This week! Books!
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most enduring and influential characters in literature, and he was inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s fascination with advances in science and how it might be applied to detective work. Then Doyle went and got super into spiritualism, much to the chagrin of his friend Harry Houdini. I really enjoyed this fascinating history by Rivka Galchen.
Goodnight Moon is such a ubiquitous fixture in childhood bedrooms that you might imagine its author to have been, in the words of Bruce Handy, a dowdy lady “with an ample lap.” Oh quite the contrary.
Derek Thompson of The Atlantic shared some advice for journalists that could just as well apply to fiction as well: simple is smart, be interesting, write music, and find the right skin thickness.
Synopses are among the most vexing documents an author will have to write, and there’s so much confusion about how agents actually use them. Agent Jessica Faust has a really great post on what agents actually look for in a synopsis and how you should think about them.
So. You want to pitch a short story collection? Yeah. Well. Better read agent Kate McKean’s thoughts first.
And Rheea Mukherjee has some advice on writing with depression.
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:
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Savage Road by Christine Feehan
- Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Red-Handed by Peter Schweizer
- How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- The 1619 Project edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman and Jake Silverstein
- Enough Already by Valerie Bertinelli
Young adult hardcover:
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Anatomy by Dana Schwartz
- Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
- Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison
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, here we go! As you may know, one of my favorite non-books hobbies is watching soccer, so I really enjoyed this profile of the extremely young(!) and ubiquitous transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who has ridden a few lucky breaks and indefatigable hard work to the top of soccer journalism.
Have a great weekend!
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Neil Larkins says
Once again, Nathan, a useful Friday collection of advice for us. Thanks!
I think I would do just about anything to avoid writing a synopsis.