Zoobean launched [yesterday] to make it easier for parents to find books that are the most relevant for their children.
Zoobean is a curated catalog of children’s books. Every book on the site is recommended by parents and categorized using “common sense” tags. Parents can search for books that explore specific themes, like bullying, the death of a pet, or magic as well as browse by age group, character background, or genre.
Zoobean was founded by a husband-and-wife duo who both built a carer in education. Felix Brandon Lloyd was named a Washington, D.C., Teacher of the Year for 2000-2001. He went on to build and sell a platform called Skill-Life that taught children about financial literary through online games. Jordan Lloyd Bookey is a former teacher who also directed a DC-based nonprofit supporting literacy efforts in low-income neighborhoods and is the outgoing head of Google’s K-12 Education Outreach.
Granta has released its 2013 list of the 20 most promising young British novelists under 40, and for the first time there is a majority of women. It is also an extremely international list: the writers’ backgrounds include China, Nigeria, Ghana, the US, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Naomi Alderman (born 1974), author of books including The Liars’ Gospel and designer of computer games.
Tahmima Anam (1975), whose Bengal Trilogy charts Bangladeshi history from the war of independence onwards.
Ned Beauman (1985), who was longlisted for the Man Booker prize for The Teleportation Accident.
Jenni Fagan (1977), whose debut, The Panopticon, was published 2012. She is also a poet.
Adam Foulds (1974) won the Costa poetry prize for his poem about the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. His novels include The Quickening Maze, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker.
Xiaolu Guo (1973) was shortlisted for the Orange prize for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.
Sarah Hall (1974) has won and been shortlisted for many awards for her novels, which include How To Paint a Dead Man.
Steven Hall (1975) has published one novel, The Raw Shark Texts, which won the Somerset Maugham award.
Joanna Kavenna (1973), whose books include Come to the Edge, won the Orange prize for new writing.
Benjamin Markovits (1973) turned from professional basketball playing to writing, including a trilogy on the life of Lord Byron.
Nadifa Mohamed (1981) was born in Somalia and won the Betty Trask award for her debut, Black Mamba Boy.
Helen Oyeyemi (1984) is the author of three novels including White is for Witching.
Ross Raisin (1979) is the author of God’s Own Country, shortlisted for the Guardian first book award, and Waterline.
Sunjeev Sahota (1981) is working on his second novel, The Year of the Runaways.
Taiye Selasi (1979) has just published her debut, Ghana Must Go.
Kamila Shamsie (1973) has written five novels; the most recent, Burnt Shadows, was shortlisted for the Orange prize.
Zadie Smith (1975) is the author of four novels. The latest is NW. She was on the Granta list in 2003.
David Szalay (1974) is the author of three novels: London and the South-east, The Innocent and Spring.
Adam Thirlwell (1974) has written two novels and was on the Granta list in 2003.
Evie Wyld (1980) publishes her second novel, All the Birds, Singing, in June.
as reported by John Harris in The Guardian (worth reading in full):
[Tim Waterstone] is also about to return to bookselling as non-executive chairman of a new venture called Read Petite. This will be launched to the trade at next week’s London Book Fair, and to the public in the autumn. An online outlet for short-form ebooks (fiction and non-fiction), its users will pay a monthly subscription – “a few pounds” – and have unlimited access to texts of around 9,000 words or under.
But this is no literary Spotify, offering hundreds of thousands of items with little quality control: Waterstone is insistent the service will be “curated” to ensure a high standard. Authors will have appeared in traditional print, and have been brought to Read Petite by a publisher. “The individual short story, or whatever it is, may not have been published, but the author will be an established, published writer,” he says, drumming his fingers on the table to emphasis those last three words. “The whole point is to avoid a slush-pile of material. What we’ll guarantee is quality writing.”
Read Petite’s name was inspired by Reet Petite, Jackie Wilson’s 1957 rhythm and blues classic. One of its key players, former Bookseller editor Neill Denny, has come along to further explain what it is all about. The pair are particularly excited about the chance to serialise new fiction à la Charles Dickens, reintroducing readers to the long-forgotten art of the cliffhanger. They enthuse about how e-readers seem to have increased people’s appetite for short-form writing. In the US, the New York Times has reported on a resurgence of the short story, benefiting new and established writers. We talk about such short-story masters as Somerset Maugham, Stephen King and Annie Proulx, and why the publishing industry has never quite managed to market the form.
“A lot of the best short fiction has never been properly exposed, because publishers don’t find it commercially comfortable,” says Waterstone. His bookselling business did have success with Graham Greene’s short stories, but such successes were rare. “Even with a collection, how do you package it? It’s difficult in print: traditionally, money was used up on production and distribution, and not enough was left for promotion. In the digital world, production costs are virtually nil, and distribution costs don’t exist, so you’re left with a much cleaner sheet.”