This week! Books!
President Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land arrives next Tuesday, which is going to have massive reverberations in the bookselling world, not least of which because it clocks in at a hefty $45 list price. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reviewed it for the New York Times, and Smithsonian Magazine looks at where it sits in the history of presidential memoirs.
Also in the Times, Robert Gottlieb lit Twitter on fire with his assertion that Charles Dickens has emerged “ever more conclusively as England’s greatest novelist,” but his profile of Dickens, the broader Dickensworld, and the evolution of his reputation is definitely worth a read.
Is it okay to revise and resend a query? Agent Kate McKean dives into this thorny subject. The short answer is yes, but you should think not once but like twenty times before you do it. Her whole entry is worth reading because it’s a good distillation of agents’ mindset on this subject.
And on that note, agent Jessica Faust writes about how she decides to request a submission. Your query matters a lot!
Agent Kristin Nelson delves into the number of deals from the recent Frankfurt Book Fair, which were up over previous years. Good news, right? Well, not for everyone.
And Dan Blank has a helpful reminder on the importance of your community to your writing.
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:
- Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich
- A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
- The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child
- The Return by Nicholas Sparks
- The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- The Best of Me by David Sedaris
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- Shade by Pete Souza
Young adult hardcover:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott
Middle grade hardcover:
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
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:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally, one of my go-to pandemic activities has been cooking Sichuan food from Fuchsia Dunlop’s fantastic cookbook, and so I naturally loved this article from the BBC about all things Sichuan peppercorns, which, fun fact, aren’t actually peppercorns!
Have a great weekend!
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my online classes, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter!
Art: Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!