Curiosities

More and More Queer YA Love Stories

The Washington Post interviews four Young Adult authors whose books go beyond coming out stories, these authors want queer love stories to be mainstream. Their books range from contemporary to historical to fantasy. "As authors get more comfortable exploring LGBT storylines, the coming-out tale isn’t disappearing. 'I think we’ll always need for the foreseeable future both types of stories,” Silvera added. “While I’ve been so happy being able to live an out life, I think a lot about teens who aren’t able to be out right now and I want to write for them.' Slipping back in time to write for teenagers gives authors the opportunity to explore first love again."  Take a look and consider adding these to your reading list.
Curiosities

Indies Thriving in the Age of Amazon

"While pressure from Amazon forced Borders out of business in 2011, indie bookstores staged an unexpected comeback. Between 2009 and 2015, the ABA reported a 35% growth in the number of independent booksellers, from 1,651 stores to 2,227."  Professor Ryan Raffaelli read this surprising statistic and decided to study what exactly independent bookstores were doing in order to reinvent themselves and thrive. He found it has to do with indies embracing the three Cs; community, curation and convening. The full report will be released in 2018 but you can glimpse a preview here. Three cheers for indies!
Curiosities, New Releases

Tuesday New Release Day: Hay; Grove; Nabokov

Out this week: A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay; The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories; and Insomniac Dreams by Vladimir Nabokov. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.
Curiosities

A Field Guide to A Field Guide

"It only took me 10 years to get the verb tenses right!" Our own Garth Risk Hallberg reflects on the process of updating his debut novellaA Field Guide to the North American Family, recently reissued in a new edition by Knopf. See also: our interview with him on the occasion of the release of his blockbuster City on Fire.
Curiosities, New Releases

Tuesday New Release Day: Neruda; Ferlinghetti; Dostoevsky

Out this week: Venture of the Infinite Man by Pablo Neruda; Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Greatest Poems; and a new translation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.
Curiosities

The Return of Agatha Christie

"As much as there is an evergreen fascination for Christie’s stories, there's also an alluring air of mystery surrounding the woman herself." Broadly explores the enduring nature of Agatha Christie's stories, the recent surge in adaptations (including Murder on the Orient Express), and the mysterious 11-day disappearance of the writer herself. From our archives: an essay on the sometimes inherent predictability of the mystery genre.
Curiosities

Their Thanksgiving(s)

"Behind the collective feast and public ritual lies a personal dimension: the holiday as each of us has lived it, laughed about it, imagined it or reinvented it." For their "My Thanksgiving" feature, The New York Times asked nine writers — including Parul Sehgal, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Emma Cline — how they celebrate the holiday. Pair with Nguyen's 2015 Year in Reading
Curiosities

The Harper Lee Industry Chugs On

Thirty-eight letters written from the To Kill a Mockingbird author to a friend from 2005-2010 are up for auction this week, including Harper Lee's reaction to Barack Obama's inauguration. See also: this close reading of the birds themselves.
Curiosities

The Great American Novelist

"And that might be the best way to understand Erdrich’s artistic project: as a celebration of beauty and a testament to the redemptive power of art — which, of course, includes storytelling." Rumaan Alam interviews Louise Erdrich about her illustrious writing career for Buzzfeed Reader. Erdrich's newest novel Future Home of the Living God was featured in our November Preview.
Curiosities

Voices in Asian-Anglophone Fiction

This week in the New Yorker Jane Hu analyzes the "dispassionate first-person narrators" prominent in works by English-speaking Asian authors and questions whether that makes it easier to identify with the narrator. She uses Chemistry by NBA 5 under 35 honoree Weike Wang as an example along with other recent works.  "Against this tradition, there is, perhaps, another emerging, of Asian-Anglophone writers who both play with and thus begin to undo these tropes of Asian impersonality. The novels by Ishiguro, Park, Lin, and Wang all feature first-person narrators who keep their distance—actively denying readers direct interior access. This is true, it’s important to note, even when the characters they write are not themselves Asian."