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The Book Beat - November 15, 2019

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

Overwhelmed by the Twitter/Insta/Facebook/SnapChat/Newspaper/Internet of it all? Each Friday I’ll round up the most interesting book news of the week and share it here. And if you hear of anything that I missed, feel free to mention it in the comments!

No Milk for Kids?

Canadian author Robin Stevenson wrote a letter to the Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 in Illinois after they canceled her author visit to Longfellow Elementary School. The school maintains it was a procedural conflict, while Stevenson claims it was because her book features a section on gay activist Harvey Milk. He’s on the cover, waving a rainbow flag.

Read her letter here:

Want your kids to learn about inclusivity and diversity? And be encouraged by the brave acts of the next generation? The book is: Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change. It's published by Quirk Books.

Get Ready for More Drama!

Lin-Manual Miranda himself (I finally FINALLY saw Hamilton and it was as amazing as you would expect!) and several of his Hamilton colleagues have purchased the Drama Book Shop, in Midtown Manhattan. They plan on opening it in the spring at the long-time shop’s new home on West 39th Street. Definitely a new spot to hit when you’re in NYC!

Don Jr. and the Dagger

Did organizations (including, it’s being reported, the Trump campaign) bulk buy Donald Trump, Jr.’s newest book so it got the coveted #1 spot on the New York Times’ nonfiction best-sellers list? There’s really no definite way to say for sure, but the dagger icon DID appear next to it on the list. Have you seen the dagger and aren’t sure what it means? Get the scoop below.

It’s OK to (Sometimes) Judge a Book By Its Cover

Cover of the Week: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

My book-club girls and I were embarrassed that it took us a while to see the optical illusion on the front cover of this book. Do you see it?

This cover is quite the puzzle! If someone would have told high-school me that The Handmaid’s Tale sequel would feature fluorescent green on the cover, I would have told them they were crazy. Not a color you identify with the subjugation of women by a misogynistic and fanatical regime! Still the spareness of this cover’s images and the three colors gets interrupted by the bold, bright green. A commentary on the women of the book “breaking out” of their expected roles and making themselves stand out? Them trying to be “seen” among the white hats, the strict rules, their very ordered, sheltered lives?

The handmaid on the front juxtaposed by the earring-wearing, ponytailed woman on the back is a nice touch, too. And, if you didn’t see it yet, the handmaid on front is being held in a sense by a smaller image of the ponytailed woman, below the V of her V-neck. What does it all mean?!

It does mean I remain enthralled by the art of designing a book cover. And I truly think someone in a marketing department thought long and hard about what they were trying to communicate with this cover. It’s fascinating to think about!

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