About

We like books. We like writing. We like writing about books. We’ll do all of that here.

The Common Place

A commonplace book is a collection of knowledge. It is a journal filled with everything from quotations, observations, and citations to formulas, facts, and figures–anything that’s worth remembering from anything one has read, heard, or seen. In a way it is a scrapbook, commemorating and keeping track of the things we have learned and the places we have been, figuratively or literally, via the media that passes through our lives: books, articles, poems, movies, songs, blogs, and so on. Commonplace books are kept by readers, writers, scholars, and students of schools and of life.

Thecommonplace.net follows this model. As a blog it is a compendium of what we are consuming at the moment and how it affects us. We highlight and analyze passages and sentences and how they describe what is going on in our lives. We remember how we felt the first time we read a certain book and look at how its meaning to us has changed over time. Most importantly, we focus on what we all have in common–the words between us and the power they have to heal us, inform us, and ultimately help us to make sense of the world in which we live.

Elise (elise@thecommonplace.net)

I’ve been an English major since birth. Currently I’m in love with YA, LGBT fiction (particularly YA, particularly with a paranormal bent–yes, it’s a thing), light sci-fi, Stephen King, memoirs, and, it’s true, the occasional romance novel. Like the narrator in Fight Club says, you met me at a strange time in my life. I worked as a ghostwriter for nine years and wrote fifty-plus books in that time. I’ve also been editing manuscripts for self-published authors since 2005 and enjoy this more than anything I’ve ever done professionally. I am a grammar nerd through and through. I live in a small town in New Jersey you’ve probably never heard of with my husband and our six-year-old son.

Vicky (vgriff@thecommonplace.net)

I worked in the books business for more than 20 years, ranging from book-selling in local stores, to buying books for an internet retailer, to starting and running a publishing group. When I quit that world a few years ago I was afraid I would lose my reading life but have been surprised to find I’m reading and enjoying books now more than ever. I am especially fond of memoirs, contemporary fiction, nature writing, books about art and the making of it, a little bit of poetry, and a lot of what was once called business life books. I’m getting into YA — late to the game, I know! I live in Seattle with my husband and my two mutts. 

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