Miscellany Bonanza: Starring a Ridiculous Picture of My Dog in a Hat

“My Dog in a Hat”

Also, a nifty feature in the Chicago Tribune where a reader reviews The Hole We’re In.

And finally, an agreeably prickly quote on criticism from Graydon Carter in the NY Times Book Review‘s review of Martin Amis’s new novel:

“Writing, remember, is the only art in which the creator is publicly judged by people who do precisely the same thing, but as a rule less well.”*

*I assume this may be a reference to a different quote that was in Martin Amis’s memoir, Experience. Graphic dentistry passages notwithstanding, Experience is one of my favorite books about writing. The pencil mark is someone else’s and should be ignored. I had scanned this quote years ago to e-mail to a despondent writer friend, which is why I happen to have it around.

blatant self-promotion #5: Entertainment Weekly Smackdown Edition

The Hole We’re In comes in at a solid #8 on last week’s Entertainment Weekly Must List. That’s just below Season Ten of MTV’s True Life (#7) and well below both A Behanding in Spokane (#5) and the Gibson Guitar app for iPhone (a devastatingly heady #2). On the other hand, that’s two above Southland (#10). Take that, Southland. My paperback original will destroy you.


blatant self-promotion #4: ew, o, my mom’s cake, and a reading group guide

The Hole We’re In, my new book for adults comes out this week, and frequent visitors to my website will already know what that means. It’s time for my mom to bake a new book cover cake. That’s cream cheese frosting on a moist carrot cake base, and it was completely delicious.
It also means that the reviews have started to come in:
An awfully nice one in this Friday’s Entertainment Weekly. The last time I was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly I got a B-; this time, an A-. All my studying has really started to pay off, I tell you.
An equally flattering one in this month’s O, the Oprah Magazine, where The Hole We’re In was named a “book to watch” for March.* You can also find a fairly comprehensive reading group guide there if you’re considering The Hole We’re In for your book club.**

*The O review refers to me as a “former young adult author.” Several readers have written to ask me if this means that I am giving up writing YA. I’m not. My next book will be for young adults, and I hope it will be out some time next year. In the mean time, if you’re looking for something for younger readers, why not read my pal, Lisa Greenwald’s book, My Life in Pink and Green? It’s an excellent and timely middle grade novel about a plucky 12-year-old who finds creative solutions to deal with the immediate impacts of the recession on her family’s pharmacy. I read it last year, and it really stayed with me.

**I’ve broken down my feelings about the appropriate reading age for The Hole We’re In here.