headphones on books

How to Choose an Audiobook

The holidays are upon us (almost), and that means it’s time for long drives to visit family, long airport visits, long train trips … well, you get it. I like to read when I’m in the airport or on a train, but not even I have figured out how to […]

Time Travel Done Right: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Sometimes, I hear about a good book because it’s popular — all the bookish accounts I follow on Instagram are posting about it, it’s on the New York Times Bestseller list, and I get an advanced reader copy in the mail. And sometimes nobody’s talking about a book, but I’m […]

books and tea on a tray

How to Start a Weekend Reading Practice

There are lots of good reasons for wanting to incorporate reading into your weekends — it’s a way to relax while actually learning something (and yes, we learn from fiction, too — we develop empathy from putting ourselves in the place of others, and we learn creativity by using our […]

book with coffee

Reading Isn’t What It Used to Be — It’s Harder

Isn’t it lovely to imagine curling up with a book? And isn’t it difficult to actually do it? As a book person (book reviewer, former bookstore owner, etc.), I’m probably not supposed to admit that actually reading a book is anything less than a perfect experience of being magically transported […]

writer desk top with keyboard coffee and toys

My Favorite Authors to Follow on Instagram in 2017

One of the warnings against self-publishing is that all the marketing for your book will be on your shoulders. I agree, but only kind of. If you’re a successful self publisher, you’ll be doing a lot of marketing. But if you publish the traditional way, you’ll … also be doing […]

everybody hates self publishing sticker

Everybody Hates Self-Publishing (but Everybody Loves Podcasts! I Hope!)

We live in a time when anyone who has a blog or a YouTube channel can be a publisher. If you have an idea and the urge to create, your concept can be in front of anyone with an internet connection in seconds. To paraphrase (sometimes self-published) author Charles Dickens, […]

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Southern Living’s Best Books of 2016: My Favorites

Writing a year-end best-of list is kind of a love-hate assignment for me. I love it because, well, it’s a list of books, and that’s fun to write. But it’s also daunting, because I’m scared I’ll miss something great (which I’m sure I have), and I might even include something […]

Netflix, Step Aside: September Is for Reading Books

I’m a person who enjoys personal challenges. That means I might decide only to buy from locally owned stores for a year, or I might have a contest with a friend to see who can spend the least money in three months, or I might decide to organize my home […]

Is the New Harry Potter a Play or a Book? Who Cares! It’s Wonderful

Yesterday, J.K. Rowling released Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new Harry Potter story, and the world — including me — was skeptical. Instead of writing a new novel (the profits of which undoubtedly would’ve allowed her to buy a couple of castles or maybe a small country), she […]

How to Choose a Book for Vacation

It’s hard to find time to read. We have about a million other things vying for our attention, and those things tend to beep and chirp and tweet whenever they don’t get it. I get paid to read stuff (I’m a book reviewer, and I used to be a bookseller), […]