The young adult publishing world has seen its share of controversies lately as Twitter flareups have led to the cancelation or postponement of several different novels in the past few years. Writing for Buzzfeed, Molly Templeton takes a more sympathetic view of the dustups, noting that while YA Twitter can be toxic, it’s also tapping into real frustration with a publishing industry that remains overwhelmingly white.
Templeton’s article is definitely worth a read and I’d be curious to hear what you think.
The New York Times took a deep and depressing dive into the world of counterfeit books sold on Amazon, noting that the “solutions” Amazon offers and that publishers have decided to undertake only bring those publishers deeper into the Amazon fold.
The Washington Post had a great idea for an article and lists the books you should read at every age from 1 to 100. While I’d quibble with some of the selections (age 34 is way too late to read Beloved), on the whole I thought it was a pretty solid list.
Gotham Ghostwriters took a look at five famous writers who worked as ghostwriters, including Sinclair Lewis, which I hadn’t realized! He sold plot ideas to Jack London. Not bad having a Nobel Prize winning ghostwriter at your disposal.
Over at YA Outside the Lines, Jennifer Hubbard reflects on the way books can help us reexamine history and look at events we thought we understood in a new light.
This week in bestsellers
I always forget to check the bestseller lists and in order to force myself to do that I’m going to list the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. Let me know if you would like me to add any:
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- The Reckoning by John Grisham
- City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Unfreedom of the Press by Mark R. Levin
- The Pioneers by David McCullough
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- The Mueller Report from The Washington Post
Young adult hardcover:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
- Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link and Robin Wasserman
- The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Middle grade hardcover:
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
- PopularMMOs Presents Enter the Mine by Pat and Jen from PopularMMOs
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
This week on the blog
I’ve been very hard at work updating, revising, and expanding some of my key posts. Please check these ones out and share widely if you find them helpful!
And in case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- How to handle multiple protagonists in a query letter
- List of character strengths and weaknesses
- Does speaking up online accomplish anything?
- What are the best beach reads?
Comment! of! the! week! goes to ABC for a thoughtful comment on whether speaking up online accomplishes anything:
I suppose it is how it is handled. Barking at each other doesn’t work. Every time I engage with someone who’s views I find abhorrent, they always end up doing a laughing crying emoji and telling me to keep drinking the Kool Aid. There’s no actual debate or listening to be had. I am trying to limit responding to the hate and insanity with any kind of persuasion or information meant to educate. It never works and it makes me feel too much rage.
On the other hand, I’m all about calling out so and so (Dear Leader, Fox News pundit, Republican politician, James Woods, etc etc etc etc) on their hate, bigotry, misogyny, hypocrisy, and sociopathic policies. It’s my view that we need to speak up when we see the wrong. Call it by name. Say, I see you and you can’t get away with it. This is. not. normal. I know I’m not going to change Joni Ernst’s mind on gun control, but she needs to know that there are people out here that aren’t okay with what’s happening. I know that I won’t make Trump a better person by telling him how awful he is, but it makes me feel better to call him out on it. And if a bunch of us do, maybe that means something. It doesn’t feel right to be quiet.
If my FB friend Katelyn’s Aunt Flo says “they deserve it” in response to Katelyn’s shared article about the horrors of the kid camps at the border, I have to respond. “Yo, Aunt Flo, that’s not cool. Be human.” Maybe Aunt Flo doesn’t care about my opinion, but I just can’t let hatred and ugliness go unchecked. If we do that, what might that mean?
And finally, I’m on record regarding my love of following weather forecasts, and I really don’t think people fully appreciate what a modern miracle it is that we even have weather forecasts to complain about. So I was delighted by this New Yorker article about the history and future of weather forecasts.
Have a great weekend!
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