Monday, November 30, 2009

New York Times' Reviewers' Top 10 Lists

The venerable (or whatever word you choose) New York Times asked its reviewers to list their top 10 books for the year. Here's a quick look.

Michiko Kakutani's Top 10
Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image, By Michael Caser
The Good Soldiers, By David Finkel
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, By David Grann
Lit: A Memoir, By Mary Karr
True Compass: A Memoir, By Edward Kennedy
A Gate at The Stairs, By Lorrie Moore
Lark and Termite, By Jayne Anne Phillips
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, By Terry Teachout
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, By Wells Tower
In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic, By David Wessel

Janet Maslin's Top 10
The Age of Wonder, By Richard Holmes
Await Your Reply, By Dan Chaon
The Cradle, By Patrick Somerville
How It Ended, By Jay McInerney
The Imperial Cruise, By James Bradley
The Lineup, Edited by Otto Penzler
Lords of Finance, By Liaquat Aha med
Passing Strange, By Martha A. Sandweiss
Under the Dome, By Stephen King
Zero at the Bone, By John Heidenry

Dwight Garner's Top 10
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, By Rebecca Solnit
Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, By Michael Norman and Elizabeth Norman
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, By Novella Carpenter
When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood, By Said Sayrafiezadeh
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, By T.J. Stiles
Family Properties: Race, Real Estate and the Exploitation of Black Urban America, By Beryl Satter
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, By Richard Wrangham
Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee, By Chloe Hopper
Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places, By Bill Streever
Lords of the Sea, By John R. Hale


Copyright 2009 AmSAW

Monday, November 23, 2009

AmSAW's "Writer for Hire" Unites Writers and Clients for Free

At the American Society of Authors and Writers, we're devoted to helping our Professional Members find new venues for their writing. New PAYING venues. That's how writers earn a living, from writing.

With that in mind, we're delighted to announce a brand new program that painlessly unites writers with those in need of their talents.

Writer for Hire showcases professional freelance writers before thousands of editors, publishers, business executives, and professionals in search of writers for their most pressing projects. As an independent contractor for hire, our Professional Writer Members maintain complete control of all negotiations, and THEY keep all proceeds. It's free for everyone--writers and clients alike.

Want to learn more? Check out a Sample Listing.

Are you a writer who is not yet a Professional Member of AmSAW? Join Today so that we can begin promoting you and your work soon!


Copyright 2009 AmSAW

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grand Central Editors: What They Like

My agent handed me a copy of Grand Central Publishing's latest GCP at a Glance brochure, and I found some interesting reading in it. For starters, the profile of their editors is very revealing, not only about what they like and look for in a new book, but also about what we can assume many editors are searching for.

Want a peek? Here you go.

Executive Veep and Publisher Jamie Raab says she's drawn to "...thrillers that truly terrify me, love stories that move me deeply, books of humor that make me laugh all the way through and political books (all sides of the spectrum) that ignite my outrage. I love books with strong storylines and distinctive voices..."

Editor-in-Chief Deb Futter, in talking about what she's been acquiring lately and why: "...all of these books have one thing in common: a strong pull on my emotions--which comes out either as laughter or tears."

Veep and Twelve imprint Publisher Jonathan Karp says, "Ultimately, great storytelling is what matters most, along with authority and the kind of obsession that can only come from writers who are truly passionate about their subjects."

Executive Editor Caryn Karmatz Rudy, editorial director of the company's 5 Spot imprant, likes "...fresh, original voices in fiction and nonfiction for smart women."

Mitch Hoffman, Executive Editor, says, "...what I look for above all else are great storytellers--writers who entertain us, who inform us, and inspire us."

Senior Editor Karen Kosztolnyik is on the prowl for " intriguing voice, great storytelling, and a rollercoaster of emotion."

Associate Editor Michele Bidelspach wants "...fiction with a strong voice, unforgettable characters, and a great hook: think Emily Griffin, Jodi Picoult, and Jane Green."

Well, I think you get the point. After condensing these editors into a single palatable bite-sized package, what you come up with is simple: Strong Literary Voice. Great Storytelling. Passionate Writing.

And if you narrow these elements down to the single most commonly mentioned and sought-after element, you can't help but come up with "strong literary voice."

How's your own literary voice these days? If you're not sure, you'd better think about strengthening it. To find out more, check out AmSAW's "Writing Right," a complete compendium on how to write better, how to write more successfully, and how to get what you write published. All for gratis.

Fair enough?


Copyright 2009 AmSAW

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Sound of Freedom Falling

And from our Holy Cow, What's Happening to Our Freedom of the Press department:

An anonymous Democratic consultant claims in an L. A. Times, article to have received a call from the White House after making an appearance on Fox News. The friendly advice: Don't do it again!

The caller, according to the recipient, had an “intimidating tone” and a clear meaning. White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, denying any involvement with such calls, says her staff has "encouraged people to appear on Fox." However, former Carter pollster Patrick Caddell—a Fox News contributor—said he had talked to Democratic consultants who claim the White House had warned them too. He refused to name names.

Now my question is this. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, is it really only a Democrat dressed up like a duck? And, if so, why is the White House so paranoid about the people having access to all points of view, including the truth? Isn't that the real purpose of the press--to disseminate the truth so that others may reach studied conclusions?

This country was founded upon two major principles: Freedom of Religion and Freedom of the Press. Without either one, we would have no freedoms at all. Think about it. And let us hear from you!


Copyright 2009 AmSAW