I was surprised to find that Tom Waits has a chapbook out, but really surprised to find that he has a website that offers his “wit & wisdom.” From the first late night I heard him on the radio in 1977 and scribbled his name down on a piece of scrap paper to now, he has become a household word. Pre-order your copy of the second printing of Waits’ chapbook, Seeds on Hard Ground. All proceeds from this limited edition of 1,000 copies to be donated to the homeless.
The other day, I overheard my older kids talking to my younger boy and they were saying ‘Don’t ever, don’t EVER ask Dad to help you with your homework.’ They said I made up a war once. —the Wit & Wisdom of Tom Waits
Book proposals—can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Nowadays, you are required to do quite a bit of market research to ensure that your book, the one that essentially hasn’t been written yet, will reach the right niche. You must warn the publisher in your proposal of all the competition lying in wait, then prove why your book will beat it. You must be able to prove that your book will sell.
Here is Anis Shivani on writers and audiences:
No great writer ever wrote for the audience at hand. And if you can’t know your audience when you create, that’s almost the same as saying that there is no audience at all. Is the audience your inner critic? You should have silenced that voice before you ever started writing. Criticism is for others, not for your own work. Your own work flows from passion and madness, not theories of completion and harmony and perfection. Is the audience a super-intelligent one, as well-read as you, as biographically diverse and adventurous as you, as restless for newness and experiment and reality as you? You should have killed that audience before you started writing, because why write for someone just like you? Where’s the excitement in that?
I ask you! Read the rest here.
The New York Times’ William Grimes remembers author Reynolds Price, who died January 20; he was 77.
The Washington Post is making news with exciting plans to expand its book section. In fact, the Post will add arts-based reviews and pop-culture reviews to a new Sunday Style section, similar to the AJC’s Arts & Living. Not sure this is that much of an improvement, but any expanded arts coverage is a good thing. Get the full skinny.
The Best of 2010 lists have all been put to rest, now the big news is what’s hot in 2011? The Millions posts the most anticipated books of 2011. Wow. Just – wow.
While you wait, a few of last year’s favorites are out in paper :
Anne Tyler, Noah’s Compass, Jan 25. Read my AJC review from last January.
Helen Simonson, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Dec. 2010 You can read bits and pieces of it here. Ron Charles of the Washington Post gave Simonson’s debut novel a glowing review when it came out last spring.
Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro, has been out in paper for three months, but I finally broke down and bought a copy today, after reading “Free Radicals” online at the New Yorker.
I’ve been listening to Keith Jarrett‘s Koln Concert all week long. It has soaked in like musical dye and I can’t (and don’t want to) shake it.