I’m heavily into my submissions pile right now. Between the approaching hurricane and the approaching holiday weekend, things in the New York publishing world are a little bit quiet at the moment, and I’m taking advantage to try and clear out my inbox. So it’s safe to say that my weekend reading plans revolve primarily around unpublished materials, though if I can find time and energy to steal from that particular project, I might stick my nose into a book with a cover. Not certain what yet; something from one of the teetering to-read piles littering my apartment. I’ve promised myself personal reading time over Labor Day, however, so there’s less sense of urgency than there is regarding the submissions.
“Caught up” is something of a mythical state of being for an agent. The reality is that you can only find yourself somewhat less behind, with fewer manuscripts awaiting your immediate attention. They never all go away. I suppose if I stopped taking submissions for a period of time and just read what I have right now, I could technically get to the bottom of the pile, but that’s never going to happen. Why would I risk missing out on something fabulous that a writer is off polishing right this very minute? The goal is to discover those fabulous works, the next talented writer, and so I continue to accept submissions, anything that sounds like it will push my buttons–like it might be the next manuscript to keep me glued to my seat for an entire day, unable to stop reading.
So that’s what I’m reading this weekend. Partial and full manuscripts, with my fingers crossed. But I do have some links for you, some fun things you might like to check out or read, ranging from whimsy to food for thought. Enjoy, and happy weekend! East coasters, stay safely out of the hurricane’s path, and those of you in my neck of the woods (heatwave central), stay cool!
Jorges Luis Borges Gets a Google Doodle – This made me smile. Google honored the author’s 112th birthday this week.
Revaluing the Book – A great interview with Richard Nash, former head of Soft Skull Press, who now heads up Cursor, the social media platform for writers, as well as its new imprint Red Lemonade.
Mapping London’s underground rivers – Just fun, but also a potentially useful research tool.
Shutting the Drawer: What Happens When a Book Doesn’t Sell? – A great essay from Edan Lepucki over at The Millions on how to handle it when your manuscript ends up back in that bottom drawer.
20 Celebrities with Stunning Home Libraries – I love this. I will say that my favorites are Nigella Lawson’s (whose book stacks looking shockingly similar to my own) and Keith Richards’s (I covet his lovely chaise).