Bookish News

This is just some of the bookish news that I’ve read on the ‘net recently:

    newspaperheadlines

  • The American Library Association (ALA) list of most challenged books for 2008 was released and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini made the list. Critics cited the book as having ‘bad language and sexual content” and inappropriate for age group. I have bookmarked that book to be read this year. Notable mention: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (another must read)
  • The NYT offered up an opinion on how I felt about Amazon’s ‘glitch’ asking was it an intentional mistake to exclude, hide, suppress, gay and lesbian work on Amazon by removing sales rankings? Or was it a technological failure? Twitter was all in a rage over the disenfranchising of affected authors which is rightly justified. However, from previous years experience, it is often better to wait and withhold judgement until all the facts are presented. It is so easy to be caught up in the furor of the moment. IOW, don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions.
  • Here is a neat article about bloggers who go from “Blog to Print.” The article doesn’t mention this but Sarah Wendall and Candy Tan of the popular blog Smart Bitches and Trashy Novels have written their very first book titled, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels (Paperback) that out in stores now. Believe it or not, most bloggers are being sought out by literary agents these days (who knew):
  • “There are a lot more agents chasing down hot properties,” she said. Ms. [Karen] McKean, whose clients include Mr. Huh, gravitates toward sites with measurable, consistent traffic. “You can use that information to prove marketability,” she said.

    Interesting.

  • Non-book related and not exactly newsworthy in that Oprah has given Twitter her seal of approval. Her first tweet made the news and was dare I say it, unoriginal? Now everybody will be wanting to join Twitter. Maybe that explains why it has been acting so damn wonky of late? Everybody who watches her show now wants an account so that they can follow Oprah? Eye roll to the back of the head.
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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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9 Responses to Bookish News

  1. Tee says:

    Regarding Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” I’m not so sure it deserved to be among the challenged books group. Personally, although the book has been extremely popular, I much preferred his second one, “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” One day I’m going to attempt to re-read it. It was emotionally draining, but so informative and vital for our times, especially for women. We cannot ignore what went on elsewhere and really what still may be happening in other countries.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Tee: “A Thou­sand Splen­did Suns.”

    Will give that one a look see…thanks.

  3. jennygirl says:

    LOL on the Oprah comment. I guess some people are just sheep.

    I’ve read 2/3 from the Pullman series and can see why people would take issue with them. It’s just a story people 🙂

  4. Avid Reader says:

    jennygirl: It’s just a story people

    Guess books influence people more than we think, maybe? Heard about the religious undertones but still, it is fiction.

  5. Tee says:

    Avid Reader:
    Guess books influ­ence people more than we think, maybe? Heard about the reli­gious under­tones but still, it is fiction.

    I belive that’s probably more true than some of us believe. It’s usually not that critical in fiction, but sometimes it can be, depending on the way story is laid out and how the book is advertised. In your article following this one, you speak about “The DaVinci Code.” That was a book that misled a lot of people, because although it’s fiction and classified as such and even the author says it is, many people took everything in that book as fact. And completely factual it was not. It was a made-up story, based on some actual facts, and that was it. But people quote from it all the time as though it were the second bible.

    So, yes, books do influence people, sometimes whether they’re aware of it or not. It is a very powerful form of communication. Why else would many incoming rebel governments destroy the books of that country as one of the first items of business?

  6. Avid Reader says:

    I agree books are a powerful form of communication but it’s not the author’s fault if people are ignorant or easily influenced by what they read is it? Not saying that you thought the author was or should be accountable. Sad to say it but we live in a world where people are both ignorant (or naive) and easily influenced by the media. That will never change and I certainly don’t condone other people to have the right to remove such books from the public because there are people out there who do not know how to discern fact from fiction. Guess my question was made in jest but I do realize that books have some influence on people who don’t know any better. What you say is true but still, censorship has no place in the freedom for expression of thought (and now I am starting to blather sorry).

  7. Tee says:

    No, you aren’t blathering at all. And you’re correct, of course, that it’s the readers’ responsibilities to discern what they are reading–whether it’s fiction, fact or a combination of both. And it definitely is not the authors’ responsibilities either that the reader takes for truth anything in a book that’s labeled fiction. I made sure to say in my original post that Dan Brown said himself that The Da Vinci Code was a work of fiction. However, the way it was presented had many people absorbing much of the contents as truth. That’s not his fault really and I certainly don’t condone censorship either, unless something is presented as fact and it’s clearly not, and depending on the seriousness and the effects of such a statement.

    In your first post you said that some people are easily influenced by what they read (or hear) and I totally agree. They don’t stop to think, “Is this true or just hearsay?” It sounds good, it looks good; therefore, it must be fact.

    So, I really was just responding to your original statement of : “Guess books influ­ence people more than we think, maybe?” My answer, short and sweet without the explanations, would be “yes.”

  8. Mame says:

    The exchange of comments are as interesting as the post, and got me thinking. In my opinion that is what really good writing should do, get people thinking and talking. Isn’t interesting the most thought provoking books always manage to make it the “most challenged list”? There are heck of a lot of books at the library, ones we blog about that have a lot more graphic sex, language and violence in them than “Kite Runner”, “Huck Finn” and “Harry Potter” but they never make the list. Hhmmm….
    As to the believing what is read. There are a lot of people who believe what they read in the Enquirer and Star magazines, let alone DaVinci Code. I have heard people say “They wouldn’t print it if it wasn’t true.” For me, reality is too stressful so I can’t wait to dive into good fiction.

  9. Avid Reader says:

    Mame: There are heck of a lot of books at the library, ones we blog about that have a lot more graphic sex, lan­guage and vio­lence in them than “Kite Runner”, “Huck Finn” and “Harry Potter” but they never make the list.

    Yep, you’re right. I plan to read and review a book that was banned. It’s YA or children’s fiction and titled The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson. If you read the Amazon reviews a lot of parents hated this book (which was also on the list of recommended summer reading) because of Gilly foul language, her view on religion, etc, disrepect of adults, list goes on. Read the first chapter of Gilly book and the kid is an orphan who has been through the system which explains a lot of her behavior, don’t you think?

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