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You wanted to see Jason Reynolds speak in Virginia Beach on Feb. 18.
And so, we see, did everyone else. Of course: He’s the bestselling author of several books for young readers, and he’s coming to discuss “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” the teen-oriented bestseller he wrote with Ibram X. Kendi.
But space is gone. Audience slots for his talk, announced publicly Feb. 1, filled “within hours,” and the wait list is full too, the Central Library’s Christine Brantley said by email Feb. 3. The library budget allowed an extra fee only to livestream the event to meeting rooms outside the auditorium, she said. The session won’t be recorded.
It’s part of the library’s community read, which ends this month and focuses on the Reynolds/Kendi book (a Parents Magazine book of the year); Kendi’s influential bestseller, “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America”; and a kids’ edition, “Stamped (for Kids): Racism, Antiracism and You,” by Sonja Cherry-Paul, Reynolds and Kendi.
When a book is banned, read it: After the Board of Education in McMinn County, Tennessee, voted Jan. 10 to ban “Maus” from the eighth-grade curriculum, word spread and the book shot onto bestseller lists. In Knoxville, the owner of Nirvana Comics offered 100 copies to give to anyone in the county. The project snowballed, aided by social media and Penguin Random House. He started a GoFundMe campaign to give the book to any student in the U.S. “Maus was a book that opened my eyes and changed my worldview, because I grew up in a small town in Tennessee where I honestly don’t know if to this day there is a single Jewish person,” Rich Davis, who is not Jewish, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
His goal: $20,000. Raised by Feb. 3: $104,591.
Art Spiegelman wrote “Maus” — which won a Pulitzer — to convey what happened to his father in the Holocaust and to connect that to their troubled relationship. Surely eighth-graders needn’t learn about that. (Shelf Awareness, news reports)
Kellyanne Conway’s memoir of her work as White House counselor to Donald Trump, and of her family life, is “Here’s the Deal,” is due May 24.
Honors: The PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, $50,000, to Kenya’s Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (“A Grain of Wheat,” “Weep Not, Child”). ... The UK’s Costa Book Award, 30,000 pounds ($39,627) to a former teacher for her sonnets about her sixth-form students: Hannah Lowe, “The Kids.” Said the chair of judges, “It’s joyous, it’s warm and it’s completely universal.” (The Guardian)
Obituary notes: Dave Wolverton, a bestselling sci-fi and fantasy author known particularly for his Runelords and Ravenspell books, was 64. He also wrote as David Farland. (Shelf Awareness)
New and recent
From Anne Rice and son Christopher, their last book: “Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris.” Anne Rice died Dec. 11.
Also: From Jennifer Haigh, “Mercy Street,” a timely novel about the disparate lives that intersect at an abortion clinic ... From Per Petterson (“Out Stealing Horses”), “Men in My Situation,” on a bereaved man’s dark night of the soul, and in paperback, his first novel, “Echoland.” ... Toni Morrison’s stand-alone story, “Recitatif,” in which she offers no hints about the races of her main characters and leaves the implications for readers to ponder. ... Gish Jen, “Thank You, Mr. Nixon,” stories.
— Erica Smith, email@example.com