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Toplist Points 40 == Toplist Rank [50.000+ (bad)]

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April

J0MP Book Photo Challenge

Day 20 - Pastels

2 months ago

April J0MP Book Photo Challenge Day 20 - Pastels

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Ace of Shades has kinda been on my radar…forever? I just haven’t had the chance to get my hands on a copy until now and I’m so...

2 months ago

Ace of Shades has kinda been on my radar…forever? I just haven’t had the chance to get my hands on a copy until now and I’m so...

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Hey how about some Carry On behind the scenes? The BW sketch was our first pass at a layout for the cover. I think we ended up...
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2 months ago

Hey how about some Carry On behind the scenes? The BW sketch was our first pass at a layout for the cover. I think we ended up...

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Currently reading: JRR Tolkien - The Two Towers

2 months ago

Currently reading: JRR Tolkien - The Two Towers

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Entertainment Spotlight: Lauren Shippen

Lauren Shippen is a writer best known for her work in fiction podcasts. She was the creator and sole writer of the The Bright Sessions, which ran from 2015 to 2018. She went on to executive produce The AM Archives and co-produce the #1 podcast Passenger List, for which she received a BBC Audio Drama Award. Most recently, she wrote MARVELS, an audio adaptation of the popular comic. Her first novel, The Infinite Noise, was released in September 2019. Lauren was named one of Forbes 2018 30 Under 30 in Media and one of MovieMaker Magazine and Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch. In 2019, she founded Atypical Artists, a company dedicated to audio storytelling. Shippen grew up in New York, where she spent most of her youth reading and going to Panic! at the Disco shows. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she does the same thing. Lauren took the time to chat with us about The Bright Sessions and her newest novel, A Neon Darkness. Check it out:

You have one minute to tell someone everything they need to know about A Neon Darkness. What do you say?

A Neon Darkness is the story of a young man who desperately wants to belong, but only on his own terms. Damien arrives in Los Angeles and immediately meets a group of people who share the same unusual secret. The story involves found family, mysterious powers, a search across Southern California, misguided kissing, and an ill-fated trip to the beach. It's part-noir, part-coming-of-age but at its heart, like all my stories, it's about how the things that make us different can help us connect, as long as we let ourselves be vulnerable. Whether Damien is able to be vulnerable...well, you'll just have to read the book to find out.

What made you decide on Damien for the subject of A Neon Darkness?

Damien is a character that really evolved and deepened over the course of making The Bright Sessions, in no small part to the incredible work of Charlie Ian, the voice of Damien. He's intentionally on the edges of the story in the podcast, but there was so much about him that I wanted to explore, especially how he became the antagonist we meet in the podcast. A book was the best way to do that - to really dig into his inner life and try to understand who he is and how he's grown throughout the years.

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Are there any easter eggs that fans should look out for in the book and/or book cover?

Oooh, yes, absolutely. There's already an Easter egg in the preview that's available through Den of Geek - for those who have listened to The AM Archives, there might be a familiar character. I love joining together the book and podcast universes, and that's going to continue with The College Tapes in the fall - there's some more overlap in characters from A Neon Darkness. The cover for the book itself has three characters that TBS fans haven't met yet, but that I think (and hope!) they are going to love. And once the book comes out, there might be some extra goodies...

Is there anything you gained from print that you lose in audio, and vice versa?

Absolutely! The joy of audio for me is getting to work with actors and hear these characters come to life. Audiobooks do a wonderful job of that as well, but there's something about having multiple actors in a scene that is really special. But the thing I absolutely adore about books is how deep inside someone's head you can get. The beautiful advantage of print is stepping into someone's shoes and walking through the fully realized world with them. You can provide visuals in a way that's much harder in audio, and travel deep into someone's head.

Do you write sins or tragedies?

Oh boy, this is really the question, isn't it? Thank you for asking, it's such an important topic. I would say the thing I'm most interested in is really the relationship between sins and tragedies. One often leads to the other. I think it's fun to write both, as long as you approach them with a sense of poise and rationality.

What’s a question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?

Other than the above, I always jump at any opportunity to talk about the extensive playlists I make. I genuinely think making playlists is the thing I'm best at in the world and I spend way too much time and put way too much thought into making them.

Can you share your favorite piece of fan art?

This is SO hard! I have a whole fanart tag on my personal tumblr where I reblog tons of stuff and it is all incredible. I have to shout out @thefigureinthecorner who puts out a truly atypical amount of gorgeous art. This piece by @fair-sailer is the perfect A Neon Darkness Damien road trip vibe, @thefirsthoras drew a Mark Bryant that made me swoon, @marina-does-things gave Rose the BEST tattoos, and speaking of Rose, this Damien + Rose art by @asaethiel has been such great inspiration for the third book, that I'm currently working on. Thank you to everyone who plays in this world and stay strange!!

Thanks, Lauren! Check out her Tumblr, and Give Safe House Part 1 and Part 2 a re-listen:

2 months ago

Entertainment Spotlight: Lauren Shippen

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You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I...

2 months ago

You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I...

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self-isolation is for reading through all of my unread books. this one i bought 7 years ago and literally never even opened. it looks cute though!

2 months ago

self-isolation is for reading through all of my unread books. this one i bought 7 years ago and literally never even opened. it...

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Instagram vs. reality, Wendy edition.
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2 months ago

Instagram vs. reality, Wendy edition.

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Rainbows always stand for hope. - Rick Riorden 

2 months ago

Rainbows always stand for hope. - Rick Riorden 

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Diving into stories, both old and new. 
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2 months ago

Diving into stories, both old and new. 

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(Age 5 and up) Crusading journalist Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in 1862, and by the time she was a teenager, her parents had died of yellow fever. To support her siblings, Ida became a teacher, but one day, while riding the train to work, she was forcibly moved to another car in spite of the fact that she’d paid for a first class ticket. Ida sued the railroad and won her case, and in writing about her experience for her church’s newspaper, Ida began to use her voice to speak out against other injustices. 

By the end of her life, Ida had been a writer, an owner and editor of newspapers, a pioneering civil rights activist, a suffragette, a state senate candidate, a wife and mother, and in many cases, the only person to speak out against the horrific violence of lynchings. Ida authored many articles and books and spoke to audiences around the world about white mobs murdering African Americans, and even when some critics went so far as to threaten her life, Ida refused to be silent. Written by the late, great Walter Dean Myers, this informative picture book (with excellent illustrations by Bonnie Christensen) will introduce young readers to one of American history’s greatest heroines. (4.5 out of 5 stars)

ISBN-13: 9780060544683 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 01/27/2015 Edition description: Reprint Pages: 40 (Source of Publication Data: barnesandnoble.com)

2 months ago

“Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told” By Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Bonnie Christensen

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What are your plans for this week?  Also, Harry Potter fans, I’m curious to know what is your favourite book from the series?

2 months ago

What are your plans for this week? Also, Harry Potter fans, I’m curious to know what is your favourite book from the series?

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A Court of Wings and Ruin (2017) - Sarah J. Maas “Leave this world a better place than how you found it.”
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2 months ago

A Court of Wings and Ruin (2017) - Sarah J. Maas “Leave this world a better place than how you found it.”

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currently reading friday → nimona, noelle stevenson 🗝️

3 months ago

currently reading friday → nimona, noelle stevenson 🗝️

During this time of uncertainty, we’ve asked City Lights authors how they’re doing, what they’re reading, and any advice they have for our community. Their responses have been very inspiring to us, and we hope that sharing them will inspire you as well.

“Signaling Through the Flames” gets its title from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s timeless work, Poetry As Insurgent Art, which beings with the line, “I am signaling you through the flames …” This line is, in turn, taken from Antonin Artaud in his landmark book The Theatre and Its Double, in which he says  “If there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames.” Follow the hashtag #SignalingThruTheFlames across all our platforms on social media to follow the complete series.

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City Lights: Where are you? 

Tosh Berman: I’m in Los Angeles. Due that I’m working on various projects at home, it is ‘almost’ normal to me. Except for the fact that I’m staying physically away from the older members of my family. As well as close friends and neighbors where we are encouraged to look, but keep a distance. On a romantic level, I feel like Jean Marias in the Jean Cocteau film Orpheus where he’s led to the underworld, and he can’t ever face or look at his wife again. On one level these last few days have been quiet and normal until you notice that every time you put the news on, or read the media, things are getting worse by micro-minute. Like dominoes collapsing, you first see that the markets are running out of a product, and then bookstores are restricting their schedule until they are finally closed. 

Galleries and libraries seemed to vanish as well. Restaurants and cafes seem to be a quaint memory of a recent past. The shock of the changes is the most difficult. Also, hearing from friends in other cities and countries and how they are affected is equally moving and alarming at the same time. 

What books make you feel inspired?

Being a smart ass, I feel like I should mention An Enemy of the People by Ibsen. On a more honest level, I would say any book by P.G. Wodehouse, who takes me into another landscape. Or any funny but sharp-witted essay by Robert Benchley. Both authors show the absurdity of life, and now, and especially we have a President, who I call President Virus, is more of a Terry Southern character than anything else. A dangerous figure, but still totally absurd. 

What gives you hope at this moment? (And/or what are you thankful for?)

As far as I know (and we never know for sure with this virus) is that I’m healthy; my wife is feeling good. Yet social responsibility says to stay at home and distance yourself physically from others, especially older people. Right now, I’m thinking of my mom and Uncle. Both are in their 80s, and both are dealing with physical aging issues. On some days, I feel very hopeful, but then getting one bad news after the other, it’s difficult to process. It’s comforting for many to start with point A that goes to point B. But often, life throws a wrench in that narrative, and one has to roll with the consequences. Right now, everything is inconvenient. We will deal with it, and I think we will come out more durable and wiser. 

Any advice that you’d like to share with our community?

Don’t think about yourself right now. Stay healthy for others in your life and your neighborhood. As well as supporting local businesses as much as possible. For me, it’s the record and book stores. It’s an excellent time to shop online or by phone and bringing currency to these important institutions: the retail shop. 

***

Tosh Berman is a writer, poet, and publisher of TamTam Books. As a publisher, he focused on post-war French figures such as Boris Vian, Guy Debord, Serge Gainsbourg and French gangster Jacques Mesrine, as well as publishing Sparks (Ron Mael & Russell Mael) and Lun*na Menoh. His previous book Sparks-Tastic (2013) is a combination of travel journal and thoughts on the band Sparks. His book of poems The Plum in Mr. Blum’s Pudding (2014) came out through Penny-Ante Editions. He authored the introduction to Wallace Berman: American Aleph from the Michael Kohn Gallery in 2016. Tosh lives in Los Angeles. Tosh’s memoir, TOSH: Growing Up in Wallace Berman’s World, was published by City Lights in 2019.

3 months ago

Signaling Through the Flames: Tosh Berman, Author of TOSH

- get dressed and style your hair as if you’re going to school/work - even use the same perfume/ cologne as you normally do (trick your mind into being motivated)

- plan things out - everything(plan out your week, day, meal, etc. you can make these as specific as you’d like. this will help you stay on top of your work as well as stay healthy, especially if you live alone.)

- make studying/ working the first thing you do each day - best if you can start in the morning(minimize the tendency to procrastinate)

- just start - don’t worry too much about perfecting or finishing anything yet(if you don’t start then there’s nothing for you to perfect or get done. and it will never get done)

- listen to old and simple (aka non-distracting) podcasts, Youtube videos, or café/ chattering white-noise, etc. simply leave them as background noise to create an illusion of being outside your room(bring the presence of people to you. my favorites lately have been slam poems from 2016, Mae Martin’s stages, and Awsten Knight’s crackhead podcasts)

- set timers, for both study sessions and breaks (so that you don’t overwork, burn out, or procrastinate. the Pomodoro technique works great here)

- take advantage of the comfort of your own home (light a candle, have crunchy snacks, play loud music, review notes out loud while pacing around, wrap yourself in a blanket burrito, study on your bed if you can focus there like me, etc. basically anything you can’t do in a classroom, office, or the library)

- if you miss your friends, call/ text/ facetime them, make a study group chat with them, etc.(that is what technology is for)

- choose recreational activities/ self-care for your breaks instead of going on social media(go on walks, make small art, play an instrument, stretch, take a nap, etc. I usually reach for my guitar, brainstorm writing ideas, or sketch very simple line art.)

- if you want to go on social media, do it during meal times - or the 15 minutes after your meals that you can’t work just yet(it also doesn’t make you feel like you’re wasting time)

- study in different rooms for a change of scenery(dining room, living room, the patio, etc. I have an armchair next to the window that I study in whenever I need some sunlight and don’t have to write anything down. however, if you need a designated place to focus on your work, you can also use these alternative spaces as designated “relax” or “creative” place for your breaks)

- use this as an opportunity to take care of yourself(get enough sleep, drink water, exercise, talk to your family, take your meds, be mindful of your mental health, etc.)

Feel free to add your tips. The current situation sure is unpleasant but it is unavoidable. All we can really do now is take care of ourselves, others, and try to make the best out of this.

Good luck to everyone and stay safe! My heart is with you all 💕

3 months ago

my quick tips for working / studying from home

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I needed to refuel with a good lunch before I could continue studying! I almost never cook, so was a major achievement... 😝🍝

3 months ago

I needed to refuel with a good lunch before I could continue studying! I almost never cook, so was a major achievement... 😝🍝

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Didn’t get enough sleep last night, but at least I have all the components of a cozy day in at my disposal.

3 months ago

Didn’t get enough sleep last night, but at least I have all the components of a cozy day in at my disposal.

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Rounding up the books I read this year for a family photo :)

3 months ago

Rounding up the books I read this year for a family photo :)

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Congratulations to the 2020 Hugo Awards Best Novel finalists! 
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3 months ago

Congratulations to the 2020 Hugo Awards Best Novel finalists! 

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I hope everyone is finding peace in these whirlwind days. And maybe a few extra hours to read.

3 months ago

I hope everyone is finding peace in these whirlwind days. And maybe a few extra hours to read.

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A peek at the back cover of my new book. With very many thanks to generous gentlemen @neil-gaiman and #williamgibson for the...

3 months ago

A peek at the back cover of my new book. With very many thanks to generous gentlemen @neil-gaiman and #williamgibson for the...

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7 Crows - Illustrations for the Crooked Kingdom special edition by our patron saint @lbardugo  words can’t explain how honored I...
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3 months ago

7 Crows - Illustrations for the Crooked Kingdom special edition by our patron saint @lbardugo words can’t explain how honored I...

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Skylight has an extensive archive of author readings available to you as free podcasts on Itunes, Spotify & Podbean - just...
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3 months ago

Skylight has an extensive archive of author readings available to you as free podcasts on Itunes, Spotify & Podbean - just...

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Here at the Nevins LibraryThere are many ways to getBooks that can indeed carryYou from Boston to Tibet

But did you know that we have gotPrograms of all formsFrom a Boxwood in a potTo a weatherman on storms?

It is therefore quite greatThen for me to sayThat there are more than eightPlaces through which our message we convey

First, we have our website properIt has Slides and Posts galoreFor any program looker, shopperAnd if you stay awhile, even more

We then have the site on which you’re reading thisThrough book and program posts we aimFor you to find your blissAnd if your TBR pile grows, we’re not to blame…

Have you read our Newsletter yet?It comes out once every fourth weekHas events for all ages you can bet,And gives you more of what you seek

Or if you prefer to read in printOur illustrious director has a MethuenLife column/sectionOf all our programs you can get a hintAnd have time for a bit of coffee-fueled reflection

We also have a Facebook pageYou can like, follow, and suchCome take a look or engageWe’d like that very, very much

Our Twitter has lots of info, that’s trueWith hashtags, mentions, and more, by threefoldHey, there’s even a weekly haikuGoing out to all 1000+ followers we currently hold!!

Our Instagram may just make you tarryOver pictures of our books and displaysOr here and there of our beautiful libraryWe love any and all praise

We have two TumblrsNevins Teens and A Book A DayI promise we’re not mumblersJoin us, read a meme, stay and play

The LoopWeekly we’re sometimes inAnd usually we’re on the Commonwealth Calendar at MassBookThe former will give you a grinThe latter also has the whole state over which you can look

Okay I’m done, this time I swearWe’re all waiting to see you todayWhether it’s on your way home, or just getting some airAll the books you could want and not one cent to pay

3 months ago

All the Places We Are

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When in doubt, rainbowtize your bookshelf.

3 months ago

When in doubt, rainbowtize your bookshelf.

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🍂🍁🍵 FANGIRL is getting a manga adaptation by VIZ MEDIA! 🍵🍁🍂 With writer @sammaggs and artist Gabi Nam. (Viz is doing it...

3 months ago

🍂🍁🍵 FANGIRL is getting a manga adaptation by VIZ MEDIA! 🍵🍁🍂 With writer @sammaggs and artist Gabi Nam. (Viz is doing it...

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#ArchivesAtHome  If you are looking for a way to participate in the sharing of our collective history, perhaps you would like to...

3 months ago

#ArchivesAtHome If you are looking for a way to participate in the sharing of our collective history, perhaps you would like to...

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Teen Review Tuesday: Renegades by Marissa Meyer  Here’s a review from Esther:  This book is about a world of prodigies with...

3 months ago

Teen Review Tuesday: Renegades by Marissa Meyer Here’s a review from Esther: This book is about a world of prodigies with...

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yesterday’s study space (my other desk)

3 months ago

yesterday’s study space (my other desk)

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Light From Other Stars paperbacks arrived at my house!  I’m not sure anyone can truly appreciate how difficult it is to stage a...
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3 months ago

Light From Other Stars paperbacks arrived at my house! I’m not sure anyone can truly appreciate how difficult it is to stage a...

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ig: AccioBooksAndSunshine

3 months ago

ig: AccioBooksAndSunshine

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You guys, I have been slacking on the Friday Reads posts and I’m sorry! But I’m back on duty now – though finding it somewhat...
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3 months ago

You guys, I have been slacking on the Friday Reads posts and I’m sorry! But I’m back on duty now – though finding it somewhat...

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Happy birthday to Edward Bellamy (1850), Robert Frost (1874), Tennessee Williams (1911), and Erica Jong (1942), all born on 26...

3 months ago

Happy birthday to Edward Bellamy (1850), Robert Frost (1874), Tennessee Williams (1911), and Erica Jong (1942), all born on 26...

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There was a surprise in our inbox this morning — we turned 8 years old today! We're so glad to be a part of the wonderful...

3 months ago

There was a surprise in our inbox this morning — we turned 8 years old today! We're so glad to be a part of the wonderful...

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I found this 1909 set of Harvard Classics at my university’s library book sale
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3 months ago

I found this 1909 set of Harvard Classics at my university’s library book sale

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Night Circus macarons, 03.25.20  I’ve been living in Erin Morgenstern’s fantastical worlds all this year, first in The Starless...
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3 months ago

Night Circus macarons, 03.25.20 I’ve been living in Erin Morgenstern’s fantastical worlds all this year, first in The Starless...

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For International Women’s Day: A very large pile of books I love written by women

3 months ago

For International Women’s Day: A very large pile of books I love written by women

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New Young Adult Releases Coming Out Today! (March 24th, 2020) ___  Have I missed any new Young Adult releases? Have you added...
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3 months ago

New Young Adult Releases Coming Out Today! (March 24th, 2020) ___ Have I missed any new Young Adult releases? Have you added...

Book characters when I try to pronounce their difficult name aloud:

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3 months ago

Book characters when I try to pronounce their difficult name aloud:

I hope you’re doing as best you can while socially distancing, isolating, or quarantining.

Independent bookstores and their employees are being hit especially hard by closures. Most normally operate with the narrowest of margins, and having to close doors for an undetermined amount of time will force many to close permanently.

I want to do more than post links saying to shop at your indie. I want to reward you for doing so. I’ve had some bookplates made up. They’re cute!

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So, if you pre-order the paperback of Light From Other Stars from an independent bookseller, I’ll send you a signed bookplate. Send proof of purchase to erikaswylerwrites[at]gmail.com along with an address at which you feel comfortable receiving mail from a weirdo author. Do me a favor and put “bookplate” in the subject line so you don’t get lost in the inbox.

The vast majority of indies are taking web orders! Many are offering curbside pickup or free local delivery. Many are offering discounted or FREE shipping?! You can find your local indie at https://bookstorelink.com/

I don’t know what any of this means for my future touring, which is disappointing, but ultimately not a real concern these days. People staying safe and helping each other is top priority.

If you’d like a signed paperback, pre-order from *my* indie, BookHampton. Note that you’d like it signed, or even personalized! I’m happy to do it. They’re one of the best shops in the nation, and I want to do what I can to make sure they keep going.

While you’re at it, please check out books that have released this week, or will be coming out in the next few weeks. Those writers have been seriously impacted. The arts help us get through solitude, sadness, and panic. Help a writer through that same thing, if you can.

And, mostly, be well, be calm, and take care. We need you.

Love,

Erika

3 months ago

Help an Indie Out

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I read Uprooted by Naomi Novik and was floored by it.  The best way I  could describe it is as such; it’s the best version of a...

3 months ago

I read Uprooted by Naomi Novik and was floored by it.  The best way I could describe it is as such; it’s the best version of a...