This week! Books!
The fantastic organization We Need Diverse Books has launched a new initiative to combat censorship called Books Saves Lives. Claire Kirch at Publishers Weekly has some background on the new program, and I hope you’ll consider donating!
Who was the world’s first author? Over 4,000 years ago, a priestess in what is now Iraq wrote a narrative poem inscribed on a clay tablet. Perceptions have shifted on whether she really wrote it since they were discovered.
Simon & Schuster sold signed copies of Bob Dylan’s new book The Philosophy of Modern Song for $600 each. The problem? They were signed with an autopen and Simon & Schuster had to start offering refunds.
Speaking of Simon & Schuster, in the wake of its failed acquisition by Penguin Random House, many in the industry are speculating on its future and whether it will be acquired by another publisher or gobbled up by private equity. Nick Fuller Googins argues it should be sold to its employees, an idea that may only sound far-fetched because it’s so rare in the United States and our laws aren’t conducive to worker-led cooperatives like Mondragon.
Author Susan Dennard always has really good writing advice, and I liked this recent newsletter on the importance of weaving a character’s perceptions into physical description. And Celeste Ng talks about how she knows when to start writing, and how she starts teasing out the story.
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
- The Choice by Nora Roberts
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
- Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
- So Help Me God by Mike Pence
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
Young adult hardcover:
- The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera
- Long Live the Pumpkin King by Shea Ernshaw
- Lightlark by Alex Aster
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
Middle grade hardcover:
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
- The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
- Odder by Katherine Patterson
- Unstoppable Us, Vol. 1 by Yuval Noah Harari
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Will you ever buy mostly e-books? 2022 results!
- Stepping off the script in life
- 14th annual Heifer fundraiser!
- Focus your query (query 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, lots of us are eating some nostalgia-inducing foods around the holidays, and I really liked this newsletter by Tressie McMillan Cottom about how the food we eat is tied to deeper systems and human connections.
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, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
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Photo: The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA