ARCHIVE FOR The Brookline Booksmith

Looking for 'The One': A Writer's Life in Kitchens

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Lydia McOscar of the Brookline Booksmith, a booklover's paradise that has called Brookline home since the 1950s, is teaming up with GrubStreet to curate a series of personal essays from debut authors about our fair city of Boston. First up is Louise Miller, a Novel Incubator Graduate who launched her debut novel, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, this summer at Brookline Booksmith. Here, she writes on baking, macrobiotics, and what "love at first sight" means to a chef.


A chef never forgets her first. Mine was a little bakery-café in Central Square, Cambridge. Two …

October 4, 2016 | The Brookline Booksmith


A Prophet's Handbook: Melissa Pritchard's A SOLEMN PLEASURE

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"We are in danger, I believe, of becoming accustomed to indifference, of being kept within writing workshops, conferences, and seminars where we write and read to a dwindling, closed circle of admirers

June 10, 2015 | The Brookline Booksmith

Books & Reading

Chasing Perfection in Samantha Harvey's DEAR THIEF

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I took my first-ever fiction workshop with an instructor who boiled the practice of literature down to "It's about this guy...". "What is Novel? What is Story?" he asked the class (as I'm sure every instructor has asked the raw, unspoiled minds of every beginner-level workshop from time immemorial). What is it, we were invited to consider, that we answer when asked what a book is about? "Character!" he capped his dry-erase marker and dropped the proverbial mic. "Character is your everything. The rest is icing on the cake. Why aren't you writing this down?"

February 24, 2015 | The Brookline Booksmith

Craft Advice

Writing a Breakthrough: Claudia Rankine's CITIZEN

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How does a writer or artist make their work accessible? "I couldn't get into it" rings as the most frequent damnation from book club circles everywhere. Rebecca Mead lampoons the increasingly prominent "scourge of relatability" in the New Yorker. The commercial audience demands it of their fiction and throws up their hands in despair of any and all poetry

January 29, 2015 | The Brookline Booksmith

Books & Reading

Small Press Book Club

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When a customer walks into the bookstore looking for a specific book, chances are they can tell me its title (maybe) and the color of the cover (definitely). Booksellers, by contrast, will always think of the author's last name and the publisher. Last names come to us automatically because that's how bookstores are organized - our brains are so alphabetically wired that we can navigate the fiction section blindfolded. But publishers stand out because they represent an artistic vision.
December 31, 2014 | The Brookline Booksmith

Books & Reading