Welcome to the final Top Picks Thursday of October! It’s getting spooky out there as Halloween approaches—stay safe and we hope you get lots of candy.
First-hand reporting dominates the Baillie Gifford award shortlist.
Check out the stunning newly renovated Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library—and its book train.
Sometimes we want to shelter kids from things that are scary. Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska discusses the link between fairy tales and the necessity of fear.
A new study shows a depressing truth about boys and books: they read less and skip pages.
Author Joe McGee urges people not to build walls around books.
A momentous effort to preserve our knowledge for future generations is underway. The world’s knowledge is being buried in a salt mine.
Series are big sellers these days. Jami Gold explores how much we need to plan ahead when writing a series.
Compelling characters keep readers turning the pages. Jon Burgerman shares 20 top character design tips, while Michael Mammy reminds us of the importance of character arc in driving reader interest.
Chuck Wendig discusses 5 storytelling lessons gleaned from Hamilton’s America.
In the world of e-publishing today, making changes to an already published story is simple. Jami Gold examines when making changes to a published story is acceptable and when it has gone too far.
Some writers take the metaphor of “writing a novel is a marathon” a little too literally. Tee Morris shares 5 things learned about a writing career while running a half-marathon, and James J. Murray contrasts writing vs. running.
Writers should also be readers, but sometimes we hit a period where nothing appeals to us as readers. Roni Loren gives some tips on how to break out of a reading slump.
One of the great advantages to living in the age of the internet is that writers can learn directly from the greatest writers of our times. Julie Phillips interviews the fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin.
A great title and a great cover can sell your book. Anne R. Allen has 10 tips to choose the right title, Jane Lebak discusses choosing a good title, and Joshua Jaden shares 9 tips to building the cover design that you want.
If you go with traditional publishing, you want an agent. Agent Janet Reid explains how to approach an agent who made you an offer after you signed with another agent who you now parted ways with. If you are querying, take a look at these newer agents: Janna Bonikowski of The Knight Agency and Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content.
There are so many ideas on how to best market your book, but Roz Morris explores how she actually discovers the books she buys and how an author can leverage that. A solid book excerpt is a good marketing tool, so Susan Leigh Noble lists 6 tips for selecting a book excerpt.
Social media is a huge channel for writers to connect with their readers. Chris Syme advises on how to run a short-term social media campaign, and Stephanie Scott tells us how to effectively use Instagram in 10 minutes a day.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
Jeff MacGregor tells the story of when Curious George escaped the Nazis.
Kim Todd explores the world of “girl stunt reporters”—female reporters who went undercover to get the most important scoops of their day.
Read The Wide Sargasso Sea—the book that changed Jane Eyre forever.
Speaking of the Brontë sisters, peruse Emily Brontë’s diary entries about her home life.
New Tolkein book alert! Check out the upcoming Tolkein book, Beren and Lúthien.
Loretta Chase delves into the clothing of Mr. Darcy (and other men of his time).
Newly discovered letters bring new insight into the life of a Civil War soldier.
Read letters from the Lafayette family digitized as the Lafayette Manuscripts Collection in the digital collections from the Washington Library.
Although we five chroniclers don’t live close to each other, we do live in the same region — southern and central New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania — and we’re going to show our support for libraries by concluding with a photo of a local library for the next several weeks (until we run out of them!) This week, we’ll give a shout out to the Bordentown Library in Bordentown, NJ.
That’s it for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you next week for the first Top Picks of November! Happy Trick or Treating!