Pure Fiction: Introducing ELLE.com’s New Blog, Lit Life
By Candice Rainey | February 1, 2010
There’s something insanely gratifying about your boss, upon hearing out a completely self-serving idea you came up with while trying to rinse the shampoo out of your hair in the shower, giving you the green light to execute said opportune idea on company time. That’s exactly what happened to me when I told ELLE’s editor-in-chief, Robbie Myers, about my concept for a different kind of book blog—a place where ELLE.com readers can geek out over blindlingy brilliant fiction but might also salivate over a beautifully designed book jacket or want to know what that cool girl in the picture is not only reading, but where she got her bag. If Sea of Shoes had a blog baby with Book Slut, you might get a close cousin of Lit Life.
I say it’s self serving endeavor because a. I love reading fiction. And b. I love reading fiction on company time! (How awesome is it that just today, I finished Joshua Ferris The Unnamed at my desk, leaving my door wide open. “Sorry boss! It’s this damn blog…” ). So who am I? Candice Rainey: ELLE's Deputy Editor and former Baby-sitter’s Club acolyte. Cried after finishing Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao on a flight to LA and am married to a devout Mets fan who has a penchant for anything written by Cormac McCarthy or Michael Lewis. Would like to buy about 983 pieces from the current J.Crew catalogue. Nice to meet you. (Want to know more? Meet me and the other Lit Life contributors here).
So please, take a few minutes to check out this new, ever-evolving experiment. As I’m sure you’ll soon discover, the New York Time Book Review, Lit Life is not. But if you have a spare 15 minutes during the work day, covet ingenious storytelling and Phoebe Philo’s spring collection for Celine, a tour around Lit Life is a more edifying time suck than interpreting Tila Tequila tweets.
Below, a sample of what’s to come.
Think of these bite-sized-excerpts as licking the beaters—just a taste to get you by until you can get your hands on a whole brownie. Some of these books will be newly published, others won’t. They might be recommends from friends, readers like yourselves, or even authors (see Novel Obsession) and in keeping with the spirit of the blog—that even avid readers aren’t familiar with every writer and novel under the sun—we’ll occasionally explain how I and other Lit Life contributors came across these works of fiction.
We’ve canvassed bookstores, libraries, and park benches and photographed stylish book junkies mid-read. Find out what they’re reading (and what they’re wearing).
Our favorite writers discuss the novels, short stories, and poems that made them want to become writers. Is there an author you’d like to us to talk to? Email your suggestions to ELLELitLife@gmail.com.
Author interviews, reviews, topical posts, mini rants about fiction related news and more.
Q&As with some of the most well-read book store employees from across the country. Think there’s a local bookstore we should feature? Email us your favorite reading haunts at ELLELitLife@gmail.com.
LITERARY BIG SHOT
Our version of a reader generated photo gallery. Convey something about the love of reading—a blurred out shot of your local library, an artful pic of a stack of Nabokov novels—and we’ll consider posting it. Send your submissions to ELLELitLife@gmail.com.
BY ITS COVER
Interviews with illustrators and designers who make the book jackets we can’t stop staring at.
Photo: Getty Images