Links + Things: Even More on "New Adult," Justified + Kentucky, Internet Culture, Cheapo Books + More
We're back with our mostly-weekly roundup of interesting stuff from around the web.
On a blog-related housekeeping note, I'm going to be posting less frequently on the @FullShelves twitter for the time being. It's becoming increasingly-difficult to manage two accounts, and some particularly nasty remarks made about this blog, its contributors and others popping up in that account tipped the scales in the direction that it's just too challenging at the moment to be active on that account.
I'll still be posting links to the new posts there as well as a few links and such, but I'll be scaling it back. I will check that account's replies, but may not be able to respond as quickly as I have in the past. I'm sorry to those of you I chat with frequently on Twitter, hopefully I'll figure out a way to make it work down the line, in the meantime, our personal Twitter accounts are in the blog sidebar.
One of the few contemporary shows that has made a real home in the South is FX’s Justified,which just finished its fourth season and is renewed for a fifth. Its characters are deeply rooted in Harlan County, Kentucky, and bound by complex webs of family, historical, and regional loyalties. It shares The Wire’s commitment to place, if not its interest in institutions and policy, and benefits further from basing its stories in rural and suburban areas, which are underrepresented in most fictional TV shows concerned with criminality.
Justified is one of my favorite television shows these days. Very few shows do such a brilliant job of crafting story, character and setting in such a rich way. This recent piece in The Oxford American (which is a great magazine, despite that its former editor was a whacked out serial sexual harasser) nails why Justified's sense of place is so special.
Rick Pascocello, v-p and executive marketing director of Berkley/NAL, noted that the success of New Adult was primarily an Amazon/e-book phenomenon. When the question of how this genre plays in bricks-and-mortar indie shops came up, Hwang observed "it's been harder for the bookstores to figure out where to place the titles." McGuire's novel has been the only New Adult to break out in print so far, but Pascocello commented that several of Berkley's accounts have begun to ask for similar books. Bergeron also reported that Morrow is planning to distribute a sampler of its New Adult titles later in 2013.
We've been trying to get our heads around the concept of "New Adult" for awhile now (see this post and this podcast episode). This Shelf Awareness feature about the subject is packed with intriguing tidbits, but what grabbed my attention was this tidbit about the struggles of these titles in finding a place on physical bookstore shelves. It doesn't surprise me, since I know I'm not alone in the hunch that New Adult is a confusing genre/category (which one is it?!) to think about in context of merchandising/marketing. I'll be interested in how this plays out over the next year or so.
By pulling away from the echo chamber of internet culture, I found my ideas branching out in new directions. I felt different, and a little eccentric, and I liked it.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the impact of internet culture on my life in general, both good and bad, lately, so this piece that Laura posted on her Tumblr was nice timing. I'm making a conscious effort to step away from some internet interactions because I do think it can be oddly limiting at times (I can't explain what I mean really--ag!). Anyway, the author's thoughts are quite interesting, and often not what you'd expect, but the quotation above stuck out to me.
- If you missed NBA center Jason Collins' moving essay about why he chose to come out now, you must read it.
- It's also important to read Martina Navratilova's piece about why she believes Collins' public pronouncement is a "game-changer."
- I also strongly recommend reading this USA Today profile of Braves rookie Evan Gattis' battle with depression and anxiety. We need more public dialogue about mental health in this country and I believe that athletes and other high profile folks sharing their experiences can make a difference.
- The always-brilliant Reynje wrote a fascinating post about female violence in YA fiction.
- Kathleen Schmidt has some great insights about the role of the book publicist and what to expect when working with an experienced PR professional.
- Beth Revis talks to authors specifically about why to (or not) blog, but I think her thoughts are relevant to anyone who considers blogging.
- I really enjoyed Gayle Forman's most recent "Ask Gayle" column in Tumblr, in which she answers a question from a teen who strong identified with Allyson, the protagonist in her novel, Just One Day.
- Courtney Milan crunched some numbers and developed some interesting analysis of digital strategy specifically related to historical romance sales. Basically, there's a reason Avon is kicking everyone's butt.
- Guys Lit Wire has photos of what it looked like when over 100 books arrived at Ballou High School. *tears*
- Gillian Flynn addresses accusations of misogyny in her writing in this Guardian profile.
- Publishers Weekly has an interesting Q&A with Sara Zarr about her new book, The Lucy Variations, and what's next for her.
Cover Art News
(Apologies for the wonky formatting above, my CMS is having a glitch.)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is getting a brand new look in the paperback release this fall--at first glass this doesn't have nearly the creepy factor of the original, but actually the details are quite eery. It's strange that the "Inspired by an Idea by Siobhan Dowd" is not displayed on the paperback cover, though, when it was quite prominent on the hardback.
I haven't read Sarah Beth Durst's Vessel, because I'm not really a fantasy reader, but I know it's been very well reviewed. Her next project is an adult novel for Harelquin Luna, The Lost, and I'm pretty certain I'm onboard for this one based only on the fantastic cover art.
While I didn't particularly enjoy Marie Lu's Legend, the covers in this series are some of my favorites and the last installment in the trilogy does not disappoint. It's both beautiful and disturbing in a pretty fabulous way.
(Be sure to double-check the prices before clicking "buy.")
- Chuck Wendig's Blackbirds had a lower price earlier this week, but it's still a good value at $5 for the ebook for Kindle (it's quite a bit pricier on Nook). Laura reviewed this very highly last year, and also enjoyed its sequel, Mockingbirds.
- The paperback of Sarah Zarr's wonderful Sweethearts is only $3.20 on Amazon. I'd get on that if you don't have a copy. You should probably add a box of Kleenex to your cart while you're at it.
- Gabrielle's Zevin's Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac has been very favorably reviewed by a number of tough critics, and I very much enjoyed her dystopian mob novel, All These Things I've Done, so I'll be snagging this one at $3.60 for the paperback on Amazon.
- Everyone adores Kate Elliot's Cold Magic, a steampunk fantasy, and I've been meaning to read it for ages (it's been wasting away on my Kindle for at least a year). The paperback is a good deal at $6 on Amazon and the Kindle book is just a few cents more.
- Mira Grant's Feed is another novel that's been sitting on my Kindle for ages (ag! I think I have a problem!). The Kindle book is bargain-priced right now at $3.79, and it's price-matched for Nook.
- Y'all know I love the awesome WTFery of Laura Griffin's Tracer's series. If you want to join the fun, Scorched is only $3.20 for the paperback on Amazon. You don't need to read this series in order, so don't worry that it's a later book in the series.