A bunch of awards and best-of lists were announced, including:
- The Hugo Award nominees (winners to be announced this fall).
- The YALSA 2013 Teens Top Ten nominees.
- Oh, and hey – there’s actually a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year!
The ALA also released its 2013 State of America’s Libraries report, which has both hopeful and disheartening news and also includes a list of the most challenged books in 2012. As the tough economic times encourage more and more people to turn to libraries, they also "encourage" more and more budget cuts for those much-needed libraries, which is unfortunate. Check out this excellent infographic from CityTownInfo about American’s libraries, which illustrates the problem very well. It always shocks me how many dedicated readers don’t take advantage of their libraries for print and digital books (as the infographic shows, only 31% of Americans are aware that they can get ebooks from libraries at all).
There was some good news for New York Public Libraries this week – Simon & Schuster announced that for the first time they will allow digital copies of their books to be checked out and purchased from the NYPL system, on a one-year trial basis. It remains to be seen whether S&S will expand its partnership to other libraries, or whether the idea of selling ebooks through libraries will be a successful one.
In other very exciting library news, the Digital Public Library of America launched last week.
Many of you are already aware of this, but every year Sync offers free young adult audiobooks, paired thematically with classic audiobooks – two each week throughout the summer months. This year’s selections were announced last week and there are a TON of great books coming up. Check it out and sign up for your free audios!
There were a few interesting bits of news to come out of the London Book Fair last week, including this great keynote speech given by Neil Gaiman (summarized by Publisher’s Weekly). I love it when smart people in the industry realize that we should embrace change instead of just running around shrieking about it in panic. I also saw this little story (from The Guardian) about a very futuristic ebook which was debuted at the fair. In a re-release of the classic mystery The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, publisher Faber & Faber has reportedly created a “fully-immersive product” which includes:
“…classic stop-frame animation and original silent film music. It would allow readers to "unlock dozens of achievements and items to collect on their reading journey, and explore hundreds of hand-painted digital environments and context from 1910s Britain."
- I know all of you were probably huddled around your smartphones as soon as the Catching Fire trailer was released last week, but here it is so you can watch it again (for the 9th time).
- The third book in the Divergent series will be called Allegiant (and if the annoyingly over the top way they chose to announce that is any indication, the marketing for it will be just as crazy as last year’s Insurgent mess).
- The new Patrick Ness book looks AMAZING and it looks like he’ll be coming to D.C. this fall if anyone wants to visit me!
- Adam Rex is working on a sequel to The True Meaning of Smekday!
- Parks and Rec fans saw a portion of this genius rant from Patton Oswalt last week on the show, but here’s the full eight minutes of it – it’s sad just how little of it they used.
- And lastly, for all of my Jesters out there – WE DID IT!!!! Yeah! If you’ve read Infinite Jest, check out this amazingly involved theory about the ending. It basically blew my mind, and I thought I was actually doing well in comprehending the book (I totally wasn't). How much of it do you think is right?