Quick Recommendations from Boston
Pirates!: Celia Rees

Slowly Getting Back to Normal

I'm back in California, after an exhausting whirlwind tour of the northeastern states (Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, to be exact). I'm catching up with work, and probably won't be back up to full blog speed for a couple of days. But I do have two article links to share with you:

  • Anatopsis author Chris Abouzeid has an excellent fantasy book review column in this Sunday's Boston Globe. Chris discusses what fantasy writers need to do to discover new, fresh material, observing that "a surprising number of young-adult fantasy authors have chosen to put all the medieval baggage in storage and head for the Age of Enlightenment (and beyond)". As one who is a bit burned out on the standard medieval trappings of fantasy novels, I consider this cause for celebration. He proceeds to offer brief reviews of six fantasy (and fantasy-like) young adult novels. So many great books to read! I especially want to read Fly By Night and Monster Blood Tattoo.
  • Mocking Birdies author Annette Simon brought to my attention an article about gender differences in reading, from Saturday's Globe and Mail. The article is mainly focused on adult reading preferences, but does discuss the gender gap in literacy among kids, too. The gist of the article is not new - that women read more than men do, and in particular read more fiction than men do. Several Canadian studies are referenced. The article has received extensive comments, however, suggesting that there is much more to be said on the topic. I particularly appreciated Toronto writer Russell Smith's comments. He's quoted in the article as saying that men he knows don't read fiction, apparently because they perceive it as being about feelings, rather than ideas. He concludes that "To think that no one perceives fiction as being about ideas is depressing." I agree! And I will add that much of the children's and young adult literature I read is about ideas, and story, much more so than "feelings." Perhaps this is support for my personal crusade, that adults should read more children's books... But check out the Globe and Mail article for more discussion. 

I didn't get to read much on my trip (can you believe it?), but I did find some lovely review books waiting for me on my return home. So, you can expect more reviews soon, once I get a bit more caught up. Thanks for visiting! And thanks to Chris and Annette for the links.