Tag Archives: reviews

Pay No Attention to the Reviewer Behind the Curtain …

Book reviews and book reviewers don’t require any appearances or performances from the author (unless, like Norman Mailer, you show up at newspaper offices to pick a fight with the book review editor—how many of those are left now?). But reviews definitely contribute to an author’s public image. Sometimes even a well-intended review will corral […]

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My Favorite Book v. 2015 (#MyReadingYear)

Back in 2012 I wrote an article called “My Favorite Book … This Year.” I do track what I read, and I know my reading tastes well enough that I generally end up with a year’s worth of excellent books. They should all be favorites—but there are always some standouts. The year past is no […]

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I’m a Spoiler, He’s a Spoiler, She’s a Spoiler, We’re a Spoiler, Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Spoiler Too*

In case you missed it, we’ve had a gin-yoo-wine publishing event last week: the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman on 14 July. (That date will become important as you read on.) I’ll be frank: although her first book, To Kill a Mockingbird, won a Pulitzer Prize, was made into a much-beloved movie […]

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What Should I Read Next?

A few days ago I got a message through my website that warmed the cockles of my cold little heart: I’ve followed your blog for some time now and love what you have to say about the knowledge that comes from reading, and the application of such knowledge in writing. I was wondering if you […]

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Short Saturday: New Steve Jobs “Biography”

Yes, those are scare quotes. I was reading this review of the two Steve Jobs biographies (the one Walter Isaacson published in 2011 and a new one called Becoming Steve Jobs) and was about to dash off a letter to the editor, noting that a book that uses the phrase insanely great twice—just in examples quoted […]

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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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There Are Two Kinds of People …

You know how the winter wind swirls dead leaves around until a dozen of them end up stuck in a corner by the fence? The Internet is like that. Late last year it swirled two big stories and an advice piece together, and they got stuck in my office. :) The subject of this wedge […]

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The Universe Provides (or, If You Ask Them, They Will Contribute)

Last night (well, back in mid-January when I wrote this it really was last night) I finished Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking. We are a different generation, she and I, and so I was surprised by how strongly I identified with her, how deeply I was touched by who she is, what I had […]

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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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What I’ve Been Reading: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

I love when I learn something from a novel—and I don’t mean those personal, internal things I’ve mentioned before and that my friend Michelle Ule said even better in her post “What’s the Point of Reading Literature Anyway?” Although those are good things to learn. No, I’m talking about learning something about a time in […]

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