Monday, July 14, 2008


OK, it’s been a little more than a week. And this post is not about public speaking, as I’d previously promised. Mice and men and gang agley and all that. It’s summer. Go with it.

The ins and outs of public speaking will be coming soon. But first, Melissa Marsh of Grosvenor Square has nominated me for a Blogging Excellence Award. I’m flattered, and really don’t think I deserve it. But—never one to turn down a pat on the back—I’ll take it!

Here are blogs that I nominate in turn:

Smart Bitches Trashy Books. I’m not currently a romance reader, although I’ve devoured a few in my day. But this blog is on my daily rounds, because these gals dish it up straight and are hilariously funny to boot. In addition to reviewing romance novels, they provide insights on pop culture, snarky analysis of romance covers (Warnings: Has Profanity. Not Work Safe. Do Not Read While Drinking a Beverage or You’ll Be Replacing Your Keyboard), and even, when warranted, investigative journalism into plagiarism and the mating habits of the black-footed ferret.

Pub Rants. Written by Kristen Nelson, a very nice woman who happens to be an up-and-coming literary agent. Her daily (or rather, nightly) take on the business of publishing is a must-read. Other literary agents’ blogs that are top of the heap: Nathan Bransford and BookEnds Literary Agency.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. J.A. Konrath is a mystery writer, and no, I don’t read mysteries, either. But if you want to read about book promotion from an author who’s dived in feet-first and not yet come up for air, this blog is it. Konrath is the inexhaustible king of self-promotion, and he doesn’t just talk about it. He does it, and invites his readers along for the ride, whether he’s figuring out how to get on the conference circuit or engaging in a three-month, cross-country quest to personally visit 500 bookstores. He dispenses tons of information, his opinions are strong, the comment threads can go from fawning to contentious in the blink of an eye—all ingredients for great blogging.

barista brat. I don’t even remember how I discovered barista brat, but I’m a devotee. As a longtime Starbucks employee, her take on the world of the green apron is often amused, sometimes annoyed, occasionally bitter—but always fresh. On hiatus for three months, she’s back at last. If you’ve ever worked (or you currently do) in a service profession, and you’ve ever longed for karmic justice to be dispensed on an unpardonably rude customer, you must read this post.

The Heart of the Matter. Barry Eisler has been a lot of things: a corporate executive, an attorney, a covert something in the CIA (what exactly isn’t clear from his bio—I imagine that’s the covert part) and a writer. He’s the author of the John Rain series of thrillers (um, no…I don’t read thrillers, either. Stop asking me) but his blog is not book- or publishing-related. It’s about politics, and far from the ever-popular pasttime of slinging insults and reducing complex issues to soundbites, his blog posts are well-reasoned and insightful. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m always interested in what he has to say.

Up next: public speaking. Pinky swear, I promise.

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