It was my pleasure to do a half-hour interview with Dorian on WFMU-FM’s “The Speakeasy” last night. Our talk ranged from A Field Guide to the North American Family to Julio Cortazar to print vs. online to James Wood (natch). Check it out at www.wfmu.org/playlists/SE, where you’ll also find interviews with Lawrence Wright and Charles D’Ambrosio, among others. (Segment starts at 27:00, following…that’s right…Ashford & Simpson!)
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.
Please see our updated itineraryOne of the supreme pleasures of reading is the way adventures begun on the page – or on the screen – take on a life of their own. Since posting our revised and expanded “Walking Tour of New York’s Independent Bookstores” last week, we’ve been overwhelmed by great feedback. Now, the siren call of an afternoon of leisurely urban hiking having proven too enticing to resist, we’ve decided to make our hypothetical tour a reality. This May, we’re going to convene the First Annual Millions Walking Tour of New York’s Independent Book Stores. Notwithstanding the tough environment facing indies, we’ll get a chance to celebrate some of New York’s best, to explore what keeps them vital – and to hang out with fellow readers.The details:Time and date: Saturday, May 2nd, 11am (rain date Sunday May 3rd, 11am).Itinerary:While our online tour features 11 stops, for our first attempt in person, we’ve decided to shorten it to a more manageable six stops (and an approximate total distance of 4.5 miles).At 11am, we’ll meet at Three Lives (154 West 10th Street at Waverly Place)From there we’ll venture to Housing Works Used Book Cafe (126 Crosby St. between Prince and Houston), where we’ll try to snag some sort of coffee and snack special for those who like to nosh while they browse.Then it’s around the corner to McNally Jackson (52 Prince St. between Mulberry and Lafayette).Then a few blocks to Bluestockings (172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington)The next leg, taking us over the bridge to Brooklyn and to BookCourt (163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean) will be by far the longest (about 3 miles).And we’ll wrap things up at Freebird Books & Goods (123 Columbia St. between Kane & Degraw), which will host a little backyard party with beer and refreshments.With about a half hour at each stop, we anticipate that the whole tour will take three or four hours. We hope that you will join us. Anyone can just show up and come along, but if you RSVP to [email protected], we’ll be able to alert you if we need to postpone due to weather. The whole thing is going to be informal – no tour bus, no red umbrella – and if you want to try to catch up with us partway through, you are welcome to, but the only way to be sure to be with the group is to show up at Three Lives at 11am.Garth and Max will be leading the jaunt and we’ll likely be joined by one or two other Millions regulars. Please join us! If all goes well, perhaps we’ll reassemble in 2010 for another tour, focusing on the uptown venues we’ll be neglecting this time around.
Join us in welcoming our newest regular contributor at The Millions:Kevin Hartnett lives in Philadelphia with his fiance Caroline. He works as a community organizer for public education reform and enjoys his days most when they are full of people. He spends his off hours running along the Delaware River, and wafting from cannisters of loose tea at a store that recently opened near his apartment.You may remember the two reviews Kevin penned for us earlier this year. His next offering will be up shortly.
We have some exciting news today. I’ve long pined for the perfect url for The Millions and now we finally have it. From now on, The Millions will reside at www.themillions.com.Long-time readers will know that this is in fact the fourth address that the site has had over the years, but I can assure you that themillions.com will be the last. I think the name befits a site that has long outgrown its “blogspot” roots. Plus, it’s very easy to remember.While links to themillionsblog.com will redirect to their themillions.com counterparts indefinitely, we encourage you to update your bookmarks and any links you may have that point to The Millions. We believe that the move has gone smoothly, but if you see anything awry, please let us know. Thanks for your support!Update: No update to your RSS feed subscriptions necessary. RSS subscribers will continue to receive our posts.
I can’t believe it’s been three years, but it’s true. I started The Millions three years ago today (though it didn’t become a Blog About Books until a little later.) Want to see what it looked like? Ugly! In the intervening years I’ve tried to make the blog a little nicer to look at and a little easier to read. I’m still having fun though, and I wouldn’t have kept it up for this long (I’ve never kept anything up this long!), if it weren’t for you guys. So thank you. Thank you to my contributors who keep this place from being too monotonous. Thank you to all those folks in the publishing industry who work hard to get good books out there to the people and who are kind enough to occasionally send me books they think I might like. Thank you to writers and aspiring writers for creating things for us to read (and for visiting The Millions sometimes). Thanks to my fellow book bloggers – if it weren’t for you guys, this would be a pretty dull hobby. Thanks most of all to the readers of this blog and the readers of books. I’ve greatly enjoyed our ongoing, virtual conversation.All those thank yous. One of the nice things about having a blog is that you can publicly pretend you’ve just won an Oscar any time you feel like it.Finally, I just want to harken back to my so-called manifesto from way back when, when I laid out why I think it’s important for us to discuss what we read. It’s still my goal for the blog today: “Given that you and I will only be able to read a finite number of books in our lifetimes, then we should try, as much as possible, to devote ourselves to reading only the ones that are worth reading, while bearing in mind that for every vapid, uninspiring book we read, we are bumping from our lifetime reading list a book that might give us a profound sort of joy.”Keep reading good books!