Exploring the New Yorker’s Archives

July 23, 2014

Want to check out New Yorker archives? I do.
The New Yorker‘s archives are open to all for the next couple months. After that, the metered paywall goes up.


The French Do Buy Books. Real Books [A NY Times Op-ed piece]

July 13, 2014


I found this really interesting because I too love books, real books, and having to read them on a Kindle–because shipping would take too long or because I cannot find it locally–sometimes breaks my heart. That is despite my knowing books cost us trees, real trees and trees are more important for our survival on the planet.

Anyway, here’s a couple of paragraphs in Pamela Druckerman’s article:

What underlies France’s book laws isn’t just an economic position — it’s also a worldview. Quite simply, the French treat books as special. Some 70 percent of French people said they read at least one book last year; the average among French readers was 15 books. Readers say they trust books far more than any other medium, including newspapers and TV. The French government classifies books as an “essential good,” along with electricity, bread and water. (A French friend of mine runs a charity, Libraries Without Borders, which brings books to survivors of natural disasters.) “We don’t force French people to go to bookstores,” explains Vincent Montagne, head of the French Publishers Association. “They go to bookstores because they read.”


None of this is taken for granted. People here have thought for centuries about what makes a book industry vibrant, and are watching developments in Britain and America as cautionary tales. “We don’t sell potatoes,” says Mr. Moni. “There are also ideas in books. That’s what’s dangerous. Because the day that you have a large seller that sells 80 percent of books, he’s the one who will decide what’s published, or what won’t be published. That’s what scares me.”

If you love books, you should read the complete opinion piece, regardless of where you live in the world.


Find of the day (and year too!): The Visual Thesaurus

July 3, 2014

What a lovely discovery for a writer. Or for anyone learning or improving their English!

I would turn cartwheels at this find, but the two words I checked did it for me. Results are above.

Check it out : The Visual Thesaurus.


Infographic: What Makes the Perfect Blog Post

July 2, 2014

What makes the perfect blog post? An infographic for anyone who’s interested in blogging.

Visual Data Hub

blog post infographic

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How to write a great journal article – act like a fiction author

July 2, 2014

The Right to Write – A NYT article

July 2, 2014


Here’s how Roxana Robinson begins her article, The Right to Write, in New York Times:

I sat on a panel once with another novelist and a distinguished African-American critic, to discuss Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The critic said, “Of course, as a white woman, Stowe had no right to write the black experience.” The other novelist said lightly, “No, of course not. And I had no right to write about 14th-century Scandinavians. Which I did.”

The exchange made me wonder: who has the right to our stories?

She also goes on to ask:

Who owns the story, the person who lives it or the person who writes it?


This is how Robinson concludes her piece, and I could not agree more. 

A writer is like a tuning fork: We respond when we’re struck by something. The thing is to pay attention, to be ready for radical empathy. If we empty ourselves of ourselves we’ll be able to vibrate in synchrony with something deep and powerful. If we’re lucky we’ll transmit a strong pure note, one that isn’t ours, but which passes through us. If we’re lucky, it will be a note that reverberates and expands, one that other people will hear and understand.

You really should read the whole post.

Image credit: vistage.com.my


Want to become a better writer?

June 23, 2014
10 steps to becoming a better writer

10 steps to becoming a better writer