Critical Linking for December 7th, 2015


This has been a year of social progress, detestable violence, and technological achievement. Created by some of the finest minds alive today, these books help us understand what is going on in the world, and where we’re all heading.

Picking a list of 9 Books That Defined 2015 is an impossible task, but even the attempt is revealing.


A full three-quarters of authors are not asked for feedback by their publishers. That proportion is essentially the same if we look at authors publishing with a major publisher, or authors on large advances (defined for the purposes of this post as any advance of $30,000 or more.) British publishers were a little less likely to invite feedback than American ones, but only somewhat and within a plausible margin of error.

Authors seem to respect publishers’ ability to make good books, but not their ability to sell them. 


Copies of the first eleven letters are at Indiana University’s Lilly Library, but there are scores more, still in the Vonnegut family’s private possession. Jane Vonnegut was the family archivist, and while Kurt’s letters have been preserved, hers have not. But even hearing just Kurt’s side of the conversation gives a sense of how it went. Jane knew what her husband should do with his life: he should write. And she seems to have made it her first mission as his spouse to convince him of that.

It seems we all owe Jane Vonnegut an enormous debt of gratitude.


Nearly 25 years later, the two have reunited to collaborate on Mr. Lamb’s sixth novel, “I’ll Take You There,” which is being released next year exclusively as a digital app by Metabook, a new e-book publishing company for which Mr. Siman is the co-founder and publisher.

Interesting. Sounds like this book app will sort of be an ebook with a bunch of bonus features, sort of like a special edition Blu-Ray or something.

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