Acknowledgments: December 2017

Acknowledgements will be a regular feature at Another Book Blog where I wrangle up some of the more interesting things around the blogosphere and present them to you in a neat and tidy package. Like sports highlights, or the mall.

⇒ Marian Keyes offers some of the best writing advice you’ll ever read, and has a great answer when asked about “guilty pleasure” reads. [The Globe and Mail]

⇒ The Penguin Hotline is back for another holiday season! Get personalized book recommendations from the Penguin staff. I love doing this every year. [Penguin Random House]

⇒ Laura from Reading in Bed just published an important video about “reading as spectacle.” If you’re a blogger/vlogger, please watch it. [Laura’s YouTube Channel]

⇒ Speaking of Laura, she’s doing daily vlogs about the Hingston & Olson’s Short Story Advent Calendar. So is Anne Logan, so check them both out.

⇒ “2017 was the year that the very concept of a best-seller became even more dubious.” Sales are flat, or down. There have been no market-defining breakout hits. But Slate’s Laura Miller wrote a great recap about the 2017 best-sellers that are worth your time. [Slate]

⇒ Philip Pullman’s return to the His Dark Materials universe has been met with rave reviews. It just won the first of many awards, presumably. [Waterstone]

⇒ I typically hate these lists, but this one, sadly, hits very close to home: “21 Things Book Lovers Feel Slightly Guilty About”. [BuzzFeed]

⇒ John Hodgeman (of Daily Show fame, and the recently released, and excellent looking, Vacationland) had a great interview with the New York Times this week. I particularly loved his answer to “the last book that made you laugh.” [New York Times]

In “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton has an aside in which she describes her addiction to Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, and a debate with her staff whether the “Flavor Blasted” variety of same are better. “Some of my staff thought yes,” she writes, adding bluntly: “which was incorrect.” Man. That is literary deadpan at is finest and my first big cathartic laugh almost since election night. (Plus, she’s right.) It made me miss her, and it made me miss my mom, also a profoundly accomplished professional woman of the same generation who also had fun, strong opinions mundane things and different kinds of crackers.

⇒ Jenny Slate has landed a book deal with Little, Brown and Company to publish a feminist essay and, interestingly, “fable” collection in 2019. [Entertainment Weekly]

⇒ 10 Essential African Novels, recommended from best-selling African writers. I need to read Black Moses asap. [Publisher’s Weekly]

⇒ Elena Ferrante is writing again, publisher says. [The Guardian]

⇒ The New York Times has released its 100 Notable Books of 2017. Always great. [New York Times]

⇒ However, Lit Hub countered with a list of 20 books they couldn’t believe were left off the list. [Lit Hub]

⇒ Finally, CBC made its own listicle of the 17 books you should be reading this winter. [CBC Books]

⇒ On Monday, Dec 4, the 49th Shelf is starting its 12 Days of Bookness, where you have a chance to win prize packs each day. Follow them on Twitter! [49th Shelf]

⇒ “How I Turned My Discarded Novel Drafts into an AI”. This is fascinating stuff, and nearly the real world equivalent of a book (click here) I reviewed earlier this year (that I loved). [Lit Hub]

4 thoughts on “Acknowledgments: December 2017

  1. Rick, I love this feature. So glad you’ve brought it back. I just signed up for a recommendation from Penguin Random House — I’ll let you know if it works out. I think I just added about twenty books to my TBR after looking through the best books of 2017 lists (both versions!)


    1. Those best books lists kill me. And by me I mean my bank account.

      Hopefully the Penguin hotline works out! I find they usually give me a good suggestion and not a great one, but I’m a sucker for the service and love doing it every year.


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