This week! Books!
The 2010s were a strange decade for book publishing, and n+1 really nailed this assessment of the changes, key players, and foibles. Definitely give it a read.
Huge news over at Knopf, who announced that Reagan Arthur would be stepping into the role vacated by the late Sonny Mehta. Arthur was his hand-picked successor. This also has a significant impact at Little, Brown, who will now be on the lookout for a new publisher.
The latest book to stir a conversation around cultural appropriation and “silencing” is American Dirt, which has received criticism and a pan in the New York Times for its portrayal of Mexican immigrants (despite a reported seven figure book deal and an Oprah book club pick).
The new protagonist for the Hunger Games prequels has been revealed. It’s a familiar face.
In his acceptance speech for The Hitchens Prize, George Packer makes the case for brave writing that tells people what they don’t want to hear.
Should you use sensitivity readers? What are they? Agent Rachelle Gardner weighs in.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Lost by James Patterson and James O. Born
- The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
- The Guardians by John Grisham
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Tightrope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
- Running Against the Devil by Rick Wilson
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Young adult hardcover:
- One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Ali Cross by James Patterson
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
This week on the blog
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- 9 ways to spice up characters
- What is a character arc?
- What does it mean to be your “real self” online?
- Focus your opening on what’s unique (Page critique)
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Marilynn Byerly, with an important contribution to the post about character arcs:
A story arc isn’t just for the main character. In a novel that’s complex and long enough, every important character should have a story arc. It’s not on the page as much as the main character’s, but the reader can see the changes. Those character arcs either reflect the world or the other characters. For example, as a foil to a main character.
And finally, here is the tweet that sent book Twitter into a tailspin:
Have a great weekend!
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There was an interesting take on the book controversy in the WaPo, The publishing world is deep in an epic mud fight over Jeanine Cummins’s new novel, “American Dirt.” : https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=bWFudWN5LmNAZ21haWwuY29t&s=5e2b0223fe1ff665cb13fb8a&linknum=4&linktot=63
Neil Larkins says
As usual, Nathan, your friday post had lots of source material. I loved the n+1 piece and took down a few quotes to use here, and then decided, Naw…people need to read the whole thing. Okay, okay, I have to do one: “No one wakes up in the morning hoping to be as vapid as possible.” Great stuff.