Tag Archives: nonfiction

#WhatImReadingNow: Heretics and Heroes

The high spirits of Renaissance Italy spilled over into other European lands, though the waves set off by so much gaiety sometimes landed elsewhere with a shock and might even be received with contempt. The Renaissance, as it appeared elsewhere, could at times look and sound quite different from its lively Italian manifestation. And though […]

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#WhatImReadingNow: The Lion in the Living Room

Cats, by any reasonable standard, are terrible candidates for domestication. The most obvious problem is their social lives—or lack thereof. Mankind’s basic strategy for controlling other species has typically been to hijack their dominance hierarchies, to play the role of lead steer or alpha dog so that subordinate animals fall in line … But like […]

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#WhatImReadingNow : Negroland

“Debi and Judi asked me if we know their janitor, Mr. Johnson. They think he lives near us.” “It’s a big neighborhood,” Mother says. “Why would we know their janitor? White people think Negroes all know each other, and they always want you to know their janitor. Do they want to know our laundryman?” That […]

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Let’s Talk (Again) About Plagiarism

Me, I’m an editor. And a writer. I’ve been earning a portion of my living as a writer for decades. I’ve been a self-employed editor for more than twelve years. I have a lot of friends who are editors or writers. So when, back in January, Monica Crowley—an author and television personality—was forced to withdraw […]

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#WhatImReadingNow : How to Be a Cat Detective

Food A natural diet would require hunting for several hours a day and the consumption of as many as a dozen small rodents. How many cats living naturally eat twice a day from a predictable source? Cats spend up to six hours a day hunting, foraging, stalking, catching and consuming prey. The availability of food […]

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My Reading Year 2016

It’s that time again. Man, where did that year go? Ayaan Hirsi Ali / Infidel / NF Jo Ann Beard / In Zanesville / YA Martyn Bedford / Never Ending / YA Geraldine Brooks / March / LF Sheila Connolly / Buried in a Bog / GF (don’t waste your time) Pat Conroy / My […]

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Short Saturday: Nonfiction Book Structure

When I clicked on this blog post from literary agent Janet Grant and read … Nonfiction Book Structure = More Than a String of Blog Posts … I stood up and cheered. Because, yes, she’s said a mouthful. You cannot just cut and paste together your blog posts and call it good. As Grant notes: […]

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Titling Committee Fail

The title of a book is a big deal. It’s the first thing readers see, so it’s an important marketing tool. But there’s no magic formula to creating a good title. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the title should be catchy, interesting, unforgettable; it should get the attention of potential buyers. And publishing companies have a […]

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Fiction Arousal

I have started reading, and liking, fiction. This was not the case a year and a half … ago. Aside from a handful of short story collections (Carver, Canin, Moore) and an isolated novel here and there, my post-college reading-for-pleasure era has been marked by a shocking absence of fiction. I have been trying to […]

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Short Saturday: A Considered Discussion of Traditional Versus Self

You know what I mean. A friend of mine—a professor of English lit at a local university who is just weeks away from having her first book (traditionally published nonfiction) in her hand—recently asked me about traditional publishing as opposed self-publishing. It seems even in academia, the “publish or perish” expectation is pushing some authors […]

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