How to Read for an Audience

How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience

Reading your writing in public can be daunting, but the audience is your ally. Keep them engaged with these planning tips from public speaking coach James Nave and workshop leader Allegra Huston, co-authors of How to Read for an Audience: The Stuff Nobody Teaches You.
Vintage lady reading

The Future of Reading: The Syllabus

I recently received the following request from a friend & former classmate: Can you suggest a few key / huge
© The fantastic Tom Gauld

Why Isn’t Literary Fiction Getting More Attention?

Today's guest post is from April Line, a freelance writer and writing teacher. Read her previous guest post for this
Jane Reading on Her Kindle

12 Must-Read Articles From 2011

Here are the most brilliant online articles I read this past year. You may not agree with the arguments you'll
Reading Notebook #33: Enlightenment (and Love) Taste of Freedom

Reading Notebook #33: Enlightenment (and Love) Taste of Freedom

From "How to Know It's Real Love" by Martha Beck, in Oprah magazine. Buddha once said that just as we
Reading Notebook #32: Happiness Is About How We Intertwine

Reading Notebook #32: Happiness Is About How We Intertwine

From "Social Animal" by David Brooks (The New Yorker, January 17, 2011) I guess I used to think of myself
Reading Notebook #31: A Writer's Appetite for Fame

Reading Notebook #31: A Writer’s Appetite for Fame

From "Writing and Winning" by Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker (October 18, 2010). Click here to read the full piece.
Reading Notebook #30: Existential Reasons for Procrastination

Reading Notebook #30: Existential Reasons for Procrastination

From "Later" by James Surowiecki, The New Yorker (October 11, 2010). Click here to read the full article online. But
Reading Notebook #29: When the Author Became More Important Than the Publisher

Reading Notebook #29: When the Author Became More Important Than the Publisher

From "Talent Grab" by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker (October 11, 2010) … a parallel revolution was taking place in
Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #28: Happiness Without Close Relationships

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: Many fortunate people do make intimate relationships which continue until death, and which constitute their major
Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #27: What to Do When Your Existence May Need to Be Reappraised

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes of mental attitude are
C.G. Jung

Reading Notebook #26: Difficulties Are Necessary for Health

From C.G. Jung's The Transcendant Function: Collected Works: The new attitude gained in the course of analysis tends sooner or
C.G. Jung

Reading Notebook #25: Accepting the Positive and the Negative

From an essay by C.G. Jung, where he quotes a patient: Out of evil, much good has come to me.
Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #24: Our Life at the Office Is (In Fact) Important

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: Human beings need a sense of being part of a larger community than that constituted
The Man Without Qualities

Reading Notebook #23: Why Things Are the Way They Are

From The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil: "At this moment he wished to be a man without qualities. But
Reading Notebook #22: Love, Grief, & Letting Go

Reading Notebook #22: Love, Grief, & Letting Go

From "A Cruel Country" [excerpts from Roland Barthes' journals after his mother's death] in The New Yorker (September 13, 2010):
The Way of Zen

Reading Notebook #21: I Am Fleeting and Intangible

From The Way of Zen by Alan Watts (which I find myself re-reading and re-reading for fuller comprehension): We learn, very
The Way of Zen

Reading Notebook #20: Humanness Is Superior to Righteousness

From The Way of Zen by Alan Watts: It was a basic Confucian principle that "it is man who makes truth
Reading Notebook #19: Death As Liberation

Reading Notebook #19: Death As Liberation

From "Letting Go" by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker (August 2, 2010): Almost all these patients had known, for
Reading Notebook #18: There's More Bad Writing Than Ever

Reading Notebook #18: There’s More Bad Writing Than Ever

From an interview with Clay Shirky over at the Barnes and Noble Review: I’ve always adopted the Bill Burroughs mantra,
Here Comes Everybody

Reading Notebook #17: Technology Brings Author Empowerment—Yet A New Struggle to Surpass Average

As I was reading Chapter 4 of Here Comes Everybody, I was struck at how Shirky's description of the power
Reading Notebook #16: Life Interferes With Work & Vice Versa

Reading Notebook #16: Life Interferes With Work & Vice Versa

From Bill Murray interview in Entertainment Weekly (via TerryStarbucker.com): “I just really want to work when I want to work.
B&W and Red All Over

Do Pain and Struggle Constitute a Fundamental Part of Love?

Artwork by Tonia Davenport—from her wonderful series "B&W and Red All Over" A while back, I read this relationship break-up anecdote
Reading Notebook #15: Americans Don't Like to Listen

Reading Notebook #15: Americans Don’t Like to Listen

From a phenomenal personal essay: "Go West" by Peter Hessler in The New Yorker (April 19, 2010). Note: All of
Kindle vs iPad

Reading Notebook #14: Best Coverage of Publishing’s Current Dilemma

Snippets from "Publish or Perish" by Ken Auletta (New Yorker, April 26, 2010). You MUST go read the full article.
Six Feet Under

Reading Notebook #13: What Makes You Happy Comes From the Inside

This is taken from a Salon interview with Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under—my most favorite TV series, with
Reading Notebook #12: Existential Angst at Work

Reading Notebook #12: Existential Angst at Work

From Kenny Moore's blog post, "Losing Your Job? Psychological, Spiritual & Practical Advice." This is the most meaningful discussion I
Reading Notebook #11: The Source of (My) Anxiety

Reading Notebook #11: The Source of (My) Anxiety

Transcribed from Examined Life (Zeitgeist Films), the words of Avital Ronnell. If we're not anxious, if we're okay with things,
Committed

Reading Notebook #10: How to Destroy a Relationship

From the marvelous Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Committed: There is nothing wrong with a married person launching a friendship
The Story of Your Life IS Your Life

The Story of Your Life IS Your Life

On my Facebook profile, I state my religious beliefs as "The story of your life becomes your life." After my
Jane - 1997 in Cambridge - maudlin and idealistic youth

You Are Bad at Making Yourself Happy

My job as Writer's Digest publisher often leads people to remark what a great life I have. So young, so
Reading Notebook #9: The Loss of Dreams

Reading Notebook #9: The Loss of Dreams

From "Slow Fade" by Arthur Krystal, about F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood (The New Yorker, November 26, 2009) Fitzgerald's scripts
Reading Notebook #8: Another Secret to Success Is Confidence

Reading Notebook #8: Another Secret to Success Is Confidence

From "Beyond the Elevator Speech" by Michael Carroll, Shambhala Sun (March 2010) My survey indicates that most of us think we want
Reading Notebook #7: The Secret of Successful People (at Work)

Reading Notebook #7: The Secret of Successful People (at Work)

From "We Can Measure the Power of Charisma", Q&A with Alex Pentland, Harvard Business Review (Jan-Feb 2010); read full article at
Avatar

Reading Notebook #6: Why the World Needs More Women Directors (Like Ephron & Taymor)

From "Man of Extremes", a profile of James Cameron by Dana Goodyear, in The New Yorker (October 26, 2009) Cameron
Patterns

Reading Notebook #5: Life Patterns & Something Out There

From "The Secret Cycle" by Nick Paumgarten, in The New Yorker (October 12, 2009) And yet patterns exist, and we
12 Actions and 12 Diversions

12 Self-Creating Actions and 12 Preoccupational Diversions

[Click here for full-size image.] On the last page of my 2009 Museum of Lost Wonder calendar, I found the
Amelia Earhart

Reading Notebook #4: Not to Endure Even an Attractive Cage

From the New Yorker article on Amelia Earhart by Judith Thurman (September 14, 2009) [From Earhart's letter to her husband
Michel de Montaigne

Reading Notebook #3: I Distrust My Thoughts

Snippets from "The Life and Essays of Michel de Montaigne" by Jane Kramer, in the September 7, 2009, issue of
Art of Possibility

Reading Notebook #2: Invent a Story That Enhances Your Life

Snippets from The Art of Possibility by Benjamin & Rosamund Zander.(See a really cool TED talk by Benjamin Zander.) It's
Reading Notebook #1: You Can Write Well & Behave Badly

Reading Notebook #1: You Can Write Well & Behave Badly

From "Slang-Whanger" by Arthur Krystal in New Yorker (May 18, 2009) We don't for a moment believe that Hazlitt is