I've read so many great and provocative things lately, I thought I'd share a bunch of them for the weekend. This post could be subtitled "And then the world discovered YA could be worth learning about after watching The Hunger Games."
- The AWL had a post about books that make you cringe to remember reading, written by a host of book-world folks. I'm sharing this one because none of the picks are surprising (really, let's all hate on Ayn Rand and Jack Kerouac some more), and I'm sharing it because I think the notion of books you've read in the past becoming embarrassing to think about is pretty absurd. We all have our phases and we all have our interests at different points, so being embarrassed by them later on seems silly. We read and we grow. The books we read help us figure out who we are.
- Something I've said before out loud was that there are a lot of books that are about someone's daughter. Looks like I'm not the only one. The Millions looks at the title trend and even offers up some graphs -- who are these the daughters of? How many daughters are floating around?
- Cover trend alert! The Times Literary Supplement blog talks about legs, the backs of women who are sitting by water, and tiny men walking into the distance.
- Not one, but two stories this week about "strong girl characters" in YA/children's books. First, I stumbled upon this blog post about it, then I was sent this link from The Atlantic Wire. There's some interesting cross-over in the female leads mentioned and there are some curious missing girls (Frankie Landau Banks!). I can't help but think both of these lists need to be updated to include books written in the last few years -- maybe something worth blogging about down the road. Also, keep your eye on The Atlantic Wire. They're doing a series of "YA for Adults," and I'm curious to see what they talk about (also, it reminds me of a little series we're doing here at STACKED). I'm always interested and skeptical when bigger outlets cover "trendy" topics.
- Speaking of big outlets covering "trendy" topics, The Huffington Post shared their list of YA books adults would love, and it's certainly a mix of titles. HuffPo also offered up ten dystopian titles coming out this year (you know, in case you need something after The Hunger Games). Except, a number of these aren't even dystopian titles, but we won't go into details since the exposure of YA titles to new readers is good. I mentioned being interested and skeptical when bigger outlets cover trends like YA, right?
- Let's keep this going -- what books could become the next screen hit like The Hunger Games? Two articles on this one, including one at IndieWire and one at IGN movies. I absolutely hate how everything has to be "the next ___," rather than being allowed to stand on its own merits. It's such a disservice to the work itself and the truth is, we don't need or necessarily want the same thing repackaged over and over again. Spoiler: I'm writing about this topic over at YALSA's The Hub blog this week, talking about some of these titles and some that aren't on these lists, as well as defining what it means when a book's rights have been optioned.
- This is probably the best blog post I've read in a long time -- Stop telling me what to read. Every word here is truth, and so many of the lines I want to plaster all over the place. My favorite is this one, though: "When people dictate what should be read, they often do so from a position of privilege." I'd go as far as to drop the word "often" and say indeed, they always speak from a position of privilege.
- I wouldn't normally post this kind of story but I can't help myself: James Patterson shares his secrets for selling so many books. This piece is worth reading if for no other reason than it's really funny. REALLY funny. Best line in the whole piece (on why Patterson thinks his kid books are the best): "I guess they fit right into my wheelhouse. I have a big imagination, a, and b, I think I’m funnier than sh–. And that really lets it loose."