Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Five Things including a Book Sale

Last week, my mother and I attended an author event at Boston College featuring Celeste Ng, which we enjoyed. BC has a freshman seminar in which many read Ng’s first novel, Everything I Never Told You. It was great to see several hundred students listening to Ng describe her writing process, including her habit of beginning her books with a very dramatic sentence.  I had to check this out:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. Everything I Never Told You (2014).

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. Little Fires Everywhere (2017)

The letter arrives on a Friday. Slit and resealed with a sticker, of course, as all their letters are: Inspected for Your Safety – PACT. Our Missing Hearts (2022)

I don't think the third one is quite as dramatic, do you?  But I am now interested in reading the two I missed.
Today I organized a lot of books and decided it was time for my own sale! These are books I am trying to find a new home for, mostly duplicates or books for which I no longer have room.
My book group read Tom Lake by Ann Patchett this month, which I reviewed back in September. Here is a brief interview with the author on the inspiration for her book.  Everyone liked this book, which sometimes hurts the discussion, but there was still lots to talk about and I was glad I had persuaded us to read Our Town first.

Nonfiction book publishing is dominated by men. ABC News says a new prize hopes to help change that.
Usually, I work one weekend day in a nearby library each month. I am amazed by the demand for graphic novels – more than half of the children seeking books on their own.  Some just like the format and others say they are easier to read.  Certainly, all reading is good but I do occasionally coax them to add a traditional chapter book to their piles, hoping they won’t miss out on other great books. The New York Times stated recently that “[o]ne in four books sold in France is a graphic novel. Increasingly, those include nonfiction works by journalists and historians.” But publishers need demand for backlist books of all genres in order to survive.


Cath said...

I actually would be so thrilled if my (intelligent) grandson would read even graphic novels. That would make my day. LOL!

Good luck with your book sale. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all us bookish folk lived in the same street and could just have book get-togethers with book sales and so on? Dream on...

Enjoy your 'randon things' posts!

Lory said...

I've noticed here in French-speaking Switzerland that graphic narratives are very popular! I read a few and the pictures were helpful, given my limited language ability. But sometimes I want to make my own pictures...

Sam said...

Seems like many writers who eventually became go-to favorites of mine first caught my attention by beginning a novel with a really dramatic sentence or paragraph. When browsing in a book store, I usually read the first half page of everything I pick up, so that's the perfect hook for me.

I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels, but I've enjoyed several of them over the past few years, including at least a couple of good nonfiction ones. It's a whole different reading experience. (I grew up on those old Illustrated Classics comic books.)

TracyK said...

How is your book sale going?

I am a fan of graphic novels but I am not always successful at comprehending them. I suppose if I read more of them I might improve in that area. That was a goal I had last year and mostly failed at. I hope to do better this year. I read a lot of comic books as a child and loved them; maybe they were simpler then.

That is very interesting about Celeste Ng beginning her books with a dramatic sentence. I have not read anything by her.