This week! Books!
We’re all counting down to the end of this godforsaken year, and I just want to take a quick moment to say that I hope you’re staying safe and healthy, wearing your masks, and making those painful but necessary choices around the holidays. We just need to hang in there for a bit longer, and I’m thinking about all of you.
Now then. Just a few links on this chilly December afternoon!
Editor Chris Jackson won the Center for Fiction’s Medal for Editorial Excellence, and you should absolutely read his acceptance speech on the salvation that books represent (sometimes a salvation from other books) and why it’s important and notable that the award is no longer named after Maxwell Perkins, who edited Hemingway and Fitzgerald but also horribly racist books on eugenics and the genetic inferiority of Black people.
The Wall Street Journal profiled Barnes & Noble’s new-ish CEO James Daunt, who is aiming to not only keep B&N afloat but with it much of the traditional publishing industry infrastructure. (Read my interview with Mike Shatzkin from a few years back on how they’re linked).
Here are LitHub’s 65 favorite books of the year.
Writer Alexander Chee has some awesome advice on writer’s block and why people really stop writing.
And… we’ve had a year. Agent Jessica Faust reflects on how the adaptations we’ve been forced into in 2020 are important skills in publishing going forward.
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:
- Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
- A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
- Deadly Cross by James Patterson
- The Return by Nicholas Sparks
- Daylight by David Baldacci
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Young adult hardcover:
- Cousins by Karen M. McManus
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Middle grade hardcover:
- The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
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:
- Will you ever buy mostly e-books? 2020 results!
- It’s okay to slow down for context in an action scene (page critique)
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally, this is one of the most astute article on politics and democracy I’ve read in a while. While we look to the totalitarian horrors of the 20th century to inform our fears, we risk missing the new ones that show up differently.
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 guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.
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