Privilege Blog

#Bookstagram You Say? Or, Saturday Morning at 7:54am

I would like to invite you to follow me on my second Instagram account, @lisa.carnochan.writes. Ironically, although both my @amidprivilege Instagram and Twitter accounts are named for the blog where I do almost all my writing you have ever read, to write books I need a new name. it is.

There I shall post the books I read and the books my writer colleagues publish. “Read” being a kind word, that covers both present and past.

For example, since I am not one to reread, I have been winnowing my collection of high school Fitzgeralds and young 30s Anne Tylers to include only works that I in fact would read again.

We’re getting there.

Here are the books I read this year and last and am keeping (rather than shuttling off to donate to the local library.) They may wind up on the Shelf of Books That Light The Way. In any case, they’re surely worth your time.

And here are the books I want to read, or have begun to read. They live on my bedside table.

Of course, I also have books on my Kindle. Lighter fare, for the most part. I’ll start posting those, with thumbnail reviews, over on what is colloquially known as #Bookstagram.

“But Lisa,” I think I heard someone ask, “Where is your book? Weren’t you writing one?”

“Ah,” I answer, punctuating correctly, “It is what is idiomatically known as, ‘complete.'”

In other words, I’m in the querying process. This involves sending out letters and excerpts to agents to gauge interest. I will add, having now learned much of what I was unwilling to find out before diving in to see if I could do this at all, my story is maybe quieter in its emotional arc and more situated in a workplace than is common in commercial fiction. I am therefore fully prepared for nothing to happen. In which case, as I’ve said before, mostly in thanks to you who were so kind in encouraging me to write a book in the first place, I’ll self-publish.

Also, because I am insane (who knew? did you? maybe I did?), I am writing a second one.

Have a wonderful Saturday. I hope you have something to read that’s so fun, or compelling, or original that you lay down your phone in its favor and give yourself over. If you have any questions about the books in my shelves and stacks, I will happily attempt to answer. Thanks, as always, for your time.

36 Responses

  1. I’ve just begun The Lying Life of Adults (what a fabulous opening sentence it has!), having cleverly given it, for Christmas, to my daughter who is a fast reader and lives just a blcok away ;-).
    I will pop over to IG now and Follow your account (and should catch mine up — you may find yours always lags significantly behind your reading. I certainly do. Hoping very much that your book will someday feature on all the book blogs and IG accounts. I enjoyed your early draft very much and hope a publisher soon realizes that other readers are waiting for it. xoxo

    1. @Frances, You are a doll, and also a very clever book buyer and giver;). But I knew that. Thank you for the well wishes and I will hope that they make it through the ether. xoxox.

  2. I am a compulsive reader, and I re-read books – good books – all the time. There is always something new to discover within them, and more pleasure to be had. Having lots of old favorites on my many bookshelves is like money in the bank – and a godsend during this long period of isolation. Next up is To The Lighthouse, long (too long!) dormant on my shelves…

    But I do look forward your book column!

    1. I also have a lineup of books I reread regularly….A Hundred Years of Solitude, Pride and Prejudice, Tender is the Night are a few. I find a lot of comfort re-reading certain books, but I also love to re-watch certain movies for the same reason.

  3. A few years ago, 2008 to be exact, I started keeping a journal to list all the books I read with a brief notation to indicate whether I liked it or not. I started this after discovering that I was reading books I had already read or couldn’t remember a the title when recommending a book to a friend. I would be reading along and thinking it felt very familiar but not realize until I got to the end that I had already read the book! I know – concerning! Anyway, I look forward to following you on your reading Instagram. Best wishes on getting your book published!

    1. @Jane, Thank you so much. I remember that used to happen to me too. Not so much any more, but it may simply be that I don’t read as many books as fast, so I am more apt now to recollect. Maybe your experience was the same. xoxo

  4. Funny. I’ve Been culling books as well. Having a kindle is so very useful, especially when traveling. I remember traveling. I am one who is looking forward to reading your book.

    Happy weekend!

  5. It occurs to me that you might want to acquaint yourself with the Loft Literary Center ( in Minneapolis which provides support, classes, and mentoring for all things having to do with writing and publishing. Some of their efforts are devoted towards helping writers get published and/or to self publish and they have many connections to independent presses, often through networking approaches. Most of their operations are online now, and therefore available to people living far from Minneapolis.

  6. Lisa, It looks like you have some great reading. I am slowly reading Eleanor by David Michaelis. There are parts of the book that are a bit slow but the arc of her life interest me. I understand where you are at with your book. I think writing a second is courageous.


    1. @luci, Thank you. I don’t know if I’m courageous, but I am compelled. And David Michaelis was in my class at Princeton! I know him a little bit. I am so chuffed to hear that you are reading his book.

  7. Busy woman. Good luck with your book(s). You must find this endeavor challenging, interesting and self-satisfying. I just finished, “Clementine,” by Sonia Purrell “The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill”

    1. @Susan, Thanks for the account of your book-reading! I find it interesting and challenging. It is self-satisfying too, exactly,independent of what happens in terms of external satisfaction.

  8. Just followed your new account and look forward to it. I read many of the same books as you and am currently reading American Dirt which is fantastic.

    Looking forward to reading yours!

  9. I’m going to have to check out your Light The Way selections. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of WWII histories, mostly about the French Resistance. Need to branch out a bit.

    1. @Susan Blakey, Let me know what you’re in the mood for! I haven’t finished my winnowing, quite, and I wouldn’t want you to pick something less than stellar:)

      If you like historical fiction, I recommend Dorothy Dunnett. If you like literary fiction, Peter Carey’s early book The Tax Inspector, is one of my favorites. And of course Louise Erdrich is somewhere in between. And maybe you know all of this already.

  10. I have not read most of the books in either of your stacks — clearly I have to get to work. I look forward to you getting your book published, and I am glad that you are insane enough to start on a second.

  11. Love, loved Olive Kitterage. Also Olive Again… or anything by Elizabeth Strout, actually. Also Vanishing Half. Finding it hard to read anything but lighter fare these days. My reading attention span is by way of being a casualty of the pandemic. But I still love to read about what others are reading. A friend and former colleague has dived, post-retirement, into young adult fiction and is also currently in the querying process. He sent me the guidelines for writing a query letter. Who knew these queries were so specific, and the guidelines so pedantic. That whole process is not an easy one. Good luck. Now I’m off to IG to sign up for your new account. xo

  12. HighHeels in the Wilderness got me on to Susie Steiner, which I see on your list. I rate her way above most of the more acclaimed mystery writers. So sad about her current state.

    1. @Janey, I agree. The way she draws a character. Incredible. Like an Olympian of characters. She has glioblastoma. If you read her tweets now, you can feel its effects. Very sad.

  13. I love knowing what interesting people are reading! I’ve read 2 of your keepers.

    The only books I reread are books I read as a child or young adult. (When you’re under 18, you may miss some things in Steinbeck, or at least not remember them.)

  14. You have written a great story for our times, Lisa. Work is such a big part of our lives, and your story shows how much it is the locus for hope, fulfillment and meaningful relationships. I have followed your new Insta account and look forward to your posts.

  15. Should you decide to self-publish, by all means list it on I edited a book of fiction by an attorney (the plot it was not legastic(. He posted it on Amazon, and it did quite well. Also, the Amazon reviews can increase the audience for your works.

  16. You’ve got so many fans who can’t wait to read what you’ve written. Your book sounds amazing.

  17. I can’t wait to read your book, Lisa! If you publish it traditionally, I believe that it takes a year from when the book is accepted and edited/finalized. (The child of a colleague is an author with several published books.) So there may be an advantage in self-publishing.

  18. Last night I finished rereading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (for the first time since college, using my same $1.65 “quality paperback” edition) – what an experience!

    The book is very intense, and required much more attention than I usually give any book nowadays, but wow, was it worth it, even though it took a while to really get into the rhythm. Beautifully written, with certain indelible characters and images – but sad, too, in the way that life itself, with its evanescence, is sad.

    The book does end on a high note however, at least for one character, who finally fulfills her longed-for vision in a solid work of art. (Rather like the author herself, perhaps?)

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