less) seems to be thriving despite ditching the Seattle Monster.

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The next Da Vinci Code sequel will start filming in April, 2015, Deadline reports. We have Tom Hanks returning to star as Robert Langdon and Ron Howard back to direct. Weirdly, the studio’s decided to skip one of Dan Brown’s novels and adapt Inferno instead of The Lost Symbol.

I’m in. I’m alllllllllll in.

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Can we interest you in a bookish t-shirt that not-so-subtly displays your love of reading? Can be yours for less than $20, shipping included. Get it here.

Critical Linking: August 27, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

We pared down a list of a million fascinating looking books (Good luck, Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm. Better list next time, Christos Tsiolkas’s well received Barracuda. I see you, Charles Burns’Sugar Skull) to a workable group of 25 of the fall season’s must-reads. Add them to your list, and dominate cocktail parties all season long.

As with all lists of “must-read” books, substitute “pretty darn good.” Still, looks like another fall full of interesting books.

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The Delaware law raises the complexities of how to deal with the accounts that house our e-book collections, music and video libraries, or even game purchases, and whether they can be transferred to friends and family after death. The bill broadly states that digital assets include not only emails and social media content, but also “data … audio, video, images, sounds … computer source codes, computer programs, software, software licenses.” However, the law says that these digital assets are controllable by the deceased’s trustees only to the extent allowed by the original service’s end user license agreement, or EULA.

Man, the internet causes some weird problems.

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The institution has decided to completely forego stocking its library with paper books and will instead rely solely on e-books, which its 550 students (the school is so new, it’s not even licensed yet) can browse on tablets, laptops or e-readers. Now, here’s the kicker: the students can browse any book they want using the school’s proprietary software, but they can access it for free only once — the second time someone clicks on it, he/she ends up purchasing it for the whole school. In fact, the university has set aside $60,000 for e-book purchases, leaving the library’s catalog in its student body’s hands.

Whoa, Florida Polytechnic. That is next-level.

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Therefore even allowing for margins of error, it seems unlikely – based on Chitika’s data and the ComScore data – that there were more than about 35,000 Fire Phones in use after those 20 days.

If Amazon really has only sold 35,000 Fire Phones, that’s an enormous flop.

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Can we interested in a book that not-so-subtly displays your love of reading? Can be yours for less than $20, shipping included. Get it here.

Critical Linking: August 26, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

A while back I wrote “25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore.” This is the other bookend.

A funny, sweet, and sad remembrance of shuttering a bookstore.

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Today Omaha Public Library debuted its book bike, a long blue bicycle with a trailer of books in tow. The bike’s a variation on a traditional bookmobile. Its trailer is stocked with with books to borrow and take, with iPads so people can sign up for library cards, download e-books and learn about other services.

Maybe I am just paying closer attention, but it seems like there has been a renaissance in alternative ways of bringing the library, well, out of the library.

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The shopper had been absorbed in a sci-fi novel when he realised the owner of Paramount Books in Manchester had gone out for a coffee. A customer had to call police after getting locked in a shop when the owner went out to get a coffee – but was rewarded with vouchers after being trapped for an hour-and-a-half.

Oh no. Trapped in a bookstore. Whatever shall I do?

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Rumor: Matthew McConaughey is being seriously courted by Warner Bros. to play Randall Flagg, the charismatic villain of Stephen King’s novel The Stand, for Josh Boone’s planned movie adaptation.

Apparently, this rumored casting would be dead-on.

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Did you know that Book Riot made a book? Two actually. Start Here is a guide to reading authors you’ve never tried, but always wanted to. Each chapter provides a short reading sequence to introduce to a variety of author, from Dickens to China Mieville. And each is just 3 bucks for an ebook. Not bad eh?

Critical Linking: August 26, 2014 

College is a bubble. Whichever one you choose to study at, chances are your entire life becomes based around the same people, lecture halls and bars. For me, reading was the best way to get out of that bubble and remember there was a wider world out there that I was just about to enter and should probably know a little bit about.

I also just had a lot of spare time to read ‘those books’ that everyone should probably read at some point. So my list is a mixture of good classics, contemporary reads, and a little bit of self-help for a time when you really need it:

Not a bad list of books to read at any old time, in college or not.

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In an interesting post, writer Claude Nougat estimated the total number of books on Amazon – about 3.4 million at last count (a number that could include apps as well) and then figured out how many books were added in a day. Nougat noticed that the number rose by 12 books in an hour, which suggests that one new book is added every five minutes. And, most likely, it’s probably an indie book.

Let’s let that sink in.

This is why I want gatekeepers.

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Need a reading recommendation? Try Brooklyn Public Library’s free service, Bklyn BookMatch. Complete the form below and our librarians will create a customized reading list of five titles for you. You can expect a response within approximately one week.

Somebody do this and report back, won’t you?

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I think that people will assume a book starring an African-American or an Asian-American character is going to be a niche market book, and that just isn’t the case for most books. Kids love a good story, and that’s what hooks them. They identify with the character’s internal adventures and struggles and dilemmas. … They don’t identify primarily with the race of the person on the cover of the book.

Bingo.

Critical Linking: August 24, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

I would like to argue that YA zombie literature has become an incredible teaching tool for kids.   After all, zombies provide a powerful antagonistic force for any story set in their world.. Unlike other types of the undead that may retain their consciousness — i.e., ghosts, vampires, the damned, and so on ad nauseam — zombies, locked in their unrelenting shamble for self-perpetuation, exist only to consume. These undead non-persons short-circuit any sort of identification or redemption,  have zero  sex appeal or charisma, and frighten only because  there is always the possibility that you or someone you love might be ravened by one (and subsequently euthanized) or, worse, become one yourself. In a time when the world’s financial, governmental, and political future is precarious, the zombie apocalypse provides for its young readers a psychologically safe context for contemplating a collapsed world.

Though nothing and no one in this fictional world is totally protected, it’s a scenario removed enough from day-to-day life to be an acceptable way to raise questions regarding survival skills, resource allocation, and human action (or inaction).

YA zombie novels as teaching tools. It kind of makes great sense.

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While “Pioneer Girl” clearly wasn’t for kids, the idea that the original autobiography is full of shock and scandal “isn’t exactly true either,” according to Lauters. She told the Associated Press that the first version of the beloved classic books was more “blunt” and “honest,” but isn’t to be read as a scandalous tell-all version of the classic series.

According to The Pioneer Girl Project, a blog detailing the ongoing process on Wilder’s book, the edition coming out this fall will feature numerous annotations to better tell the real-life story of the Ingalls family in full, historical detail.

There’s going to be a new Laura Ingalls Wilder autobiography.

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I had come to this Canadian island to follow in the footsteps of L. M. Montgomery, who made her island home famous with her novel “Anne of Green Gables.” An instant best-seller when it was published in 1908, the book tells the story of the verbose, red-haired Anne Shirley — an 11-year-old orphan who is accidentally sent to a middle-aged brother and sister instead of the boy they had requested to help with their farm. Starved for love, with a vibrant imagination and a knack for comic mishap, Anne has charmed readers for over a century, including Mark Twain, who proclaimed her “the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice.”

The book, which has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into at least 20 languages, started Lucy Maud Montgomery’s career. Today it anchors the island’s multimillion-dollar tourist industry, with summer musical performances, gift shops, house museums, horse-drawn carriage rides, a mock village and more — all devoted to scenes and characters from the book and its seven sequels.

Turns out that Prince Edward Island is still a magical place for fans of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

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Picture it: teenage Mary Shelley was on a vacation getaway, with her husband Percy and some of his rambunctious poet friends, like that rogue Lord Byron… and out of the group of legends, it’s Shelley herself who arguably published the greatest work of all at the ridiculous age of 20: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a book that has penetrated our human consciousness. In honor of Shelley’s birthday this month, here’s a list of 25 other writers who created heartbreakingly beautiful work before they could get a discount on a rental car or have their publishers demand an active Twitter account. If you’re 26, get on out of here. (However, interestingly enough, 26 seems to be a magic age for a lot of writers, starting with Thomas Pynchon, which is a whole other list.)

Age doesn’t matter, but here are 25 authors who wrote great books by the time they were 25.

Critical Linking: August 23, 2014 

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee. 

The library is a handmade wooden structure, 8 feet square, stocked with about 80 titles — primarily handmade artist books, not popular bestsellers. Please try not to drop the books in the water. (Some artists have waterproofed their books in creative ways, such as binding them in Tyvek.)

A floating library in Minneapolis’s Cedar Lake!

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But what do these places look like? Over the course of 18 years, Dawson found out. Inspired by “the long history of photographic survey projects,” he traveled thousands of miles and photographed hundreds of public libraries in nearly all 50 states. Looking at the photos, the conclusion is unavoidable: American libraries are as diverse as Americans. They’re large and small, old and new, urban and rural, and in poor and wealthy communities. Architecturally, they represent a range of styles, from the grand main branch of the New York Public Library to the humble trailer that serves as a library in Death Valley National Park, the hottest place on Earth. “Because they’re all locally funded, libraries reflect the communities they’re in,” Dawson said in an interview. “The diversity reflects who we are as a people.”

Speaking of libraries, here’s a look at some of the diverse libraries throughout America, as well as a plea for why we need to protect them.

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Members want to celebrate Boston’s literary past as well as its present. They envision walking tours (beyond the Literary Landmarks run by Boston By Foot); literary-related street art; call-outs for interesting exhibits at the BPL and the Athenaeum; collaborations with school children; interactive installations; and even an audio story written specifically for the route a visitor might take through the district. Open an app, and the streets themselves form the scene for the tale. No word yet on any Kindle charging stations.

“I see it as a Broadway for writers,” said Henriette Lazaridis Power, editor of the Drum. “The way Broadway is a loosely defined geographic area of New York and everyone knows that’s where you go to find theater, this is a place where people who want to take in writing in the forms of events will go, and writers will find resources there.”

Kind of love the idea of creating a literary district and Boston seems like a smart place to do it.

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Therein lies the problem with modern reprintings: A revamped cover can help sell an old story to a new audience, but it runs the risk of alienating the book’s established fans.

“People respond the way they do because they care, and they care about the book the way they remember it,” said Chip Kidd, a New York-based graphic designer who churns out about 75 book covers a year.

Nostalgia is a big reason why people have really hated the new Modern Classics redesigned cover of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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This past June, she released a new story that imagined Harry Potter as a 34-year-old and two weeks ago, she penned a letter in the voice of Dumbledore to Cassidy Stay, who lost her family in a tragic shooting. Now, she’s released another new short story about Celestina Warbeck, a minor character from the series who’s inspired by Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.

J. K. Rowling is really treating her fans this summer. She released another short story in the world of Harry Potter this week you can enjoy.

Critical Linking: August 21, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

We posed the question to our fellow book-savvy colleagues and, after receiving some 1,400 nominations(!) and putting it to a vote, we ultimately settled on 25 titles. Instead of worrying so much about what had to be included, we opted to present a collection of books that has the ability to change the way you think and feel and reflects our diverse interests here at Powell’s.

By definition, lists of books to read before you die are limited. But, as limited lists go, this one is pretty darn good.

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All in all, the content bundle was a smooth move for B&N. The tablet is going to face fierce competition in terms of hardware specs and price, so B&N decided to fight the competition laterally – by adding a bundle of content that most tablet makers either cannot or will not match.

The new Nook, co-branded with Samsung, is now available for 179 bucks, which includes a basket of free content to go along with it. Looks pretty good, really.

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ABC is making a “family friendly” comedy inspired by Col. Chris Hadfield’s memoir An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth, which sounds adorable. However, the main character had better have one excellent mustache, or we walk.

This is a really good idea.

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More broadly, on one of those sites, FanFiction.net, fans posted 100 new stories every hour across all categories. And Amazon? Its entire output for all 24 “Worlds” of content, which also includes franchises like Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries, was just 538 stories over the course of more than a year.

So Kindle Worlds seems like a bust.

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Did you know that Book Riot has a YouTube channel? We do. It’s new and we are having fun with it. Check it out here.