books · libraries

From the Qin Dynasty to Concord, MA: A History of Book Banning

Words can be dangerous. Though we tend to think of censorship and book banning as modern phenomena, the prohibition of books has existed since the creation of the written word. In honor of Banned Book Week, I want to take a quick look back at censored books in history. Traditionally the people who banned books considered… Continue reading From the Qin Dynasty to Concord, MA: A History of Book Banning

writing

Every Story Is The Same Story (Or At Least Is On This List)

I occasionally joke that if a person reads enough, she will discover that all stories are the same story. She will be able to predict narrative beats, the presence of particular characters, and how the story will end. Of course all stories aren’t really the same. Human beings may repeatedly explore certain themes, but prose,… Continue reading Every Story Is The Same Story (Or At Least Is On This List)

books · Publishing

The Audacity of Judging a Book by Its Cover: 4 Highlights from Recent Publications

People say that old maxim ‘never judge a book by its cover’ frequently, but of course everyone does judge book covers. Both in ebooks and in physical copies, the cover is one of the first things a reader sees. Readers use the cover to make instant assessments about a book: is this a genre I… Continue reading The Audacity of Judging a Book by Its Cover: 4 Highlights from Recent Publications

Publishing

Sifting through the Slush Pile: What Happens after You Query a Publisher

  Once upon a time, I worked for the editorial office of a small publisher. The most fascinating, heart-breaking, and frustrating part of my day was when I had to read through manuscripts in the slush pile. As many people know, the slush pile is what publishers call their collections of unsolicited query letters and… Continue reading Sifting through the Slush Pile: What Happens after You Query a Publisher

books

Reading in a Time of Twitter

Though the book blogger community is filled with wordy people, a lot of its communication is restricted to 140 characters. That’s because of a lot of it happens on Twitter. There, people share reading ideas, have discussions about books, chat with authors, and dozens of more things besides. And I haven’t been participating in any… Continue reading Reading in a Time of Twitter