Notable Cult Books, Uganda’s Mobile Library, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

The high cost of books in Uganda (one book can equal approximately a week’s worth of groceries) led Rosey Sembatya to start the Malaika Children’s Mobile Library. For a $30 annual fee, children can borrow three books per week, which are delivered throughout Uganda’s capital city via motorbike taxis. (BBC News)

At NPR, longtime owner of Barnes & Noble Leonard Riggio talks about his career and decision to retire in September, the history of the bookstore, and the changing landscape of the bookselling industry. “There are components of the printed book business that remain sentimental, endearing, and even practical. So I don’t think that books will go away, but I think the digital business and all things digital will continue to grow at a much faster rate.”

More than a hundred twenty prominent writers, including Chimamanda Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, and Anne Tyler, have signed a letter from PEN America calling on Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to free author and journalist Ahmed Naji from prison. Naji is sentenced to two years in jail for “violating public morals;” His novel, The Use of Life, contains references to drugs and sexually explicit scenes. (New York Times)

The author of more than fifteen collections of poetry, poet and translator Cole Swenson discusses how travel and displacement affects her writing, as well as the connections between walking and writing, which she explores in her chapbook Walk (Essay Press). (Rumpus)

Read what the stars have in store for your writing this month with Electric Literature’s writerly horoscopes.

A cult book is difficult to define, but “you know it when you see it.” The Telegraph’s book critics list fifty notable cult books from the past two centuries, from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.  

At 3:AM Magazine, fiction writers Nicholas Rombes and Mark de Silva discuss their novels The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing and Square Wave—both published by Two Dollar Radio—as well as Rombes’s first feature film, The Removals, which the independent press is also releasing this month.