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5 Charities That Promote Literacy

First BookAside from buying books for holiday gifts, now is a great time of year to contribute to charity.  To help encourage giving to causes that promote literacy, we have put together a list of 5 charities that help encourage reading among people who are least likely to have access to books. For your exploration below, we’ve listed the name of the charity, their mission statement and linked to their site.

These are just a sample of charities worth considering. Many other great organizations help teach people to read, so feel free to help us grow this list by leaving your favorite charities that promote literacy in the comments section. Also check out our list from last year and from 2011.
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Neil Gaiman Reads A Christmas Carol

35405593_gvv24v-3.inline verticalLast year, author Neil Gaiman celebrated the holiday season by reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to an audience at The New York Public Library. Follow this link to listen to the reading. (via Open Culture)

‘Beneath Him’ Continues to Lead Self-Published Bestsellers List

beneathhimBeneath Him by Komal Kant leads the Self-published Bestsellers List this week for the second week in a row.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups. Read more

Author Jason Boog Shares His Favorite Writing Music From 2014

cassettetapeJason Boog, the former editor of GalleyCat and the author of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, has rounded up his annual Spotify playlist of the best writing music.

This free collection includes ten hours of wordless music that should help inspire writers. Jason also made a list of his favorite songs (with words) from 2014.

“The free playlist is filled with great storytelling, another kind of musical inspiration,” he explained. “Most of all, I loved “Micheline” by Sun Kil Moon, a heartbreaking memorial for lost friends and family. I’ve never been so moved by the simple repetition of a loved one’s name, like a prayer.”

What’s your favorite writing music from 2014? Share it in the comments section so that we can all expand our playlists.

Oyster Adds 1,000 Bloomsbury Books to its Library

BloomsburyOyster now carries more than 1,000 books from Bloomsbury.

Subscribers to this service can access the eBook editions of Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn WardKitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. The full Oyster library contains a selection of more than 500,000 titles.

Here’s more from the Oyster blog: “There’s a lot to choose from, so we’ve selected some more of our favorites to feature in today’s Spotlight. We’re excited to partner with such an incredible publisher to make these titles available to our readers and make our library better than ever.”

NYPL Develops Holiday Book List Generator

NYPL Holiday LionHaving a hard time picking a book to enjoy during your holiday down time? The New York Public Library (NYPL) has developed a holiday book list generator. According to the NYPL Facebook page, the staff has created several book lists in a wide variety of subjects: Architecture, Cooking, Dance, Gardening, Music, Photography, Sports, Theater, Travel, and Wine. Follow this link to check it out.

Amazon Now Delivers Books in an Hour in Manhattan

unnamedAmazon is testing a new delivery service that is practically real time. So called “Prime Now” promises one-hour delivery on certain Amazon products within Manhattan.

Amazon Prime members can order the items through the new Prime Now mobile app. The service is available from 6 am to midnight every day of the week. One hour delivery costs $7.99 but if you are willing to wait two hours, the service is free for Prime members. Amazon’s new building on 34th Street will be the epicenter for these orders.

“There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go. There are so many reasons to skip the trip and now Prime members in Manhattan can get the items they need delivered in an hour or less,” stated Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Expect to see this available in more cities next year.

Diane Guerrero Inks Memoir Deal

Diane GuerreroDiane Guerrero, an actress who has appeared on the Orange is the New Black Netflix series, has landed a memoir deal.

Henry Holt and Company has scheduled publication for In The Country We Love to take place in early 2016. Senior editor Serena Jones acquired the manuscript.

According to the press release, Guerroro (pictured, via) talked about the “heartbreaking story of her family’s nightmarish struggles as undocumented residents seeking citizenship—but ultimately deported—in the United States” publicly in a L.A. Times op-ed. She will share more details about this ordeal in her book. Michelle Burford, a writer who has written biographies about Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and singer Toni Braxton, will serve as the co-author for this project.

Robert Atkins Signs On as Guest Artist For the America’s Army Comic Series

America's ArmyRobert Atkins will serve as the guest artist for four issues of the America’s Army comic series. In the past, Atkins has worked on the GI JOE comic series.

Here’s more from the press release: “The America’s Army comic series provides an inside perspective into the world of Soldiers in the U.S. Army, their jobs and the challenges they face. Based on the highly successful PC game, the America’s Army comic follows American forces deployed to the small nation of Czervenia where President-General Kazimir Adzic and his advanced army launch a genocidal war against the neighboring country of the RDO, setting in motion a mysterious plan that could change the course of world power.”

IDW Publishing recently released the twelfth installment of this series. Atkins’ artwork will be featured starting in the thirteenth issue. Follow this link to access these free digital comic books from the United States Army.

Legendary Pictures Picks Up Movie Rights For The Damned

DamnedLegendary Pictures has optioned the movie rights for Andrew Pyper’s The Damned.

Deadline reports that the book is “an elevated supernatural thriller in the vein of The Sixth Sense or Jacob’s Ladder.” The story follows a writer named Danny Orchard who is haunted by the ghost of his psychopath twin sister.

Simon & Schuster will release this novel on February 10, 2015. Alex Hedlund and Tracy Stevens, two executives at the film production company, will oversee the development of this film adaptation.

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