Sarah Vowell’s new book, Unfamiliar Fishes, is about the history of Hawaii. Be still my heart. A favorite topic of mine and I can’t wait to read her take on it. Kirkus talks to her about the book: “Most people picture this nonexistent, barely populated dream world of palm trees swaying in the breeze or something, instead of a real place with real people and problems, as well as an overwhelming number of military installations—the archipelago’s strategic location being the main reason the U.S. annexed Hawaii in the first place. Most of the time I was researching the book, the state was so broke that public schools were closed on Fridays. I mean, Hawaii is obviously a gorgeous place with nice weather, but it still exists in the objective reality of planet Earth.”
Sean Beaudoin at Cyn’s on noir: “I loved them all, especially the failures. I loved the effort. I loved the swing from cool detachment to sweaty desperation, deepest black to crisp grey. I’m a sucker for a hard-boiled line, a cleft chin, a pantyhosed gam. I am transported by a failed escape, suitcases full of loot broken open on the runway, dollar bills being sucked into the propeller and chopped into hammy metaphorical bits.”
The ever-wise Sarah Rees Brennan asks what kind of online promotion works best for people. Related: My lovely agent was interviewed about her dog Moxie (complete with adorably deliciously cute pictures!) on Bobbie Pyron’s blog today, as part of the promo for Pyron’s new book, A Dog’s Way Home. I like interviews about dogs online promo! Which is really a way of saying I like valuable content that isn’t a direct shill. I do not like endless discussion of the same exact thing or buy! buy! buy! (One or two buy!s are fine, though; we all gotta pay the bills.) But, like most successful things online, promotion works best when you’re adding something to this rich gift economy–so it’s more than just promotion. If your online promo feels like the awfulest work imaginable when you’re doing it, figure out what you could be doing that would make it fun and valuable instead. This increases the odds others will also find it valuable, and means it’s not wasted time no matter the return. Voila.