Book blogs, including us, have been buzzing about two things this week: the release of Mockingjay—which I finished this morning; yahoo!—and the media’s coverage of Freedom, which has sparked a heated discussion on whether literary or commercial/genre fiction “deserve” more critical attention.
Many of you are probably sick of these topics, although it would be an unrepresentative “Best of the Blogs” roundup without mentioning them. So, without further ado. . . a few notable links:
I love this “resolution” that encourages people on opposite sides of the literary vs. commercial/genre fiction debate to just . . . chill out. Here’s an excerpt:
FULLY BELIEVING that some readers read genre, literary, and mainstream fiction, sometimes in the same day, even, sometimes expecting different things from those books, sometimes expecting the same things; further believing that some readers only read one subsection of fiction; further believing that this is all pretty normal,
EMPHASIZING that people will read what they like to read and that attacking people’s personal taste in books is about as useful and appropriate as attacking their taste in food (with an obvious exception made for mocking people who hate cilantro, because they are just WEIRD). . .
Now, if only 6 o’clock would get here, so I could get started on my weekend of reading Janet Evanovich and Julia Glass.
How a Kid-Lit Favorite Is Really About Trash Television
Posted by Rich Juzwiak on Jezebel
I can’t say that I focus too much on the reality TV allusions when I’m reading The Hunger Games books, but I enjoyed Rich Juzwiak’s post on the topic over at Jezebel—especially because pre-planned propaganda footage plays a major part in Mockingjay. Here’s an excerpt:
Before she even enters the arena, Katniss is aware that the game she’s to play will be played to the audience, as any clever reality television star knows. Her advisor before and silent guide during the Games, Haymitch, tells her up front, “It’s all a big show. It’s all how you’re perceived.” This instills Katniss with a self-awareness typical of the best reality stars, but with a crucial difference: Collins eschews the unsavory narcissism that drives reality television’s stars such infectious acting out by making participation in the games mandatory. And still Katniss repeatedly plays to the camera, whether she’s taunting enemies on the ground from a tree she just scurried up (of one such incident, she admits, “I know the crowd will love it.”), determining whether or not to ally with the other player from her district (“I know if I was watching, I’d loathe any tribute who didn’t immediately ally with their district partner”) or, once officially allied with him, deciding how far to take it (“If I want to keep [fellow tribute] Peeta alive, I’ve got to give the audience something more to care about. Star-crossed lovers desperate to get home together. Two hearts beating as one. Romance.”).
If only a real-life Katniss could star in The Amazing Race. Or The Bachelor!
10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books
Posted by Tim Carmody on The Atlantic‘s Science & Tech blog
If you think e-books are a big deal, this post should put things in perspective. From the Print Revolution to “the shift from vertical to horizontal writing, and then back to vertical again,” Tim Carmody highlights how our reading and writing habits have been changing drastically for centuries.
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? Bonus points if they have nothing to do with The Hunger Games or Jonathan Franzen!