Happy Friday, everybody! This week has just flown by. I guess that’s the advantage of holiday Mondays, right? Kobo hit a huge milestone this weekend – we delivered our ten millionth free eBook to readers who are choosing to stay at home and read during this time of social distancing. Ten million! That’s huge! To all of those who are either doing their part by staying at home to flatten the curve, or who are providing the words that are keeping us entertained, thank you.
Let’s start off with some good news this week: A children’s bookstore in Madison Connecticut brought the community together and saved their employees’ jobs by holding a book drive for a kids’ lunch program.
Unfortunately, not all indie bookstores will survive this global shut down. While some stores are managing to make the switch to online selling, not all have been able to do so, leaving them in danger of closing for good – including the iconic City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco (warning: this article contains profanity).
More good news! Comic book creators are coming together in an online auction in an effort to raise money for comic book stores.
It’s not just comic book creators banning together though. The hashtag #authorstakeaction went viral on social media this week as authors around the globe promoted both their work and social distancing.
The arguments surrounding the National Emergency Library continues, with the Internet Archive founder defending the library as a resource for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access books during the pandemic.
In Italy, authors are rushing to publish their books about the coronavirus.
And in the UK, one author’s book about a pandemic-induced lockdown in London has been rushed to publication a decade after publishers turned it down for being “unrealistic”.
Alex Trebec has announced he’ll be releasing his memoir this summer. What is, a book guaranteed to make me cry?
Disney’s has released the cover art and the first excerpt from their upcoming fairy tale quartet, The Mirror.
The CBC has announced the shortlist for their short story prize. You can read the finalists’ stories here:
For the first time in the award’s history, an author from Algeria has won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo has won the 2020 Aspen Literary Prize. The prize is awarded to a work of fiction that illuminates a “vital contemporary issue”.
If, like all of us here at KWL, you’re working from home and are in a lot of Zoom meetings, why not spice up your virtual background with one of these beautiful libraries?
A sound artist has enlisted the help of people all over the world for his new project, “Social Distancing, Haiku and You”.
If you’re hoping to get a better scientific grasp on the world we’re currently living in, check out Duke University’s online library – all of the material on contagion and pandemics is now available free of charge.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to escape the world we’re currently living in for a while, you should check out this great collection of maps from fictional worlds.
Lastly, I wanted to share my favourite article of the week: a short and sweet piece about finding hope in these perilous times written by the wonderful Margaret Atwood.
Have a wonderful weekend folks! Stay home, wash your hands, stay safe.
Staff Recommendation and Social Distancing Update
Rachel Wharton: Author Engagement Intern
I’ll be honest, since social distancing began, my productivity levels have been pretty much zero. Rather than taking up a new project during this period of self isolation I have been catching up on all of the movies, books, video games, and TV shows I didn’t have time for previously. That being said, the one place I have been surprisingly productive is my home office. I’m not sure if it’s the working in sweatpants or the “comic book shop exploded in here” aesthetic, but I’m feeling incredibly lucky to be able to work so well at home.
My favourite read in the past little while has been Joanne Vannicola’s memoir, All We Knew But Couldn’t Say. It’s dark, visceral, brutally honest, and surprisingly hopeful. I was worried that the book would be too much for me right now — the world is already dark enough — but I couldn’t put it down.