Happy Friday readerkins! Start off the weekend right with five bookish news stories from the last week.
1. The Morning News Tournament of Books started this week! So far, Life After Life has beaten Woke Up Lonely in the pre-tournament playoff round (I totally agree with this ruling), Hill William has beaten The Luminaries, and A Tale for the Time Being has defeated How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. I haven’t read the last four books yet, but I just picked up a copy of A Tale for the Time Being from the bookstore yesterday, and I can’t wait to read it!
2. The longlist for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) was announced! Of the books being considered, I’ve read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I would be thrilled for Burial Rites or The Goldfinch to win, but I’m surprised to see The Burgess Boys in the longlist; I felt pretty lukewarm about it, and I don’t recall reading any really positive reviews of it. There are also quite a few books on the longlist that I’m dying to read! (Americanah, The Signature of All Things, The Flamethrowers…)
3. The 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalists have also been announced! And I haven’t read any of them. I am growing more and more curious about Daniel Alarcon’s At Night We Walk in Circles, though.
4. Spritz, an upcoming app for Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Gear 2 watch, will enable readers to read at speeds between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. (The average reading speed for a college-level reader is 200 to 400 wpm.) At 1,000 wpm, you could read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 77 minutes. It’s a pretty fascinating app that I can see being especially useful for required reading like textbooks, but I have mixed feelings about reading novels for pleasure with it.
5. Scribd, an e-book subscription app similar to Netflix, compiled a list of which books are most popular (relatively) in each state. New York’s favorite book is apparently The Bedwetter, which I’ve never heard of, and the name of which kind of disturbs me.