Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, August 2, 2013

This Week in Books 8/2/13

The Grand Tetons. Photo by me. I'm on Instagram here!
I'm back! After a whirlwind trip to San Francisco then to San Diego for Comic-Con then back to San Francisco then to Wyoming for a family vacation, I have returned to New York, where I am very glad to be sleeping in my own bed and where it has very politely cooled to a reasonable temperature. Aw, New York, I missed you too!

I also brainstormed up a, um, storm of blog topics while I was away, so expect some more regular posting and a more lively blog.

So many links! Let's get to them, shall we?

A few weeks back we had a pretty interesting discussion about race in children's books, and someone pointed me to this thought-provoking post by Ellen Oh, which has a depressing chart about the tiny percentage of authors reviewed in the NY Times who are not white, along with some of the things she experienced personally. Definitely check it out.

Another slightly cheeky take on race in books comes from The Atlantic, who notes that the purveyors of the apocalyptic "literature is dead" mantra tend to be straight white guys.

Remember when we all saw astronaut Chris Hadfield's awesome rendition of 'Space Oddity?' Well, now he has a book deal.

This week's fake bestselling memoir is brought to you by Tony Anthony.

This post really surprised me. Conventional wisdom is that authors need to get into Apple's iBookstores to sell their books. Publisher Open Air says that they sell more books through the App Store even as they compete against games and other apps.

Going to a writer's conference? Make sure you've bookmarked agent Sarah LaPolla's cheat sheet.

10 writing tips from Joss Whedon. (via Slice)

Why do readers abandon books? Which authors and books get abandoned the most? Goodreads has the stats.

Speaking of Goodreads, they now have 20 million members. But their parent company, Amazon, just suffered an unexpected loss in their last quarter.

What about the ladies? Agent Stacey Glick riffed off of an Atlantic article that wondered why so many YA novels feature girls who are yearning for love rather than thinking about careers or themselves. Glick, for one, would like to see more of just that.

Mashable published a list of 15 YA novels every adult should read. Do you agree with the choices?

Facebook advice for authors! I was interviewed by Allison Tait for some social media tips.

Writers often wonder why agents say "no" to their manuscript. Agent Rachelle Gardner tries to explain the thought process.

Many authors move mountains and sometimes fire their agents in an attempt to get a bigger advance. Legendary Martin Amis was very candid in a recent interview about regretting his actions when he fired his agent in pursuit of a £500,000 book deal.

Rory Gilmore was recorded reading 340 books over the course of the Gilmore Girls. This man plans to read them all.

Ohhhhhhhh Author Solutions. (via Ted Weinstein)

A book made out of a dress? Indeed.

Bright new shiny ideas can be very persistent, but must be made to wait their turn, as Jennifer Hubbard blogs.

The Guardian has a pretty amusing article on writers and drinking, including this priceless quote from Kingsley Amis: "The writer who writes his books on, rather than between, whisky is a lousy writer. He is probably American anyway."

J.K. Rowling discussed creating gritty, realistic characters. If you've read The Casual Vacancy, it's an interesting read.

And I haven't read it yet, but multiple people tell me Putlitzer winner Adam Johnson has apparently written quite the short story, recently published in Esquire.

And finally, just because... Best GIF ever?

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

The Tony Anthony memoir is amusing, and I mean that literally. Because if anyone thinks they can get away with anything nowadays they are in for a huge surprise. The means by which we can filter and investigate continues to grow, and the only way to be safe is to play it real.

abc said...

I abandoned Ulysses many times. I tried Atlas Shrugged a long time ago--thank goodness I abandoned that one. I spent my 19th summer trying to read Madame Bovary. It didn't pan out. said...

This is one of your best recaps ever. So many fascinating links. Thanks. If you're ever in cocoabar, I'll buy you a latte!

Neil Larkins said...

That gif is making me nuts. Stop! Great links, however. Thanks.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Thanks for linking--welcome back to the blogosphere!

M A Clarke Scott said...

Hi Nathan
Thanks for your update and glad you've had a chance to rest and get inspired.
I just wanted to comment on the paper dress. I was at that festival on Denman Island (I have a summer place there) and I saw the dress on Jori. And while she's a lovely, talented young woman and it's a great dress (and it was a great festival, I even blogged about it - imagine if I'd been the one to post about Jori's dress!), I'm more amazed that it went viral globally and has made it's way to your blog. If you google dresses made of paper you'll find hundreds. This has been done before. It just goes to show you the power of the internet and social media in creating memes. But it does raise the question of whether we can trust "popular stuff" on the internet to inform us about what is truly important or remarkable. There's a lot of randomness there.

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