Book Beat: New Kids Book Festival and Mary Oliver’s Passing

Happy Thursday Booklovers! Christa here, reporting on your weekly book news from the coldest capital in the world. Wherever you are, I hope you’re staying warm this week and spending some time curled up with a good book and your drink of choice.

It was a busy news week this week so let’s jump right in!

Fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon claims husband poisoned her

The Tennessee police department is investigating claims that Sherrilyn Kenyon’s estranged husband, Lawrence Kenyon and his assistant, Kerrie Ann Plump, had been slowly poisoning her over a three year period. Kenyon, best known from her long-running Dark Hunter series, says a medical test revealed she had high levels of lithium, tin, barium, platinum and thorium in her system, causing her to have trouble breathing and nausea.

A civil suit has already been filed and Kenyon suspects the poison was in tainted food given to her by her husband and Plump. The couple is currently in the process of getting divorced and Kenyon believes her husband was trying to kill her so he could inherit her estate.

Death Doesn't Bargain, Sherrilyn Kenyon, May 8th 2018, Tor Books

New subscription box to celebrate BIPOC authors

Subscription boxes continue to be all the rage and a new option for book lovers was recently announced.

The goal of Margins Box is to amplify the voices of authors from marginalized communities. Every month they will be delivering a recently released young adult novel, written by a BIPOC author, as well as an assortment of book-related swag related to that month’s theme. Sign up on their website for more information and news as it becomes available.

New Kids Book Festival Coming to Brampton

In 2016, the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) was launched in Brampton Ontario to celebrate the diversity of writers and readers across Canada. We’re big fans of FOLD here at Bookmarked and were thrilled to hear that in 2019 they will be launching a Kids Book Fest!

The main FOLD festival will continue to take place in May and the Kids Book Fest will start this September. It will celebrate kid lit for ages 0-12 though all ages are welcome to attend.

In addition to the Kids Book Fest, FOLD is launching its first teen track – a full-day of programming for aspiring writers aged 12-18 on Saturday, May 4. As part of this event, they’ve partnered with Simon & Schuster Canada to provide a Writer-in-Residence program and recently announced that S.K. Ali, author of Saints and Misfits, will be the first to hold the position.

S.K. Ali Author Photo, Photograph by Andrea Stenson

Find out more about all of the FOLD’s great events here.

Canadian Libraries launch campaign about ebook pricing

Also in Canada, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, an advocacy organization that represents over 45 library systems across the country, has launched a new campaign to protest ebook and audiobook pricing. The goal of this campaign is to renegotiate the inflated prices the “big five” publishers (Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster) are charging libraries for their products, as these prices are limiting access and stretching libraries’ already limited resources.

I often find that many people are unaware of how ebook pricing works for libraries or why they have to wait for a hold to come in on a digital copy. The eContent For Libraries website helps answer those questions. For example, they include price comparisons between print and electronic formats. Like, A.J. Finn’s thriller The Woman in the Window, for which libraries pay $29.99 for print copies versus $98.99 for a digital copy. Find out more and spread the word using the hashtag #eContentForLibraries.

Mary Oliver Passes Away

I want to end this week with Mary Oliver. The beloved poet passed away last Thursday from lymphoma at the age of 83. Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Oliver often explored the link between nature and the spiritual world through her work. But no matter what she was writing about, her poetry was accessible for all (whether regular poetry readers or not). You can read her full obituary here but I’d like to end this week’s Book Beat with an excerpt from Oliver’s “The Summer Day”:

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Out This Week

Golden State by Ben H. Winters
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty 

The Kingdom of Copper, S.A. Chakraborty, HarperVoyager, 2019

Christa Seeley

Christa Seeley

Books Editor. Maple Flavoured Darth Vader Fangirl.