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The Book Beat - December 20, 2019

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

Putting the “Free” Into Freelance

As a recently minted freelance writer myself, this article made me wake up and take notice. Lots of legal stuff here (and although I pride myself on being a writer who can take a subject, research it, and write compelling copy about it, legal stuff makes my brain hurt) but suffice it to say, it seems like some freelancers in CA will be limited to 35 articles per year. Which, based on the cost of living in CA, isn’t going to get you much. Take a read and if there are any legal eagles out there, let me know what you think!

Tumult in India Comes Home for Author

It’s been a busy news week (when is it not, nowadays?) but the political tumult in India has definitely piqued my interest. I loved Buzzfeed’s Sacchi Koul’s book, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter and I enjoy her various columns on pop culture and more. This ultra-personal one is fascinating (and, to be honest, relatable to me as my family and I have different political views). She definitely sounds conflicted and I appreciate how open and honest she is about her feelings. Check it out (And definitely read her book...the chapter on trolling and social-media interaction with fans is a must-read).

Best(selling) Book of the Decade?

Well folks, there's good news and bad news about the buying/selling of books this past decade. Let's rip the Band-Aid off and get to the bad news first: 50 Shades of Grey is the best-selling book of the 2010s. Actually, the entire trilogy is the best-selling top three of the decade. Upset? Happy? I'm happy people are reading, but the writer is me is "meh" about this. A good copyedit was needed on that book (Yes, I read it. Professional research and when I say that I mean writing). But, yes the silver lining of that stat is that people were reading, talking about reading, and realizing that the power of even the (poorly) written word can have an effect.

The good (I'd say great) news here is that printed book outsold ebooks by almost 5 billion. At the start of the decade publishers and some readers (me) alike were worried. Would printed books disappear completely now that readers could get ebooks instantaneously and for a bit cheaper? Thankfully that's not the case. Now, I'm happy readers are getting books in a variety of ways and they all seem to be "winning." Also nonfiction outsold fiction. Definitely read this article below and you can also see what 7 other books were the best-sellers of the decade.

No, J.K., Just No

Sigh. 2019's highest paid author ($92 million) tweeted her take on a recent court case in Britain and, well, let's just say this reader we disappointed. I'll stay positive and say all people can change and progress, so I hope to see that here. I mean, her books promote acceptance, love, happiness, and overcoming to odds to be who you truly are. Right?

A Short Story a Day Request

I plugged this on my Twitter and Facebook, so I might as well add it here. One of my creative goals for 2020 is to read a short story a day (my Insta account related to this will be @ashortstoryaday). If you have any recs, please let me know. I’m almost done planning just January and I’m already ridiculously excited. I know, I know. I’m a book nerd through and through.  

I also want to wish you all a very happy holiday filled with readings of A Christmas Carol (Dickens's best, IMHO. I can’t stand A Tale of Two Cities...but that’s a discussion for another day); Barnes and Noble gift cards; and fun, happy times with your families. Seasons Readings!

Cover of the Week: The Time-Traveler’s Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

This book. THIS BOOK. I breezed through it in 2004 in a day. Although I originally came to it by seeing it mentioned on The Today Show, I have to admit it, I first fell for this gorgeous cover and knew it was a book I wanted to read. If you didn't know a thing about the plot you'd definitely be intrigued by the image you see. I sure was. That's when college-debt-saddled me splurged on the hardcover and fell in love. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, and I just totally and completely became enraptured by this book. As most book lovers can tell you, the really, really good books, the ones that affect you the most and imprint themselves on your soul for years to come are the ones you remember every little detail about. This is one of those books for me. I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, but I am looking forward to the TV series from the makers of Sherlock. If you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for. It's as good as everyone has said it is.

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