Hell Yeah! Worthy: Charlie Dickens, Valentine’s Day, and Electrifying Literature with Electric Lit

curated by the Atticus Books staff

Hell Yeah! Worthy is a weekly feature appearing every Friday where our staff distills the plethora of scat on the Internet into a succinct list of the best you haven’t seen, the best you ignored, and the best you should visit again. 


St. Thomas Public LibraryPublic Libraries Take a Hit
The past week brought horrible news for public libraries. Announced last fall, California’s public libraries officially lost all state funding this week. That’s right: the state will no longer provide any money to its public libraries. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed slashing the funds of select public libraries by a total of $100 million to address a systemwide budget shortfall. While books are a luxury item compared to state funded healthcare, food assistance programs, and education, access to quality libraries shouldn’t be a luxury. Libraries provide more than books, too; many offer adult literary and job training programs, and access to technology that less affluent populations often lack. (Lacey)


Valentine’s Day: What Not To Buy 
From a “T-shirt for Two” to romance novels to a coupon for a free backrub, this is a pretty comprehensive list of what your significant other does not want to be presented with next Tuesday. Seriously. No doormats, people. (Libby)

The Bleeding Edge of Dynamic Arts: Electric Literature

A game changer on the alt-literary scene, Electric Literature’s site/concept/delivery method encompasses much of what I find exciting about the present and future state of literature.  If literary presses are intent on enlarging our cultural carbon footprint and making more of a societal impact, then we need to redirect our energies.  If we truly want to be relevant, accessible, and on the bleeding edge of the dynamic arts, then the Electric Lit platform is where writers, editors, artists, musicians, and publishers need to coagulate.

The single sentence animations that accompany each Electric Lit anthology are as boisterously creative as a Wallace and Gromit episode and as delectably addicting as a zesty literary snack.  As explained on the Electric Literature YouTube channel, “Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations. The writer selects a favorite sentence from his or her work and the animator creates a short film in response.”  When I watch these boundless gems of cinematic flashes, I’m tempted to sell all of my earthly belongings, change the scope of Atticus Books, and produce full-length mixed media films that we would bundle with each of our novels and help us redefine the role and reach of indie literature. (Dan)


Happy Birthday, Charlie!
I couldn’t let the 200th birthday (on Tuesday) of one of my all-time favorites go by  without at least a little nod. A short but sweet piece at the Telegraph hits the nail on the head when it comes to why, exactly, there are so many of us Charles Dickens fanatics out there. (Libby)


Rock the Reading
I get it. Author readings are difficult. As an author, you’re probably not much of an extrovert. You likely hate public speaking. However, if you want to sell books, you must make good by your audience and the booksellers hosting your event at their store (hint: sugary treats help). Author and indie bookseller Emma Straub provides tips on how to rock your author reading. (Lacey)


top photo credit: Vlasta2 via Flickr