The job of being a mother (and make no mistake, it is hard labour, even if no-one pays you to do it) is pretty compatible with writing, as long as you let your standards of cleanliness and decency slide.
Our witty friend and best-selling essayist Sloane Crosley—who recently released her first novel, The Clasp—knows a thing (or six) about reading for fun. Here, her tips for making sure your well-intentioned plan to hang with friends, eat some cheese, and, yes, read a few books doesn’t become the thing you feign illness to avoid (including one tip we thought we’d never hear from a writer).
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever believed? Because James Renner’s “blasphemous, riveting, insane, and glorious” (Andy Howell, astrophysicist) conspiracy thriller The Great Forgetting might just have something to top it. We were quite excited to get the chance to ask James about the books and experiences that have shaped him into the writer he is today.
It was a great pleasure to get to bend the ear of sophomore novelist Karen Olsson for her new book, All the Houses. From the unique pleasures of longform to the exact ratio of stick-to-itiveness and megalomania necessary for writing, Karen had a lot of intriguing things to say!
In A House in St. John’s Wood, Matthew drew on unpublished letters and diaries, family keepsakes, and his remembrances to give his own account of a family in the midst of its own cold war. We asked him about the interaction of fact and memory, and the challenge of recreating his parents as characters in a memoir.
In June of 1961, A.E. Hotchner visited an old friend in the psychiatric ward of St. Mary’s Hospital. Ernest Hemingway had just undergone a second round of electroshock treatment at the Mayo Clinic and was suicidal and paranoid, convinced that his rooms were bugged and movements recorded. It would be the last time they ever spoke.
As Daydreams of Angels lands on our fair U.S. shores, Heather O’Neill was kind enough to powwow with us here at Book Keeping. From the construction of invisible cities to the farthest reaches of her memory, Heather shares some of the reasons she got into the writing business in the first place.
Sloane Crosley’s “signature wit is sharp as ever” in The Clasp, her debut novel. From carrot forests to Maupassantian necklaces, Sloane shares the genesis of her reading and writing.
My ideal reader is anybody who also feels that reading fiction has saved her life, who believes there is no greater pleasure than falling into a world of somebody else’s creation, and that reading fiction is an important pathway to empathy for others.
Wilberforce, H. S. Cross’s stunning debut novel, is out this week. In celebration we were only too glad to pick her brain. See her dig into the literary archaeology of the school story, and even produce the very first yarn she ever finished solo—from second grade, no less!
We loved hearing from professional voiceover actor James Sie about the experience of recording the audio book of his debut novel, Still Life Las Vegas, and are just as excited today to be able to share these stories from his life in reading! If you’ve been looking for recommendations, James has you covered.
The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty is an exciting new entry on the life and letters of Joan Didion, a writer celebrated as one of the foremost voices of her generation.
Debut novelist Jennine Capó Crucet shares her most recent recommendations, the nuance between fact and fiction, and the childhood dream-theft of a tomato that (arguably) set her on the path to writing.
As airport layovers go, not many end up producing brilliant novels. Yet novelist and poet Jane Urquhart can recall the exact four hours in lonely Gander Airport 25 years ago—the revelatory Lochhead mural, the chance copy of a Simone de Beauvoir biography stuffed into her purse—that seeded the material for The Night Stages.
“There are voices you listen to, but they’re all in your own head.” James Sie, veteran voiceover actor, discusses the surreal but joyous experience of recording the audiobook for his debut novel, Still Life Las Vegas.
In today’s Book Keeping, we set sail with novelist Naomi J. Williams, who turns out to be as voracious a reader as she is a talented writer. Naomi’s debut, Landfalls, is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of the high seas, scientific exploration, human tragedy, and the world on the cusp of the modern era.
Jane Urquhart’s newest novel is The Night Stages, an elegiac work of unusual depth. She was kind enough to spend some time indoors from the beautiful Canadian summer to answer a few questions about her life and love of reading.
Whether these books are meant for the beach, the book club, or the bathtub, these writers will knock your socks off. We will be giving away five sets of five novels from the cream of our crop, and our winners can spend the summer in the capable hands of Katherine Taylor, Robyn Cadwallader, Lisa Gornick, Laura van den Berg, and Sophie McManus.
Benjamin Johncock, author of The Last Pilot, tells us about the love of reading he’s taken with him every step of the way to the publication of his first novel.