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All the essential literary stories from around the web
We’re not saying that all these stories are connected in some kind of cosmic, pop culture-infused literary scavenger hunt, but come on, if you were trying to figure out where Jules Verne buried a time capsule, wouldn’t Haruki Murakami’s record collection be as decent a place as any to go looking for clues? Wait, is Verne the eggman or the walrus? Who’s the BBQ strutter?
It’s the start of the week, you deserve a puzzle. Go on, read the news…
Spotify Playlist Spans Haruki Murakami’s Record Collection
Prolific Japanese author Haruki Murakami started his fabled writing career after having a revelation while drinking beer at a baseball game: he should go home and write a novel. Since that fateful epiphany, Murakami has penned twelve novels, three short story collections, and several works of nonfiction. Loyal readers recognize a lyrical quality intrinsic to his writing, and his characters are well-known for dropping more musical references than your hipster next-door neighbor. Murakami even ran a jazz club for seven years with his wife. His lifelong devotion to music bleeds into his life as a writer, so much so that Scott Meslow of The Week says, “reading Murakami’s work can feel like flipping through his legendarily expansive record collection,” which is roughly comprised of over 10,000 vinyls. Well, now readers can officially get a taste of his musical obsession. Open Culture is hosting a 3,350 song Spotify playlist that spans the author’s vaunted music collection. Check it out below or access it on your personal account!
Librarians Call Out Ivanka Trump’s Superficial Tweet
Last week, Ivanka Trump, ever the prudent First Daughter, tweeted out a celebration of National Library Week:
This #NationalLibraryWeek, we honor our libraries and librarians for opening our eyes to the world of knowledge, learning and reading!
Librarians were quick to react to the out-of-touch tribute (along with its glaring lack of an oxford comma). Several took to Twitter to point out that Ivanka’s father was in fact leading the charge against library funding.
HuffPo culled some sick zingers and we’ve added a few more to the list:
listens into fake Jon Stewart earpiece* Oh? What's that? Ivanka's dad proposed eliminating library funding and she's a fraud? https://t.co/3bnHPRIeFZ
I wonder if Ivanka Trump even has a library card...
@IvankaTrump Thanks for honoring us, but we're in serious trouble if your dad has his way. Kind words won't pay the bills. #saveimls
The non-profit EveryLibrary also used the opportunity to highlight the urgent implications of Trump’s plans for everyday Americans:
Once again, librarians prove not all heroes wear capes and that Twitter is a dangerous place to showcase tone-deaf hypocrisy…
The Waitlist to Check Out Atwood’s ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Astronomical
While libraries need more funding so that they may continue to provide essential resources to national bookworms and internet fiends, it seems that a more specific reason for why they could use some extra cash flow has surfaced: libraries need capital to buy more copies of Atwood’s The Handsmaid’s Tale. The 1985 novel, which has reemerged as a primary text for those who oppose the Trump agenda and the rise of American fascism, currently has “546 holds on 96 copies” at the New York Public Library, according to a NYPL representative who spoke to the Huffington Post. Public libraries in Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco are likewise facing massive requests for Atwood’s classic work. If you’re dead set on checking out this book from the library, the wait is likely going to be a year or more. It may be worth biting the bullet and buying a copy from your local bookstore.
Did Researchers Find Jules Verne’s Time Capsule?
A time capsule, possibly belonging to Jules Verne, has journeyed from the center of the earth and into the light of the day. (I hate myself for that pun, but it had to be done.) According to Metro News, the vessel was found by Verne researchers in the Occitane region of the French Pyrenees, not far from the author’s tomb. Inside they found papers, books, and metal objects.
There’s still some debate about whether or not this is real or fake news, but L’Université Paris Descartes and the New York Explorer’s Club are pretty confident that what they’ve found is bona fide. Researchers plan to present their findings soon, though no press conference has yet been scheduled.
Side note: I can’t wait for 200 years from now when archaeologists unearth my fifth grade class’s time capsule and mistake it for Gertrude’s Steins experimental work.