Fairytale Openings Around The World: Critical Linking, April 23, 2019

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In Korean, a typical fairytale begins: “Once, in the old days, when tigers smoked…”. In Catalan, spoken in the north-east of Spain, a story may start with, “Once upon a time in a corner of the world where everybody had a nose…” or, “Once upon a time, when the beasts spoke and people were silent…”.

In some parts of the Caribbean, stories begin with call and response with the audience, with the narrator saying in Creole, “E dit kwik?” (I say creek) to which the audience replies “kwak” (crack).

I’d read an entire book of how fairytales begin in different parts of the world.


Per the press release, Hear to Slay “will be a black feminist podcast, with an intersectional perspective on celebrity, culture, politics, art, life, love and more.” The array of confirmed guests will include Natasha Rothwell, Gabrielle Union, Audra McDonald, Sarah Paulson, Ava DuVernay and Gloria Calderón Kellett.

Hear to Slay will be housed on the Luminary app, which has been dubbed the “Netflix of podcasts.”

Roxane Gay and Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom have a podcast and my ears have never been more ready!


I’ve watched this so many times it’s etched on my heart now: ¡Ay, qué trabajo me cuesta quererte como te quiero!

Impressive Catalog Of All The Books Christopher Columbus’s Son Owned! Critical Linking, April 22, 2019

Sponsored by Down & Dirty by Rhenna Morgan. Available now!

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The 16th century was a thrilling time for books, at least for those who could afford them: building a respectable personal library (even if it didn’t include novelties like the books that open six different ways and the wheels that made it possible to rotate through many open books at once) took serious resources. Hernando Colón, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus, seems to have commanded such resources: as The Guardian’s Alison Flood writes, he “made it his life’s work to create the biggest library the world had ever known in the early part of the 16th century. Running to around 15,000 volumes, the library was put together during Colón’s extensive travels” and ultimately contained everything from the works of Plato to posters pulled from tavern walls.

Fascinating!


What does a bilingual book mean for its readers? Language is about access, intelligibility, power. A bilingual text can flip the exclusion that migrants experience every day. A bilingual text can hold an intimacy, a fluency, a wholeness which cannot be translated into either or any of its languages alone.

For me, writing my own meant more than including phrases in Portuguese here and there; it meant creating a novel with a Brazilian orality, a disrupted Latin American chronology and a 21st-century refusal to punctuate, but set in SW17. As a child I fantasised about being an author, but worried how I would write bilingually – there didn’t seem to me to be any books doing this. Now, an adult, I have found so many – and here are just a few that I love.

All these books sounds amazing—and sí, more bilingual books por favor.


We’ll have to wait until September 17 for Woodson’s latest novel. (It’s going to be a long, hot summer!) But in the meantime, Woodson revealed the cover of Red at the Bone exclusively to OprahMag.com and spoke to O’s Books Editor Leigh Haber about her travels as US Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and her undying love for Brooklyn. She also shared her hopes for Red at the Bone, which she dedicates to “the ancestors, a long line of you bending and twisting, bending and twisting.”

Yeah, so September can’t come fast enough.

Chinese Bookstore’s Chandeliers Look Like Sheets of Paper Floating in Mid-Air: Critical Linking, April 21, 2019

Looking to create an ambiance where people, cultures, and books from around the world could mingle, a literary theme runs throughout the interior. Visitors are instantly brought into the concept as they are welcomed by a 33-foot-tall bookcase just inside the entryway—a bold statement that immediately establishes the function of the building. This is carried through to the delightful lighting above the open spiral staircase, which mimics floating pieces of paper just waiting to be filled with words.

My heart soared just looking at the images! What a dreamy bookstore



Poets, novelists, and playwrights around the world have long been fueled by forests. Quite simply, walking helps us think. In “When I Am Among the Trees,” poet Mary Oliver writes that the trees call out to her, “Stay awhile…It’s simple…you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light.”

Trace the footsteps of world-famous wordsmiths in these eight wondrous woods around the world you can visit yourself.

Swoon.


Earlier this month, children’s author Lee Wardlaw drove a trailer loaded with more than 5,300 books from Santa Barbara to Paradise, Calif., delivering 1.5 tons of literary donations from more than 240 authors, readers, librarians, and publishing professionals. Last November, the Camp Fire—the most destructive wildfire in California’s history—destroyed 90% of this town. The fire burned through more than 153,000 acres, killing 85 civilians, and injuring three firefighters; nearly 14,000 residences were destroyed along with thousands of other structures.

What a great thing

Long-Lost Franz Kafka Works Could Emerge After Messy Legal Battle: Critical Linking, April 19, 2019

A long-hidden trove of unpublished works by Franz Kafka could soon be revealed following a decade-long battle over his literary estate that has drawn comparisons to some of his surreal tales.

A district court in Zurich upheld Israeli verdicts in the case last week, ruling that several safe deposit boxes in the Swiss city could be opened and their contents shipped to Israel’s National Library.

Here for this!


The first new Brooklyn Public Library branch in more than a generation is going up in DUMBO.

Dubbed the Adams Street Library, the branch was negotiated by Councilmember Stephen Levin as one of several sweeteners in the deal to sell the Brooklyn Heights branch for development. The library is slated to open in 2020.

Library openings are such great news. 


BitchReads has been on hiatus, but our list of books that feminists should read is back—in a new format. Instead of publishing a monthly list, we are running a quarterly list broken up by genre; there will be a nonfiction list, a fiction list, and a poetry list. Spring is the perfect time to shake things up, not only with BitchReads but in our own lives. This list should encourage readers to pick up books that they would’ve never picked up before. Donate books to libraries and consignment shops. Clean off your bookshelves to make space for new reads. That’s what the renewal of spring is all about.

So many books just went onto my TBR.

Unknown Daphne du Maurier Poems Discovered Behind Photo Frame: Critical Linking, April 18, 2019

Sponsored by I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott.


A handful of youthful poems by Daphne du Maurier have been found in an archive of letters, with two previously unknown discovered hidden behind a photograph frame.

The two unknown poems were found tucked underneath a photo of a young Du Maurier in a swimming costume standing on rocks, which was part of an archive of more than 40 years of correspondence between the author and her close friend Maureen Baker-Munton, now put up for auction by Baker-Munton’s son Kristen.

Some of my favorite literary stories are about the discovery of lost work


The epic poem Beowulf is the most famous surviving work of Old English literature. For decades, scholars have hotly debated both when the poem was composed and whether it was the work of a single anonymous author (“the Beowulf poet”). Lord of the Rings’ scribe J.R.R. Tolkien was among those who famously championed the single-author stance. Now researchers at Harvard University have conducted a statistical analysis and concluded that there was very likely just one author, further bolstering Tolkien’s case. They published their findings in a recent paper in Nature Human Behavior.

Huh.


Two of your YA faves are teaming up.

EW can exclusively announce that Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the basis for Love, Simon) has partnered up with Aisha Saeed (Amal Unbound) for a novel to publish early next year: Yes No Maybe So.

Yet another great-sounding YA book about politics coming next year.

Browser Extension Shows Books From Online Stores Available At Your Library: Critical Linking, April 17, 2019

Sponsored by the audiobook edition of Saving Meghan by D. J. Palmer

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Library Extension immediately shows you if any given book is available at your local library. It’s available now for Chrome, and it’s coming soon for Firefox.

Once it’s installed, you activate the extension by selecting your library and any available e-book services. At my library, for example, the extension was able to connect with not only the regular catalog, but also Hoopla and OverDrive. You can add multiple libraries if you wish, a good idea if your library is part of a network.

As someone who always checks first to see if my library has a book, this is my dream extension.


It sounds like something from Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and his The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a huge volume containing thousands of summaries of books from 500 years ago, many of which no longer exist. But the real deal has been found in Copenhagen, where it has lain untouched for more than 350 years.

The Libro de los Epítomes manuscript, which is more than a foot thick, contains more than 2,000 pages and summaries from the library of Hernando Colón, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus who made it his life’s work to create the biggest library the world had ever known in the early part of the 16th century. Running to around 15,000 volumes, the library was put together during Colón’s extensive travels. Today, only around a quarter of the books in the collection survive and have been housed in Seville Cathedral since 1552.

Wow.


In short, Indonesian literature undergoes a transformation when it moves beyond its country’s borders. Beloved, acclaimed, or influential at home, the same literary text may be dismissed, even denigrated, by Western arbiters of taste abroad. One would hope, then, that those responsible for bringing these texts to the attention of the western world would do their best to counter such disdain. Unfortunately, by and large, those who advocate on Indonesian literature’s behalf are often guilty of perpetuating the problem.

Tiffany Tsao takes a look at Indonesian literature, translation, and how Indonesians are being erased by Anglophone tastes.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD Too Sexist For School: Critical Linking, April 16, 2019

Sponsored by the audiobook edition of Saving Meghan by D. J. Palmer

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A school in Catalonia has withdrawn from its library 200 classic children’s books such as Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood because of their depiction of sexist stereotypes.

After analyzing the contents of its library for children up to the age of six, the management of Taber School in Barcelona found that around a third of its stories were “toxic,” and that only one-tenth of the books were written from a gender perspective.

Anna Tutzó, who was on the commission that looked at the books, said gender bias also pervades fairytales and the change of gender roles in society “is not being reflected in stories.”

I can never unsee that photo Newsweek selected for this article.


In the U.S., at least, studies show that only 11% of the stories in history textbooks are about women. Is this because 50% of the population only contributed to 11% percent of the country’s events? No, even the kids know—like the kids in the video above from a new app called Lessons in Herstory—history mostly features men because “a lot of it was written by men and was mostly all about men.”
Lessons in Herstory, built by an organization called Daughters of the Evolution, takes a unique approach. Instead of supplanting textbooks, it adds to them in an augmented reality smartphone app (currently designed for ios devices) students can point at pictures of historical dudes to pull up stories about a notable women from the same time.

Still a limited app but the idea is fantastic and super depressing that in 2019 is needed.


In the battle to be the billionaire streaming service shrouded in the most secrecy, Disney+ (pronounced “Disney plus”) is a bit more forthcoming than its competitors over at Apple, given that, well, the House of Mouse is actually giving us information about what to expect when it launches on November 12 of this year, which you can read all about here. But if you don’t care about the intricacies behind your future #content and just want to learn about the programming, Vulture will be keeping a running tab on all of the shows in development … which just may end up being 20 percent Star Wars related.

Bookmarking this list of all the shows Disney+ has in development.

Famous Bibliophiles And Their Book Collections! Critical Linking, April 15, 2019

Sponsored by the audiobook edition of Saving Meghan by D. J. Palmer

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As soon as you walk in the door, there is a shelf with at least 12 art books: Egon Schiele, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Paul Klee. Above that are my most prized books. I have a first-edition signed Toni Morrison “Beloved.” I have Langston Hughes’s “Montage of a Dream Deferred.” I have Claude Brown’s “Manchild in the Promised Land,” first-edition James Baldwins, first-edition Richard Wrights, old black folk-tale books from Julius Lester, Countee Cullen, all kinds of very rare books.

I’m only really careful with the Langston Hughes because it’s so rare and so fragile. Books are to be handled; even though I love them and they are prized possessions, I don’t want to glass-case them. I just can’t see myself hiding things that I consider art.

I love, LOVE, love seeing book lovers shelves. Especially people I admire.


The author took the ending of his final novel to the grave, and to this day, the full plot of The Mystery of Edwin Drood remains mysterious. There was, however, one person he came close to sharing his secret with: Queen Victoria. To the people who knew Dickens, she seemed like the last person he would confide in.

I love stories like this!


I can’t stop looking at this beautiful cover!

Kids Whose Parents Read to Them Understand Up to 1.4 Million More Words: Critical Linking, April 14, 2019

Sponsored by Libby, the one-tap reading app from your library and OverDrive


According to Jessica Logan, the study’s lead author, kids who are read one short book per day enter kindergarten knowing 290,000 more words than kids whose parents didn’t read to them. If you increase the number of books to five per day, that vocabulary disparity swells to 1.4 million words.

Read to your kids if you’ve got ’em. Offer to read to other people’s kids if you don’t (with their permission, of course). 


The Babylonian Almanac is among the earliest texts to lay out such daily prescriptions and predictions. From there, the format took off. By the early modern era, Europeans were eager to know how to carpe the heck out of each diem, and when to evade danger by laying low. In the pages of almanacs, readers found calendars and counsel—everything from reminders about religious feast days to details of the lunar cycle, according to Cambridge historian Lauren Kassell. Readers snapped up these volumes in huge numbers. During the Renaissance, historian Bernard Capp has noted, English almanacs sold some 400,000 copies a year—bested only, perhaps, by the Bible.

Is the modern equivalent the smart phone?


Nothing says that spring is officially here more than a stack of brand new romance novels, am I right? Whether you’re spring flinging or flying solo this season, it’s almost impossible not to get swept up in all of the feels that the longer days, sunshine, and warmer weather seem to invoke. All of the 21 novels below have already been published or will come out before the end of May, so they’re perfect to pack into your suitcase for that spring break trip, or just to tote along on Saturday afternoons spent in the park. The best part? The new crop of diverse rom-coms and romances are not going anywhere anytime soon, so you’re pretty much guaranteed love stories that go beyond the stereotypical and delve into new and, well, exciting territory.

I added a pile of books to my to-read

Giant Mural Of A Bookcase Transforms The Side Of An Apartment In Utrecht: Critical Linking, April 12, 2019

Sponsored by Libby, the one-tap reading app from your library and OverDrive


Since the mural has been unveiled it has become not only an artistic source to bring the neighbors together but for people stopping to visit for a literary selfie.  “The neighborhood where this work was made is filled with different cultures. And I’ve noticed that this project brought (and hopefully for as long as it lasts) people together without pushing it. They meet each other through books. Regardless of the differences in cultures, regardless of the differences in political point of views. Regardless of being extreme right or extreme left.”

Every blank wall, a bookshelf mural. This is cool! 


It sounds like something from Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and his The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a huge volume containing thousands of summaries of books from 500 years ago, many of which no longer exist. But the real deal has been found in Copenhagen, where it has lain untouched for more than 350 years.

The Libro de los Epítomes manuscript, which is more than a foot thick, contains more than 2,000 pages and summaries from the library of Hernando Colón, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus who made it his life’s work to create the biggest library the world had ever known in the early part of the 16th century. Running to around 15,000 volumes, the library was put together during Colón’s extensive travels. Today, only around a quarter of the books in the collection survive and have been housed in Seville Cathedral since 1552.

!!!!!!


Ambitious doesn’t begin to describe Carla Hayden’s plan to make the Library of Congress’ collection available to the world. Audacious may be closer to it.

Hayden, the 14th person to steward the Library, wants to “throw open the treasure chest” by digitizing its vast collection and making it accessible online. The five-year plan’s understated name — Enriching the Library Experience — doesn’t capture its scope. Hayden wants people to engage with everything from the letters of Abraham Lincoln to early-edition Batman comics.

This would be incredible