This week! Books!
Your weekly culture war freakout is brought to you by Dr. Seuss. After the Seuss Estate announced that they would let six of his titles with racist caricatures go out of print, quite a few people seemingly lost their freaking minds and opted to stick it to the Seuss Estate by… uh… buying lots of Dr. Seuss books, which quickly shot up bestseller lists.
I guess everything turns into a five alarm fire these days, but books go out of print all the time, Disney has been expunging its catalogue of problematic content for years, and this is ultimately a commercial and brand decision by the Seuss Estate amid rumblings that a lot more Dr. Seuss content is problematic than just these six books. If anything we should be thinking about how best to memorialize the legacy of racist caricatures like these and how to contextualize them for future generations to learn from the mistakes of the past. But people are acting (or pretending to act) like their entire childhood has been canceled. What a time.
Some great posts on writing this week! Lincoln Michel talks about “invisible architecture” in fiction, the arbitrary constraints some writers cook up to inspire creativity, and DIY MFA has eight essential edits for your novel.
And in agent news, Angie Hodapp has advice on how to pitch a character-driven novel, and Kristin Nelson talks about the types of agents you want to avoid.
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:
- The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
- The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry
- A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
- The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
- Think Again by Adam Grant
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- Walk in My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney
Young adult hardcover:
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Middle grade hardcover:
- Living the Confidence Code by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman and JillEllyn Riley
- The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling
- Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
And finally, for all you Animal Crossing fans out there, you don’t even have to be a fan of Hamilton to appreciate the incredible artistry of this re-creation of the first act of Hamilton using Animal Crossing items and characters.
Have a great weekend!
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Neil Larkins says
I understand that E-Bay will no longer carry the six Seuss books, new or used.
Settle down there, Neil, happens all the time.
JEN Garrett says
When my fam got all up in arms about this, I had two answers:
1. Yes, he was, and so was Disney and Warner Bros. and every other artist during WWWII.
2. I wonder if those were the six lowest grossing books for the Estate?
Also, I’m making guesses on what will be considered racist literature 70 years from now.
JEN Garrett says
Lol, an extra W snuck into the war in that comment there.
JOHN T. SHEA says
MMMWWWAAAHHHAAA! My cunning plan worked! Now to sell all those Dr. Suess books I bought in bulk last month. Mind you, given the largely arbitrary nature of Cancel Culture we can expect those Dr. Suess and other presently forbidden books to be made COMPULSORY in the future.
Angela L Brown says
While I’m no expert regarding supply and demand, I can hear the dollar signs sizzling.
What used to be considered the freedom to make a decision with your wallet has coupled with political persuasion…morphing into this “cancel culture” concern – which only seems to be used to shield those In positions of power who aren’t used to having their position questioned.
So unlike the response to Kaepernick taking a knee as a sign of respect to fallen soldiers who fought and died for our right to nonviolently protest (as suggested by the soldier who shared with him the heartfelt significance of taking a knee) in his quest to use his platform to bring attention to #blacklives not mattering…but that very same response of cancelling him was, what was the word…hmmm…yes, patriotic.
Yes, I see the difference.