Random book news of the day

I’m having a hard time settling on just one topic today. Maybe I’m just too tired — my ten-year-old woke me up at 3:15 am after a bad dream, asked me to sit with him while he went back to sleep (which he did almost immediately), then I tossed and turned for about an hour or so. Whine, whine, whine… poor me. At any rate, I’ve just been killing time bopping around the web, and here are some cool, random, or unusual tidbits I’ve stumbled across:

  • Did you have any idea that The Time Traveler’s Wife had not already been released as an e-book? This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I know it was a huge bestseller, so I find this rather puzzling. However, according to the Associated Press, the e-book version will finally be released on October 10th — about nine years since the book was first released in hardcover.
  • Carlos Santana is writing a book! Not, thank heavens, a cutesy kids book, like some celebs have done. (“Look, I’m a writer!” Yikes). Santana’s memoir is due out sometime in 2014, and will be published by Little Brown & Co., the same publishing company that brought us Life by Keith Richards.
  • A new study shows that 55% of the people buying YA novels are not, in fact, young adults. Or maybe they are young adults, but not “young adults” as in the target demographic for young adult fiction — which would be teens. Boy, that convoluted sentence makes my teeth hurt. In any case, over half of the buyers of YA fiction are over age 18, and most are in their 30s and 40s. (Guilty!) Does this surprise anyone? Based on wholly unscientific data — which is that lots of my grown-up friends and fellow bloggers adore YA — this doesn’t seem particularly shocking. If you’re interested, you can read more about the study here.
  • The 57th edition of the Guiness Book of World Records has just been released. Because we really, really need to know just how tall the world’s tallest mohawk is. (Answer: 3 feet, and it’s been growing for 15 years).
  • A book returned 78 years past its due date would have cost the borrower over $6,000 in fines, had an amnesty program not been in effect. You can read more about the Chicago Public Library’s amnesty program here; here’s a snippet which I found charming:

The rare edition of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” had been checked out in 1934. According to Reuters news agency, Harlean Hoffman Vision found the book in her late mother’s possessions and wanted to bring it back, but she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t go to jail for having had it so long. “She kept saying, ‘You’re not going to arrest me?’ and we said, ‘No, we’re so happy you brought it back,’” Ruth Lednicer, the library’s marketing director, said. The library’s fine amnesty – dubbed “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty” – began on Aug. 20 and ended Sept. 7. The value of the 101,301 items returned was estimated at $2 million. Several of the recovered items were checked out in the 1970s and 1980s, the Chicago Tribune newspaper reported.

  • Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have made fun of celebs who write children’s books. Jessica Lange’s book for kids, It Is About A Little Bird, is due out in 2013. Stop thinking about Constance on American Horror Story! I’m sure the book will be wholesome and lovely and not in the least bit creepy.
  • Apparently reviewers granted the privilege of getting advance copies of J. K. Rowling’s upcoming new release (and guaranteed international bestseller) The Casual Vacancy are subject to restrictions so strict that they’re not even allowed to talk about the fact that restrictions exist. Not exactly shocking, given the uber-security surrounding the Harry Potter releases. I know we’re all going to be reading this book. The question is, will we like it? Check back with me in early October!
  • And finally… according to this LA Times piece, you can get that embarrassing copy of 50 Shades of Grey off your bookshelf! Mail your copy to O/R Publishing, and the first fifty respondents will be sent a copy of 50 Shades of Louisa May as a replacement. Now that’s what I call a good deal! (said with a slight smirk and a just-barely-audible snort)

My web browser has crashed twice, causing me heart palpitations over potentially lost pearls of wisdom. This must be a sign from the gods of sleep that my time at the keyboard has come to a close.

Good night, all… and may your dreams be filled with cushiony armchairs and excellent reading.