Bookish Headlines #7

There is news in the world, and some of it is bookish!

When we want to learn new things, we often go out and get a big nonfiction book on the topic, and then bore our socks off because we don’t understand the jargon or because the author isn’t very good at making a subject interesting. Children’s books to the rescue! Kids’ books approach a topic without complex explanations or condescension, so they’re a great place for anyone to start learning about a difficult subject.

I have a weird love for books about grammar, so reading this interview with a couple of copy editors made me oddly happy. I am going to read their books: Greek to Me: Confessions of the Comma Queen by Mary Norris and Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer.

woman in black t shirt using laptop computer

“Why yes, Carol, it really is okay to split an infinitive.” Photo by Eugene Chystiakov on

Who doesn’t want to read more books by and about people from all around the world? Boring people, that’s who. So if you’re itching to read more by and about Asian Pacific people, here’s a great list to get you started! I have a copy of Gina Apostol’s Insurrecto. I feel like I should move it farther up the TBR.

As I get older, I get more and more annoyed by fantasy novels where the author’s idea of a “feminist” character is a girl who disdains the domestic, takes up a sword, and spends the rest of the book getting into fights. I mean, sure. Women are perfectly capable of riding to war and getting into fights. But this notion of “feminist characters always and only kick-ass!” disdains the generations upon generations of women who have remained in the home to tend to the arduous and thankless business of keeping their families alive and passing down their knowledge to the next generation.

Fortunately, there have been more fantasy novels and authors who don’t turn their noses up at the idea of spinning wool and being a healer, and Lingen discusses several of them in this article.

For my own reading, I especially loved the parts in Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver that dealt with home and hearth and the importance of the women’s contributions to life in the village. In this story, we see young women stand up and lead their families when their fathers cannot or will not, and how they go on to support each other to save each other.

In Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy, our heroine, Vasya, spends her childhood learning about the domestic spirits in and around her home. She learns how to nurture them so they will remain strong, and in so doing learns the skills she will need to in order to face enemies far greater than herself. Arden also emphasizes the importance of the folktales that were often passed down from mother to child, and how women can support each other’s happiness, even if they do not understand each other’s decisions.

4 thoughts on “Bookish Headlines #7

  1. The top one…I heard that the crazy jeopardy guy prepped for the show by reading kids books. Pictures and short concise explanations

  2. Pingback: 10 Interesting Posts You May Have Missed So Far in May – Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions

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