Critical Linking

The World’s Most Architecturally Stunning Libraries: Critical Linking, January 23, 2020

Critical Linking is a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web sponsored by Flatiron Books, Publisher of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.

“Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, the $220 million rebuild of an ancient library has very little ancientness attached to it. With 11 stories—four underground—the building, designed by Snøhetta, opened in 2002 and is meant to mimic the lighthouse of Alexandria. The cylindrical design and Egyptian hieroglyphics are all ties to Egyptian culture.”

The Hunters Point Community Library is an accessibility disaster (!!), but this is still a lovely roundup of library eye candy.

“While authors avoid the topic, every now and then the media brings up book sales — normally to either proclaim, yet again, the death of the novel, or to make sweeping generalizations about the attention spans of different generations. But even then, the data we are given is almost completely useless for anyone interested in fiction and literature. Earlier this year, there was a round of excited editorials about how print is back, baby after industry reports showed print sales increasing for the second consecutive year. However, the growth was driven almost entirely by non-fiction sales… more specifically adult coloring books and YouTube celebrity memoirs. As great as adult coloring books may be, their sales figures tell us nothing about the sales of, say, literary fiction.”

A look behind the book sale curtain. It be hard!

“Every January, I open my brand new planner, make a couple notations I’ve been holding in my brain since before the holidays, and then—well, and then nothing, because I usually don’t make plans very far in advance. But this year is going to be different. This year, I’m going to use my planner to plan. So if you, like me, would like to fill your calendar (digital, analog, or merely hypothetical) with some literary events, I’ve put together a calendar tracking the biggest literary anniversaries, prize announcements, publication dates, and other happenings. (For more in-depth coverage of the books coming out in 2020, check out Lit Hub’s preview of the year’s most anticipated books, and for more TV and film adaptations, well, we’ve got a preview for that, too.)”

A year in literary events for your calendaring pleasure.