Hello, again book lovers. We are posting for the first time to twitter, so anyone in twitterverse please consider retweeting this with your followers if you like the content.
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The latest in book news:
- This tweet was just one of many in what proved to be a catastrophically poor book launch for Jill Abraham’s “Merchants of Truth.” Many feel we are at a crossroads/crisis point in American journalism. It is a poor time for a major work in the field to fail to adhere to the basic norms of citation, especially as it undermines one of the central themes to her work: trust in the news service.
- No newsflash here – Amazon continues to wreck unprecedented havoc on our communities, according to the ABA and Civic Economics. If you have not read our blog from last month, click here.
- The importance of journalism has become a cause du jour for many companies, especially those with – ahem – some PR problems. Facebook announced it will contribute $300 million to various institutions to help them turn digital “lookers” into future subscribers. Google did the same last year. Save the praise until these sites commit to halting the distribution of patently false news or bias in their feeds based on ad dollars.
- Magnolia Pictures has the rights to a documentary on Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.
- Do you have an overdue library book but are ashamed to return it? It can’t be worse than the 73 years a Toronto woman kept “The Postman” from a Washington, D.C. library, can it?
- Longreads posted a great article highlighting a wonderful book by Jane Brox called “Silence”. While the book examines the social history of silence as a whole, the article focuses on the dangers women have faced as they spoke out in public spheres. As we read works of historical fiction, non-fiction, dystopias, and current events, this article is a reminder of the real-life context in which women had to navigate their lives through different eras/societies.
- A little bit of old news but it is heartwarming and small-townish so we will relay it anyway – Stephen King used his platform to help a local Maine newspaper decide to nix plans on eliminating the regional book review section from their editions.
- News that makes me breathe a little easier: sales are up at indie bookstores!
- Some more good news (for brick and mortar booksellers, anyways): E-Book sales are down (-3.6%) and Hardcover sales are up (6.9%)
- News that makes me a little jealous: check out the “World’s Most Beautiful Bookstore” in Argentina.
- Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? RIP to Mary Oliver, one that did exceptionally well with hers.
- The allegorical drunk/depressed/diseased/drugged talent who creates music/books/art has been frequently explored. Less so: those creators when sober, by GQ.
- Ted Genoway’s “This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm” was recently selected as the recipient of Nebraska’s “One Book One Nebraska” award. The selection apparently did not suit Governor Pete Ricketts tastes, however, as he refused to sign the pro forma proclamation. In defending his refusal, Ricketts cited Genoway’s divisive nature and labeled him “out-of-touch.” Ricketts, of course, admitted he had not even read the book.
- Apple is planning to develop Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko” into a TV series.
- Do you have old books and do not know what to do with them? Donate them to a prison, Books for International Goodwill, or Little Free Library.
- The most stolen books from Indie shops? Look here for an interesting small sampling. Books on ethics? Really people?
- President Trump threatened to sue a former staffer for a tell-all book. The staffer has sued Trump, saying the Trump-imposed NDA violates free speech.
- The Man Booker Prize has lost its sponsor. Ron Charles wants to the Brits to keep it on their side of the pond. (WaPo subscribers only)
Some notes from the world of coffee
- The most popular questions not pertaining to food/books I have been asked (after alcohol) as we open the store have surrounded weed, booze, and CBD. Sorry all, no on all accounts, but if you are a coffee lover and interested in a little extra in your daily cup o joe, try this from the cult hero of toking.
- The west is becoming increasingly more aware of the impact of our agricultural choices, and coffee is at the forefront of these discussions. Personal direct purchasing from farmers who physically grow the coffee is gaining traction as a great way to contribute personally, although the practice (in my experience) is no where near cost-effective or dependable enough to be applied to small businesses. The coffee giants such as Starbucks are starting to launch foreign stores where one can experience the whole process, from seed-to-cup, under one roof. This piece by The Roast highlights some of the dilemmas coffee growers face, most of which are out of their control. Finally, this piece by Curiosity asks the question if we are currently doing more harm than good with sourced-based advertising, which can perpetuate the advantages of the buyer over the seller and/or evoke tropes of racism.
- The Washington Post (subscriber only) reported on the latest in changing the composition of gluten and fiber for people who are celiac or gluten intolerant. (SUB) Opening the café portion of the business has posed a unique set of challenges, and at the forefront is the diversity of menu needed to cater to people’s dietary needs or preferences. As people learn more about their bodies and what they should or should not put into it, science looks to clear the hurdle on many of these challenges, hopefully providing a gateway for people to eat “traditional” food that has been slightly altered to be less problematic.
- From GeekWire – the best new espresso machine on the market.
- If you are not familiar with The Breakfast Wars, here is a quick recap. Breakfast is the most profitable meal of the day for most fast food chains. While Subway, Panera, and Taco Bell may not pop into your head for breakfast stalwarts, they are increasingly fighting for your dollar in the last frontier of home food preparation. More people cook/prepare for breakfast at home for any other meal, and breakfast is seen as one of the few areas where permanent growth can be achieved, especially by the traditional national companies.
- ESPN shed some light on how the players on the most travelled Big-Four sports franchise over the past ten-years, The Portland Trail Blazers, have adopted French-press coffee into their ritual. We have an opening Tuesday afternoons this summer, you interested D Lil?
- Coming soon to a town near you?? Berkeley is now charging a tax on single-use cups.
Worcester Business News
- February 25th to March 9th: Worcester Restaurant Week. 3-course meals for $25.19!
- MassLive had a great article about the women-driven renaissance of Worcester. Check it out here.
- Oh whatever shall we do with the Greendale Mall?
- Not new news but a call to arms: support your local town, municipal, or regional newspaper!
We are a bookstore and café in Worcester, MA and part of our mission it to keep our community as aware of happenings in book culture as possible. Even if you are not from the area, however, we would love to add your insight to our community either through comments or email.
Thanks for your help.