This week! Books!
First up, if you need a great read for the holiday season, might I point you to The Darling Killers by Sarah McCarry, which was recently released in print and e-book? It’s a juicy and funny neo-noir centered around a group of authors in Los Angeles, perfect for book lovers. Get it!
Second, a quick programming note that I’ll be back on Monday with the results of my annual e-book poll (vote if you haven’t already!), but after that the blog will be dark next week for the Thanksgiving holiday.
National Book Award winners are here! Congrats to:
- Fiction: The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty
- Nonfiction: South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
- Young People’s Literature: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
- Translation: Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell
- Poetry: Punks: New and Selected Poems by John Keene
This year would have marked science fiction legend Octavia Butler’s 75th birthday, and the NY Times has an amazing feature about her written by Lynell George with visuals by Ainslee Alem Robson that is absolutely worth your time.
It’s getting to be that time of year where the best of the year lists are released. The Washington Post released some lists, including 50 notable works of fiction, and the 9 best science fiction and fantasy novels. And here’s Amazon’s list of the best books of the year.
And speaking of recent best books, agent Jessica Faust has some really important advice. If you want to have your book published, you need to be reading recently published debuts, not just recently published books by established authors.
Ryan Britt takes a look at the fascinating history of the novelization of Star Wars, ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster and published six months before the movie came out. Foster had the pretty hilarious and awesome challenge of trying to write a novel with nothing but a script and no idea what the final movie would look like. Britt traces some of the elements in the novel back to the pulp sci-fi that was prevalent in the pre-Star Wars era.
In writing advice news, Kate McKean has a helpful reminder that you don’t need to worry about your idea being stolen, and Anne R. Allen has advice for editing someone else’s work.
And it has long been axiomatic that you should only query one project at a time. But in an era of “no response means no” policies and interminably long waits for an answer from agents on manuscripts, agent Janet Reid thinks it’s time for some loosening on that policy.
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 Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Desert Star by Michael Connelly
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- The Boys From Biloxi by John Grisham
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
- Surrender by Bono
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- And There Was Light by Jon Meacham
Young adult hardcover:
- Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
- Cursed by Marissa Meyer
- The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera
- Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell
- Long Live the Pumpkin King by Shea Ernshaw
Middle grade hardcover:
- The Hocus Pocus Spell Book by Eric Geron
- Odder by Katherine Patterson
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Will you ever buy mostly e-books? (16th annual poll)
- Unique details make your setting and characters come alive (page critique)
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, longtime blog readers know I’m a lifelong Sacramento Kings fan so it is with more than a little trepidation that I say they… might be good again? I should’t get my hopes up… Nathan, really, don’t get your hopes… Oh what the heck, LIGHT THE BEAM!
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 online classes (NEW!), my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
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Photo: The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA