Saturday, 10 December 2016

Twenty Things I've Read

Okay, I keep going back-and-forth (and also flaking out!) on a links post, but I like to signal boost people, so I'm trying something new out. A list of 20 things I've read and loved, from a variety of different sites, and including a few Twitter threads. (And then a couple of random news type bits at the end.)

There are some sites which could quite conceivably fill this list between them EVERY WEEK as they constantly produce amazing posts - and I find it way too hard to single them out! So instead, I will just list them at the start of each post. If you're not reading the following, you are REALLY missing out.

Safe Space
Media Diversified
The Pool
Teen Vogue 

The Twenty 

I'm starting to really like reading about running (certainly much more so than I actually enjoy doing any!) I'm also really interested by small towns, so Kathryn Miles's piece for Down East about Gary Allen is a perfect fit for me. Allen is a 57-year-old who last year started a marathon in Millinocket, waiving the usual entry fee but encouraging participants to spend the money they'd usually have spent on registration at businesses in the town itself. This is a lovely, heartwarming read.

I'm a big fan of books and of dancing, so this Zadie Smith piece "What Beyonce Taught Me", which includes discussion of dancers from Fred Astaire, to Beyonce, to David Byrne, and to Rudolf Nureyev, and what Zadie's learned from them and applied to writing, is fascinating. 

I've been listening to and enjoying Rae Sremuurd's album, after being inspired to take a listen by this great Fader piece on them

As a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, to say I was excited for A Year In The Life would be an understatement. There were parts of it I really liked, but overall I found it hit and miss. Grace's post about it sums up lots of my issues with it brilliantly. 

Hannah posted about her photoshoot with the wonderfully talented Alex Cameron - including sharing her photos, which look stunning! 

Laura Stampler's LA Times piece - in which she interviewed 13 YA authors, including Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Meredith Russo and Nicola Yoon - about writing in the age of Trump, is fascinating - it's also added Marie E Andreu's The Secret Side of Empty to my wants list! 

Earlier in the week, there was another election-related post featuring some great authors, as BookRiot asked 18 MG authors - including Anne Ursu, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, and Varsha Bajaj - to share their thoughts on writing girl characters after the election

And speaking of MG authors, Katherine Rundell is perhaps my favourite of all - her gorgeous piece for the New York Times, "Confessions of an Amateur Tightrope Walker", is a must-read! 

Lili wrote about 10 of her favourite Christmas movies - perfect if you're looking for something to watch! 

And another great list here, as The Bookavid wrote about 20 Exciting 2016/17 YA Books by Black Women. I'm excited for The Hate U Give and Little & Lion, especially, while Sarah Raughley's Fate Of Flames is one I wasn't aware of but which sounds amazing! 

I am completely fascinated by this Rich Cohen piece for Vanity Fair, Inside Quebec's Great, Multi-Million Dollar, Maple-Syrup Heist

Also fascinating, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler's New Yorker review of Michael Lewis's latest book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds. Lewis is a favourite non-fiction author of mine and this book about psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman sounds fabulous.

The Book Smugglers' Smugglivus is always one of the highlights of the end of the year for me, and this year's no exception! so many fabulous posts, but one I really want to point people to - especially if they're looking for Christmas gifts! - is Kelly Jensen's Feminist Reads from 2016, an amazing list!  (And I'm seconding Lindsey Rosin's Cherry, and Meredith Russo's If I Was Your Girl, HARD!)

And another great list here, Bustle's Top 30 YA Books of the Year. So excited to see Alison Umminger's American Girls (published here as My Favourite Manson Girl), Meredith Russo's If I Was Your Girl, Louise O'Neill's Asking For It, and other favourites of mine included here.

The latest Illumicrate hit subscribers' letterboxes - including mine! - a few weeks ago, much to my delight! If you're yet to subscribe and want to see why so many people love it, check out my friend Stacey's unboxing post

In RadioTimes, David Brown wrote about 10 detective series he'd love to see make the leap from page to screen. It includes some favourites of mine - like Robin Stevens's wonderful Wells & Wong books, and Simon Brett's fantastic Charles Paris novels - and is generally a superb list! 

Over at The Guardian, Alex Wheatle wrote a great piece about dialogue-driven fiction and writing slang in his YA novels Liccle Bit and Crongton Nights.

The Guyliner's Impeccable Table Manners blog - in which he blogs about The Guardian's weekly Blind Date feature - is a favourite of mine every weekend. Sadly he's on a break at the moment, but he is sharing a fabulous thread of his favourite quotes from the blog on Twitter!

And in another wonderful Twitter thread, Dave Rudden - author of the fabulous Knights of the Borrowed Dark - has shared a really heartwarming story about a school visit and something which happened subsequently

Another gorgeous Twitter thread was @sapphicgeek's, about a teen girl going into the comic store she works at to ask for a Supergirl comic, and the importance of representation. Such a wonderful outpouring of love in the responses to this one as well!

News and things:

My friend Julianne launched an awesome course on Udemy, Planning Your Work Wardrobe - I've done it, and would highly recommend it! 

World Book Night announcement of books for next year looks fab - I'm pleased the list is more diverse than this year's was, and thrilled for Patrice Lawrence that Orangeboy's on there! 

The cover was revealed for Tom Easton's Girls Can't Hit, which I'm incredibly excited for! 

Laura Silverman announced her new book deal, with Sourcebooks Fire publishing Without Answers - this sounds awesome!

And while the start of December brought with it an album nearly everyone I know has been hugely anticipating - The Hamilton Mixtape, just as sensationally great as we expected - I was personally also thrilled that Rosie Hodgson finally released her first album. I've been a huge fan of hers since seeing her in the open mic contest at Shrewsbury Folk Festival several years ago, and buying her EP there. Rise Aurora is a gorgeous album - if you're a folk fan, you can stream for free, and buy the CD or download, on Rosie's Bandcamp.

My posts:

I blogged about top ten new to me authors in 2016 (and expanded it to 24, because I'm terrible to sticking to limits!) 

And I was lucky enough to be asked to reveal the cover for Honor and Perdita Cargill's Waiting For Callback: Take Two, which I can't wait to read - I loved the first one! 

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