Book News Roundup: Corporate anti-nazis, Your fake followers, and more

  • Even when Amazon's right, it's wrong. Choosing not to sell Nazi-promoting books? Sure. Keeping booksellers in the the dark about the decision? Erm. Digitally erasing swastikas from existing titles? Ugh. And then there's this:

    That only underlines how hard it can be to tell exactly what Amazon’s rules are. The confusion is reinforced by AbeBooks, the biggest secondhand book platform outside of Amazon itself.

    Some of the books dropped from Amazon are available on Abe. Recently, there were 18 copies of Mr. Duke’s books on Abe, at prices up to $150. Amazon, which owns Abe, declined to comment.

  • Feeling a little let down by your friends on Twitter or Facebook? Try joining Botnet, a "social network simulator" where you're the only human with millions of bots who are obsessed with you. Anything you post will get a huge amount of likes and comments, all of which are run by a good-enough-to-be-funny AI. If you're not popular enough off the fake sites, you can also upgrade for pay to increase the amount of interactions, or to buy your own trolls. But even the free version is pretty fun.

  • The Seattle Asian Art Museum is finally, finally, finally open again! At the end of the month, Xiaoze Xie, artist and Stanford University prof, is giving a talk on his solo exhibit, “Out of the Dark,” on the history of banned books in China. For those more inclined to read, there’s the McCaw Foundation Library downstairs housing books to go along with objects on display.

  • From January 11, through February 14th, fourth and fifth graders all throughout Seattle have been forming teams and competing in the Global Reading Challenge. Groups of kids read ten books between them, and answer a series of questions from moderators about each book. The winning teams from each elementary school will then proceed, through March 4th - 19th, to the semi-finals, leading to the city final on on March 24th. Take cheer! Children throughout Seattle are competing in a book-centered game.