Friday Folio: August 25, 2023

Stephen King has some things to say about his books being used to train AI, via The Atlantic.

Here are the 13 most banned books in the country, per the American Library Association.

Speaking of, hundreds of complaints about books in Florida are coming mostly from two people, the Tampa Bay Times found.

Fuck em. them has a round up of LGBTQ+ books to read this fall. Let’s read them all! (or at least read what Zach Wilcha tell us to in his newsletter).

Pop Culture Happy Hour did another episode on books they love.

Happen to have $25 million lying around? You could buy some rare books, if you’d like. I may be more inclined to use that money towards feeding people, and filling abortion fund coffers, but I’d leave enough to go to buying and moving this Princeton mid-century modern home.

Can you help a bitch out — in trying to name this romance novel? My favorite recurring feature on Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

Reminder that as we turn into fall (oy!) that it’s almost library book sale season. Haddonfield, N.J.’s is September 8 and 9 this year.

And this isn’t exactly book related, […]

Read More

Friday Folio: August 18, 2023

Book banning is bad enough, but using ChatGPT to do it? Double appalling, Iowa.

Tor has an interesting piece on books you’ll never read again — and not because you hated them.

I missed that The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, which is so good it makes me want to quit writing, is being turned into a movie. Don’t mess it up!

Via Publisher’s Weekly: “Marjane Starapi is Done With Comics, but Never Art or Revolution.”

Them has a run down of all the queer books Isaac reads in the series Heartstopper.

The Washington Post looked into the threat AI poses to audiobook narrators.

I’m not going to get into all the Blind Side news, but since this came up in the comments on my last post, I am going to link to Michael Lewis’ statement on it, which is not great. What an absolute mess.

Photo taken by me on August 17, 2023 in Haddon Heights, N.J.

Read More

Friday Folio: August 11, 2023

I’m back — well I’ve been back, but but I’m back to book news. Let’s get on with it.

The Washington Post did an explainer about hockey romance, and what’s going on with it right now. It’s not my preferred kind of romance, so I can’t comment, but it’s nice that they put resources to treating romance seriously.

Bookriot on why we should read old school romance.

Scammers were using AI to create books, put them under an established author’s name, and sell them on Amazon. After people screamed about how wrong it is, Amazon finally took them down.

Are books a way to stop being distracted by devices? I use them that way. Via the Wall Street Journal.

Speaking of AI, I knew a few writers whose books were fed into AI without their permission/knowledge/etc. to create the site Prosecraft, which claimed to give metrics to author’s works. Of COURSE everyone screamed about this too, and he took it down, but so far I haven’t seen anything about him undoing the part where he fed them into AI. I’m sure we’re going to find out because one of the authors he stole from is Nora Roberts. She does […]

Read More

Friday Folio: July 7, 2023

Great piece in High Country News: “Let’s talk about Indian romance novels.”

Two authors have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI for training ChatGPT with their work. Good!

NASCAR shut down Chicago for a race which was…bizarre. It also hurt local businesses, including a bookstore. Their customers came to the rescue.

Are you looking to buy library bookshelves? Then this is for you! My mom grabbed a card catalog cabinet from my grade school when it closed. She made a small donation to the church for it. She could sell it for…a lot right now.

The Washington Post made predictions about Obama’s summer book list.

And with that…I’m out! Time to drive across the desert! There most likely won’t be a Friday Folio next week as I will be busy with a certain giant mouse (or duck – he’s my fav).

Photo taken by me at Petrified Forest National Park on July 5, 2023.

Read More

Friday Folio: June 30, 2023

News? News!

The New York Times on review bombing (I don’t read reviews of my books on Amazon or Goodreads. So if you left a bad one — oh well!)

Remember that woman who was charged with the murder of her husband and wrote a book about grief? She’s being sued too.

The Washington Post takes a look at the racist literary origins of Indiana Jones.

Not surprising but still terrible: books bans are driving kids away from libraries and reading, via Book Riot.

And I’ll send on some good news before I head out to my next stop: The USA Today best seller list is back.

Photo by me, taken on June 29, 2023, at the Goshen Road Rest Area in Opdyke, Illinois, which had a little surprise trail.

Read More

Friday Folio: June 23, 2023

What do you do if your house is overflowing with books? via Lit Hub (a thing I think about OFTEN)

Fabio has thoughts about modern day romance novels, apparently.

Bookforum is returning.

I don’t put too much stock in celebrity book club picks (though please, pick mine!!!) — but here’s a round up, if you’re so inclined (this is from Penguin Randomhouse, full disclosure).

Book Riot has an overview of the life of Nora Roberts, in case you didn’t know!

And a note from me: I’m about to head off on a cross country (and back!) road trip. I have a biography to review here shortly, and then…I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting. Most of the books I’m packing are short, mass market paperbacks (easier to carry that way) so I’ll review them when I can, even if I write them a bit after I read the book. If you’d like to keep up with my trip, I suggest following me on Instagram.

Photo taken by me on June 22, 2023, at Little Free Library #79577.


Read More

Friday Folio: June 16, 2023

Friday! Let’s go let’s go!

Starting with some sad news though: romance queen Julia Garwood died. Smart Bitches Trashy Books has a lovely remembrance.

Cormac McCarthy died too. Here’s the NPR obituary.

Have you ever encountered a news story where your brain immediately puts up a “HALT” sign because it just…can’t? I feel that way about this Elizabeth Gilbert mess.

Librarians strike back against comics’ ban, via Publisher’s Weekly.

LGBTQ+ book sales are on the rise because of book banks, according to this report in Them.

Illinois has passed their ban on book banks.

A Dark Tower TV series? Here’s Entertainment Weekly on (the possibility of) it.

Photo by me, June 16, 2023, Avalon, N.J.

Read More

Friday Folio: June 9, 2023

News news news!

A Miami-Dade church hosted an event where they distributed banned books.

Related: The Southern Poverty Law Center has named that terrible book banning group an anti-government extremist group.

Also related: the Biden Administration named a government coordinator to deal with these book bans, via Barrons.

Like romance novels? The Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast recently did an episode on just that.

Speaking of, Smart Bitches Trashy Books now has a monthly feature on queer romances. Here’s the first one. Hooray!

I’m not a fan of horror, but maybe you are? Slate on Stephen Kings’ Night Shift.

This is a fun quiz, from The New York Times: “How Well Do You Know Popular Books for Summer Reading?” (I got 2 out of 5 — not a shocker since I’d read those two authors!)

Lithub looks at the literary roots of Die Hard.

As if we already didn’t love her, Dolly Parton is now giving out MORE books to kids, with a major the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in California.

I’m seeing Across the Spider-Verse today, so here’s a BBC piece on why the Spider-Verse movies are the greatest comic book movies ever made.

And finally: I know this might […]

Read More

Friday Folio: June 2, 2023

The Boston Globe looks at one physician assistant’s work to “digitally revive” vintage romance novels about nurses.

Also from The Boston Globe: when the right book at the right time becomes a lifeline.

Here are the 2023 Golden Voice winners (that’s the awards for voice actors who work in audiobooks).

Speaking of, audiobook sales are up, per Publisher’s Weekly.

Want to live in Beverly Cleary’s old house? That’ll be $1.8 million, per Literary Hub.

I may not have been the biggest fan of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow but that’s clearly not the case with everyone, as the New York Times reports. Which is fine! I hated Gone Girl so much I didn’t even finish it! C’est la vie!

The L.A. Times has an interesting piece about novels and geographic locations in the U.S.

More on the movement to ban book bans.

The Washington Post also had a piece on the a student-teacher revolt against book banning in a very red Florida town.

The American Library Association and ACLU are among groups suing Arkansas over a law that would criminalize librarians for doing their jobs.

How queer-owned bookstores are celebrating pride month, via Book Riot.

Everyone’s got a preview […]

Read More

Friday Folio: May 26, 2023

Let’s start with some good news: Independent book stores are growing!

New Jersey is getting it’s act together to ban book bans.

That’s good because *11* people are behind most of these horrid book bans, according to the Washington Post. The Post also covered the ridiculousness/scariness of a person getting Amanda Gorman’s book booted from a school in Florida. Rolling Stone dug into the background of the person behind this particular book getting tossed, and she’s worse that you might expect.

Speaking of book bans, LeVar Burton had some things to say about them at the LA. Times Book Club this week.

I forgot that the U.S. Book Show (which kinda sorta took over the annual spot of Book Expo America?) is this week, until Facebook reminded me that I was at BEA years ago signing copies of my second Jersey Shore book. Publisher’s Weekly has updates from this year’s event.

What’s the appeal of dystopian fiction? Book Riot looked into it.

Have you ever had a CT scan? Apparently, 16th century books need them too, via The New York Times.

Also via the Times: giving older books new life.

Since it’s the unofficial start of […]

Read More