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The Roundup: January 14, 2022

Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay
Poet Claude McKay. PRH has re-issued Harlem Shadows in honor of its centennial. Public domain photo.

Got a bad case of collywobbles? Maybe this week’s issue will cheer you up. WSU’s Word Warriors share its annual list of 10 obscure words worthy of a comeback; Harlequin launches monthly streaming service for romantics; Jericho Brown on Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay; adult fiction sales rose 25% last year; and more.

What Obscure Words Should We Bring Back into Daily Use
LitHub’s managing editor Jonny Diamond shares a list of words from Wayne State University’s Word Warriors who look to bring back marvelously obscure words into the standard American lexicon. “Collywobbles” seems particularly apt for these pandemic times.

Harlequin Launches Multimedia Streaming Service
Washington Post Book Club
This month, Harlequin, which brands itself “the world’s leading publisher of romance novels,” is launching a multimedia subscription service called Harlequin Plus. For $14.99 a month, romance fans can get bundled print books delivered to their door and have access to e-books, streaming movies and online games.

Print Books Had a Huge Sales Year in 2021
Publishers Weekly
The final results for the year showed that print book sales rose 8.9% in 2021 over 2020. The young adult fiction segment had the most significant increase, with unit sales jumping 30.7%, while adult fiction sales rose 25.5%. Sales in the juvenile fiction category increased by 9.6%. In nonfiction, the biggest increase came from travel books (up 23%) after a wretched decline in 2020 when the pandemic made it impossible to go anywhere.

IPA and European Publishers Back AAP’s Maryland Copyright Lawsuit
Publishing Perspectives
As the February 7 court date fast approaches, international publishing organizations back the Association of American Publishers’ lawsuit challenging Maryland’s new library digital book licensing law.

A SciFi Visionary Thinks that Greed May Save Us
The New York Times
Sci-fi and fantasy writers perform a careful dance with readers ensuring that any messages or “themes” the author imparts don’t interfere with the world-building necessary for readers to suspend disbelief, says best-selling author Neal Stephenson in this in-depth interview.

World Building and the Whims of History
When creating worlds when writing historical fiction or science fiction, be sure to include a little chaos, says author Lincoln Michel.

Jericho Brown on Claude McKay’s Subversive, Foundational Poems of Love and Protest
Penguin Random House has just published a new edition of Harlem Shadows with an introduction by Jericho Brown that reflects on the poetry of Claude McKay one century later.