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The Book Beat - February 16, 2020

I'm late with this, and I wish I had a good excuse. But I don't! :) But I'm happy to say that I had time today to write and have some interesting book-ish news to share. The most important news comes first!


(Yes, I'm screaming!)

The Free Library of Philadelphia is living up to its name and no longer charging fees for overdue books. YAY! I went to the library for the first time this weekend (I know, I know. Sacrilege!) and it was lovely. Also, if you're in the area but not in Philly, you can STILL get a Philly library card and take out eBooks or audiobooks. So, go to their site and get a card. As I always say, numerous library cards are better than one.

The Politics of Libraries

A Missouri politician has proposed a new bill that creates a parental review board (of publicly elected officials from the community) who would determine what materials a Missouri library that gets public funding can offer. I'm too infuriated to write about it, so please take a look at the below link. One blood-pressure-spiking part: any librarian who "willfully" violates the rules would be fined up to $500 or up to a year in jail. My thought: No plural here, just an emphatic NO. This is censorship, plain and simple (it seems that the politician's strong religious beliefs are the impetus for this bill). And, more importantly, aren't there more pressing issues to handle in MO that jailing librarians?

In addition to this, for the fourth year in a row, President Trump's budget recommends the permanent elimination of the federal Institute of Library and Museum Services and virtually all federal library funding (in addition to the elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities). I was incensed year one and I'm still incensed now. These are vital services to our nation, particularly in promoting reading, the arts, and creativity in general. It's a shame that they've been targeted by the Trump admin as something that's not worthy of receiving federal funds. Three previous budget proposals haven't passed with these plans for elimination intact, so I'm hoping that happens this year as well.

Colin Kaepernick's Publishing Company

NFL free agent and political activist Colin Kaepernick is starting his own publishing company, with the explicit goal of creating opportunities for black and brown authors. The first title will be Kaepernick's own memoir. He just booked an exclusive deal with Audible, Amazon's audiobook company. More publishing opportunities is always a good thing, so I'm all for this.

Historical Romance Grande Dame Georgette Heyer

This is an interesting article about how Georgette Heyer, arguably the most popular historical romance writer ever, created her Regency England "worlds." I've read a grand total of one novel by her, and I really need to read more.

Book-to-TV: What Does Celeste Ng Think?

The New York Times talks to Little Fires Everywhere author Celeste Ng about Reese Witherspoon adapting her novel for an 8-episode Hulu series. I loved the book and can't wait to see how it looks on the small screen!

Cover of the Week:

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Despite what my friends and family think, I don't buy books because the cover it teal. This one just happened to catch my eye because of the striking, fun-looking cover that just happens to have a lot of teal in it! The good news is, the story sounds great, too. An older man writes the truth about his life in a green journal and leaves it for another person to find. She then writes her truth in it and then leaves it for someone else to find. This little notebook brings six people together for a story of happiness, love, sadness, and joy. I'm really looking forward to reading it. It sounds just like the fictional balm anyone could use in this crazy world. I'll keep you posted about what I think!

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