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August 2016

Labor Day 2016: The Reading List

So in past years I have also done some lists of great books about work. Last year I was late with the Labor Day list, and I didn't want to do that again, so here we are. Happy Labor Day! Start celebrating now and take a few days off.

The list below sums up the work-related books I read over the last year. Links go to my posts about the books, when available. Must-reads are in bold.


Alison Stewart, Junk: Digging Through America's Love Affair with Stuff. I'm calling this one at least partially a work book because there's a ton of stuff in it about junk removal people, professional organizers, etc.

Dan Lyon, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble. Memoir of a baby boomer's time in a marketing/tech company.

Steve Osborne, The Job. Cop memoir.

Kevin Hazzard, A Thousand Naked Strangers. Paramedic memoir; pretty wild stuff.

Burt Reynolds, But Enough About Me. Actor's memoir, with a lot of behind-the-scenes info from Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, and more television and movies.

Jacob Slichter, So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star. Musician memoir, from the drummer of Semisonic.

Robert Kolker, Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery. This one is actually True Crime, but I'm calling it a work memoir because wow, there's a lot of sad details in it about women working as "escorts."


Menna Van Praag. The Dress Shop of Dreams. Kind of strange/magic realism about a dress shop where the seamstress can work magic for her customers (through her dresses).

Melissa Jacobs. Love, Life, and Linguine. A restaurant consultant finds her chef boyfriend cheating on her and moves home to resurrect her family's failing restaurant. Chick lit.

Amy Reichert. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. Milwaukee chef Lou receives a caustic review from new British restaurant reviewer Al--but yet somehow sparks fly. Chick lit.*

Go forth and do not labor, at least for a few days. Ah, Labor Day. No family obligations, no gift requirements, no religion, no celebrations of war. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

*Yeah, I read a lot of chick lit (when I can find it). You got a problem with that?

Citizen Reading: 29 August 2016

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

Booklist webinars are coming up on series nonfiction, new titles for the school library, and keeping your romance collection exciting. Check it out. (Related: For all you librarians/readers' advisors out there: Becky at RA for All gives a valuable reminder about the site All Readers, which can help you figure out the sex and violence levels in books.)

Author Joyce Carol Thomas (writer of poems, plays, and award-winning kids' lit): Obituary.

Amazon's picks for their Big Fall Books.

TV show based on Roberto Saviano's Gamorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System will air on Sundance TV.

An introvert's guide to fiction and life. I actually didn't have time to read all of this one, but I still want to. Love the title.

Have you seen the Fall Entertainment Generator at Vulture? "306 things to watch, see, hear, and do."

Another tribute to Gawker.

Fall film adaptations and tie-ins.

Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner: Marilynne Robinson.

Now this is how summer should be: Stuck in a book.

Do you still shop at actual bookstores? Why?

Perhaps the oddest political/reading news mashup I've seen yet: Harry Potter readers tend not to be big Donald Trump fans.

Ugh: 41% of Millennials use Facebook every day. Related: How are journalists using social media?

Interested in "middle grade graphic novels"? Here you go!

Just too much fun not to post: Helen Mirren shuts down sexist interviewer (in 1975).

How well do you know memoirs? Take this quiz!

And here's a new section: All nonfiction news, all the time!

Dr. Oz has yet another book deal.

I must have this new book, titled The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time.

New book about the Creative Artists Agency is causing a stir in Hollywood.

A new Alison Gopnik parenting book. I will have to get it, of course. Parenting books are catnip to me.

What's really going on in school? Nicholson Baker will tell you, based on his experiences as a substitute.

"The co-founder of N+1 is 'against everything.'"

The latest crop of books on dating and sex.

Last, but never least, your Obligatory Neil Gaiman Post:

Amazon to screen Gaiman's "American Gods" in the UK.

Friday Book Lists: 26 August 2016

A round-up of the week's bookish lists from your friend and mine, the Internet.

Six beach reads for the end of summer

The latest and best in crime fiction. The continuing huge popularity of crime fiction is starting to creep me out a little bit.

Nine great new books for August (from the New York Times)

Amazon's pick for their Big Fall Books Mostly fiction books here, with new titles coming from Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult. Snore.

A free, back-to-school, audio book bonanza

Love these NPR lists: summer reading picks from booksellers

Publishers Weekly: Religion and Spirituality books preview, Autumn 2016

Paste Magazine: The best 10 YA books of August 2016

Hey, political junkies: here's 9 nonfiction books about the Republican Party

Jessi Klein's "You'll Grow Out of It."

Oh, I was so on board to enjoy this book by Jessi Klein*.

Jessi kleinFirst, there's this excerpt on the back of the book: "Everyone is charmed by a little tomboy. A scrappy little girl in overalls with a ponytail and scraped knees, who loves soccer and baseball and comic books and dirt. But what are we charmed by? It's not just that she's cute. It's that she so innocently thinks she's going to stay this way forever. But we all know she won't. And why is that?

Because as much as we like a tomboy, nobody likes a tom man."

Tee hee. And then there was this, about "learning the secrets of being a woman":

"Being a woman usually means you are born with a vagina and after that you'll probably grow boobs and most likely pretty soon after that you'll have long hair because it's no secret that men are pretty non-negotiable about that, except for the times when some Frenchwoman with an insanely long neck pulls it off and a certain segment of men who are open to being a little different go fucking bananas for her." (p. 14.)

Oh, I laughed at that. Laughed and laughed and laughed, the way only a short-haired girl who does not have an insanely long neck and has relied on that (tiny) segment of men who are open to being a little different for my dating and marriage action can laugh. So I was totally on board. But then, later, there was this, in the essay titled "Long Day's Journey Into Porn":

"What I was not prepared for was sex in the age of Internet porn, and how interested Harrison was in ejaculating on my body, and then, gradually, when I didn't flee or register protest over that act, my face. I was unhappily surprised by it, but I was so timid about my lack of experience at the advanced age of twenty-seven that I didn't want to ask any of my plentiful follow-up questions, among which were: 1. Why did you want to come on my face? 2. How do you think I feel about you coming on my face? 3. Is this A Thing everyone is doing? 4. What gave you the idea to do this?

The answer to #4, of course, was Internet porn. I didn't know this yet. I was at the very beginning of this new trend where masses of young men learn how to have sex from watching porn..." (p. 179.)

And the essay ends with Klein using porn herself as an "assist in pleasuring myself." One night she takes care of business while completing the gift registry for her expected son, and this is how the essay ends:

"They finish. I finish. I close out of the window with the x's and by default I am back on my last webpage, face-to-face with the elephant humidifier. At first it feels like the proximity of these two tabs is a bit profane--these things shouldn't have been so close to each other. But then I think, Well, isn't all this part of life. Birth and sex and porn. Exciting and horrible and great and disgusting and joyful." (p. 186.)

I don't know. She's keeping upbeat but the whole thing just depressed the hell out of me. Seemed like a lot of compromising for a tom man. But maybe that's just me.

Want a more complete review? Try this one at Paste Magazine or this much more comprehensive one at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

*Perhaps best known as head writer on the series "Inside Amy Schumer."

Citizen Reading: 21 August 2016

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

Wired magazine is getting on on the book club action.

Review of Amy Schumer's new memoir. Amy Schumer's taking some flak right now for comments made by one of the male writers on her show; should be interesting to see if that impacts her book sales.

The Daily Show book bump is back!

A new hot book already has a correspondingly hot movie trailer: Hidden Figures: The American Dream an Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

Why "book clubs matter" in the age of the tablet.

Against borrowing books. I enjoyed this article immensely. Particularly the bit where he talks about avoiding people who have lent him books because he hasn't read the books yet--meaning he knows he values his own reading freedom over the relationship. Good stuff.

Barnes and Noble has released a new Nook.

Long story short: the online news site Gawker went broke, got bought by Univision, and will now be shutting down. (Officially making this the Summer of Lost Websites.) I don't know all the particulars, but this article provides a good entry point to the story, which is kind of a big one. What really got me was learning that Gawker only had 11-12 full-time employees. Jesus. No wonder it's hard to find a job in this brave new world.

7 things that are ruining amateur book reviews.

Eight of the worst (and best) book-to-film adaptations.

The merits of reading "real books" to your children. I love this article so much I want to marry it and have its tiny little human-blog article babies.

Bookstore sales: are up.

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series will be adapted by Amazon. (Also: Netflix is doing an adaptation of the YA thriller 13 Minutes)

Harry Potter isn't over yet! (Funny, considering J.K. Rowling just said that it was.)

Will Ferrell's newest role: Sherlock Holmes?

New science book that looks like it could be good; I have to speak to my microbes about getting healthier so I feel better.

The "Oscars of Romance": Interesting to hear about the romance RITA awards, and also to have someone review the finalists and winners featuring diverse characters.

World War I reading: Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's Somme: Into the Breach. Let's hear it for a WWI book for a change; WWII typically gets all the publishing love.

Infographic: Lengthy Young Adult series.

Like the New York Times? Love thrillers? Here you go.

Becky at RA for All sends out a call for action: Serving senior readers.

2016 Hugo Awards. This doubles as your Obligatory Neil Gaiman Post this week. There he is, as a winner under "Best Graphic Story."

Friday Book Lists: 19 August 2016

A round-up of the week's bookish lists from your friend and mine, the Internet.

IndieBound: Bestselling books the week of August 18

4 audiobooks by women, telling women's stories

A Minnesota bookseller offers three summer reads

9 forthcoming book to movie adaptations (can't say I'm excited about any of these, but look at Ewan McGregor in "American Pastoral"--gosh, he's cute)

Eleven new (!) books on the Donald

The Daily Beast: Ten best books about the Olympics

Vivian Swift's "Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France."

You know that thing that happens when a reader you love gives you a book they love and they want you to love it too?

Le road tripThat's happening to me right now. My favorite reader has given me Vivian Swift's illustrated travel/memoir title Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal to Love and France. It's a travelogue in which Swift details her honeymoon trip through France, complete with Swift's watercolors on every page. It is a beautiful book. It's a romantic book. It's a funny book. Each of these attributes is readily apparent: just look at that cover. Now imagine a book chock-full of beautiful watercolor illustrations like that, only many of them include detailed drawings of gorgeous French buildings, the countryside, and various sunsets. (You can also get a better feel for Swift's painting if you visit her excellent blog.)

The romance comes in when Swift describes her new marriage: "It was a rainy Thursday night in Manhattan during a cold Spring, and, at a fine-arts fundraiser/cocktail party, I was looking at a room full of people I didn't know. A distinguished-looking silver-haired gentleman in a tweed jacket asked me if I was alone. 'Yes,' I said.

'So am I,' he told me.

Small talk: he told me about the funeral that he'd been to that afternoon, I told him that I'd stopped off at a record shop on my way to the party to buy a Blow Monkeys CD.

Death and pop music from the 1980s are two of my favorite topics of conversation...

We were married a year later." (p. 9.)

Mercifully, she tempers the romance with her humor, as when she describes what happens when the going gets tough, in love and in travel:

"Wandering with God through the Sinai Desert, His people often grew restless and rebellious of His ever-presence. Their annoyance grew in spite of His miraculous provisions of food and amusements along the way: sweet water and a lo-cal carbohydrate called manna (from Heaven, no less), pillars of fire and cloud. They even tried to ditch him altogether in favor of a golden calf. The whole trip must have worn on God's love, too, because once they all got where they were going He's never taken His people on that kind of journey again." (p. 112.)

I read the whole thing in a couple of days, looked at some of the pictures very carefully (particularly the ones in which I loved the purple-y light of French evenings and nights), and enjoyed it all very much.

So why can't I join my favorite reader in LOVING, no holds barred, this book? I don't know. I think it's just a question of mood. I'm not in a very romantic mood currently, and this is a very romantic book. And although I often really enjoy travel books, I am not really in the mood for travel narratives right now. It's a tricky little bugger, mood. Especially as it pertains to reading.

You ever had a book that someone wanted you to LOVE, right at that moment, and you couldn't match your enthusiasm?*

*Full disclosure: I totally know I've done this to people. When I love a book I won't shut up about it. I try not to tell people they HAVE to read it, and I try not to ask people how they like books I've given them, but it's hard!

Citizen Reading: 15 August 2016

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.*

I have no idea what it all means, but here is a fascinating (and short-ish, so you really should go read it) article about the lack of fact-checking in publishing in general, and science books specifically. If you're a nonfiction reader at all you owe it to yourself to understand the nebulous nature of "truth," "facts," and "cheap publishers" (or "harsh publishing environment," if you want to be gentler about it), so check it out. Also: support authors who do their own rigorous fact-checking.

Becky over at RA for All is reviewing horror books like the wind for you!

NPR offers up an Alabama bookseller making three summer book recommendations for you.

Double review of two recent books on girls and social media. And here's a book on what the pursuit of beauty does to women that I totally want to look at.

Car keyless security systems: seriously suspect. Remember how I just talked about the book Future Crimes? Here we go...

"Seven surprising benefits of maker spaces." So here's a link for the librarians among you. I have never been a fan of maker spaces; I'll admit I really pretty much only care about the books and reading aspects of libraries, and "maker spaces" always seemed like code to me for "someone in the library wants to buy a 3D printer." Although I still don't believe, as this article suggests, that maker spaces can be "the antidote to today's lifestyle," I at least felt a little less dismissive about the whole concept after considering the benefits listed here.

Interested in a pretty comprehensive list of books from the last few years with "girls" in their titles? Here you go.

The next big music memoir: Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, coming at the end of September.

Arianna Huffington is leaving the Huffington Post.

Library Reads: September 2016. I still say this is the most boring reading list around, and I've never been able to actually make it through an Ann Patchett novel (there's on this list). At least there's ONE nonfiction title on the list this time, though.

On a non-reading note, I had the rare treat of seeing a movie over the weekend, and I really enjoyed it: Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Obligatory Neil Gaiman link: Neil Gaiman on Why We Read. No, I've not read it. Will someone, and tell me if it's worth the time? Thanks!

*Sorry for the short list this week, and no Friday book lists last week. A mid-week attack of some weird vertigo-type-thing slowed me down. Ridiculous. Remember when I railed against my midlife crisis and my midlife health? Over the weekend I laughed at a story my brother was telling and threw my back out a little bit doing so. What? Okay, granted. My brother is funny. The story in question was one of my favorites, about when he accidentally used the woman's bathroom in an airport and ever-so-slowly put together the hazy clues to figure that out (no urinals, etc.). But still. I should not be throwing out my back by LAUGHING at the ripe old age of 42. I don't want one, but evidently it is time for some sort of stupid basic fitness regime.

Alison Stewart's "Junk: Digging Through America's Love Affair with Stuff."

Welcome to yet another review of a book that I got from the library after I heard about it...somewhere. I really need to start making notes on where I hear about books. But right now that seems about 231 steps more organized than I am ever going to be.

JunkSo the book in question is Junk: Digging through America's Love Affair with Stuff, by Alison Stewart. I think I heard about it on NPR, maybe? It's exactly what the subtitle promises: an examination of exactly how much junk Americans have. What we call "junk" and why. How we get stuck living with our junk because we think it's important. And, perhaps most tellingly, how we deal with our junk when it gets out of control.

I read a lot of books about stuff, and consumption, and household management, simply because for some reason I find those topics interesting. (I am such a nerd that the other day I noticed there is a street near me named Veblen Way--I'm guessing after Thorstein Veblen, father of the concept of "conspicuous consumption"--and I thought, I should ask someone how that street got named.) Ironically, although I have a paper/books clutter problem (about which Mr. CR and my former roommate, my brother, have both complained, those darlings who are always complete angels to live with themselves), I am not a junk person. My favorite thing to do is go through closets and my basement and get rid of stuff. I have fond memories of my Grandma's house; she always had completely clean kitchen counters, very few knick-knacks, and a completely empty basement. What a woman.

Anyway. I enjoyed reading this book and I like Stewart's writing; it's good basic reporting with a twist of style. Take this opening paragraph:

"Agnes. Irene. Bertha. These three ladies are large, in good shape, and looking for some action. Agnes is the youngest and a fine choice to be a guide for a day of junk removal, Austin style. She's revved up and ready to roll by 7:00 a.m. with two handsome young men, Scott and James, along for the ride.

Agnes is a cab-over style truck that can hold eighteen cubic yards of whatever can fit in her..." (p. 59.)

So that's fun.However, it's not a perfect book. I feel that it definitely needed some editing in terms of flow--I don't really need my nonfiction to be narrative, but I do like to see that it is thoughtfully organized.* This book seems to go from the subject of hoarding, to junk removal companies, to definitions of what "junk" is (including some strange, but not uninteresting, forays into definitions of thinks like space "junk" and "junk" mail), back to different junk removal companies, to question-and-answer sessions with junk artists. See? Kind of all over the place. Several interviews are also presented simply in question-and-answer format, and it's not my favorite thing to read straight interviews in books. I don't mind that in a short magazine or Internet feature; but in a book I find it distracting.

Last but not least: there were so many typos in this book that it started to bother me. Although I have worked as a copyeditor and proofreader, I'm usually quite lenient about these things, because I know publishers are not spending a lot of money any more to get things proof-read, and even if an author has been through their work a million times, they're still going to miss some stuff (hence the need for proofreading). But there are just so MANY of them here, which surprised me. I'm a fan of the Chicago Review Press (the publisher here) and have never noticed this problem in their books before.

But I still read the whole thing and enjoyed many parts of it, particularly the chapters exploring different junk removal companies and how they operate in different communities. I'd class this one as kind of a nice, informative, lighter nonfiction read. Not a bad nonfiction book for the beach, all told.

*Stewart has organized this book: the sections are headed, respectively, "What Is It?", "Who Has It? And Why?", "When Did It Become Big Business?", "Where Should It Go?", and "How Can You Use It, Fix It, or Love It?" But within those sections it sometimes seemed like she repeated herself.

Citizen Reading: 8 August 2016

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

This is an appropriately named infographic, because I am totally in love with it: Grammar Is Hot.

Did you know that Game of Thrones (the book series) is twenty years old? (On that note: Another George R.R. Martin adaptation might be headed for TV.)

Are collections of advice columns a new genre? There's a new book out on the columns of Ask Polly (from New York magazine), who is actually Heather Havrilesky.

Jesmyn Ward gets an "NPR bump" for her newly edited book of essays; her memoir Men We Reaped gave me a lot to think about.

Costco's new "Pennie Pick" (named after their book buyer): is a memoir.

Here's a title custom-made for me.

"Novels of white status anxiety." Spoiler alert: none of them sound very exciting.

Because I love me a good TV trends headline: "old age romance trending on TV." In other TV news: August TV preview: new series premieres.

All politics are dead to me. But if you can still stand that sort of thing, a new book about Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine will be published in September.

Holds alert on a nonfiction title, Hillbilly Elegy. Looks like it could be good--I'm on hold for it.

Maria Popova writes on what Rebecca Solnit writes about books and reading. I love the headline: A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.

Natalie Portman will star in the HBO miniseries adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler's novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

This is the best news I had all week: book readers live longer! I don't particularly want too much longevity myself, but it's comforting to know that as we age there'll be other readers around to age with!

Helen Fielding is going to write a new Bridget Jones novel.

Are you into audiobooks? Consider this audio freebie alert.

Oprah has spoken: check out her new 2.0 book club choice.

James Patterson's new imprint has already sold over a million copies.

Author James Alan McPherson has died.

Olympics display ideas!

Even TED is offering a summer reading list.

And here it is, your Obligatory Neil Gaiman link: Gaiman, Pullman Support Cover Kids Books campaign.

Friday Book Lists: 5 August 2016

A round-up of the week's bookish lists from your friend and mine, the Internet.

Flavorwire: Ten books to read this August

Amazon: Ten best books of August

An indie bookseller recommends 3 summer reads

"Teen memory loss novels"

Gen X Bookshelf: 18 books for forty-somethings

IndieBound's bestselling books the week of August 2

A Detroit bookseller offers three nonfiction books for your summer reading consideration

Royal Society Science Book Prize: Shortlist

You've gotta read this: Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It.

I read a lot of nonfiction.

So yeah, this is not news. I read a lot of nonfiction, and a lot of it I find interesting, and a lot of it I enjoy. But sometimes I read nonfiction that, even if it isn't a particularly great book as such, still makes me go, holy fuck. Everybody should really read this.* One of the best examples of a book like that (for me), was John Bowe's title Nobodies. In addition to being a mind-bending read, that one was also a great book, well reported and written, so it was a twofer. But that's the book where Bowe trotted this little truth out for me (and yes, I'm paraphrasing, one of these days I have to get that book back and find the exact quote): people figure the system is broken and could be fixed. What they actually don't realize is that the system is working exactly the way the system was set up to work. (Italics mine.) As I said: Holy fuck. I'm still recovering from that devastating nugget. I can't decide if reading that was the exact moment I gave up on politics, or if that was coming for me anyway.

Future crimesBut I digress. Another one of these types of books that I read a while back was Future Crimes (paperback subtitle: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World), by Marc Goodman. This is a dense brick of a book all about the security vulnerabilities in the current version of our Internet and in all our online systems. It is also about the many ways that criminals can find and use our personal information (and how hard it is to prosecute them, particularly if they are executing crimes in different countries from the ones in which they are sitting at their computers--who has jurisdiction over a hacking job taking place in Russia when the victims are elsewhere, for example?), and, even worse, how perfectly legal companies collect and exploit our personal information as well. Oh, and let's not forget the information about how most programming and coding these days is done fast and sloppy (by design), which leaves big holes and vulnerable bugs in most software and online applications. Also: the chapter on the Dark Web, which still gives me nightmares.

Every page of this book was more horrifying than the last. I'm sorry I don't have any more concrete examples for you--I had a whole bunch of pages bookmarked but the youngest CRjr views it as his personal mission to pull all the bookmarks out of my books--but trust me, you don't have to read for more than two pages at any point in the book to be appalled.

That in fact was one of the criticisms of this book that I read in several reviews: it is just too dense, and reads like a laundry list of examples. And that is true. There is not much of an overarching narrative structure here. But I found each example to have its own little storyline, and I read the book slowly, over the course of a few weeks (as noted: it is dense), so that was no problem. It's full of information, but none of it is particularly hard information to understand. Criminals? Here's how they take and use all of your information, sometimes including your identity. Companies? Here's what they are all collecting on you, and what that means (I DO remember one particular example of people who joined what they thought was an anonymous health web site/community, and eventually companies were able to track down their identities just by parsing the information they gave the site).

Oh, and the last little bit on things you can do to protect yourself from the vulnerabilities in the coming Internet of Things, and all the other ways in which our privacy is violated, is pretty laughable. "Use strong passwords" and all that jazz. So yeah. This book was not perfect.

But overall? I think you should read it. I think you should skip the chapter on the dark web, so you can keep on living without despair eating away at your soul, but still, at least give it a skim. One of my favorite outcomes of reading it is that I'm much more aware of privacy and Internet security articles and news items whenever I come across them, and I don't think that's a bad thing. Have you been reading the "Passcode" section of the online Christian Science Monitor? Great articles on this topic. Damn, I love the CSM.

*Yes, I'm assuming that everyone reads. And has ample time to do so. I am informed by many reliable sources that neither of those statements are really true.

Citizen Reading: 1 August 2016

A weekly selection of reading and book news, sometimes with completely inappropriate commentary.

Infographic: "Characters who take on the hero's journey."

Serial Reader app: delivering daily "bite-size reads."

The "Trainspotting" sequel: Trailer.

M. Night Shyamalan has a new movie starring James McAvoy, who is my absolute favorite Scottish eye candy, but I can't go see it. Uck. That trailer looks creepy as hell.

Sherlock, Season 4: Trailer.

Feel-good link: kids discovering indexes.

What college freshmen are reading.

Read this, and then go buy a book at an independent bookstore. I'm begging you!

Oh, Christ, another book on resilience (also known as "grit"), perhaps my least favorite topic ever. (Perhaps because I don't have any.) And joy of joys, Sheryl Sandberg, she of "Lean In"* and Facebook fame, has written it. Is it all about how it's easier to be resilient when you've got a shit-ton of money? (Yes, I know her husband died. I'm a monster. Blah blah blah. But give me this: lots of people's spouses die too soon and they are not left with shit-tons of money to help pick up the pieces. Even when their spouses don't die, they may not be able to "lean in" to their careers because not everyone gets to leave the kids with top-notch and expensive nannies.)

How millennials interact with online video.

You know, I like LitHub. I was just going to link to this article titled "What should fiction do?" because I like the title. But when I started to read it I got immediately bored. Anyone else?

Author Siddhartha Mukherjee points out that it's hard to write about current medical science because the science is changing so fast.

Michael Crichton died in 2008. So of course a new book from him is going to be published in 2017.

Amazon continues to be your master.

The "machine learning and publishing" debate continues.

Your average librarian was never average. Based on this article about what one twenty-first-century librarian does; I mainly like that the librarian's name is Theresa Quill.

Why publishers need to walk away from Facebook. Hey, I've got an idea: Let's all walk away from Facebook.

How indie bookstores drive book discoverability.

The co-author of the Left Behind (nutjob religious**) series, Tim LaHaye, has died at age 90.

Anne Rice will publish a new Vampire Chronicles novel. Evidently the Jesus books don't pay as well.

After Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ("the 8th Harry Potter book"), J.K. Rowling says "Harry is done now."

The 2016 Booker Award longlist; in other award news, these are the winners of the 2016 Eisner Awards.

Can we get away from the use of pink in "feminist" book covers, please?

Authors as readers' advisors. (Starting with 15 women authors selecting their favorite "overlooked" books.)

*Please note this is a positive review of Sandberg's earlier book. I just like SavvyWorkingGal's book reviews.

**Editorial comment. I couldn't help myself. That's what always ran through my head when I shelved those things at the public library.