Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Over the Past 25 Years, the Big Publishers Got Bigger—and Fewer

A report from Publishers Weekly:

As 2022 began, the U.S. trade publishing business was dominated by what has been called the Big Five—Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan. Before the Penguin–Random House merger in 2013, that group was referred to by PW as the Big Six; if a court battle between PRH and the Department of Justice allows PRH to acquire S&S, a deal that the government blocked in Nov­ember 2021, it could shrink to the Big Four in late 2022.

Category: Publishing

Writing What You Need to Read: One Quote Shared by Countless Authors

There are lots of quotations about both writing and reading that seem ubiquitous and are attributed to someone different each time you come across them. Here Jeffrey Davies does a deep dive of variations on the advice “write the book you want/need to read.”

Categories: Author News, Writing, Reading

The New York Times Book Review at a Crossroads

“What does the future hold for one of United States’ oldest literary institutions?”

For more than a century, The New York Times Book Review has been one of the most influential, if not most august, institutions in American letters. . . .  But after decades of contraction in the news business, dedicated books divisions have all but perished. Among the daily newspapers, just the Book Review remains. Its only real competition now comes from general interest magazines that tend to cover roughly the same number of books in a year as the Book Review does in a month.

Kyle Paoletta examines The New York Times Book Review’s current position in terms of what literary criticism is in the digital age and what audience the publication envisions. 

This is must reading for anyone involved in book reviews and book recommendations.

Categories: Literary Criticism, Book Recommendations

Modern Horror Is the Perfect Genre for Capturing the Black Experience

“Contemporary Black creators are rewriting the genre and growing the canon”

Cree Myles writes that horror literature, previously the creation of white writers (mostly men), needs updating:

I am of the expectation that non-white folks, LGBTQIA folks, disabled folks need to write it themselves. And this is not to erase any previous brilliance a white man may have happened to create, but to stand beside it. Racism is a horror and should be explored as such. White folks have made it clear that they don’t think that’s true. Someone else needs to tell the story. 

Myles discusses examples of what she calls social horror. 

Categories: Literary History, Literary Criticism, Writing

Can’t Put This Clock in a Box: 5 Time-Manipulating and Genre-Shattering Reads

“Manipulating Time & Defying Genre”

I often discuss novels dealing with the concept of time and how we remember past events (most recently here). This article looks at five genre-defying novels “that all share one key element: time.”

Categories: Fiction, How Fiction Works

UK publishers take £6.7bn in sales as TikTok crazes fuel purchases

The Guardian reports on the continuing rise of book influencers on the social platform TikTok.

Category: Publishing

Want Less Loneliness? Lose Yourself in the Pursuit of Flow

Christopher Bergland discusses how cultivating flow can help relieve loneliness. I’ve written about flow here.

While flow is most often discussed in relation to athletic or musical performance, it can also occur while reading or writing.

Categories: Reading, Writing

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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