Friday, May 30, 2014

Book News You Can Use 5/30/14


Several months ago, I borrowed a copy of Nikki Giovanni's new book Chasing Utopia from my coworker Kathleen.  And lost it.  I think I left in on the bus.  Looked everywhere and couldn't find it (and it still hasn't popped up anywhere).  So I told her that I lost it and that I was going to replace her copy.

So when it was announced Nikki was coming to Columbia for the South Carolina Book Festival, I figured that I can get her to sign the replacement copy.  And it became very important once Kathleen announced her retirement after 26 years on the job.  But there was one problem: I was going to be in Chicago during the book festival. And my friend Valinda, who usually goes every year, didn't go to the festival.

I sent out an SOS on Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone was going to the book festival.  Luckily, my friend Deona was going to be in the Columbia area and agreed to get the book signed.  And trying to get that book signed lead her to have dinner with Nikki and Kwame Alexander in Columbia.  Sweet.

Yesterday at her retirement party, Kathleen got her book back with a message from Nikki wishing her a happy retirement.  And she loved it, since Nikki is her favorite poet.

LeVar Burton started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million to further Reading Rainbow's technology outreach.  It took less than 11 hours to reach his goal.  And I don't blame him for getting emotional over the response.

Gillian Flynn is writing an updated version of Hamlet.

The cover of Amy Poehler's memoir has been released.

The twins who were co-valedictorians at Spelman last year have written a self-help book.

Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney is opening a bookstore.

Book Expo America is happening this week and diversity seems to be an issue. Duh. When this article started to circulate on Twitter this week (and a copy of this story was posted on a well-known African-American publication), Jason from Rubicon Reader brought up the lack of support African-American authors get from traditional African-American publications.  He showed me (and the rest of Twitter) a blog post he wrote three years ago and how things haven't changed since then.

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