Book News Roundup: Americans are crazy about audio books

  • Brendan Kiley at the Seattle Times writes about a new report from the city that offers "30 ideas — some already in play — to shelter artists and communities of color from rapid development and skyrocketing rents." You can read a PDF of the report right here. If you're an artist or a lover of the arts who is concerned about livability in Seattle — in other words, if you're reading this site right now — it is your civic duty to read this report.

  • Remember earlier this week, when I told you that media was ramping up for the release of Sherman Alexie's memoir, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me? Well, here's a book trailer, featuring a poem from the book:

Melville House has announced it is giving away free ebooks of its edition of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture after reports that the Republican head of the Senate Intelligence Committee was trying to suppress the still-classified sections of the report that were in circulation amongst other Federal agencies.
Framing the library’s focus as “restarting civilization” may seem apocalyptic or predictive on its face, but that is not the intention. Rather, the hope is to create a curatorial principle that inspires valuable conversation that reframes how we think about where civilization has come so far, where it might go in the future, and what tools are necessary to get it there.
  • When he was in town recently, Neil Gaiman talked about an audio book editor who announced, in the early 2000s, that she was quitting the business. Gaiman asked why she was leaving when she was so good at her job, and she replied that CDs were going away, and without CD players in cars, there was no future in audio books. I've got bad news for that person: she was dead wrong. According to the Audio Publishers Association, Americans bought more than two billion dollars' worth of audio books last year, which is an increase of nearly 20 percent over the year before. Almost one in four Americans successfully listened to at least one audio book last year. I wrote about my recent conversion to audio books a couple months ago.