Sunday, July 28, 2013

And That's the Way It Is...

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer (or winter if you happen to live in the southern hemisphere)!  There are lots of cool things that have been happening in the literary world over the past few weeks.  Here are some of the things that have grabbed my attention:

  • The longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize is out, and it is being hailed as one for the ages.  Robert Macfarlane, this year's chair of judges, said: "This is surely the most diverse longlist in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject. These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000, and from Shanghai to Hendon."  Head over to Guardian UK to read more about this impressive list!
  • July is National Ice Cream Month here in America (yes...we'll celebrate anything) and Quirk Books is celebrating by coming up with some literary themed flavors.  Want to try some "War and Peach"?  How about "Clockwork Orange Creamsicle"?  Here's hoping Ben & Jerry's takes the hint and gives us the chance to eat our favorite books.
  • Publishers Penguin Books and Random House have completed a merger that will give them a huge share of the global book publishing market.  The combined companies will control more than 25 percent of the book business, with more than 10,000 employees, 250 independent publishing imprints and about $3.9 billion in annual revenues.  Read the full report on the pros and cons from the NY Times
  • The Bank of England is going to be putting a woman on one of their bank notes for only the third time in history (excluding Queen Elizabeth II).  Plans have been announced to put Jane Austen on the 10 Pound bank note.  But while most are praising the choice of person, some are not so happy with the quote to be placed on it alongside her.   The words “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” Mr. Mullen pointed out, were actually spoken by Caroline Bingley, a minxy conniver who sidles up to Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” and merely pretends to read a book to impress him.  What do you think?  Is this a decent choice, or should they look for a more fitting quote from one of English lit's leading ladies?
What literary news have you found interesting over the summer?  Please feel free to share!

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