It occurred to me the other day that I have built up quite the collection of saved articles. Sounds like it’s time for another round of Bookish Headlines!
I always find it interesting to see which books influenced writers. You can often tell that their favorite books have influenced their own work. It’s also a great list of classic fantasy works that are often overlooked by current audiences.
I’ve never read Annie on My Mind, but it was fascinating to read Thomas’s account of discovering the book, obsessively reading it, and finding out things about herself and her sexuality because of this book.
I haven’t read the second installment of Mantel’s Cromwell Trilogy, Bring up the Bodies yet, but I was happy to hear that the long-awaited finale, The Mirror and the Light, is due to be published in 2020.
For those who worry that they aren’t reading as much as they used to or who would like to read more classic novels, there’s an app for that. Serial Reader sends users classics to read via their smartphones, a process that works like fitness apps. In the article, Williams describes her own experiences with the app and conducts an interview with the app’s founder, Michael Schmitt.
Libraries are changing, and so are the ways that we use and interact with them. This change is especially noticeable in college libraries. Once bastions of research, college libraries are being used more and more as gathering places for students (and groups of students) to take tests and do research online. Many are not checking out books anymore because it is more efficient and easier to use websites and resources like JSTOR. But when the libraries contemplate getting rid of the books no one is using, people object. We still want a lot of books in our libraries, even when we aren’t using them. So what is a library to do with limited space, unused books that no one wants to get rid of, and rising demand for collaborative student spaces?
Earlier this year, an online mob attacked John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, because of his latest novel, My Brother’s Name is Jessica. They claimed that Boyne was being hateful towards the transgender community because its main character, a thirteen-year-old boy, was having trouble adjusting to his older sibling’s transition. Most of this mob, which had not read the book because it hadn’t come out yet, flocked to Goodreads to give it one-star ratings and/or called on Boyne and the publisher to cancel the book’s publication. Boyne refused to do so, and so the book was released on schedule. Its ratings have slowly been rising, now that it is available for everyone to read and judge for themselves.
Boyne’s response to his critics? ““I don’t feel it’s my job as a reader or a writer to tell anyone what they can or can’t write. We are supposed to use our imaginations, to put ourselves into the minds and the bodies of others.”
Every time a new version of a superhero is announced, there is an outcry from some corner of the internet that the actor named to fill in the role of (insert superhero name here) is absolutely wrong and will diminish the name of said superhero forever. Remember the outcry when it was announced that Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker in Dark Knight? And remember how perfect he ended up being for the role?
Sure, sometimes an actor or a storyline doesn’t fulfill our expectations. That’s a thing that’s happened to everyone who has encountered pop culture adaptations. But if the casting or costuming or the storyline of your favorite whatever isn’t up to your expectations, it really isn’t the end of the world. And there is still plenty of room in the world for fans to come together to celebrate the things they love, even if the director did “get everything wrong”.