Read, Eat, Drink: Link Roundup and a Twenty-Minute Asian Noodle Soup


Literary Agent Advice

There is so much to read! Here’s the scoop this week on platform-building, publishing, reading, working, and Facebook eating the Internet:

Why The Best Reading App Available Today is Not What You Think (Michael Hyatt): This ties in perfectly to last week’s Read on Why We Can’t Read Anymore. Now that the ebook market has plateaued at about a quarter of the overall book market, we’re starting to see how the gain in efficiency of ebooks can also mean a loss of deep comprehension. The real question is: do we want to read a greater volume of words, or do we want to dive more deeply into those words?

The Future of Remote Work Feels Like Teleportation (Christopher Mims, WSJ): “Given how geographically diffuse our Internet-centric tools have already made many companies, it is hard to see how these technologies won’t someday transform how we work just as thoroughly as email and the telephone did.”

Facebook is Eating the Internet (Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic): “Facebook, it seems, is unstoppable. The social publishing site, just 11 years old, is now the dominant force in American media. It drives a quarter of all web traffic.” More on why a Facebook page is an integral part of a platform.

Facebook Begins Hosting News Articles from Nine Publishers (Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ): “Facebook has about double the user engagement of other social networks, Barclays analysts said in a note Tuesday. Late last year, Facebook eclipsed Google as the leading referrer of traffic to news sites. Some sites say Facebook accounts for as much as 70% of their traffic.” Facebook is now not only a publisher, but it’s pulling content from other publishers to become the world’s largest and most dynamic aggregator. More importantly, Facebook users are engaged–after all, how much time a day do you spend on Facebook, and how often are you clicking, commenting, liking, or otherwise interacting with its content? That’s engagement. (More on why engagement matters for any platform here.)

That Overused Word “Community”–But Why We Still Have to Talk About It (Jane Friedman): This is an absolute must-read for anyone trying to build a platform–Jane Friedman shares learnings from her University of Virginia class on publishing and digital media, where students must build a platform in 12 weeks. It’s invaluable insight into the pitfalls of platform-building and how to avoid them.

Eat & Drink:

This week has been crazy. Between a business trip to New York, a protracted auction for a book, and a touch of food poisoning on Monday, I felt like I was just barely hanging on. And the only thing I seem to crave when I’m completely worn down is soup. Yes, even in 80 degree weather. Yes, even in the humidity. And yes, usually while wearing a scarf and Smartwool socks. What can I say–I have a malfunctioning internal furnace. I’ll get it fixed one of these days.

So, I came home on Thursday to a fridge full of magnificent specimens of cucumber mold and egg rot. I was going to preserve them and develop a cure for some longstanding, debilitating illness (Ebola? Gout? Restless Leg Syndrome?) but then I was like, oh yeah, I am really hungry right now. And thus, this soup was born:

Asian noodle soup

Twenty-Minute Asian Noodle Soup

(aka What to Make When You’ve Been Out of Town and Come Home to a Wasteland of a Fridge)

Serves one

Chop a few celery stalks and sauté them in a medium saucepan in sesame oil (vegetable oil will work fine in a pinch). After 3-4 minutes of cooking, add about 2 cups of beef broth. Bring to a boil, and add about 1/8 of a package of spaghetti. Add about 3 glugs (more or less 1 tablespoon) each of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hoisin.

While the pasta cooks, chop up some green onions. If you don’t have any, a handful of greens or an egg poached right in the broth would be great, too. When the spaghetti is al dente, transfer to a large bowl, add a small glug of rice wine vinegar, and top with the scallions. Perfect to eat at your desk while catching up on email!

(If you already have your soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce out, you’re well on your way to making this fabulous 5-Minute Balsamic Roast Beef recipe by my author, Robyn Stone. I swear, her recipe has been a lifesaver over the past few months!)

To drink with it? Well, if you have it at lunchtime and you’re in the crunch of an auction, I suggest an extra strong iced tea. But if you’re cobbling this together for dinner, why not try this delicious Espiral Vinho Verde from Trader Joe’s that we’ve been sipping on? It’s fresh, slightly bubbly, and only $4. That checks all my boxes!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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