The Lit Review |95| Library Ransom

Library Ransom

Have you ever felt like it would be easier to pay those library fines in bitcoin?

In what is hopefully the last instance of library crime in 2017, the public libraries of St Louis are being held ransom. Hackers using a dedicated computer virus, known as Ransomware, have effectively prevented users from borrowing or returning books. Thus far, the library authority has refused to pay $35,000, to be paid in bitcoin, for a code which would restore their computer systems.

The libraries have remained open, though the 700 affected computers are off limits to the public. The virus functions by luring users with apparently genuine email attachments. A spokesperson for the libraries told CNN that it was ‘school children and the poor’ who were worst affected as they were most likely not to have wifi at home.

Library Ransom
Image Source: Amazon
1984/2016

In Capitol Hill books sales updates, George Orwell’s 1984 has soared up the Amazon bestsellers list following a recent interview with Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway. Comparisons have been made between Orwell’s phrase ‘newspeak’ and Conway’s description of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s recent remarks as ‘alternative facts.’ Though it remains unclear whether Conway is an Orwell reader, it seems clear that life imitates art. Those looking for a less obvious choice might want to check out Phillip Roth’s The Plot Against America.

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster, a house known for publishing political memoir and modern facist tracts, have once again come to the defense of Milo Yiannopolous’ forthcoming project. CEO Carolyn Reidy has moved to state that the text will not contain hate speech and will entail a ‘substantive examination of the issues surrounding free speech.” Previously, editor of the Chicago Review of Books Adam Morgan has stated that he will accept no reviews of Simon & Schuster related titles. However, the book in question has already risen to the top of Amazon’s Politics and Censorship chart ahead of its March publication date.

Literacy Pledge

Facebook and Amazon are among fifty businesses who have signed a ‘literacy pledge’ designed to tackle the issue of illiteracy in the UK. The pledge has been organised by the National Literacy Trust. The pledge includes initiatives such as free book extracts to be distributed alongside Happy Meals at McDonald’s restaurants. “Businesses play a vital part in helping improve literacy in the UK, increasing our economic competitiveness and improving social mobility.” says NLT director Johnathan Douglas. It is true that it is harder to buy things if you can’t read.

Academic Book Week

During Academic Book Week (where were you?) the public selected John Maynard Keyne’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money from a list of twenty titles as the most influential academic book of the twentieth century. The book was originally published in 1936 by Palgrave MacMillan. Considering the book beat out a host of pretty woke titles (including Ways of Seeing by the recently deceased John Berger) the Lit Review would cordially invite anyone who voted for this book to re examine current economic trends.

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