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September, 2010

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Young Adult – fiction or literature?

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I’ve had some great conversations about what makes a book YA versus adult fiction, and whether YA titles can be considered “literature” or if only books geared toward adults can achieve that level of writing. So, two questions –

What makes a book “Young Adult” to you? Is it the age of the protagonist? The writing style? The reading level? The cover art? (okay, that may be silly, but still – we’ve had misleading CD covers come into AudioFile and they’d be miscategorized one way or another if we didn’t check out the product details!)

Do you think books aimed at a young adult audience can qualify as “literature?” What about books that aren’t intended for YA consumption, but become “YA” because they find an audience there? Examples to go with your answers?

Banned Books Week

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

So in preparing a post for work today, I decided to count how many of the top 100 banned and challenged classics I’ve read. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ve only read a tenth of them! Granted, I’d say well over half of the ones I’ve not read are in my physical TBR pile, or on my wish list, but still. That is tragic. So, I’m challenging myself to read at least three banned books between now and October 2. Which means I have to find them. After I clean up the aftermath of last night’s crockpot lasagna.

What are some of your favorite banned/challenged books? Are there some you honestly can’t imagine why they made the list? Do you think it’s ever appropriate for a book to be removed from circulation?

Booking through Thursday

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Today’s question is suggested by Mae.

“I couldn’t sleep a wink, so I just read and read, day and night … it was there I began to divide books into day books and night books,” she went on. “Really, there are books meant for daytime reading and books that can be read only at night.” – The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera, p. 103.

Do you divide your books into day and night reads? How do you decide?

In the past, I’ve had at least one new book that I read during most of the day and a re-read for before bed, so if I get sleepy and forgetful I’m not really “missing” anything :) Lately though, I’ve only had one physical book going at a time – very rare for me – and whatever book I’m working on goes with me into whichever room I’m in throughout the apartment. My audiobook is for the walk to and from work, as well as for when I’m performing tasks like dishes, cooking, etc., and my hands aren’t free. So I suppose I determine what to read based more on convenience than the mood a book evokes.

How about you? Do you designate certain books for certain times? Do you feel certain books lend themselves to a time of day?

Booking Through Thursday

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

You’ve just dropped your favorite, out-of-print book into a bathtub, ruining it completely … What do you do now?

Ack, terrifying question!!! First, I probably wouldn’t put a book like that in danger – I’ve worked very hard to obtain some of my books, particularly butch-femme and other queer works, and I know just how difficult they can be to find. My wish list includes many such titles, and I can’t even explain the excitement it creates when one turns up somewhere! This has actually prompted me to pipe dream of owning a small press that specializes in obtaining the rights to such books and running small batches every decade or so, to increase their circulation and accessibility.

Now, pretending that I actually would have done such a horrific thing, I’d likely first run to the computer and search for repair/preservation options and try everything I could find. Should the book truly end up an unreadable pulp (I’m crying a little bit, here), I would begin the hunt for a replacement on every site I know – swap sites like BookMooch, used/rare sites like Alibris, and monster aggregate sites like Amazon – and put in a word with all of my local independents that buy used books.

How about you; what’s your go-to for finding or replacing a rare title?

WWW Wednesday

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

WWW Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading? I’m reading The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and listening to Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings

What did you recently finish reading? I’ve just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman

What do you think you’ll read next? I honestly have no idea; I have plenty of audiobooks lined up, but with most of my books still in boxes, it’ll likely be one of the other three I picked up at a yard sale on Monday – Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, The Boy who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, or Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin. Anyone care to recommend one over the others?

What’s your WWW this week?

Psst…

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

… Anyone still here? :)

I apologize for the lengthy absence. My life got turned rather upside-down, in more ways than one, and I really hadn’t the heart for reading, or writing, or writing about reading, for a long time.

I’m back, though. At least physically. I probably won’t be diving right into daily posting, but then, that was never a strong suit of mine, anyway. I mostly just wanted to break the silence, and finally felt inspired to do so when I started reading The Perks of being a Wallflower last night.

For those of you who have read both Chbosky’s Wallflower and Loser by Jerry Spinelli, I think you’ll understand why the former brought the latter to mind within the first five pages. If you’ve read one but not the other, or not read either, FIX IT. Soon.

This also made me think about the book pairings we offered for Sync over on ABC – The Lottery with The Hunger Games. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with The Looking Glass Wars. Treasure Island with Bloody Jack. What are some other read-alikes/listen-alikes you’ve particularly enjoyed? Do you prefer not to read them too closely so as not to judge one against another?  Do you seek out similar stories to, or stories deliberately based upon, ones you’ve read and enjoyed?