The Orient Express began service on this day in 1883—Paris to Istanbul in 83.5 hours. Agatha Christie may be the most famous writer to have capitalized on the train’s romantic allure, but the list of books begins decades before her (Dracula, for example) and goes for decades after.
You should totally go to Edan's reading tonight. But if Brooklyn is inconvenient for you while Manhattan is somehow more manageable, Millions founder and editor Max will be appearing with several other editors at the National Book Critics Circle panel "How to Publish Book Reviews & Features" at The New School at 6:30pm.
Want to make your writing shorter? Revise more. At The New York Times, Danny Heitman discusses the art of brevity. "Like passengers in a lifeboat, all the words in a concise text must pull their own weight." Pair with: Our own Edan Lepucki's essay on the challenges and benefits of brevity.
"Goodreads lets me capture and disperse impressions that occur as I read. I tend to track the sounds I make when reading, the chortles, gasps, growls, and LOLs. I try to figure out why I might not have liked aspects of a book, looking under the hood in a workshoppy way..." Lee Klein offers a defense of Goodreads and good criticism over at Full Stop.
Time is running out! If you're still dragging your feet on a Valentine's card for your significant other, go check out these hilarious monstress valentines from Madeline Gobbo at The Toast. Her "Valentines for the Indifferent" from last year can still work, too.
“Maybe I [felt] a shift in responsibility when I had kids. I wanted the work I was doing, whatever it was, to be something that could be meaningful to them one day. That’s where the germ of the memoir came from. I thought that perhaps writing about my parents and where I came from would one day be helpful for my kids.” For Guernica, Christopher Kondrich interviews Tracy K. Smith about writing a memoir, the presence of David Bowie in her Life on Mars, and her reverence for the cosmic. Also check out Sophia Nguyen’s Millions review of Smith’s memoir, Ordinary Light.