paper trail

Carlos Lozada makes book recommendations for ‘Trying Times’

Carlos Lozada. Photo: Bill O’Leary

Mark Sarvas, author of the novel Memento Park, is launching the Decameron Reading Series, a website that will feature video and audio recordings of authors reading their work. He’s starting it for “friends whose bookstore events have been canceled,” but if the site is successful, he says he will “gladly do the same for any writers who have canceled tours.” Sarvas adds: “It’s a safe way to help get the word out for these worthy titles, and gives us all something literary and fun to do while we are cooped up at home. If you have a book and a canceled tour or appearance, please feel free to message me.”

Washington Post book reviewer and Pulitzer Prize winner Carlos Lozada has started #ReadingFromHome, where he’s recommending a book each morning. Today’s recommendation: “On the first full day of our (official) national emergency, here’s my second #ReadingFromHome recommendation: WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU UP TO, MR. PRESIDENT by Kevin Mattson, on Jimmy Carter’s infamous speech. Good context on presidential communication in trying times.”

The New York Times’s Jennifer Schuessler reports on the New York Public Library’s 42nd Street Reading Room, as the institution prepared for closure due to coronavirus. “For some people, their getaway is the beach or a spa,” observed researcher Lyubov Ginzburg. “For me, it’s the library.”

Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million stores remain open.

Seattle’s alt-(bi)weekly The Stranger relies heavily on listings and ads that promote bars, concerts, and other social activities. As social distancing becomes the norm, the paper is looking to other sources of revenue, including donations from its loyal readership. “At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support continued coverage of everything happening in Seattle. You can make one-time or recurring donations. We can’t say enough how much we appreciate it. Thank you.”

Madeleine Westerhout, who spent two and a half years as Trump’s director of Oval Office Operations, is publishing a memoir, Off the Record, on August 11. The author, who “deeply admires” Trump, will recount an “off-the-record” dinner she had with reporters in 2019, at which, after “too much wine,” she shared details about the Trump family too freely with reporters. The “momentary lapse” led to her dismissal.

David Sedaris is publishing an essay, “Themes and Variations,” with Amazon Originals on April 28. “In the essay, Sedaris takes readers along on his book tours, where we delight in the phenomenal candor of his audiences and the personal anecdotes with which they regale him.”