This week! Books!
While newspaper editorials continue to clutch their pearls about “cancel culture” (say it with me: SHAMING IS NOT CENSORSHIP), there is real honest-to-god censorship sweeping the country, particularly targeting antiracist and LBGTQ books, with plenty of others caught in the crossfire. Two articles this week profile people fighting back: Odette Yousef at NPR looks at parents organizing campaigns against book challenges, the shadowy money behind the moral panics, and the long history of these fights, and Hannah Natansan at the Washington Post profiles librarians who are fighting back.
Often lost in these debates: JoAnn Yao talks about how book bans like these impact kids.
In further controversial news, author Lauren Hough had a Lambda Literary nomination pulled because she had defended a novel that had been accused of being anti-trans. Like most social media dustups I have not had time to sift through all the claims and counterclaims, so I do not have an opinion here.
As someone who can hardly write a blog post without multiple typos, I both shake my fist at grammar nerds and secretly respect their abilities. But it’s also worth remembering that grammar is one big ponzi scheme and there’s not some law of nature around the form language takes. Who gets to decide the “rules”about language says a lot about power and culture.
What are your fellow writers writing? Agent Kristin Nelson provides a fascinating glimpse into her slush pile trends.
In writing advice news, Tiffany Yates Martin has some sound advice on how to weave flashbacks naturally into the story, and Melissa Febos has advice on how to write a sex scene: treat like any other scene.
The David R. Godine imprint has been making fine books for fifty years and its last book will be by David R. Godine the person, looking back at the imprint’s history and the books he most enjoyed. Certain to be a time capsule of this era of publishing.
And Esquire has a ranking of the top 50 science fiction books, ripe for a conversation/argument starter.
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 Match by Harlan Coben
- Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- One Damn Thing After Another by William P. Barr
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch
- In Love by Amy Bloom
- The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larsen
Young adult hardcover:
- Gallant by V.E. Schwab
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
- Loveless by Alice Oseman
- Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
- Pax, Journey Home by Sara Pennypacker
- Out of My Heart by Sharon M. Draper
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, a legendary “killing stone” in Japan has broken that was the source of a 12th century legend of nine-tailed fox. This may be good or bad news, depending on who you ask.
Have a great weekend!
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