• Four YA authors are hitting the road this summer on the Young Authors Give Back Tour, holding signings, panel discussions, and even offering workshops to aspiring writers between the ages of 13 and 22.

• Open Culture has posted a recording of Flannery O'Connor reading her essay, "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction." I grew up in the South, so Southern accents are certainly not a novelty to me—but O'Connor's is simply delightful!

• Are you one of the throngs of readers eagerly anticipating the September 17 release of Thomas Pynchon's new novel, Bleeding Edge? If so, get a sneak peek at the first page of the book.

• The folks at Kirkus have put together a thought-provoking list of 10 books that they feel represent the best works of their respective authors.

• A copy of the Bay Psalm Book—the first book ever published in what is now the United States, back in 1640—is going up for auction in November and is expected to fetch between $15 million and $30 million. Wow!

• Brain Pickings posted about a fascinating find: The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook, featuring recipes from the likes of Harper Lee, George Sand, John Keats and William Styron.

• Harlequin is accepting nominations for their More Than Words Awards, which honor women making a difference in their communities. Three women will be chosen from thousands of nominations. Each winner will choose a charity to receive a $15,000 donation and will be paired with a best-selling Harlequin writer to write a novella that will be released as a free e-book to the public.

• We will never tire of looking at book sculptures. Especially charming are these by artist Emma Taylor, found on Book Patrol.

• And, finally, here's a fabulous interview with two book designers for those of you who like to ogle (and fondle) actual books—not of the e-variety.


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