We started talking about things that hadn’t happened to people that didn’t exist...
Book talk, weird internet "supplements," and some light, contemptuous banter to round out your week.
Eight great things I noticed this week:
Have you heard about “productivity gummies”? I love that their website lists “gluten free” front and center, as if, when one is ordering strange, performance-enhancing substances online, gluten is a top concern. But don’t worry, the company’s very own Scientific Advisory Board (capitalization makes them more official) has “rigorously” tested these otherwise unvetted supplements. Still… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted.
Nerd Word of the Week: Persiflage ~ Light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter. It’s my favorite kind of banter.
If you’re still using Audible, please take ten minutes and switch to Libro.fm. Why? I’m so glad you asked. Libro.fm prompts you (when you create an account) to designate a local bookstore to receive the profits of the books sale. Amazon gets enough of our money.
I know that, like me, some of y’all can feel a little socially awkward at times. We’re writers. People just don’t understand our desire to skip small talk and get to the juicy bits. Check out this article for some useful tips: “How to make small talk when you hate small talk.”
“Language was a species-saver precisely because it was about truth and reality. At that stage it could have no evolutionary value otherwise... Then something very strange occurred. We started talking about things that hadn’t happened to people that didn’t exist. We invented fiction.” - check out Lee Child’s recent piece in the New York Times.
I just finished the book Hamnet and I’ve been telling all my book-loving friends (mostly at A Very Important Meeting) about what a wonderful read it was. I thought it would be a take-your-medicine kind of book, you know, one of those books you SHOULD read, but I found it engaging and compelling. Two big thumbs up.
And in a fun coincidence, the author of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell, released a new book this week. It’s called The Marriage Portrait. The fact the the New York Times is calling it “overwrought” kind of just makes me want to read it even more.
Speaking of books, the short list for the Booker Prize was announced this week. Here are the contenders:
NoViolet Bulawayo, Glory (Viking)
Claire Keegan, Small Things Like These (Grove Press)
Alan Garner, Treacle Walker (4th Estate, HarperCollins)
Percival Everett, The Trees (Graywolf Press) I was just talking about him.
Shehan Karunatilaka, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (Sort Of Books, forthcoming from Norton)
Elizabeth Strout, Oh William! (Random House)
Happy writing, my friends,
I gotta try that Libro option. I'm so glad you loved Hamnet! Also, I just finished Oh William! and although I don't love her prose, the concept of being so tied to someone after marriage and kids resonated with me.
let us know if you try the gummies! I'm tempted too.