The weekly liblog roundup features the latest highlights from the world of literary blogs. Attentive regular readers of the litblog roundups will remember that in my last of these posts I promised an overview of good, lit-blog style content from Longreads.com. Those readers will note the absence of that overview here, because I’ve decided to do that in a different post.
Ursula Le Guin's Speech
The most popular topic on litblogs this week was a speech that Ursula Le Guin gave at the National Book Awards. For example, The Rumpus adds that in her speech she “blasts the commercialization of literature and the greed of publishers, and predicts:”
I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now . . . and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who remember freedom: poets, visionaries, the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art.
The Best Children's Literature
As the year draws to a close, there’s a temptation to cerate a list of best books, or several lists of best books. Brain Pickings features a roundup of best children’s books of 2014 “with the most intelligent and imaginative “children’s” and picture-books published this year. (Because the best children’s books provide, as Tolkien believed, perennial delight, step into the time machine and revisit previous selections for 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.)”
Toni Morrison on “The Colbert Report”
Salon has a video of when, “on Wednesday night, Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Toni Morrison appeared on “The Colbert Report.” … The interview is thoughtful and speaks for itself.”
What is a 21st Century Library?
If you think that the sole purpose of a library is to store books on a shelf and then to deliver them, then you clearly haven’t spent enough time in a library. The Atlantic has an article this week, “A Field Trip to America’s Public Libraries.” The article describes how libraries meet the needs of their communities, across the country.
Examining the Rejection Letter
For writers, the rejection letter is a fact of life. But what does it mean? A recent post on Juggling Writer explains the basic details of a rejection letter. “In order to figure out what a rejection really means, let’s break it down into four parts: The Greeting, The Introduction/Lead, The Feedback/Rejection, The Closing/Invitation.”
Self-publishing is one alternative to rejection letters. For independent writers, electronic publishing promises to make it easier to find readers, but is that promise dwindling? The Smashwords Blog offers some practical advice for writers: Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult from Here - Here’s How to Succeed.
A New, Old Magazine
Galleycat reports, “Scribner, an imprint at Simon & Schuster, has launched a new digital publication called Scribner Magazine. Here’s more from the press release:
“Inspired by the publisher’s celebrated sister publication Scribner’s Magazine (1887-1939), but reimagined for the 21st century reader, Scribner Magazine will feature original writing and interactive media, along with written and audio book excerpts, photo galleries from portrait photography adelaide</font> , author-curated music playlists, bookseller reviews, and articles that offer a glimpse inside the world of publishing. Scribner Magazine also integrates Scribner’s popular Twitter feed, and the site highlights current Scribner book news and author events, so consumers can stay informed about their favorite writers.”
Buy a Used Book, get the E-book too
The Digital Reader describes an e-book platform that might be of interest to customers who frequent used book stores. It’s called BitLit. “A user buys the paper book in whichever bookstore they like (used, even), personalizes it, and then uses the BitLit app to take a few photos to prove that the book had been bought.”