"Mixing wisdom from Ovid and Mary Oliver with practical descriptions of tools and varieties of wood, MacLaughlin describes the joys and frustrations of making things by hand, the strangeness of working as a woman in an occupation that is 99 percent male, and how carpentry changes the way one sees the world."

(via Hammer Head | W. W. Norton & Company)

I survived this week by escaping twitter and the news into Nina MacLaughlin’s beautiful, meditative, and soothing memoir of sawdust, kitchen tile, built-in bookcases, table-making, roofing, and the weight of wood. I’m only sorry that most of you will have to wait until March to read it.


Anyone who’s been following me for a bit (or not—welcome new followers!) knows that I write about fan culture for the New Statesman and books for The Millionsand that this Tumblr, much like the whole of Tumblr, is basically a celebration of books and/or fandom. (Er, maybe not the whole of Tumblr? I don’t know, it certainly looks that way to me.)

Tomorrow evening George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb will be coming to London for an amazing one-night-only event. Since I live in London, my books-and-fandom-loving Tumblr and I were perfect candidates to head over on Tumblr’s behalf. So this time tomorrow, I’ll be posting words and images from the event here, and tagging posts with the event’s official hashtag: #GeorgeAndRobin. If you’re a fan of either of these authors—or both!—be sure to check back in around 7:30 pm GMT tomorrow, August 19th.

So excited that writer and fanthropologist Elizabeth Minkel will be LiveTumbling this very special event!

New Penguin Podcast with Emma Straub!

Please subscribe to the F.R.E.A.M Book Club, wherein I rant about brilliant young women writers until you can’t take it anymore and give in.

This is what it looks like when you are taking a BookSelfie with Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (!!!) and Amber (rightfully) runs over to yell at you because she is your official photographer and what are you doing, and then you crack up and look evil/wolf-like.

Point being, I have heard nothing but enormously wonderful things about this book and I can’t wait to read it.

  1. Camera: Photo Booth


The Stephen King Money is gone and I am $9.97 over budget for this year.

The royalty check was for $1656.53. I’m told next year’s royalty payment has roughly $1500 in it so let’s call the Stephen King Money amount as $3200. That’s less than the prize money on Chopped, but as a freelance writer and editor, still a nice surprise from an eight-year-old book.

Save for a handful of hardcover and paperback sales, these were all ebook sales. With King’s Joyland now available as an ebook people will buy the novel they are looking for, so I’m going to be sensible and stop spending money for the time being. 

For a Tumblr I made to entertain friends, I am amazed and honored that this entertained so many others. Thanks to everyone who wrote about the site or shared its links. Thanks to Rachel Fershleiser at Tumblr for her support. Thanks to Nate Powell, who provided beautiful and haunting illustrations for my Joyland. Thanks to ECW Press for taking a chance on my first novel. Thanks to my editors at St. Martin’s Press and Doubleday for their enthusiasm. Thanks to BookCourt, Apple Store, Girls Write Now, The Strand, Foxy Salon, and others for helping me spend the money.

Thanks most of all to my accidental co-author, Stephen King, for being so wonderfully supportive and understanding.

HOLD ON HOLD ON DON’T GO YET! Emily’s little Tumblr project made me laugh and think. Probably her next novel will too, and it’s available for pre-order right now! She told me, “with the The Blondes I wanted to write an apocalyptic thriller with women as the focus.” Pretty awesome, right? I hear it’s like a Feminist DeLillo, and I can’t wait! Support a wonderful writer and buy yourself a little present. Use royalty checks from the megabestselling horror-master of your choice.

A Song of Ice and Fire: Entire series recapped in two minutes (SPOILERS)

I totally get it now, you guys!

(Source: youtube.com)

Emily Gould’s new novel Friendship is almost here, and I have nail art to prove it!

As you may have noticed, I really love this book. Idiots will try to tell you that it is “just” “chick-lit” or whatever, and one of the many reasons they are idiots is that this book is sort of the opposite of dating-driven narratives. This book is entirely about the inner lives and creative ambitions and life decisions of women. The men are there but they are so peripheral in the face of friendship and identity and figuring out your own choices as to turn invisible by the end of the story. And I love it.

A striking entry in the women-processing-their-shit canon. Enjoy!


Today we’ve got two brilliant writers reading from their awesome new books - Jen Doll with the opening of Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest, a hilarious and sweet memoir about other people’s weddings; and Catherine Lacey reading an excerpt from her novel, Nobody is Ever Missing, which comes out July 8th. I’ve heard Catherine read from this book a few times, and it’s gorgeous and spooky (in an emotional way; there aren’t any ghosts, at least from the 20-30 pages I’ve heard).

Listen here now, or download from iTunes:

If you’d like to read more—

by Jen:

by Catherine:

About the writers:

Jen Doll is the author of Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest, out now from Riverhead Books. She has written for The Atlantic, The Atlantic Wire, Cosmopolitan, The Hairpin, Mental Floss, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Toast, Vice, The Village Voice, and other publications. She has attended dozens of weddings and had pretty much every possible feeling about them. She lives in Brooklyn. Follower her on twitter at @thisisjendoll. jendoll.com

Catherine Lacey’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Guernica, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Electric Literature, The Paris Review Daily and others. She has received fellowships from NYFA, Columbia University and will be in residence this fall at the OMI International Arts Center this fall. Her debut novel, Nobody Is Ever Missing, will be released in July by FSG and next year from Granta Books in the UK. She is a founding partner of 3B, a worker-owned and operated bed & breakfast in Downtown Brooklyn. On twitter: @_catherinelacey

Hooray! Hooray! It’s Catapult Day!

Thank you Grand Central Life & Style books! So grateful to have made your distro list for soup fanatics.