Round-Up: Oprah’s Book Club, SYRIA SPEAKS, and Enhanced Ebooks

Cover of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

From Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club to an interactive reading experience, here’s last week’s top literary headlines:

  • In a surprise announcement, Oprah Winfrey revealed the next book in her book club: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. The novel, which reimagines the underground railroad as an actual railroad, was originally set to be released in September, but 200,000 copies were shipped to booksellers in response to Winfrey’s announcement. In talking about the inspiration for the book, Whitehead says, “I want to testify for generations of Africans who came here. And my own ancestors.”
  • A British Muslim woman was recently detained at a UK airport after she was seen reading Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline on her flight. Faizah Shaheen, who works for the NHS to help prevent the radicalization of teenage mental health patients, was returning from her honeymoon in Turkey when she was questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act. Shaheen says she believes she was discriminated against because of her faith. The book, which includes essays, cartoons, and other works of art from Syrian writers and artists, has seen an increase in sales since the incident.
  • Neoglyphic Entertainment, an entertainment technology developer, has created a multimedia platform that “marries art and science” to create an interactive and enhanced e-book. The company recently released an app for its fantasy series, Sunborn Rising:Beneath the Fall, which includes a musical score, full color illustrations and animation, and more.