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A group of librarians and archivists are working to digitize the millions of books that are secretly in the public domain, proving once again that librarians are the best.

Libraries and Archivists Are Scanning and Uploading Books That Are Secretly in the Public Domain according to Karl Bode from Vice… Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

A coalition of archivists, activists, and libraries are working overtime to make it easier to identify the many books that are secretly in the public domain, digitize them, and make them freely available online to everyone. The people behind the effort are now hoping to upload these books to the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital archives on the internet.

As it currently stands, all books published in the U.S. before 1924 are in the public domain, meaning they’re publicly owned and can be freely used and copied. Books published in 1964 and after are still in copyright, and by law will be for 95 years from their publication date.

But a copyright loophole means that up to 75 percent of books published between 1923 to 1964 are secretly in the public domain, meaning they are free to read and copy. The problem is determining which books these are, due to archaic copyright registration systems and convoluted and shifting copyright law.

As such, a coalition of libraries, volunteers, and archivists have been working overtime to identify which titles are in the public domain, digitize them, then upload them to the internet. At the heart of the effort has been the New York Public Library, which recently documented why the entire process is important, but a bit of a pain.

Back in the 1970s, the Library of Congress operated a Catalog of Copyright Entries (CCE) indicating which books had renewed copyright. Digital copies of these notices can be found in the Internet Archive and at over at Stanford University.

Historically, it’s been fairly easy to tell whether a book published between 1923 and 1964 had its copyright renewed, because the renewal records were already digitized. But proving that a book hadn’t had its copyright renewed has historically been more difficult, New York Public Library Senior Product Manager Sean Redmond said.

Read full post on VICE

Margaret Atwood says thieves targeted Handmaid’s Tale sequel

According to BBC News, Margaret Atwood says thieves made concerted efforts to steal her manuscript for The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s TaleSupport our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

The author and her publisher were targeted by “fake emails” from “cyber criminals”, trying to obtain the unpublished novel, she told the BBC.

She described the attempts as a “phishing exercise” that could have led to blackmail or identity theft.

“It was a commercial venture of a robbery kind,” Atwood said.

“People were trying to steal it. Really, they were trying to steal it and we had to use a lot of code words and passwords,” she told BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones.

“What would they have done with it if they had succeeded? They might have said, ‘We’ve got the manuscript, and we’re putting it up online [unless you] give us your credit card details’. Or they might have said, ‘Read this excerpt and download it. And if you downloaded it, a virus would have stolen your information’.

“Think of how terrible we all would have felt had that happened.”

In the end, the novel was kept out of thieves’ hands and a major operation was put in place to ensure plot details did not leak to the press.

Early review copies were issued under a different title for fear of their being stolen; while judges for the Booker Prize were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they could read watermarked manuscripts that were locked in drawers overnight.

Read full post on BBC

How many books could you read if you quit social media? New tool calculates wasted time

This is a pretty fair comparison—most times that you could read Facebook for a few minutes, you could also read an ebook. Nick Douglas from Lifehacker is not saying you should never use social media, but this calculator shows you just how much deeper reading you could accomplish… Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

A new calculator from Omni Calculator shows you how many books you could read in one year, if you checked them instead of checking social media. Enter how often you check social media (or any time-wasting sites that you’re willing to give up), and how long you spend there each time you visit. Omni Calculator will turn that into a count of books, based on a typical page count and reading speed.

Read full post on LifeHacker

Beloved and bestselling novelist, Dorothea Benton Frank, dies at 67

Novelist Dorothea Benton Frank, who set such best-sellers as “Sullivan’s Island” in her native South Carolina, has died according to The Associate Press. She was 67… Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

Frank died Monday after a brief battle with leukemia, publisher William Morrow announced. For the past 30 years, she had homes in Montclair, New Jersey, and Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, part of Charleston County.

Sullivan’s Island” was her first book, completed when she was in her mid-40s and published in 1999. It was the story of a troubled woman confronting her past and was the first of many “Low Country” tales, among them “Isle of Palms” and “Shem Creek.”

Her other novels included “By Invitation Only,” ″The Last Original Wife” and “All the Single Ladies.” Her novel “Queen Bee” came out in May.

Read full post on APNews

Stephen King discusses his 61st(!) novel, which has some unintentional (and terrifying) parallels to the present moment.

In his 61st novel, “The Institute,” children with supernatural abilities are taken from their parents and incarcerated. Sound familiar? Anthony Breznican from The New York Times thinks so… Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

Stephen King wouldn’t still be in business if all he had to sell was fear.

Within every terrifying story about a shape-shifting killer clown, homicidal father in a haunted hotel or super flu that depopulates the planet, the relentlessly prolific writer has filled his pages with equally powerful supplies of strength, selflessness and even hope. That may be why so many readers, many of whom discovered his books when they were kids themselves, have remained loyal over 45 years of storytelling.

The author is about to turn 72 as he publishes his 61st novel, “The Institute,” about children who display supernatural abilities being forcibly rounded up for study by a shadowy organization that brutally discards them when their usefulness is exhausted. Those who think of King primarily for horror may be surprised by how much warmth there is in a book that sounds so coldblooded.

The concept for the book dates back more than two decades, when King — who has depicted similar psychic characters as loners in books such as “Carrie,” “The Shining,” “Firestarter” and “The Dead Zone” — pictured an entire schoolhouse filled with such kids. When he began writing the book in March 2017, he thought of it not as a horror story but as a resistance tale, with 12-year-old telekinetic genius Luke, teenage mind reader Kalisha and 10-year-old power-channeler Avery forming a rebellion inside their detention center.

“I wanted to write about how weak people can be strong,” King says, speaking by phone from his home in Bangor, Me. “We’re each on our own island, and at the same time sometimes we can yell to each other and get together, and there is that sense of community and empathy. I love that. I love that in stories.”

Read full post on The New York Times

Queer, subversive, and relevant: why Moby-Dick is “the novel for our times”

The book features gay marriage, hits out at slavery and imperialism and predicts the climate crisis – 200 years after the birth of its author, Herman Melville, it has never been more important. Philip Hoare from The Guardian explores Moby Dick and Melville. Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

Thursday marks the 200th birthday of Herman Melville – the author of the greatest unread novel in the English language. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen eyes glaze over when I ask people if they have conquered Moby-Dick. It is the Mount Everest of literature: huge and apparently insurmountable, its snowy peak as elusive as the tail of the great white whale himself.

Having grown up loving whales as a boy – in the era of the Save the Whale campaigns of the 1970s – I was underwhelmed when I watched John Huston’s grandiose 1956 film, Moby Dick. Perhaps it was because I saw it on a tiny black-and-white TV, but the whole story seemed impenetrable to me. And there weren’t enough whales. I would have been even less keen had I known that the whale footage Huston did include had been specially shot off Madeira, where they were still being hunted. For the Hemingwayesque director, there was none of that final-credit nonsense: “No animals were harmed in the making of this film.” Because they very much were.

Forty years later, I saw my first whales in the wild, off Provincetown, a former whaling port on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was there, in New England, that I finally finished the book. What had seemed to be a heroic tale of the high seas proved to be something much darker and more sublime. I realised its secret. Not only is it very funny and very subversive, but it maps out the modern world as if Melville had lived his life in the future and was only waiting for us to catch up. I fell in love with Melville as much as I had fallen in love with the whales. My own five-year-long voyage searching for these magnificent creatures produced my own book, Leviathan or, The Whale and a subsequent film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick…

Read full post on The Guardian

Five Hugely Entertaining Books Like CRAZY RICH ASIANS

If you’re craving an engaging read about the life of the rich and their glamorous lifestyles, these books like Crazy Rich Asians will take care of your TBR according to Rabeea Saleem from Bookriot… Support our news coverage by subscribing to our Kindle Nation Daily Digest. Joining is free right now!

The Wangs vs. the World by [Chang, Jade]The Wangs vs. the World

by Jade Chang

Kindle price: $2.99

For fans of Crazy Rich Asians: Meet the Wangs, the unforgettable immigrant family whose spectacular fall from glorious riches to (still name-brand) rags brings them together in a way money never could.

Charles Wang, a brash, lovable businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, has just lost everything in the financial crisis. So he rounds up two of his children from schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed. Together with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra, they head on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of the eldest Wang daughter, Saina.

The Nest by [Sweeney, Cynthia D'Aprix]The Nest

by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Kindle price: $11.99

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Five Star Billionaire: A Novel by [Aw, Tash]Five Star Billionaire: A Novel

by Tash Aw

Kindle price: $10.99

An expansive, eye-opening novel that captures the vibrancy of China today

Phoebe is a factory girl who has come to Shanghai with the promise of a job—but when she arrives she discovers that the job doesn’t exist. Gary is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control. Justin is in Shanghai to expand his family’s real estate empire, only to find that he might not be up to the task. He has long harbored a crush on Yinghui, a poetry-loving, left-wing activist who has reinvented herself as a successful Shanghai businesswoman. Yinghui is about to make a deal with the shadowy Walter Chao, the five star billionaire of the novel, who with his secrets and his schemes has a hand in the lives of each of the characters. All bring their dreams and hopes to Shanghai, the shining symbol of the New China, which, like the novel’s characters, is constantly in flux and which plays its own fateful role in the lives of its inhabitants.

The Windfall: A Novel by [Basu, Diksha]The Windfall: A Novel

by Diksha Basu

Kindle price: $11.99

“Charming . . . What Kevin Kwan did for rich-people problems, Diksha Basu does for trying-to-be-rich-people problems.”—People

The Jhas are moving up. For the past thirty years, their lives have been defined by cramped spaces and gossipy neighbors. But when Mr. Jha comes into an enormous sum of money—the result of an unexpectedly successful internet venture—he moves his reluctant wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, ultimately forcing them, and their son, to reckon with who they are and what really matters to them. Hilarious and wise, The Windfall illuminates with warmth and heart the precariousness of social status, the fragility of pride, and, above all, the human drive to build and share a home. Even the rich, it turns out, need to belong somewhere.

Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by [Martin, Wednesday]Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir

by Wednesday Martin

Kindle price: $11.99

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe.

After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place. She understood the other mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off when she compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional quest for a Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized other females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop. And so she analyzed tribal migration patterns; display rituals; physical adornment, mutilation, and mating practices; extra-pair copulation; and more. Her conclusions are smart, thought-provoking, and hilariously unexpected.

See full post on BookRiot