Bookish tie-ins in Shondaland and other stories

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A couple of major publications took time over the weekend to write about some of RBR’s favourite things. Thanks guys!

Elise Taylor at Vanity Fair hypothesizes that How to Get Away With Murder is inspired by Donna Tartt’s classic novel The Secret History. We’re obsessed with the Viola Davis-driven show, have long been smitten with Tartt’s novel, and love nothing more than a pop culture-literary fiction tie-in. Remember when we proved that Murakami’s latest novel was a Gossip Girl fanfic?

Meanwhile, at New York Magazine, we take a close look at New York’s the Strand bookstore and learn how they’ve managed to stay afloat in the age of Amazon.

Lots of great bookish reading makes for easier Monday mornings.


A character in search of a story in Richard Ford’s ‘Let me be Frank with you’


Any place can look like a suburban wasteland with the right Instagram filter.

Let me be Frank with you, the latest Frank Bascombe book from Richard Ford deals with the aging character of Bascombe, now rounding third base towards 70, in post-Hurricane Sandy New Jersey. In the four overlapping stories that shape the book, you’ll find themes of aging, mortality, family, suburban life, and even the American Dream. What you won’t find is plot.

Is that okay?

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The structure, story, and heartbreak of Us


If you’ve never read a book by David Nicholls, I’ll bet you still know something about him and his style of writing.
Don’t believe me?
Think about the book/movie One Day. It’s a sort-of disastrous Anne Hathaway movie and I’m sure you know that the concept involves returning to the same characters once per year, always on the same day. I haven’t read or seen it but I imagine that after much heartbreak, Anne Hathaway falls in love on the very day we revisit her.
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100 year book club 1919: My Man Jeeves is a bit of a trickster


If there is anything to be learned from the 100-year book club project it is that there is great pleasure in embracing 100-year old books. P.G. Wodehouse has fallen out of fashion and readers don’t have much occasion to encounter him these days. His stories aren’t read [much] in schools or studied in universities, they aren’t glamorous enough for Hollywood portrayals so Wodehouse stays in our common imagination largely because the name “Jeeves” has become to butler as “Kleenex” has to tissue.

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Your weekend longread via Vanity Fair – let’s talk about publishing

Image via Vanity Fair.

In my professional life I spend lots of time thinking about things like print vs. digital pricing and the survival of traditional publishing models. If you’re a writer or a reader, you’ll want to check out Keith Gessen’s excellent piece in Vanity Fair about Amazon, ebooks, publishers, and what it all means for our literary future.

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Best books to inspire struggling writers


The outline for my maybe-one day-novel that has lived as only an outline for a year now.

Happy NaNoWriMo! If you’re stuck for ideas or trolling the internet to get a break from the feverish pace of your typing, here’s a list of books about writers just like you.

[Ed. note: After composing this list I found I had chosen books about male writers who are jerks. If you are not a male and a jerk please don’t take any offence that I said these were writers just like you.]

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