Book News Roundup: The Bill Gates Book Club is now in session

  • Here's a friendly reminder that the Seattle City of Literature party is happening tonight at the downtown library. If you're not sure why this is a big deal, Brangien Davis, the arts and culture writer at Crosscut, interviewed me about why I believe Seattle's UNESCO Creative Cities status is so important.

  • Vladimir Verano, who created the Third Place Press shingle at Third Place Books, has struck out on his own. His new design and consulting firm, VertVolta Design & Press, will work with authors to create self-published books of professional quality. Send him an email for more information.

  • As per annual tradition, Bill Gates has released his top 5 books for summer reading. In this hugely overproduced video, Gates says he admires Abraham Lincoln "and the tough things he faced." I kid, but the books he selects are all pretty good:

  • Meanwhile, great Seattle teacher and activist Jesse Hagopian has a suggestion or two for Bill's Book Club:
  • It looks like Amazon's e-comics sales and distribution platform, Comixology, is getting into the comics publishing business. They've got a big announcement coming on June 1st, and Heidi MacDonald at The Beat seems to think they've signed up some big-name creators to produce work for them. Amazon hasn't really made much of a dent in traditional publishing with their in-house presses, but the comics industry has been held hostage by a monopolistic distribution model for decades now. Could Amazon take over the comics industry by bypassing comics shops? I'd give them pretty good odds.