Friday, October 14, 2011

Book News: #FridayReads & Its Importance for Readers, Music & Books, and the Americana Music Awards

I don't think I've ever mentioned something I participate in each and every week via Twitter. Friday Reads is a time and place where Twitter users share what they're reading. Using the hashtag #FridayReads, all you do is tweet your book title and author. The good folks at Friday Reads then count the total participants (it's been in the 6,000 range lately), tally up the most-read titles, and give away fabulous books each week to lucky winners.

USA Today's book department praised the Friday Reads movement a couple of weeks ago in a tweet to their followers which said: "We love books, Fridays and reading on Fridays! The Help is #1 on our list. Wonder what'll be the most popular ?" I really love the Friday Reads philosophy, which is simply to create "a global community of thousands of people who come together each week to share whatever they’re reading. . . [in order] to raise reading’s visibility and encourage more people to join in!" Add yourself to the thousands next week by sharing your own read.

Sufjan Stevens
Music is almost as important in my life as books are. I would never claim to be a super-fan or a groupie. I've never followed the Grateful Dead or Widespread Panic. I've never even been to Bonnaroo, and it takes place 30 miles from my house! But nevertheless, music is important to me. I listen to it constantly, and, like many people, there are moments in my life that are defined by specific songs. The Guardian posted a series of pictures two weeks ago depicting the "10 best songs based on books." I can't lie and say I'm familiar with all the songs (or even all of the pieces of literature mentioned), but this idea is pure genius to me. 

Along that same pop culture thread, The Atlantic also released a picture gallery relating literature to cartoons a few weeks ago. As The Simpsons began its 23rd season, they celebrated by listing literary references in the cartoon series in their "A Visual History of Literary References on 'The Simpsons.'"

I won't make it the top news today, because I'm sure I've worn out you guys who DON'T live in the Nashville area, but I am headed to the Southern Festival of Books this morning. Things kick off at noon in downtown Nashville at Legislative Plaza. I'll be tweeting with the hashtag #SFB11 from the Festival!

Also in Nashville this weekend are the Americana Music Awards. The actual award ceremony was broadcasted last night on Nashville's channel 8 from the historic Ryman Auditorium. NPR and Folk Alley, a radio station out of Kent State University in Ohio, hosted the event. I never really knew that Americana was a genre of music I liked; rather, I never knew that was the name of the genre. Performers like Lucinda Williams and Alison Krauss are among my favorites, so I suppose I am a fan of Americana! I also really like the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons, who were both winners last night. Performances will continue tonight and the next two nights.

I am loaded down with books to take to the Festival with me this weekend. I haven't managed to read very much, though! I am listening to Tess Gerritsen's latest Rizzoli and Isles book, The Silent Girl, which I downloaded from Audible last night. Have a fabulous weekend & happy reading!

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