Links of Note

Ready for this biweekly edition of Links of Note? It seems like there are lots of interesting and provocative pieces about libraries this go around. Also a lot of great groan-worthy stories!

  • The year is 1937. Do you know the rules of the library? Check out the gallery of images of expected behavior in the reading room from this period in time on Galleycat. I think a lot of these images are actually still relevant — especially the rules on the left here. 

  • I’m really fascinated by this piece — how do you make a book disappear completely? Can you? The Atlantic talks about how Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine seemingly disappeared, even with all the technology available to us now.  
  • I like this book list of novels in verse by the topics they delve into. I’m stuck on the notion that these are controversial topics — simply because something is a part of reality, I have a hard time labeling it as controversial — but the list is pretty darn good and current. 
  • One of the perks of living in a world where anyone can start a book review blog, can post a review on Goodreads or Amazon or B&N, is that we can get a wide range of review styles. But over at The Millions, there’s an interesting essay about the anatomy of a book review, and I like the points about how reviewers sometimes need to step back and figure out if it is the book or if it is them personally. Like I said though, the nice thing about online reviews is you can choose which ones you read based on the person writing them if you want.
  • Over at the Christchurch City Libraries blog, there’s an interesting recap of a book event that raises the question of whether or not the term YA is creating a barrier for teen readers. I pretty much think this is a big nothing, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.  
    • Hey, is young adult fiction the new chick lit? Good grief, people. Can we move on from labeling everything? Or how about more importantly, this doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t even link this because it’s nothing but bait, but it’s just so dumb I can’t help myself. 
    • The Huffington Post Books section muses about what your favorite book says about you. I guess if your favorite book is one of the eight they feature, then you can learn a lot. And if not, you pick the closest one. They acknowledge their sweeping generalizations, by the way. 
    • YALSA wants feedback from members AND non-members about how they can be better. Go answer their survey. It was painless.     
    • I took part in a science book club in college, where we read non-fiction titles that had some basis in science/health/medicine, and one of the titles I remember reading and enjoying was The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. The New York Times reports that Lia Lee, who was the center of the story, has died from her illness. I hope this book gets another update because I want to know more of her story.

    • The articles over at The Atlantic Wire about YA are getting more and more obnoxious. This week’s installment was on why adults are reading YA books. I keep linking these and I don’t know why. Their YA expert is just not. 

    I’m so excited about this upcoming week, I can hardly stand it. Kid Lit Con is Friday and Saturday, and aside from the presentation (which is coming together so well!), I’m excited to touch base with people I rarely get to see. I’ve made dates for tea and for gelato, and I am eager to experience New York City outside of Book Expo America. If you’re going to Kid Lit Con, I can’t wait to meet you, and if you’re not — I’ll definitely have a post or two to share with take aways. 

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    1. says

      Thanks for the mention. I struggle with the word controversial too. I guess these are the issues in YA books that most often raise controversy. Many of these books have been on the "most challenged" list for example. Some have been in the news or mentioned in op eds about "content" or "YA is too dark etc". The issues on their own are not controversial. I suppose it's the combination of certain parts of reality,as you say, with a YA book, which creates controversy. This, in itself is something worth thinking about.

      • says

        I agree with you — they do raise controversy, but I have such a hard time labeling those books as controversial or dark because they're realities, you know?

    2. says

      My coworker (another teacher) sent me that article about what reading literature does to your brain. I loved it because it helps us explain WHY we are reading literary fiction in our English classes. Take that, common core, with your emphasis on informational texts in English classes!

      I have some feelings about the common core, if you can't tell. Really, though, interesting article, and I also liked the verse novels link. Already sent to a coworker to help us order books!

      • says

        I thought it was a really interesting article, too. I can imagine reading that in a classroom setting would be really enlightening for the students.

        Verse novels are some of my favorites, and that list was really well done.

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