Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, December 2, 2016

This week in books (and politics) 12/2/16

Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram! @nathanbransford
This week! The books! (And some politics this time).

First up, if you haven't already voted in the 10th annual e-book poll, pray get thee to the post to vote! I'll reveal the results early next week and compare to the past polls.

Meanwhile, links galore:

It's December (um wait a second it's December???), which means it's best-of-the-year season. Kicking things off is the New York Times, with their ten favorite books of the year, and Amazon with the best children's books of the year.

Indie bookstore expansion alert! Congrats to the fantastic Greenlight, and here's rooting for more similar success stories.

How much income has J.K. Rowling seen from her books and movies and plays and theme parks? Um. Well. A lot.

Speaking of which, reasearchers have quantified what made us love Harry Potter (and other types of archetypal stories).

The Times had a conversation with novelist and now officially fashion-icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about beauty and feminism in Our Modern Era.

Jennifer Hubbard talks about heroes, real and fictional.

In publishing advice news, BookEnds reminds us that publishing is not a business for the impatient, and warns against the potential downsides of querying two books at once. And editor Melissa Manlove talks about the elements of a good picture book.

What's this I see? A rumination on the similarities between writing and chess? I clicked so fast.

Writing an acknowledgments section is the best part of writing a book. Here's a handy checklist.

And lord knows it's difficult these days to avoid distractions. Here's what Medium founder Ev Williams has to say about keeping a schedule, which has great paralells for the writers out there.

In political news, an interesting look at how publishers are scrambling to make sense of Trump's victory and readjusting to the new landscape.

There have been a ton of articles about the importance of empathy and the lack thereof. GigaOm founder Om Malik makes a convincing case that Silicon Valley has a lot of soul-searching to do.

I enjoyed this post on how designers can resist what's to come.

Trump supporters, you've been a little quiet on my line in the sand post. (Except for Jerry, thanks Jerry!)

And this article is very long, but for my money this is the best post-election recap I've read. The essence? With an election this close, everything mattered.

Comment! of! the! week! goes to ABC, who nicely articulates how dominant the election has been in many of our brains:
What is happening in this country is going to be too difficult to separate from everyday existence, including writing. Heck, I'm already considering how it is/will impact what I write next. This presidential election is making it hard to sleep, it's causing me more back tension than I already have, and (as a therapist) it informs many of the discussions I have been having with clients--even those who couldn't yet vote. It's in the water and the air and the food! 
And finally, I've been hearing a lot of people talk about how maybe things won't be so bad. This New Yorker cartoon was some necessary gallows humor.

Have a great weekend!


abc said...

cool! Thanks, man.

JOHN T. SHEA said...

Thanks for this article and the excellent and unusual shot of the Empire State Building, still the real pinnacle of the NYC skyline after 85 years.

JohnO said...

Another fine recap, Nathan. The Times list ends up being my go-to-the-library/bookstore shopping list for a while. I admit the nerd-cred is strong with me, but the chess-and-writing guy should write a novel about chess and its weird subculture. I'd totes read that. David Roberts (author of the "Everything Mattered" piece in Vox) used to write for Grist, and has rightfully moved to a bigger stage. He was the first one I read who pointed out that Trump's behavior in the primaries was a "dominance display." Which isn't playing quite as well now. Anyhow, Roberts is worth a follow on Twitter. I learn a lot from him.

JOHN T. SHEA said...

The archetypal story studies are interesting but I only perused them. I've completed a Young Adult Dieselpunk trilogy of 295,000 words, and I don't want to be tempted to torture it to fit some literally formulaic structure.

And congratulations to ABC on comment of the week. To think people used to complain that Americans were uninterested in politics!

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