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Before we get to the links, Justine and I want to thank all of you faithful friends, followers, clients and readers for a wonderful 2010. It was difficult to leave behind so many of you in Florida, but the reception we’ve received here in Austin has been even better than we’d hoped for. We have some big plans for 2011 and beyond, both in Austin and … well, beyond. We’ll be sharing some of those plans with you in this space, so why not subscribe to our blog at the bottom of the page? You can also catch updates in places like Facebook and Twitter. And this is a two-way street, so if there’s anything WBN could be doing better, or a service we’re not currently offering that you would like to see, don’t hesitate to contact us.

And now on to the good stuff. Is there anything that goes better with champagne and party favors than links to literary news? Absolutely. I can think of several dozen right off the bat, in fact. Maybe several hundred, if I squint. But what I can’t do is think of several thousand.

That’s right, dear readers. Literary links are among the top 2,000 best ways to spend New Year’s Eve.

(If you disagree, feel free to email me your top 2,000 list.)

So settle in, mute Dick Clark (oh Christ, are they going to put Dick Clark in front of cameras again this year?), double-mute Robby Seacrest or whatever, and read the miscellany below.

— Jason Sanford, former Ed of storySouth, receives a strange Christmas package. I’ll say it again: do your homework, writers! And please, please, please read those submission guidelines. (cc: Dick and Bane)

— Sticking with Christmas, John Scalzi runs “An Interview With the Nativity Innkeeper.” Highlights include the following passage, which almost doubled me over:

After the Three Wise Men, were there other visitors?

Yeah. It got a little crowded. The animal sheds aren’t designed for a large amount of foot traffic. And then that kid showed up with a drum, and I said, all right, fine, we’re done.

The song of that incident suggests the drum went over well.

Let me ask you. You’re a parent, your child has just been born, he’s tired, you’re tired, people won’t leave you alone, and then some delinquent comes by and unloads a snare solo in your baby’s ear. Does this go over well?

— Carolyn Kellogg, whose work I often admire, has started a series entitled “Bookstore of the Week.” (It’s exactly what it sounds like.) The first week, she selected a spot called Village Books in Pacific Palisades. The second week, she chose … (snare solo, please) … a Barnes and %^&%%* Noble.

Carolyn, my goodness.

Yes, she drops in the obligatory “I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the choice,” and she goes on to complain that a store employee wouldn’t let her take any photos. But is this really what the retail book world needs? A profile in the L.A. Times of Barnes and %^&%%* Noble? According to many in the comments section, there’s an independent bookstore just a few blocks away. What was she thinking?

Rough way to end 2010, CK.

The Guardian points us toward some good “bookshelf porn” (no worries, safe for work). In that same vein, WBN friend Nate St. Pierre (who shares my library fetish) (note: “library,” not “librarian”), shares with us a link to the “Most Beautiful College Libraries.” My only complaint with this one is that they don’t always show us the insides of these buildings.

— Speaking of Nate, let’s go ahead and make him our WBN ToW (@ItStartsWithUs). Recently featured in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Nate runs a site called ItStartsWith.Us, where he encourages his thousands of followers to give over 15 minutes of their time each week to making a difference in someone’s life. Sounds like a good New Year’s resolution, doesn’t it?

— Shameless Plug of the Week: Check out my interview with Heidi Durrow, author of the hit novel The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. Heidi is a pleasure to talk to, and there’s a reason her book is making so many year-end Best Of lists. The official paperback release date is January 11, but some stores already have copies. Highly recommended.

That’s it for 2010 lit links. We’re going to be shaking up the blog in 2011, but Friday’s Links aren’t going anywhere. Justine has become dependent on her Thursday evening, Duhr-less peace and quiet.

We’ve put out some tentative calls for blog submissions, but check the site early in 2011 for a more official, more detailed posting.

And have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. Thanks again.

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