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California threatens to shut down small booksellers

Today, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a First Amendment lawsuit, Passage v. Becerra, on behalf of Bay Area bookstore Book Passage, and its co-owner, Bill Petrocelli. Book Passage is a hub of literary activity and free expression and at issue is AB 1570, passed by the Legislature last year, which expands the state?s autograph law (which formerly applied only to sports memorabilia) to cover any signed commodity worth over $5 ? including books. Any violation to this law subjects a seller to outrageous fines and penalties. Bill annually holds over 700 author events a year but now fears that, given the massive bureaucratic nightmare and potential liability that the autograph law imposes, he won?t be able to continue these events. The autograph law violates basic notions of free speech, and its irrational exemptions violate book sellers right to equal protection. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the case is titled, Book Passage v. Becerra. More information, including the complaint, a video, a podcast, photos, and an explanatory blog post, may be found at: www.pacificlegal.org.
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National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for 2016 Awards

New York, NY (January 17, 2017)?Today the NBCC announced its 30 finalists in six categories??autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry??for the outstanding books of 2016. The winners of three additional prizes (The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, The John Leonard Prize and Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing) were also announced. The National Book Critics Circle Awards, begun in 1975 and considered among the most prestigious in American letters, are the sole prizes bestowed by a jury of working critics and book-review editors.
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Amazon's First East Coast Bookstore Opens In Mass.

Amazon now has a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Massachusetts. The online retailer opened a 5,800 square foot store Tuesday at Legacy Place in Dedham ? the company's first bookstore on the East Coast. The Massachusetts store joins Amazon's three other locations on the West Coast.
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Windham-Campbell Prizes: The Phone Call of a Lifetime

The director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes at Yale University made the call of a lifetime to eight unsuspecting writers this week, and informed them that they will be recognized with a $165,000 individual prize to support their writing. This year?s recipients of one of the world's richest literature prizes for the first time include poets, alongside writers of fiction, non-fiction, and drama. The awards will be conferred in September at an international literary festival at Yale, celebrating the honored writers and introducing them to new audiences.
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Lost Novella by Walt Whitman Discovered by Grad Student

By E.C. Flamming | February 22, 2017 | 11:35am Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Books News Walt Whitman. The grad student, Zachary Turpin, was scouring an online database of 19th century newspapers looking for unique names found in other Whitman works. It was then that Turpin unearthed the 36,000-word, six-part novella published anonymously in a New York newspaper in 1852. The rambling full title, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle: An Auto-Biography; In Which The Reader Will Find Some Familiar Characters, and the subtitle, A Story of New York at the Present Time, are distinct to Whitman and the literary time period.
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Record Number of Libraries Surpass One Million eBook and Audiobook Checkouts with OverDrive in 2016

CLEVELAND - January 18, 2017 - Librarians worldwide will be celebrating their record-breaking digital book checkouts at the American Library Association's (ALA) MidWinter Conference in Atlanta. OverDrive announced today that 30 standalone public library systems and 19 library consortia in the U.S. and two other countries have set a new record for lending more than one million digital books in 2016. These 49 systems each achieved significant year over year circulation growth, and together surpassed the 32 systems that accomplished the feat in 2015.
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How To Discover The Princes, Paupers And Horse Thieves In Your Family History

Genealogy is experiencing a resurgence of popularity with such TV shows as? Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots, but it's never really been out of fashion.
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