Best reads of the year, 2014 edition!

It’s time for Alison’s Best Reads of the Year Awards!

The rules are as follows:

1) I must have read these books for the first time in 2014, though they don’t need to have been published in 2014.

2) Books I read as ARCs or manuscripts prior to 2014 do not count, even if they came out in 2014. Sorry, critique partners!

3) Books are listed in no particular order.

4) I am not allowed to choose more than five books per category, but I can choose fewer.

5) Books may receive more than one award.

Here we go! [Read more…]

2014 book-buying and reading stats!

Friends! It’s that time of the year when I remind you how completely neurotic I am!

Ever year, I keep a color-coded spreadsheet of all the books I buy and all the books I read. Why do I do this? I really have no idea, except that it’s bizarrely satisfying to me. I can’t keep my closet or my files organized to save my life, but there’s something about all those little rows of data that warms my weird heart.

And what’s better than neurotic oddness besides SHARING your neurotic oddness? (Nothing. The answer is nothing.) Therefore, behold, my book-buying and reading statistics for 2014!

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The Ten Most Bizarre Reality Shows of All Time

While I was writing my For Real, I had to think up concepts for eleven fake reality shows. (Some of my favorites: TwinCognito, in which twins switch lives and attempt to fool their friends and coworkers; Catwalk, the definitive pet fashion show; and Speed Breed, in which young women race to become pregnant.) Since I didn’t want to accidentally mock any real shows, I had to extensively research what had actually aired during reality television’s long and storied history. It’s a good thing I looked—one of my original fake shows, which involved a family fighting over someone’s estate, was indeed the concept for a real show.

Here, for your viewing pleasure (or, you know, sheer horror,) are the ten most absurd reality shows I came across in my research. These are all real, I promise. [Read more…]

What’s Making Me Happy This Week, fourth edition

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a What’s Making Me Happy This Week—the world has been so weird and sad and incomprehensible lately that all I’ve wanted to do is bang my head against the wall and yell, “OMG, NEWS, WHY MUST YOU SUCK SO MUCH?” But this is the week FOR REAL became a real book people can actually BUY, which is extremely happy-making, so it seems like a good time to get back on track. Here are some other things that have been making me happy these past few weeks:

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Eight (more) things I’ve learned about publishing since I got published

Last year, right after RED came out, I wrote this post about the nine things I wish I’d known about publishing before I got published. I stumbled across it the other day, and I still stand by everything I said then. But I’ve had all kinds of new experiences during this past year in the trenches, and it turns out I might be the teeniest bit wiser now than I was last November. So here are eight more things I’ve learned about publishing since I became a published author.

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