Links I love

Links I love

Happy Saturday, readers! This weekend I’m hoping for a break in the rain so we can take a much-needed hike, and of course I have a good book in progress I’m itching to finish…

My favorite finds from around the web:

The lazy genius guide to essential kitchen tools. “You choose what matters to you and skip the rest. Never feel badly about the skipping.”

What’s the matter with fiction sales? “It has become extremely difficult to generate exposure for novels. Fiction, more than nonfiction, depends on readers discovering new books by browsing.”

Tiny books fit in one hand. Will they change the way we read? “It’s a bold experiment that, if successful, could reshape the publishing landscape and perhaps even change the way people read.”

5 bad houseplant habits you should break right now. “Don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing a plant that won’t grow in your home’s conditions or requires more attention than you’re willing to give it.”

One great reason we should stop using the term “women’s fiction.” Liane Moriarty shares her take. I’m her local interviewer when she’s in Louisville next week for her new book Nine Perfect Strangers, and we will definitely be discussing this. (What else do you think I should ask her? Please tell me in comments!)

Favorite Instagram:

Last weekend I went to Nashville for an I’d Rather Be Reading event at beloved indie Parnassus and managed to sneak in a bonus stop at the legendary McKay Books. (Follow me on instagram @annebogel.)

On the blog:

One year ago: A quick overview of 11 important literary awards (with a ton of titles to add to your TBR!). “And while it’s absolutely possible to have a vibrant reading life without knowing the ins and outs of book awards, is it fun to know what kinds of works get recognized, and why? Many readers say YES!”

Two years ago: Are you a plotter or a pantser? “Neither style is right nor wrong, though you can probably see how you wouldn’t want an organization—and probably not a family—run by all Plotters, or all Pantsers.”

Three years ago: The big magic of an hour a day. “I am a fervent believer in chipping away at big tasks, one little bit at a time, but sometimes it feels as if I’ll be chipping forever, with little to show for it.”

Four years ago: Our Craigslist Christmas. “Many people shop Craigslist for the deals, but it’s also a terrific place to pick up gifts you just can’t find anywhere else, especially antiques, collectibles, vintage finds. (Note: those aren’t just for kids!)”

Five years ago: Concrete changes I’ve made because of MBTI and Enneagram insights. “Exploring personality types has made me realize how easy it is for me to succumb to decision overload, and I’ve made some intentional changes as a result.” (It’s fun for me to read this now, knowing years later I would write my book Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything.)

On the podcast:

One year ago: Episode 104: Books that don’t hold anything back

Two years ago: Episode 47: Needing books, with a capital “N”

Have a great weekend!

 

9 comments | Comment

9 comments

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  1. Dee says:

    I’m not sure I buy the idea that readers aren’t buying because they aren’t browsing. There are a million different ways to be exposed to and “browse” books, including this blog and Anne’s podcast. Add to that all the other podcasts and the 5 or 6 newsletters I get (and surely there are hundred more), GoodReads, and on and on, and there’s just no limit to the browseability. It makes more sense to me that sales are down because Amazon discounts so heavily and that’s where the majority of books are purchased.

    I will say, I LOVE what Liane Moriarty says about women’s fiction. I will gladly switch to sub-defininging Men’s Lit and considering what’s known as “women’s fiction” just Contemporary Fiction.

  2. Judy says:

    Interesting article about the tiny books, but not a totally new idea. During WWII several paperback publishers worked together to print books small enough to fit in soldier’s pockets, then printed thousands of new and classic books and sent them to the troops. There’s a lovely book entitled When Books Went to War that tells all about it. Very interesting take on history!

  3. ellen erhard says:

    Please ask Liane what she liked to do as a kid, (8-12 years?), and if there was some one who was a major influence in her early writing life.

    Thanks.

  4. Ruthie says:

    Fiction sales: I wonder how much, if any, of the downturn is due to the subject matter of fiction today. When I walk in a bookstore and am confronted by the tables of new arrivals, they’re all either commentaries on sociopolitical topics (i.e., extended opinion columns) presented in the form of fiction, or they’re extremely dark, violent tales of women who’ve disappeared or gone vigilante. No modern Jane Eyres or P&Ps or Barbara Pym-style comedies of manners nowadays. A reflection of the times, I suppose.
    Nashville: How did I live there for 2 years and not hear about McKay’s ??!!
    Mini-books: what a great idea! I can see the appeal to young people, given the similarities to e-readers and swiping. They also appeal to me, a middle-aged reader with tinges of arthritis, as a much more comfortable book to hold and handle. And they sound perfect for travelers and train or subway commuters who like to fit in their reading where they can, but who need pocket-sized volumes. My grandfather had numerous tiny volumes with onionskin pages (circa 1920s and 1930s). Most consisted of poetry or religious/inspirational matter. He kept one in his pocket at all times. His “mini-books” all had standard spines, though. Your reader, Judy (above), mentioned another similar concept from the 1940s that I’d heard or read about recently. The flip book sounds like a clever modernization of these ideas.

    • Denise says:

      I absolutely agree with your comment that the subject matter of today’s fiction could be part of the problem. It certainly is for me.

  5. YES @ the issue with using “women’s fiction” as a category! I have always refused to use that term, or (even worse, shudder) “chick lit”.

    I’d *love* it if you could ask Liane Moriarty to tell the story of how Meryl Streep came on board for Big Little Lies’ HBO series? I heard half the story on the radio a couple weeks back (there’s something to do with an email to Nicole Kidman, I think?) but had to tune out before I heard the end of it and I’m dying to know!! 😂😂😂

  6. Elvira says:

    As a Belgian, I have very much loved Dwarsliggers before I got an e-reader. It made packing for holidays (so: reading time) a lot less heavy. I had a hard time to find what I liked though – many of them were thrillers at the time, a genre I’m not into. It took some time to get used to the format (you hold the book horizontally and turn pages vertically) and quality. Maybe in the meantime things have improved but I thought some of hem were still quite expensive considering the poor quality of the material and lay-out.

  7. Susan J says:

    I’d just like to ask Liane Moriarty about her growing up and her life and what formed the basis and focus for her stories—she seems like such a fun person (I picture her as “Alice”).

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