I opened Twitter this morning to a post that included a photo of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year. In the midst of concerns about COVID-19, we turn to eighteenth-century fiction. Or maybe it’s just a reflection of who’s on my Twitter feed. Bookish people like books. Even when the news threatens us with a pandemic.
I’m not making light of the concerns about coronavirus. I find it just as alarming as everyone else. But it’s also depressing to hear about the cancelation of the London Book Fair, and to get emails about vendors supplying employees with laptops so they can work remotely. Friends are backing out of plans to avoid public transportation. Companies are suspending work-related travel.
You’ve all heard the advice. Wash your hands well and often, don’t touch your face, etc. But I’m here to offer up some ideas to keep you entertained while you’re avoiding that crowded movie theater or your local happy hour this weekend. Because staying home means more time to write, and to read. (You knew that’s what I was going to say, right?)
I’ve got some terrific lists of books to check out, plus some general writing advice and industry gossip this week. So plump up the sofa cushions, grab your laptop or e-reader, and enjoy. Happy writing!
This Week’s Links:
20 New Books to Read in March. – A ton of wonderful-sounding titles hitting shelves this month, so check a few of these out.
8 YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels to Pick Up This March. – More fun reads, specifically for fans of YA SFF.
Top 10 Writing and Grammar Mistakes that Even Published Writers Make. – Excellent list of things to check for when you do that last pass on your manuscript.
Aaron Sorkin on How He Would Write the Democratic Primary for ‘The West Wing.’ – Less about politics and more about Sorkin’s approach to writing in general. There’s a particularly interesting bit on what interests him in terms of writing conflict.
Are Novelist Obliged to Tell the Story of Their Private Life? – Interesting read in the age of #MeToo and #OwnVoices.
52 Books for 52 Places. – Intended as a tie-in for the NYT article on places to travel, it’s also a great list for some armchair traveling if you don’t want to leave the house.
10-1/2 Commandments of Writing. – A good refresher of some basic things to keep in mind while you’re hermitting away with your work-in-progress.
When Did Reading Books Become So Competitive? – A look at the age of reading challenges and bookish social media.
Announcing the 2020 Women’s Prize Longlist. – The 16 books that made the long list for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.