In this week’s post I summarise some of the latest news to hit the book and publishing industry, up until the 12th February 2022.
I’m going to begin with a chilling video on social media – over in America, book banning has continued which I have been documenting in previous weeks but a pastor in Tennessee, Greg Locke, took this one stage further with an actual book burning streamed on social media. The books of pure evil that were included: Harry Potter, Twilight and even in the video images of the witch character in Snow White!
The video for me, harkens back to the book burnings by Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and the atrocities that they committed and though he may say it is in the name of God and is saving people it is also scary, hateful and dangerous. Just cannot comprehend it and honestly I am so glad I live here in the UK.
Meanwhile onto some more positive news, in Northampton, a primary school has donated books to its local children’s ward as part of 150 good deeds for its 150th anniversary. Wooten Primary School raised £1,000 at a scholastic book fair last month and used half of what they received to donate children’s books to their local hospital and to a charity in Africa. Other fundraisers included a carol service at a local care home, doing a Santa fun run, litter picking, planting trees, preparing breakfast packs for struggling families. Huge congratulations though to all of the young people at Wooten Primary School for their efforts so far!
Now I don’t mean to take this story out of context as it is amazing what they have done but that book burning video has got me so angry at the time of writing. In 2021, Harry Potter publishers in the UK announced a profit of £185m as more kids discovered reading during the pandemic, especially Harry Ootter so though I don’t know the children at Wooten Primary School they have done a fantastic job raising the money they have done and probably are fans of the Harry Potter books, as I know I certainly was when I was a child. Meanwhile, a bigot in the US is more interested in burning these books and is also posted anti-mask sermons online.
One other story which might ruffle feathers in the US is Trump’s former communications chief has come out to say Maggie Haberman upcoming book, Confidence Man, is set to be explosive due to her close access to the former President with allegations already that wadded up paper was found in toilets and him having a close friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. I definitely would like to read this book when it comes out later this year.
Meanwhile in the UK, 2022 marks 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne – our longest reigning Queen and a children’s book is due to be given to every primary school child in the UK. Though honestly I’m more in favour of the extra bank holiday for an extra day off from work! Though there are people in the UK who don’t support having a Royal Family (I personally do support us having one) one thing we do all agree on is the Queen’s unwavering sense of duty and support over the last 70 years so we all certainly wish the Queen a very Happy Jubilee.
LOTR Amazon Prime Title Reveal
Now for some less serious stories. Amazon Prime have dropped their video for the new Lord Of The Rings Prequel Series. The Rings of Power and some extra details have been released. The story will take place nearly 2,000 years before the original movies but will deviate from the source material in some ways, by compressing the timelines and introducing characters earlier on in the series.
There is also the creation of a new creature the “half-foots” similar to Hobbits which don’t feature in The Silmarillion which the series is based on. A trailer is set to drop during the NFL Halftime show this weekend but a title reveal has been posted on YouTube – I will no doubt have more details on this next week.
Apple Books Book Club
Meanwhile Apple have announced a new Book Club, Strombo’s Lit, hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos which will include interviews from authors about upcoming books.
The host tweeted:
Hey hey… Hope you’re all having a great day… I’m really excited about this. We’re starting a book club friends! Conversations, connections, giveaways. Check it out.— George StroumbouloPHÒulos 🐺 🇨🇦🇺🇦🇬🇷🇵🇱🇪🇬 (@strombo) February 8, 2022
First up is Neal Stephenson’s “Termination Shock”. https://t.co/mdeRwmQnaD @AppleBooks @HarperCollinsCa pic.twitter.com/ZgpcRDAAUU
Overall it comes after Netflix’ Book Club which I posted about on Instagram a few months ago and though I don’t personally use Apple Books offering more ways to make books accessible and encouraging people to read I always support.
Finally one other story I have read is a number of libraries in the UK are considering dropping overdue book fines to encourage more people to read. Leicester City Council have announced a one month amnesty on fines, whilst Manchester City Council have announced a ban on them altogether. Whilst I’ve always been a good library patron I must admit the due dates on books are a source of stress and I hope I’m not the only one who randomly gets a panic that a book is overdue and checks and realises they have another week or two left? Being serious as well, the push to make books more accessible for everyone is also something I support.
So that’s my round up this week – do you have any stories, thoughts or opinions let me know in the comments down below!