• Try not to drool on your keyboard over the photos of New York's secret libraries (including the one at the Harvard Club, right) over on Atlas Obscura.
• Vintage self-help and advice guides can be hilariously dated, but Mental Floss offers up 8 that actually (sort of) stand the test of time.
• You've probably heard by now that To Kill a Mockingbird is finally available as an eBook. You might be surprised, though, by the Washington Post's list of other classics that have yet to be released in eBook form.
• What's your favorite type of literary bad boy? (I tend to gravitate toward "the misunderstood," myself.)
• And, here's more to drool/marvel over: kidlit-inspired cakes on Book Riot!
Though they've been celebrating all month, librarians across the country somehow still managed to find time to vote for their favorite books releasing next month. The May LibraryReads list features mystery, romance, YA, history, thrills—something for everyone!
At the top of the list is We Were Liars, the suspense-laden new YA novel from E. Lockhart. Also featured are The Bees, the impressive debut from Laline Paull; Delicious!, the first novel by noted food writer Ruth Reichl; Bird Box, a frightful thriller by Josh Malerman; and Bittersweet, the intriguing third novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.
See the full LibraryReads May list right here. Which books will be going straight onto your TBR list? Is there one in particular you're most looking forward to reading?
The fun will actually begin on Tuesday (April 22) evening, though, with more than 20 author events planned to kick things off. Check out all of the who, when and where details to see if there will be a celebration near you.
Then, next Wednesday night, thousands of volunteers will be giving away 550,000 copies of books to light or non-readers in under-served communities. The list of 38 books to be distributed includes fiction and nonfiction, new books and classics, as well as several YA titles and even a collection of poetry.
The WBN folks have created a handy interactive map detailing all of the giveaway locations across the country, and there's also a list of participating bookstores and libraries, sorted by state.
All participants are encouraged to write about their experiences and enter the WBN ebook essay contest. The winning essays will be featured in an ebook to be distributed at next year's World Book Night. Check out all of the contest details here.
The World Book Night tagline says it all: spreading the love of reading, person to person. Will you be taking part? If so, we'd love to hear about it! Share your plans—or past WBN experiences—in the comments section, below.
Are you already formulating your plan of attack for hitting the sales this Black Friday? Just be sure to save some shopping energy for Small Business Saturday, too, because you'll be in for a treat when you shop at your local independent bookstore.
Chances are high that if you walk into an indie bookstore this Saturday (November 30), you'll find an author or two hanging out. Organized by Indies First, more than 1,000 authors will be working as guest booksellers at locally owned shops across the country. Here are just a few:
• Martin Cruz Smith & Ayelet Waldman—Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA)
• Lynn Cullen & Joshilyn Jackson—Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA)
• Jill Lepore & Aaron Becker—Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)
• Ridley Pearson & Curtis Sittenfeld—Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)
• Emma Straub & Susannah Cahalan—WORD (Brooklyn, NY)
• Ann Patchett & Victoria Schwab—Parnassus in (Nashville, TN)
Do you plan on stopping by your local indie bookstore on Saturday?
The wait is almost over, book lovers! Tomorrow is the 2013 National Book Awards gala, during which one winning book will be named in each of four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.
This evening, the finalists—instead of merely twiddling their thumbs in nervous anticipation of tomorrow—will be reading from their nominated books at an event to be held at the New School in New York City. If the idea of all of those stellar authors in one room sends you into a swoon, fret not. You can watch the whole thing as it's streamed live online! The readings begin at 7:00 pm (EST) right here.
To catch up on everything NBA—including interviews with the finalists—click on the image below. Which books are you rooting for?
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing
1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said” . . . he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10:
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
• Elmore Leonard •
Which Elmore Leonard book is your favorite?
One of my greatest pleasures is falling into a story someone else has written.
• Nora Roberts •
Which Nora Roberts book is your favorite?
Meaning is everything, and humans will never cease pursuing the question of meaning. Nor should they. Indeed, nor can they. We’re almost hard-wired to pursue the questions of meaning and significance.
• Thomas Keneally •
Which Thomas Keneally book is your favorite?
Obsession led me to write. It's been that way with every book I've ever written. I become completely consumed by a theme, by characters, by a desire to meet a challenge.
• Anne Rice •
Which Anne Rice book is your favorite?
The one reader I'm trying to please as I write is me, and I'm pretty difficult to please.
• Sara Zarr •
Which Sara Zarr book is your favorite?