Friday Thursday! We here at KWL are lucky enough to be heading into a four day weekend, and while an extra long weekend without being able to leave the house could be a bit of a bummer, I for one am excited to take some extra time to get away from the news and relax, read, play some video games, and if I’m feeling really ambitious, maybe clean my house. But that’s a big maybe. I hope all of you get a bit of time to yourselves this weekend, whether it’s a long one or not, and if you’re celebrating a holiday, I hope you’re able to virtually connect with your loved ones if the rules of social distancing are keeping you apart.
Before we delve into the news this week, Tara, our Senior Manager for Author Experience, wanted to share something with you all:
“It’s feeling very much like spring with the birds chirping loudly outside my window. It made me want to revisit a favourite book of mine, Birds, Art, Life by Kyo Maclear. Rereading it, I found a quote that felt very apt for these strange times:
The birds tell me not to worry, that the worries that sometimes overwhelm me are little in the grand scheme of things. They tell me it’s all right to be belittled by the bigness of the world. There are some belittlements and diminishments that make you stronger, kinder.“
If you have any quotes that have lifted you up in these strange times, or stories of acts of kindness, or feedback from your readers that made you smile, please share them with us! In times like these, the smallest moments of joy can bring an abundance of light.
In some wonderful news, arts organizations in the US have managed to raise TEN MILLION DOLLARS for artists and writers impacted by the coronavirus.
The Association of University Presses has cancelled their 2020 meetings, but plan to move the entire event online.
Also moving online is Children’s Book Week, which will be featuring virtual reads and events throughout the celebration.
After announcing the postponement and subsequent cancellation, Bologna Book Fair is also joining in on the virtual fun, and is looking to also launch a virtual rights platform.
For the members of the KWL community living in New York, the New York Public Library has launched a virtual book club.
April is National Poetry Month, and the New York Times is keeping track of all of the online poetry events happening throughout the month.
Speaking of poetry, Thomas King’s debut poetry collection has been longlisted for the 2020 League of Canadian Poet awards. King wrote the collection of 77 poems to celebrate his 77th birthday this past year.
Three Canadian authors have been included on the shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Children’s author Jean Little sadly passed away this past week at the age of 88.
In the UK, despite their proposal being rejected by the government, a group of artists are continuing to fight to have the jail that once housed Oscar Wilde turned into an arts centre.
As I mentioned earlier, this long weekend offers a great opportunity to turn off the news and open a book for a bit of an escape. If you’re looking for some advice as to what to read, I’ve collected some of my favourite “what you should read during social distancing” lists from the past few weeks should you be looking for inspiration:
- If you’re spending this time with your little ones, you could check out this list of audiobooks to listen to as a family.
- If these days of isolation have you missing live music, why not check out Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest rock memoirs of all time?
- Do you want to be inspired to write your own masterpiece during these times of isolation? Then check out Washington Post’s list of books written in isolation.
- If you young one who reminds you of Jo March, perhaps they would like one of the books on Lit Hub’s reading list for bookish girls.
- Cameron Esposito has collected five great books to read on a queer road trip, which now might look less like visiting the filming locations of famous queer TV and more like navigating from one episode of The L Word to the next (which you have to admit is always a trip).
- Perhaps you were one of the countless people who quickly became obsessed with Joe Exotic and Carol Baskin this past week. If so, this New York Times list of recommendations is for you.
- If you’re looking for a more long-term escape into a literary world, check out this list of contemporary novels over 500 pages.
- Is the family you’re confined with not offering you enough drama? Then maybe you’ll want to read one of these books about family secrets.
- Are you hoping to be able to stop lying about all the classics you’ve read? Then you are in luck as Kobo Editions has them all for free.
Have a great, safe long weekend everyone. To those celebrating holidays, Happy Easter, Chag Sameach, be well.
Staff Pick and Social Distancing Update
Joni Di Placido: Author Engagement Specialist
My roommate and I spent the weekend repainting our dingy white walls, and I decided to reorganize our heaving bookshelf as well, because HEY, LOOK AT ALL THIS FREE TIME! It took forever, but was totally worth it if you ignore the fact that authors and series are split up.
My book recommendation (i’m finally able to focus again!) is Followers, the debut novel from Megan Angelo. We interviewed her on the podcast this week and I was so excited to talk to her about her book, because I loved it! It’s a very compelling read about social media and celebrity culture, and how those might impact society over the next couple of decades