The Uncomfortable Truth About Children's Books

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:48
Topic Writers and scholars have bemoaned the whiteness of children's books for decades, but the topic took on new life in 2014, when the influential black author Walter Dean Myers and his son, the author and illustrator Christopher Myers, wrote companion pieces in the New York Times' Sunday Review asking, "Where are the people of color in children's books?" A month later, unwittingly twisting the knife, the industry convention BookCon featured an all-white, all-male panel of "superstar" children's book authors.

Can Google Help Translate a Classic Novel? (no)

Submitted by Blake on Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:38
A classic of Argentine literature, Antonio Di Benedetto's Zama is available for the first time in English. The novel, about a provincial magistrate of the Spanish crown named Zama, is a riveting portrait of a mind deteriorating as the 18th century draws to a close. Esther Allen brilliantly translates Di Benedetto's novel, and talks about the six-year process of bringing the book to U.S.

The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 08/29/2016 - 10:26
One common thread in Borden literature examines how the police and the courts handled the case. Over the years, writers have explored the investigation and trial to critique both the American justice system and the effects of the press on that system. The coverage of the Fall River murders demonstrates that, even as true crime evolves throughout the centuries, it continuously engages with the culture that surrounds it.

Belgians are hunting books, instead of Pokemon

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 08/26/2016 - 16:36
Inspired by the success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks. While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device's GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire's version is played through a Facebook group called "Chasseurs de livres" ("Book hunters").
From Belgians are hunting books, instead of Pokemon | Reuter

Of Dirty Books and Bread

Submitted by Blake on Thu, 08/25/2016 - 20:05
This piece of advice forms the antidote to the abovementioned instruction for cleaning books: conflicting advice across the centuries. Undecided on the issue I will, however, continue to make sure my hands are clean as I continue through manuscripts with recipes, especially the alchemical ones. You never know what may have left that stain in the margin.
From Of Dirty Books and Bread | The Recipes Project

Committee reviewing books pulled from summer reading list in Chesterfield VA

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 08/22/2016 - 11:06
The decision to pull books from a summer reading list in Chesterfield County after parents complained that they were laden with sexually explicit language and violence has drawn the attention of a state senator and criticism from national free-speech advocacy groups.
From Committee reviewing books pulled from summer reading list in Chesterfield - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Chesterfield County News

The origins of children’s literature - The British Library

Submitted by Blake on Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:31
By the end of the 18th century, children’s literature was a flourishing, separate and secure part of the publishing industry in Britain. Perhaps as many as 50 children’s books were being printed each year, mostly in London, but also in regional centres such as Edinburgh, York and Newcastle. By today’s standards, these books can seem pretty dry, and they were often very moralising and pious.

To Your Brain, Audiobooks Are Not ‘Cheating’

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 16:31
This question — whether or not listening to an audiobook is “cheating” — is one University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham gets fairly often, especially ever since he published a book, in 2015, on the science of reading. (That one was about teaching children to read; he’s got another book out next spring about adults and reading.) He is very tired of this question, and so, recently, he wrote a blog post addressing it.

How American Girl puberty books shaped a generation of tweens.

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 08/08/2016 - 20:26
Still, the American Girl puberty books have managed to stay relevant for two decades, so I’m hopeful that they will continue to change with the times. And it’s promising to see that the series is taking baby steps toward loosening up its famously conservative brand. After all, for this tween growing up in the late ’90s, these books were a guide through a wilderness of raging hormones and new social pressures.