Posts tagged books
Posts tagged books
Katniss Everdeen has a lot to answer for. Thanks to books likeTwilightandThe Hunger Games, the rapidly-expanding YA genre has experienced an increase in books with female protagonists — particularly in the subgenre of science fiction and dystopian YA, which often place these young women in the traditionally male position of warriors, adventurers and world-savers.
However, with that progression comes corresponding reaction — from articles like Sarah Mesle’s “YA Fiction and the End of Boys” from theLos Angeles Review of Booksto Robert Lipsyte’s “Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?” from theNew York TimesSunday Book Review.
The article, however, that sparked my particular indignation came from a post on the YA publisher Strange Chemistry’s website. Written by author A.E. Rought, it was called “Top Ten Tropes in YA.” And here is number two on her list:
2. The protagonist is female. Let’s face it, the majority of lead characters in YA are girls. This is one trope [where] I actively seek the opposite. I love guy POV books.
First of all, that very statement, that the use of female protagonists is an overused literary device, is ridiculous. Last time I checked, half the population on earth is female. So saying “having a female protagonist” is a trope is on par with saying “having a human protagonist” is a trope, or “having a protagonist who inhales oxygen and ingests organic matter to live” is a trope.
Now, beyond the silliness of that author’s comment lies the deeper connotations of her argument.
The thing is, literary tropes are chosen and used by authors for a reason — because they’re effective (sometimes too much and too cheaply, which is when they become cliches). So labeling “masculinity-impaired” protagonists as a trope suggests that authors only write books with female protagonists when they have a specific reason for their femininity. Not because they could be an interesting character on their own, but because their gender plays a role in the story.
Rory havin a bookgasmmmm
I got a few “I’m on a Boat” submissions, so I thought I’d post all the books that could use that re-title. Are there others I forgot???
Special thanks to Tim Muldoon and Mike Mackler.
Horrible Book Reviews
“The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton
“The Casual Vacancy is set in a small community, which involves writing characters who are adolescents all the way up to people in their sixties. I loved nineteenth century novels that centre on a town or village. This is my attempt to do a modern version. As a writer you have to write what you want to write; or rather what you need to write. I needed to write this book.”
3 ounces vodka
6 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
salt to rim glass
Not only will you feel as though the salt spray is hitting your face with every sip, but you can rest assured that your reading will not be interrupted by bouts of scurvy. And that’s very important for long sea voyages, you know.
I know what I’m doing this weekend.
Perfect for my new book club!
The drink for Lolita is my favorite cocktail. I don’t wanna think about what that says about me.
Horrible Book Reviews
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by JK Rowling
A few people from my major and a teacher we all had last semester are doing a book club this year. We’re starting off with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m really excited about it, since I haven’t read it in a year. I’m also really pumped to talk about it with other people. I think we may plan a group trip to the movie when it comes out!
I guess this is a really pointless post, but I’m really into this whole book club thing.
And then after I finished my lecture, I realized that I have no life.
But it’s cool
I’ve got books.
….I cannot believe that someone would say this seriously.
I can think of dozens of legitimate reasons not to like reading.
- It’s too difficult
- It’s too expensive
- It’s too time consuming
- It’s too passive
- It’s too sedentary
- It’s too solitary
- It’s too abstract
And yes - Each and every one of those is legitimate.
Having a learning disability is not simply a “frustrating” experience that can be overcome with hard work. I’ve worked with many students who will likely remain illiterate for the rest of their lives. They’re wonderful people, but combinations of learning disorders, problems with vision, problems with vocabulary and speech, problems understanding chronology, etc mean that no amount of hard work or dedication will improve their reading level very far. They have to work with the skills they have and those skills often do not include reading books.
That freshman who doesn’t like to read because you just “sit there”? That’s a valid concern. He’s likely a person who requires more socialization and interaction in his entertainment. Reading by yourself can be a very isolating experience. Because no matter how much you want to believe it, the characters in a book aren’t real. They can’t hold a conversation with you or react to your decisions. That can make all the difference in the world to some people who are more extroverted and need human interaction in order to raise their energy levels.
Reading for leisure is a form of entertainment just like any other. While “reading” itself spans a huge amount of activities in our daily life (we read while driving, on the Internet, texting, etc), the hobby of “reading” has a more limited scope that isn’t universally appealing. Not every person in the world is going to enjoy it. Simply saying “I don’t like it” is a perfectly legitimate reason, just like saying you don’t enjoy playing tennis or going to the movies is legitimate. Are you lazy and unimaginative because you don’t see the beauty and joy of playing the sousaphone every day? I should hope not.
I get so horribly tired of people who think of reading as a monolithic experience. Just because you (and I) enjoy the process does not mean that other people are required to. It’s doesn’t mean that they are worth less because they choose to spend their time in a different way. It doesn’t mean that you have the right to control and judge their behavior.
And this post was seriously tagged “Fuck you”? Really? A person makes a statement about his own personal preferences, which have zero impact on the rest of the world and do not interfere with anyone else’s well being, and you respond with “Fuck you”? Goddamn it, bookworms. This is why we get beaten up in school.
Reblogging for the commentary.
Don’t forget to check your local library for used book sales. In Philadelphia, there are tons of branches, each with books for sale for 25cents. I try to vary the branch I stop at to see what they have available.
Today I went to my favorite, closet branch to pick up some books that I had on hold. The used book sale shelves had just been restocked and I found a bunch of books! I got 6 for just a $1.50. When I mentioned they were for my classroom, the librarian told me to pick out two others at no cost. I picked up two titles for my mentor teacher!
It’s also a great way to stock up on non-fiction/informational text, magazines, and resource materials (atlas, geography books, dictionaries) for cheap!
Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!