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Around the Web: BookExpo, Middle-Earth, American Novelists, and Illustrated Books

Welcome back to Around the Web everyone! This week, yours truly spent some time traveling, which meant a fair bit of internet surfing while I waited for flights. Here’s what caught my attention.

Book Expo

This week the Javits Center in NYC is once again hosting BookExpo and BookCon . Book Twitter is, of course, buzzing with news about ARCs, panels, sessions, and stories of meeting authors and industry professionals. And the FOMO is so, so real!

Those of us who couldn’t make it to New York have to make do with watching from the sidelines. Luckily, several outlets are covering the events. I, for one, have been keeping an eye on Publishers Weekly, which is sharing news from some of the panels. One interesting piece is from a panel of book publishing CEOs that discussed the stability of the industry within the turbulence of the current political climate.

Tolkien and Middle-Earth

In more potential FOMO news, the Guardian shared a story on a new Tolkien exhibition at the Weston Library in Oxford . If you’re lucky enough to be in the UK in October, you’ll have the chance to see the exhibition, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, which features a collection of over 200 items, including personal belongings of the writer.

The Lord of the Rings

The Great American Novelist

This month has seen the passing of Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth, both respected authors. Their deaths have stirred up a debate on “The Great American Novelist” with some lamenting Wolfe’s or Roth’s death as the “death of the Great American Novelist” and some arguing that the title should really belong to someone else anyway (Toni Morrison seems to be the front runner based on my Twitter feed).

BookRiot has a piece on this debate that argues that the whole concept of the Great American Novelist title is flawed. I don’t see the term “Great Canadian Novelist” used very often, so perhaps I’m missing something, but I think writer Annika Barranti Klein has a point.

Illustrated Stories Are Good For Kids’ Brains

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital say picture books may be better for children than audio books or cartoons.

Researchers presented children with stories by Canadian author Robert Munsch to find out what happens in their brains. The stories were provided in three formats: audio only, picture book with audio, and animated cartoon and FMRI were done to see how the brain reacted.

Apparently, audiobooks showed the children’s brains having to work harder to compensate for lack of images, and with animations “everything kind of came apart.” Picture books paired with audio provided a nice balance between visual networks and language networks. You can listen to the whole story on CBC.

A parent and child reading

Did you read anything interesting around the web this week? Let us know it the comments, or share with us on Twitter.

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