This week! Books!
Actress and (as I only learned this week) talk show host Drew Barrymore sparked an immense amount of controversy this week as she announced the return of her show The Drew Barrymore Show without union writers, who are on an ongoing months-long strike. Writers including Colson Whitehead noted the irony that Barrymore was slated to host the upcoming National Book Awards. Sure enough, the National Book Foundation announced that Barrymore would no longer be hosting. Barrymore also released a completely incoherent statement, including that she was acting with, well, whatever “astute humility” means and that “I hope for a resolve.” Who needs writers, right?
Speaking of which, congrats to the National Book Awards longlist-ees!
And in other award news, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced that non-citizens of the United States would now be eligible for their awards in Books, Drama, and Music in the 2025 awards cycle.
Critic and author Merve Emre gave a really incredible talk on what it means to be a critic, which I highly recommend checking out.
A year after entering the audiobook business, Spotify will test offering subscribers a free audiobook bundle. Audiobooks have gotten really huge in the past decade, and it will be interesting to see how Spotify’s entry into the market ultimately shakes out.
What will happen now that Barbarians at the Gate private equity company KKR have taken over Simon & Schuster? Carter Dougherty and Andrew Park take a look at KKR’s history for clues. They don’t exactly paint a rosy picture.
It’s long been an open secret that nearly every lawyer on the planet has a novel in the drawer. Well, move over all you J.D. writers, M.B.As with secret novels have entered the chat.
Amazon announced that it would require authors to disclose A.I. contributions to their works in books published via Kindle Direct Publishing, which the Authors Guild described as a “welcome first step.”
In writing advice news, Jami Gold looks at the uses and misuses “lampshading,” where authors tip the reader off that they know they know something in the plot is illogical. Lincoln Michel makes the case that you should write for your best readers instead of your dumbest readers.
And V.M. Braganza looks at the history of one of the first English children’s novels, The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, published in 1765, beloved by Jane Austen.
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:
- Holly by Stephen King
- Things We Left Behind by Lucy Score
- Payback in Death by J.D. Robb
- Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
- The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
- Outlive by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman with Michael Bhaskar
- Why We Love Baseball by Joe Posnanski
Young adult hardcover:
- This Winter by Alice Oseman
- Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
- Foxglove by Adalyn Grace
- Solitaire by Alice Oseman
- The Spirit Bares its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White
Middle grade hardcover:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- The Sun and the Star by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
- A Horse Named Sky by Rosanne Parry
- Odder by Katherine Applegate
This week on the blog
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Training scenes work in movies. They (usually) suck in novels
- Stay grounded in the story (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, congrats to “stinkie” the corpse flower (pictured) at the Huntington Library, Museum, and Botanical Gardens for blooming for the first time in several years. You are named appropriately, my friend.
Have a great weekend!
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
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Photo: The Huntington, San Marino, CA. Follow me on Instagram!