Book Bits: Coffee for troops, ‘Transatlantic,’ rust belt stories, Amazon Breakthrough Award winners
I hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. How do we best remember those who secured and protected our freedom? A parade perhaps. A local program featuring veterans. A quiet day of reflection, possibly with a good book. The day is, after all, not really about shopping.
Former Michigan governor Jennifer M. Granholm said, “Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.” A good thought for our weekend.
- News: As Memorial Day Approaches Books-A-Million Customers Donate over 16,000 Bags of Coffee – “Books-A-Million, Inc. (Nasdaq/NM: BAMM) today announced that over 16,000 bags of Joe Muggs coffee have been donated by BAM! customers throughout the country to benefit the Coffee for the Troops program. The coffee is currently being packaged and will be immediately shipped to troops serving overseas through the Coffee for the Troops program, coordinated through Soldiers’ Angels.” Daily Finance
- News: Lost and Bound: A Misplaced Notebook Finds a Publisher, by Sue Corbett – “This October Simon & Schuster will publish ‘Isabelle and Isabella’s Book of Rules,’ a jacketed hardcover in a ‘gifty’ trim size, written by Isabelle Busath, age 10, and Isabella Thordsen, age 8, with illustrations by Priscilla Burris.” Publishers Weekly
- Review: “Transatlantic” by Colum McCann holds elation, sorrow, by Tucker Shaw – “In ‘Transatlantic,’ McCann once again constructs literary and emotional bridges between North America and Ireland. To that end, he deftly inhabits the brains of a handful of characters — some real figures from history, some imagined — who illuminate the connections between the two cultures, and add texture to the shadows.” The Denver Post
- News: Amazon Announces Winners in Sixth Annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – “Amazon began a new chapter with its sixth annual AmazonBreakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), introducing five categories for submission and exciting new prizes. Ten thousand entries came in from around the world—the most entries ever in the history of the contest—and after several rounds of judging, Amazon Publishing has selected one winner in each of five categories: general fiction, mystery/thriller, romance, science fiction/fantasy/horror and young adult fiction. ” BusinessWire
- Essay: Rules for writing: block that metaphor! by Thomas Jones – “Figures of speech are to be applauded when used wisely, but start employing ‘epicentres’ and ‘seismic shifts’, and you’re in danger” The Guardian
- Review: ‘Nothin’ but Blues Skies’ tells Rust Belt stories: Edward McClelland’s book reminds us of what has transpired in the heartland of America over the past 30 years, by Scott Martelle – “To drive these days through Great Lakes cities — Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, among others — is to drive through the nation’s industrial past. The iconic images have become Rust Belt cliché: weed-choked parking lots, windowless houses, cold factories stripped of their metals and open to the elements. But there are human stories behind those static images, and author and journalist Edward McClelland digs deeply into them for his empathetic new book.” The Los Angeles Times
- Viewpoint: Boston Explosions Remind Us That News Transcends the Medium, by Kristina Ackermann – “As a news consumer, my hunger for information about the tragedy was instantaneous and insatiable. More importantly, that hunger didn’t dissipate after viewing one website, or even after I went home and spent the evening with my family. The in-depth and locally-angled pieces published the next morning and for weeks following were just as critical as social media and breaking news alerts had been on the day of the disaster. ” Editor & Publisher
- Feature: Sophie Blackall and the Missed Connections of the Mail, by Jen Doll – “We’re skewing a bit younger than Y.A. in this special edition of Y.A. for Grownups. This month Random House Children’s Books released The Mighty Lalouche, a picture book by Matthew Olshan illustrated by Sophie Blackall. It gets my vote for cutest picture book of the year so far. ” The Atlantic Wire
- Lists: How to Share Books & eBooks with Our Troops, by Jason Boog – “As you celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, take some time to remember all our soldiers stationed overseas. If you want to help these men and women far away from home, we’ve collected five different ways you can share books with our troops.” GalleyCat
- News: Brick and mortar bookstores report good quarter. Wait, what? – “Believe it or not, something good has happened to brick-and-mortar bookstores. In the first quarter of 2013, more book buyers walked in their doors — a lot more.” The Los Angeles Times
Lists: 20 Highbrow Books to Read on the Beach This Summer, by Emily Temple – “With this weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, Flavorwire has you covered with a list of twenty decidedly highbrow but still totally beach-appropriate books, all of which have come out in the months since last summer (or are about to hit shelves). ” Flavorwire
- News: Powell’s to Renovate Flagship Store – “Earlier this month in a memo to employees, CEO Miriam Sontz of Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., announced plans for ‘seismically updating’ the flagship store of the iconic retailer. The renovation will affect the southeast quadrant of the city block the store occupies, commonly known as the Green and Blue Rooms.” Publishers Weekly
“Book Bits” is compiled several times a week by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of paranormal short stories and fantasy novels, including “The Sun Singer.”