This week’s intro will be quick and dirty — just like me. Just kidding. Not really.
In lieu of a proper intro this week due to a lingering chest cold and a long-ass bus ride, please enjoy this photo of the most beautiful library in my home state of Arkansas, the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, and the following literary links.
- The big publishing news this week is that Oprah has selected MacArthur “genius” Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, a reimagining of the underground railroad as an actual railroad, as her book club pick. The novel was slated for release on September 13, but the publisher secretly sent it out to booksellers and its available now. Never doubt the power of Oprah.
- In other celebrity book club picks, Emma Watson Interviews Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, a powerful autobiographical memoir about growing up in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution.
- One of my favorite reads this year was Dietland. Fear almost kept the author, Sarai Walker, from completing the book. As she says, “Women’s fiction is often read as nothing more than thinly disguised autobiography, and since my heroine is fat, and I’m fat, we’d be viewed interchangeably.” Read more of how she “stopped holding back, and [her] writing had a new energy.”
- Author platform: What does it mean? According to Jane Friedman, it is “an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.” Hint: it’s not all about social media. There are other activities that are just as important.
- Take an armchair road trip through the most beautiful libraries in all 50 states.