This week! Books!
It’s been a seriously dark time in this country with a horrific mass shooting at massage parlors in Atlanta and an uptick in hate crimes against Asian-Americans. Author Alexander Chee talked to poet and critic Cathy Park Hong about how anti-Asian violence must be a bigger part of the anti-racism discourse, and Connie Wun delves into the long history of anti-Asian racism in the United States. New York Magazine has a list of ways you can donate to help Asian communities.
We’ve got to end this.
Also, support Asian authors! Stephani Martinell Eaton at Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog interviewed Linda Sue Park, who recently launched a site called kiBooka that highlights books by authors with Korean ancestry.
Casey Cap at The New Yorker profiles Raven bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, a microcosm of the challenges faced by independent bookstores, as well as their resiliency.
Nick Cornwell, son of the late author David Cornwell, better known as John Le Carré, talks about the deeply collaborative role his mother Jane played in his father’s writing, a story that is surely more common across the world of literature than is currently reported. Jane passed away just two months after David.
Linguists and etymologists rejoice because LitHub has a great excerpt from Ralph Keyes’s book The Hidden History of Coined Words, which examines the truly staggering number of words invented and added to the lexicon by John Milton and Charles Dickens in particular.
In writing advice news, Lincoln Michel has a great post on the value of boring sentences, particularly when they work alongside “fireworks sentences,” Charlie Jane Andres talks about 7 wrong lessons creators learned from Game of Thrones, and agent Jessica Faust says no, she did not reject you just because you followed-up on a submission.
And Joan Acocella at The New York has an excellent profile of author Graham Greene, a complicated person if there ever was one.
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
- Life After Death by Sister Souljah
- Later by Stephen King
- Fast Ice by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
- The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson
- The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
Young adult hardcover:
- Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- Cosmic Queries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson with James Trefil
Middle grade hardcover:
- Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers by Michelle Obama
- The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling
- Wow in the World by Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
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!
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Nancy S. Thompson, with some great advice on moving forward:
The trick is to keep looking forward past the pain, heartache, misery, and the feeling of being…stuck. Because we aren’t really stuck. Could be a pause, or perhaps we’re simply moving super slow. But we are moving, one small step at a time, face forward, our eyes on better times to come. Because how could it ever be worse than the last 4 years, and 2020 in particular, with covid and tyranny disguised as patriotism and our friendships and families fractured because of it? Wait, don’t answer that. And don’t let pessimism intrude on your optimism for a brighter, safer, more humane future. I have big plans for 2021. How about you?
And finally, Spike Lee has been always one of my favorite filmmakers, and I really enjoyed this recent podcast with Kara Swisher where he talks about Da 5 Bloods, his crystal ball, and Frank Sinatra.
Have a great weekend!
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