There are so many rich, thoughtful posts that I’m going to link to in this edition. It’s felt to me like the last two weeks have had a sudden blossoming of great discussion in several different venues.
– Leila Roy wrote a fantastic post about book reviews and criticism (which I am not just saying because I’m quoted it in it) (!!). “As a reader, I love to read reviews in which it’s clear that the reviewer has thought deeply about the book. Not just in terms of the book on its own, but the book in terms of its place in its genre, the history of the genre, how it uses tropes and/or archetype characters, how it builds on what has come before.”
– Kameron Hurley on Trigger Warnings and Neil Gaiman: “The problem with mainstreaming this kind of use of the term is that instead of saying, “Yes, trigger warnings are useful so let’s not continue to water it down” what you do when you title a rather typical short story collection “Trigger Warning” is that your work becomes part of the problem of breaking it down into meaninglessness and slapping it on any old thing as a marketing gimmick.” (via The Book Smugglers)
– Amy Koester’s post “Selection is Privilege” is fantastic and should be required reading for librarians everywhere. “The position that “because we don’t have X readers in my library, we don’t need X books” also denotes a fundamental lack of respect for the children we are supposed to be serving. It suggests that we think our young readers cannot handle, relate to, or be expected to understand an experience that does not mirror their own.” And then follow it up with Ellen Oh’s “A Message to the Gatekeepers“: “But this discussion is neither new nor surprising to any of us who have been in this fight for so long…We have long known that it is the adult biases and prejudices that trickle down into the children and become part of their learned behavior.”
– Kelly Jensen has a really powerful post at Book Riot about reading and depression: “Depression took me out of my reading life. Recognizing that — and getting help for it — has put me back in in ways I could never have imagined. Reading isn’t about powering through. It isn’t about disconnecting. Reading is about being a part of something.”
– Jonathan Franzen is being a jerk, and especially focusing on Jennifer Weiner. I have trouble taking Franzen seriously AT ALL, but Weiner’s response is pretty awesome: “Women writers – even the ones whose work Franzen disdains – have a platform, and a place at the table. Our voices are being heard, and the world — at least the tiny corner of it that cares about books, and book reviews — is changing.”
– We’re doing some weeding at work right now and this post is truth.
– Raven Boys fanart. Oh, I love this Blue. And RONAN. (via RJ Anderson)
– Speaking of RJ Anderson, the cover for her upcoming mg book was revealed recently. It’s amazing and beautiful, and the snippet makes me EVEN MORE EXCITED for this book. (I was already pretty excited.) And then The Book Smugglers also featured the cover and excerpt for Frances Hardinge’s upcoming The Lie Tree, and I died of happiness.