December 2016 LitBits

December 2016 LitBits

Every few months or so, I’ll be sending a News!Letter of bookish bits and pieces that inform, intrigue, provoke, and, I hope, delight. Here is a wrap-up of 2016 LitBits, sent with best wishes on the last day of the year.

 

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Sometimes a Book is not just a Book

Sometimes a Book is not just a Book

People often say that writing a book must be like having a baby, to which I respond, “I wish it only took nine months!” Writing may not be like childbirth, but producing a book is. The minute the physical object is in your hands, the hard parts are forgotten.

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December Give-Away

Dear Books Unpacked Readers,

Cover, Gutenberg's FingerprintGutenberg’s Fingerprint: A Book Lover Bridges the Digital Divide will be released in April 2017. In anticipation, ECW Press is giving away 5 Advance reading Copies (ARCs) through a Goodreads Draw. If you’d like to enter the draw, click here:

http://bit.ly/2gMApIR

And please—let me know your thoughts on some future BUB (oh dear, the unfortunate acronym for Books Unpacked Blog!)

Merry December,

Merilyn

 

 

 

A Freedom of Books

A Freedom of Books

When Maya Angelou was eight, a lady took her to the local black school library. The shelves held some 300 books, ragged copies donated from the white school and rebound with shingles covered in pretty cloth. “I want you to read every book,” the lady said.

“I don’t say I understood those books, but I read every book, and each time I would go to the library, I felt safe.”

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How to Disappear/Save a Book

How to Disappear/Save a Book

Madeleine Thien’s Giller- and GG-winning novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, is set partly in China in the culturally turbulent years after the Second World War. Two sisters, Swirl and Big Mother Knife, are story-tellers who travel the country performing story cycles. “Stories, even in times like these, were a refuge, a passport, everywhere.”

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Paper—Life’s Hard Copy

Paper—Life’s Hard Copy

Paper is not forever: it can be burned, cut, torn, crumpled, lost; it can rot, discolour, disintegrate; be eaten away by mice and mould. Even so, it is more enduring than what we think or what we say. It has the strength to carry words across vast landscapes and through millennia, from one person to hundreds, thousands, even millions.
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Because sometimes the world moves too fast for books.

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As I wrote Gutenberg’s Fingerprint, I thought a lot about books, what they are, what they mean, why I love them, how they are changing and how they are becoming what they started out to be. The brain doesn’t turn off when an editor says “Stop!” so in Books UnPacked, these thoughts spool on, exploring the past and future of books, and the actual books I’m unwrapping to read.

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