Hello, fellow book lovers! We’re two weeks into 2019 and the publishing industry is back in full force. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been bombarded by “Most Anticipated” lists over the last few days – my 2019 to read is already starting to get out of hand.
The Return of Kathleen Hale
One name I had hoped to never see in my Twitter timeline again was Kathleen Hale. But unfortunately, this week, my hopes were dashed. While scrolling through Edelweiss, Samantha Randolph, noticed her name on an upcoming title, Kathleen Hale is a Crazy Stalker by Kathleen Hale.
I’m sorry, what??? The author who *literally stalked* a reviewer and drove to her house is now going to make money off of said stalking by recounting the experience in this book?? pic.twitter.com/dIvWDPE9XE
— Samantha Randolph (@samantha_k_r_) January 3, 2019
In case you missed this story when it originally happened back in 2014, Kathleen Hale is the author of a YA novel, No One Else Can Have You. When one book blogger gave her book a negative review she became obsessed. In an article for The Guardian, Hale admitted to stalking the reviewer, including paying for a background check, renting a car and even showing up at the woman’s home. I remember when her Guardian article first appeared and how creeped out I was by her tone. As though this illegal activity was just a fun way for her to pass the time.
This new book, being published by Grove Atlantic, is a collection of six essays that comment on “womanhood, obsession, and the Internet” and includes The Guardian article, “Catfish”. I’m extremely disappointed that a publisher that I usually admire would publish this title and that Hale should continue to profit off her actions. I’m also not sure how many people will want to review it and risk her turning up at their house too. When asked about the situation by Bustle, the publisher provided the following statement:
“We stand by our publication. There are six essays in this collection which have been revised and expanded since online publication, including the essay ‘Catfish.’ We would encourage people to read the collection before passing judgement.”
Explore the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Starting January 25th, one of the largest Tolkien exhibits ever is coming to the United States. The exhibit, Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth, will include “family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.” The exhibit will run until May 12th at the Morgan Library and Museum and if you’re a fan of Tolkien’s work and able to get to New York you should definitely check it out. I know I’ve been trying to talk my husband into a trip to New York for some time now and this may be what finally convinces him!
Lin-Manuel Miranda and friends save Drama Book Shop
Ending this week’s Book Beat with a feel-good story. Faced with the prospect of another rent hike, the historic Drama Book Shop in Manhattan announced it would be closing later in the month. The bookstore, which has served the community for over 100 years, not only sells scripts and books about theatre/film, it also hosts events, readings, and classes.
The shop has a special place in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s heart — he visited regularly as a teenager and even wrote part of his show, In the Heights, in the shop’s basement. So when he heard the news, he and some Hamilton colleagues, director Thomas Kail, lead producer Jeffrey Seller and James L. Nederlander, stepped in and purchased the shop.
Though I’ve never visited Drama Book Shop myself, I do remember a similar shop in Toronto that I loved to frequent when I was younger and went to Toronto to see a show. I also remember how heartbroken I was when I realized it was no longer there. I’m so happy that the same fate didn’t befall theatre fans in Manhattan and I can’t wait to stop in myself next time I’m in New York.