Tag Archives: literature

Personal Archeology: I Remember It Well

Have you ever bought a used book and found something interesting inside? I don’t mean the inscription inside the front cover (another post for another time) … I mean the ephemera. (Merriam Webster: “Paper items [such as posters, broadsides, or tickets] that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles.”) […]

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Short Saturday: Best Seller Versus Literary Staying Power

I’ve had more than one occasion to look up best-seller lists from decades past, often when I’m researching for this blog. I’ve read my share of books (and my mother read a lot before me, so those books were around the house when I was growing up), but … I haven’t always read the year’s best […]

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I’m a Fan of Books, So Are You, and It’s All Good

One meaning of the word fan, according to my fave dictionary, is “an enthusiastic devotee of a sport (as baseball) or diversion (as ballet) usually as a spectator rather than a participant” and/or “an ardent admirer or champion (as of a person, technique, or pursuit).” In this sense, it’s probably short for fanatic and was […]

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The Great Irish Lit Wallow

What is it about the Irish? That they are a nation of storytellers seems to be borne out the minute you get in a cab in Dublin (though it probably helps that you have an American accent), but the fact is, whether it’s a pub culture that encourages the art of the story well told, a […]

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Study This: I’ll Give You the Sun

Here’s another in my Study This series about intentional reading—that is, novels you writers will read for pleasure (always pleasure!) but also to study. To deconstruct. To have a look at how the author made the magic. You know I love YA, so it should come as no surprise that I’d suggest one to study. […]

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The Bonus Round (2014 Edition)

I’ve been publishing a recap, every January (or February!), of every book mentioned in posts during the past year. It’s just a list of of books I talked about last year, here on the blog, and I present them as a cross-reference … in case you were thinking of reading one of them, say. Mind […]

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Study This: The Children Act

You’ve heard me say, over and over, that reading will make you a better writer. It will. And I’m just talking about reading for pleasure and absorbing things by osmosis that will show up unbidden in your writing later. Now let’s try something else. Let’s try reading—still for pleasure—but let’s be intentional. Let’s observe the […]

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The Androgynous Mind (Gender in Fiction 4/4)

When I started looking into the issues of gender—specifically women—in the publishing industry, I was blissfully serene about them. Which is to say, I thought we were past all that. I’m of the generation of women who can remember a time when Harriet Nelson and June Cleaver (pearls and a dress, mopping the floor!) were […]

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It’s Hard to Catch Up When You Start Out Behind (Gender in Fiction 3/4)

I’m still grappling with gender issues in fiction. You’ll have seen I hadn’t even thought about the fact that there was a gender divide until I discovered in a personal way that many men don’t read women authors … perhaps because of a perception that women authors write “women’s fiction,” which seems to mean different […]

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Women, Men, Readers, Me (Gender in Fiction 1/4)

I was exposed to the gender politics of reading when I first entered publishing; I worked in the kids’ division. “Girls will read stories about girls or boys,” my boss said. “Boys won’t read stories about girls.” Full stop. It’s a publishing truism. Oh. That’s interesting, but … wow. As a girl, I guess I’m […]

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