All the Way to Reno: What Bloggers Expect

 R.E.M. performing in Germany, 2003.

“All the Way to Reno: You’re Gonna Be a Star” is my favorite R.E.M. Song.  It is a sweetly ironic song about a singer who believes he will get famous in Reno.  I love the YouTube video of this bittersweet song.  I’ve known artists, writers, and singers who make it “all the way to Reno” but alas! nowhere else.

And this song also makes me think of bloggers.  Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

Humming
All the way to Reno
You’ve dusted the non believers
And challenge the laws of chance
Now, sweet
You were so sugar sweet
You may as well have ‘kick me’
Fastened on your sleeve

You know what you are
You’re gonna be a star.
You know what you are
You’re gonna be a star

I love the wildly different voices of bloggers: some are witty and entertaining, others preposterously earnest. But, oddly, there is little connection between blogging and professional gigs.   Over the years I have wondered, “Hm, why doesn’t this blogger write a novel?”  But I have never found a novel by a blogger, though surely it must have happened?

I myself think in terms of nonfiction, which is easier to publish. (I must get to work on that novel!) And I do know of several bloggers who have succeeded in writing memoirs, cookbooks,  and self-help.   Here is a list of four books by bloggers, though I’ve read only the second on the list. Do let me know if you’ve read any of them or know of others, especially novels!

1.  Anne Bogel, author of the popular lifestyle  blog Modern Mrs. Darcy, has published a bibliomemoir, I’d Rather Be Reading:  The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life.  It looks charming, and I have reserved it at the library.

2.  You’ve doubtless heard of Julie Powell’s memoir, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, which is based on her blog about a year of cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The enjoyable film of the book was written and directed by Nora Ephron.

3. Ree Drummond’sThe Pioneer Woman began as a lifestyle blog. This witty rancher’s wife, homeschooling mom, and blogger has since published cookbooks, an autobiography, and starred in her own cooking show.  Last I heard she’d opened a restaurant!  Where does she get her energy?

4.  Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling book The Happiness Project began as a blog.  I confess I haven’t read this book, but I do remember it got good reviews.  Here’s an excerpt from the book description:

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

Okay, I’m sure there are more of these books, so do recommend some!

4 thoughts on “All the Way to Reno: What Bloggers Expect

  1. One example occurs to me: Mark Sarvas used to write a book blog called Elegant Variations that I read and he went on to write a novel Harry, Revised. And I see he’s got a new novel out this year, which I haven’t read. But might!

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  2. Fascinating post. Thanks for interesting list. I occasionally watch cooking shows and I like Ree Drumand’s but I have never read her blog.

    Andrew Blackman writes a book blog and he has also written two novels, On the Holloway Road and A Virtual Love. The later is particularly about the world of blogging. I read it and I liked it a lot.

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    • I haven’t seen Ree’s cooking show but her blog is really fun, though I haven’t read it in a while. And thanks so much for telling me about Andrew Blackman. I will certainly read his blog!

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