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This Week Was Lit! Weekly Roundup: November 16-22

Coming ‘atcha with your Friday roundup of literary haps on the web!

Well this is exciting. I was introduced to the Tournament of Books, literary brainchild of The Morning Newsby a super rad gal, my Bookstagram bud Jess, aka @armyofwords, and I am very stoked about it.

The ToB begins with this here 2019 Longlist of SEVENTY-SIX books competing in month-long battle toward a shortlist of sixteen, to be released in January 2019.


I love their approach to these anti-award awards, described by the folks on the site as “a conversation about novels and reading and art,” more so than an actual competition.

They’ve made a handy-dandy spreadsheet for maximum nerding out, and there is a very large and active discussion board on Goodreads to build community as the festivities progress. There are a whole bunch of books here already on my to-read list, a good handful of those I’ve already had the pleasure of reading, and lots that I hadn’t heard of and am very excited to have been introduced to. Of THAT list, I’ve already picked up and read So Lucky by Nicola Griffith, which was a moving autobiographical novel giving voice to an under-represented community of the differently-abled.

A few of the books I’m most stoked about are Milkman, Blue Self-Portrait, The Italian Teacher, The Friend, My Sister the Serial Killer, and The Immortalists, among a slew of others. Super looking forward to following along with the tournament, and urge you to check it out and see what the totally legit hype is all about.


Next up is an article I am over the moon about. The topic was one I had JUST planned on researching and writing about myself, so it felt rather serendipitous to come across at this particular moment. Lit Hub has graced us with a list of 20 Debut Works of Fiction by Women Over 40

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I think this repesentation is so important in a literary machine that, in true societally ageist fashion, so often gives all the hype and recognition to the young, as if they are the only writers deserving of the up-and-coming distinction. How many lists are out there in the 30-under-30 vein, and why are they so over-represented? For those of us writers who are not in the under 30 crowd, this can be very discouraging. In a world where women are rendered practically invisible after 35, articles like these are much needed.


As I am currently reading The Lonely City by Olivia Laing, and just loving it so very much, I’m sharing this throwback article I recently came upon from Brain Pickings by Maria Popova: The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone.

the lonely city

“Loneliness is difficult to confess; difficult too to categorise. Like depression, a state with which it often intersects, it can run deep in the fabric of a person.”


It is a beautiful and insightful look into Laing’s book and the themes of what it means to be lonely.

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Anddd… as you’ve probably heard, the National Book Award winners were announced this week, and there are some exciting picks for the “Academy Award of books!” The book folks at Bustle put together a little roundup here of the five winners here in The 2018 National Book Awards Winners Represent The Best Literature Of The Year for our perusal 

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The categories were Translated Literature, Young People’s Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction, and all five winners were people of color. This list here also lists the finalists (including one of my fav books of the year, Florida by Lauren Groff).

Of these, I am most excited to read The Friend by Sigrid Nunez, winner of the Fiction award. I tried ordering it this week, and it was sold out EVERYWHERE! 😥 So, on it goes to my January TBR, which will be an awesome way to ring in the new year!

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