Though Garth made his first appearance yesterday with his post about the Illustrated Pynchon, I’d like to formally welcome him aboard. I’ve known Garth for a long time – at least a dozen years, I think – and we’ve always talked about books, so I’m glad he decided to join us. He’ll have other reviews and dispatches up soon. Let the hazing commence.
If you’re arriving here because of my appearance on Midmorning, welcome! By way of a little background, I started The Millions in early 2003 when I was a bookseller at an independent bookstore in Los Angeles. I’ve since moved on from there, but the blog has stuck around. We now have several contributors besides me, and we write daily about books and other cultural topics.Regarding the topic of today’s show, you can read some additional thoughts of ours in these posts.Bandaids for Broken Book SectionsThe Era of the Trusted Fellow ReaderAuthority, an Anniversary, and Book ReviewingWe also suggest that you take a look at our Book Review Index, which includes all the reviews ever penned for The Millions by both our regular contributors and our many, many guests. The reviews range from our longest considerations, to our briefest squibs, to appreciations and ruminations. And don’t miss our Year in Reading, our end-of-the-year series for which we asked dozens of well-known writers and bloggers to tell us about the best book they read all year.Finally, if you like what you see here, please bookmark the site or subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks!Update: A link to listen to the segment should be up at the MPR site soon (I went on around minute 35). If you heard the segment, let us know what you thought. Leave a comment below.
We have some news.
I am very pleased to announce that starting today, our longtime staff writer Lydia Kiesling will be moving down the virtual hall and taking over my virtual office as editor of The Millions.
Lydia has been a vital part of this project since 2009 and so recalls the tail-end of our “book blog” days and has been a major contributor to the site’s transformation and growth over the subsequent six-plus years. She is a special talent, and I have complete confidence in her ability to inject new energy and ideas into The Millions while maintaining the quality and tone that we are known for. Lydia’s unique voice and intelligence has won over new readers to The Millions even as she has become a writer to watch beyond the confines of this magazine. I don’t doubt that Lydia will surpass what I have done as editor.
I am moving on because it was time to move on. Thirteen years is an epoch and I am rather set in my ways. I owe it to The Millions and our readers to open the door for something new.
What should you expect? We are not planning any big overhaul or shift in focus, but you will soon see a new and vital editorial voice underpinning what we do.
If you write for or pitch pieces to the site, or communicate with me in my capacity as editor, those inquiries should now all go to [email protected] I can still be reached for inquiries related to the business side of The Millions and other inquiries not related to editorial.
Please join me in welcoming Lydia!
Thanks for everything.
Here are some words from our new editor in chief:
I’m thrilled to be stepping into Max’s shoes! The Millions is one of the most meaningful presences in my life–not only because it’s allowed me to fumble toward my own voice as a writer, but because it’s afforded a glimpse of the amazing multiverse of readers and writers that find a common home online.
This site has been a part-time labor of love carried out with full-time intensity for more than a decade. Briefly, it’s my hope to continue Max’s support for an incredible group of staff writers and editors, to be proactive in the search for new voices, and, ideally, to find ways to pay more people more money. Above all, I want to keep the lights on, not only for excellent, unmissable book coverage, but for those signature Millions essays–things that seem unlikely and unpitchable, and wind up being unforgettable. I can only hope to live up to Max’s very high standard.
This position has been closed.
The Millions seeks an extremely part-time intern or interns to help out around the virtual office with a couple of specific tasks. This is an exciting opportunity to get to know the literary internet and engage with a readership that boasts a laundry list of influential, brilliant folks in publishing, media, and academia — not to mention the most engaged, avid readers you’ll find anywhere.
We are looking for someone who can help us with a few specific things for 1-2 hours per week:
Maintaining our (already extant) prize calendar and writing very short paid prize posts (i.e., announcements of shortlists and winners of major literary prizes), averaging two posts per month
Working with our social media editor to schedule gems from The Millions’ extensive back catalog and populate an archive of social media posts
Scheduling a handful of weekend “Curiosities” and Tweets
A voracious reader with a solid knowledge of contemporary fiction
A culture vulture and up to date on the literary/arts issues of the day
An engaging writer both under and over 140 characters
Very organized, responsive, and able to make the most of your time with not a lot of oversight
The Millions has no dedicated office, so this is a remote position and can be done from anywhere in the world.
The internship does not come with a stipend. However, prize posts are paid, and you will have the opportunity to pitch and write pieces for the site and be paid as a staff writer.
Please send the following materials to [email protected]. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Three sample Curiosities.
Twitter account(s) you use; any Facebook pages you’ve had the opportunity to run; your Tumblr, blog, etc. (Essentially, show us that you have experience using these tools, even if it’s just your own sparsely followed, but very entertaining Twitter account.)
The deadline is Tuesday, August 22. We look forward to hearing from you!
Image credit: Flickr, brizzlebornandbred
You may have noticed that a few days ago I added another newsfeed to the sidebar. This one provides book headlines from the Christian Science Monitor. I’m pretty excited about this because the Monitor happens to be one of my favorite newspapers. The paper’s interesting history sets it apart from most dailies. Despite its name, the Monitor is not a religious paper. It was founded by Mary Baker Eddy, a devotee of the Christian Science religion, in 1908, but it was not meant to be a religious organ. Eddy was a prominent Boston citizen, and she had been getting a lot of grief from Joseph Pulitzer and his newspaper the New York World. She created the paper because she was convinced that newspapers should do more than attack people. She wanted her paper “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” The result is consistently excellent journalism with a great international focus and a deeper insight into the news than most daily papers provide. Have a look at the paper here.Tomorrow is one of the biggest literary days of the year: the announcement of the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. Speculation abounds.
I’d like to welcome another new contributor to The Millions. I worked with Patrick Brown at the book store in Los Angeles for a couple of years, and when I moved to Chicago, he moved to Iowa. Above this post, please enjoy the first of what I hope will be many contributions from Patrick.
I just got off the phone with Liane Hansen of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. The show asked me to be a part of their Summer Reading series, which asks a guest each week what they’ve been reading, what they’ll read next, and what they’d read if they had all the time in the world. Hopefully, I don’t sound too nervous (it was my first time on the radio – a little nerve-wracking). But if you want to tune in, it’ll be on midway through the show’s second hour tomorrow. The segment will be posted on their website as well, so I’ll post a link here after it airs.Update: You can now listen to the segment online if you missed it on the radio.
Millions headquarters moved last weekend. We only went a few blocks, so it was far less trying than some of our past efforts (though being first time homeowners has brought its own set of challenges.) Long time readers of The Millions may demarcate the “chapters” of the blog by the various moves I have made over the last four and a half years. There was Los Angeles to DC, DC to Chicago, Chicago to DC, and DC to Philly. After almost a year in Philly, I’m happy to say that we’re enjoying it. We’ve got friends in walking distance, friendly neighbors, and then there’s the food. Right now, we live about two blocks up from the north end of the Italian Market, a many blocks long stretch of meat and cheese shops, butchers, spice shops, and other purveyors of goodness. On the sidewalks, hawkers sell produce from stalls. The atmosphere is gritty and raucous most days. There’s lots of other things to like in Philly too – the usual urban lifestyle perks, good restaurants, art, and music.Meanwhile, inside the house, the books are still in boxes, but they’ll soon be out (all of them!) ensconced on new bookshelves conceived of and constructed by Mrs. Millions and her dad. There’s a lot to do here in Philly, but the books should make for good company on the days we stay home.Housekeeping Note: Publishers, if you’ve got me on a mailing list and need my new address, email me and I’ll get it to you.