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George R. R. Martin is ALRIGHT by ME! Comes out swinging against injustice!

13 Aug

I don’t usually write about politics (or do I? I am pretty vocal about my feminist, democratic, liberal ways right?), but my love for Martin knows no bounds. A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones for those who don’t know it as a series of books) is one of my favorite reads. Seeing an author come out fighting for what he believes is pretty great, especially when everyone is so afraid of judgement and crucifixion in the media….

 

According to the Huffington Post:

“George R.R. Martin, author of “A Game of Thrones”, has slammed “Republicans and their Teabagger allies” in so-called swing states for what he calls “voter suppression.”

In a recent blogpost on Martin’s website, he refers to recent voter purges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, saying that “The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.”

Martin, an avowed Democrat from Bayonne, N.J. who has described President Obama as “the most intelligent president we’ve had since Jimmy Carter”, doesn’t often write about politics on his blog, but when he does, it is usually to speak about something he feels strongly about, be it TSA screenings or the Affordable Care Act.”

(Via Huffington Post)

I like a man with conviction (stares off into the sunset dreaming of John Snow and Rob Stark). Wait…I also like his fearless women Arya and Dani. This man KNOWS FEARLESS!!!!!!

 

 

Alice is back! NPR gives us the 100 Best Teen Novels

7 Aug

After a hard couple months of medical and rabbitty hole hardship, I’m back! To start off, I give you NPR’s list of the Best 100 Teen Novels. I think some are missing and some are missplaced. Any thoughts? Sound off!

NPR’s 100 Best Teen Novels

Enjoy some of the highlights and lowlights below and click on the link above to read through the entire list. As always, paint the roses in the comment section!

1. Harry Potter

 

2. Hunger Games- maybe a bit high there?? I mean–I love the series, but it is not the second best ever. Everyone needs to CALM DOWN.

21. Mortal Instruments Series- Seriously? …………………………………………………………….Seriously? I will leave my ranting out of this. But SERIOUSLY? It beats out Tuck Everlasting?? The Giver? Bridge to Terabithea and A Wrinkle in Time (which were missing)? Ugh.

At least my favorite redhead was represented….

14. Anne of Green Gables

We Have Lost A Wild Thing

8 May

Maurice Sendakv

I could not word it better than Margalit Fox at the NYT (NYT.com)

Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn.

The cause was complications from a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor.

Roundly praised, intermittently censored and occasionally eaten, Mr. Sendak’s books were essential ingredients of childhood for the generation born after 1960 or thereabouts, and in turn for their children. He was known in particular for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was simultaneously genre-breaking and career-making when it was published by Harper & Row in 1963.

Among the other titles he wrote and illustrated, all from Harper & Row, are “In the Night Kitchen” (1970) and “Outside Over There” (1981), which together with “Where the Wild Things Are” form a trilogy; “The Sign on Rosie’s Door” (1960); “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” (1967); and “The Nutshell Library” (1962), a boxed set of four tiny volumes comprising “Alligators All Around,” “Chicken Soup With Rice,” “One Was Johnny” and “Pierre.”

In September, a new picture book by Mr. Sendak, “Bumble-Ardy” — the first in 30 years for which he produced both text and illustrations — was issued by HarperCollins Publishers. The book, which spent five weeks on the New York Times children’s best-seller list, tells the not-altogether-lighthearted story of an orphaned pig (his parents are eaten) who gives himself a riotous birthday party.

A posthumous picture book, “My Brother’s Book” — a poem written and illustrated by Mr. Sendak and inspired by his love for his late brother, Jack — is scheduled to be published next February.

Mr. Sendak’s work was the subject of critical studies and major exhibitions; in the second half of his career, he was also renowned as a designer of theatrical sets. His art graced the writing of other eminent authors for children and adults, including Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, William Blake and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

In book after book, Mr. Sendak upended the staid, centuries-old tradition of American children’s literature, in which young heroes and heroines were typically well scrubbed and even better behaved; nothing really bad ever happened for very long; and everything was tied up at the end in a neat, moralistic bow.

Mr. Sendak’s characters, by contrast, are headstrong, bossy, even obnoxious. (In “Pierre,” “I don’t care!” is the response of the small eponymous hero to absolutely everything.) His pictures are often unsettling. His plots are fraught with rupture: children are kidnapped, parents disappear, a dog lights out from her comfortable home.

A largely self-taught illustrator, Mr. Sendak was at his finest a shtetl Blake, portraying a luminous world, at once lovely and dreadful, suspended between wakefulness and dreaming. In so doing, he was able to convey both the propulsive abandon and the pervasive melancholy of children’s interior lives.

His visual style could range from intricately crosshatched scenes that recalled 19th-century prints to airy watercolors reminiscent of Chagall to bold, bulbous figures inspired by the comic books he loved all his life, with outsize feet that the page could scarcely contain. He never did learn to draw feet, he often said.

In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for “Where the Wild Things Are.” In simple, incantatory language, the book told the story of Max, a naughty boy who rages at his mother and is sent to his room without supper. A pocket Odysseus, Max promptly sets sail:

And he sailed off through night and day

and in and out of weeks

and almost over a year

to where the wild things are.

There, Max leads the creatures in a frenzied rumpus before sailing home, anger spent, to find his supper waiting.

As portrayed by Mr. Sendak, the wild things are deliciously grotesque: huge, snaggletoothed, exquisitely hirsute and glowering maniacally. He always maintained he was drawing his relatives — who, in his memory at least, had hovered like a pack of middle-aged gargoyles above the childhood sickbed to which he was often confined.

Maurice Bernard Sendak was born in Brooklyn on June 10, 1928; his father, Philip, was a dressmaker in the garment district of Manhattan. Family photographs show the infant Maurice, or Murray as he was then known, as a plump, round-faced, slanting-eyed, droopy-lidded, arching-browed creature — looking, in other words, exactly like a baby in a Maurice Sendak illustration. Mr. Sendak adored drawing babies, in all their fleshy petulance.

A frail child beset by a seemingly endless parade of illnesses, Mr. Sendak was reared, he said afterward, in a world of looming terrors: the Depression; the war; the Holocaust, in which many of his European relatives perished; the seemingly infinite vulnerability of children to danger. The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932 he experienced as a personal torment: if that fair-haired, blue-eyed princeling could not be kept safe, what certain peril lay in store for him, little Murray Sendak, in his humble apartment in Bensonhurst?

An image from the Lindbergh crime scene — a ladder leaning against the side of a house — would find its way into “Outside Over There,” in which a baby is carried off by goblins.

As Mr. Sendak grew up — lower class, Jewish, gay — he felt permanently shunted to the margins of things. “All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy,” he told The New York Times in a 2008 interview. “They never, never, never knew.”

His lifelong melancholia showed in his work, in picture books like “We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy” (HarperCollins, 1993), a parable about homeless children in the age of AIDS. It showed in his habits. He could be dyspeptic and solitary, working in his white clapboard home in the deep Connecticut countryside with only Mozart, Melville, Mickey Mouse and his dogs for company.

It showed in his everyday interactions with people, especially those blind to the seriousness of his enterprise. “A woman came up to me the other day and said, ‘You’re the kiddie-book man!’ ” Mr. Sendak told Vanity Fair last year.“I wanted to kill her.”

But Mr. Sendak could also be warm and forthright, if not quite gregarious. He was a man of ardent enthusiasms — for music, art, literature, argument and the essential rightness of children’s perceptions of the world around them. He was also a mentor to a generation of younger writers and illustrators for children, several of whom, including Arthur Yorinks, Richard Egielski and Paul O. Zelinsky, went on to prominent careers of their own.

As far back as he could remember, Mr. Sendak had loved to draw. That and looking out the window had helped him pass the long hours in bed. While he was still in high school he worked part time for All-American Comics, filling in backgrounds for book versions of the “Mutt and Jeff” comic strip. His first professional illustrations were for a physics textbook, “Atomics for the Millions,” published in 1947.

In 1948, at 20, he took a job building window displays for F. A. O. Schwarz. Through the store’s children’s book buyer, he was introduced to Ursula Nordstrom, the distinguished editor of children’s books at Harper & Row. The meeting, the start of a long, fruitful collaboration, led to Mr. Sendak’s first children’s book commission: illustrating “The Wonderful Farm,” by Marcel Aymé, published in 1951.

Under Ms. Nordstrom’s guidance, Mr. Sendak went on to illustrate books by other well-known children’s authors, including several by Ruth Krauss, notably “A Hole Is to Dig” (1952), and Else Holmelund Minarik’s “Little Bear” series. The first title he wrote and illustrated himself, “Kenny’s Window,” published in 1956, was a moody, dreamlike story about a lonely boy’s inner life.

Mr. Sendak’s books were often a window into his own experience. “Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or, There Must Be More to Life” was a valentine to Jennie, his beloved Sealyham terrier, who died shortly before the book was published.

At the start of the story, Jennie, who has everything a dog could want — including “a round pillow upstairs and a square pillow downstairs” — packs her bags and sets off on her own, pining for adventure. She finds it on the stage of the World Mother Goose Theatre, where she becomes a leading lady. Every day, and twice on Saturdays, Jennie, who looks rather like a mop herself, eats a mop made out of salami. This makes her very happy.

“Hello,” Jennie writes in a satisfyingly articulate letter to her master. “As you probably noticed, I went away forever. I am very experienced now and very famous. I am even a star. … I get plenty to drink too, so don’t worry.”

By contrast, the huge, flat, brightly colored illustrations of “In the Night Kitchen,” the story of a boy’s journey through a fantastic nocturnal cityscape, are a tribute to the New York of Mr. Sendak’s childhood, recalling the 1930s films and comic books he adored all his life. (The three bakers who toil in the night kitchen are the spit and image of Oliver Hardy.)

Mr. Sendak’s later books could be much darker. “Brundibar” (Hyperion, 2003), with text by the playwright Tony Kushner, is a picture book based on an opera performed by the children of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The opera, also called “Brundibar,” had been composed in 1938 by Hans Krasa, a Czech Jew who later died in Auschwitz.

Reviewing the book in The New York Times Book Review, Gregory Maguire called it “a capering picture book crammed with melodramatic menace and comedy both low and grand.” He added: “In a career that spans 50 years and counting, as Sendak’s does, there are bound to be lesser works. ‘Brundibar’ is not lesser than anything.”

With Mr. Kushner, Mr. Sendak collaborated on a stage version of the opera, performed in 2006 at the New Victory Theater in New York.

Despite its wild popularity, Mr. Sendak’s work was not always well received. Some early reviews of “Where the Wild Things Are” expressed puzzlement and outright unease. Writing in Ladies’ Home Journal, the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim took Mr. Sendak to task for punishing Max:

“The basic anxiety of the child is desertion,” Mr. Bettelheim wrote. “To be sent to bed alone is one desertion, and without food is the second desertion.” (Mr. Bettelheim admitted that he had not actually read the book.)

“In the Night Kitchen,” which depicts its young hero, Mickey, in the nude, prompted many school librarians to bowdlerize the book by drawing a diaper over Mickey’s nether region.

But these were minority responses. Mr. Sendak’s other awards include the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and, in 1996, the National Medal of the Arts, presented by President Bill Clinton. Twenty-two of his titles have been named New York Times best illustrated books of the year.

Many of Mr. Sendak’s books had second lives on stage and screen. Among the most notable adaptations are the operas “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” by the British composer Oliver Knussen, and Carole King’s “Really Rosie,” a musical version of “The Sign on Rosie’s Door,” which appeared on television as an animated special in 1975 and on the Off Broadway stage in 1980.

In 2009, a feature film version of “Where the Wild Things Are” — part live action, part animated — by the director Spike Jonze opened to favorable notices. (With Lance Bangs, Mr. Jonze also directed “Tell Them Anything You Want,” a documentary film about Mr. Sendak first broadcast on HBO that year.)

In the 1970s, Mr. Sendak began designing sets and costumes for adaptations of his own work and, eventually, the work of others. His first venture was Mr. Knussen’s “Wild Things,” for which Mr. Sendak also wrote the libretto. Performed in a scaled-down version in Brussels in 1980, the opera had its full premiere four years later, to great acclaim, staged in London by the Glyndebourne Touring Opera.

With the theater director Frank Corsaro, he also created sets for several venerable operas, among them Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” performed by the Houston Grand Opera in 1980, and Leos Janacek’s “Cunning Little Vixen” for the New York City Opera in 1981.

For the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Mr. Sendak designed sets and costumes for a 1983 production of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker”; a film version was released in 1986.

Among Mr. Sendak’s recent books is his only pop-up book, “Mommy?,” published by Scholastic in 2006, with a scenario by Mr. Yorinks and paper engineering by Matthew Reinhart.

Mr. Sendak’s companion of a half-century, Eugene Glynn, a psychiatrist who specialized in the treatment of young people, died in 2007. No immediate family members survive.

Though he understood children deeply, Mr. Sendak by no means valorized them unconditionally. “Dear Mr. Sun Deck …” he could drone with affected boredom, imitating the semiliterate forced-march school letter-writing projects of which he was the frequent, if dubious, beneficiary.

But he cherished the letters that individual children sent him unbidden, which burst with the sparks that his work had ignited.

“Dear Mr. Sendak,” read one, from an 8-year-old boy. “How much does it cost to get to where the wild things are? If it is not expensive, my sister and I would like to spend the summer there.” (NYT.com)

 

I remember the first time I read this. Everything was possible…..

 

 

 

 

You will be missed……

A New J.K. Rowling?

6 May

Samantha Shannon

According to Jezebel, Bloomsbury has found the new Mrs. Rowling?

“…she’s a 20-year-old Oxford student named Samantha Shannon and her first novel, The Bone Season, helped garner her a multi-book, seven-figure deal with Bloomsbury.

Considering that the real J.K. Rowling is still writing, it might be a little premature to start looking for the “new” Rowling. Still, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle — whose name seems like that of a rough-draft Harry Potter character— was so impressed with Shannon’s debut novel that she committed to an entire series based on the adventures of a 19-year-old clairvoyant named Paige, who escapes from a criminal underworld in the not-too-distant future only to be sent to the secret city of Oxford by the repressive future government. “The book,” said Pringle, “is an utterly consuming adventure and we are committed to the seven.” That’s seven books, right from the get-go, coupled with lofty expectations to duplicate the success of a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. But hey, no pressure or anything.” (jezebel.com)

So….this is interesting. Seven books? Bloomsbury? I’ll bite–but there is only ONE J.K. Rowling. How about we just call this young lady Samantha Shannon?

Here is the Daily Mail article as well. ENJOY!

Be Still My Heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 Apr

It's Coming!!!!!

We have details!!!!!!!! Little, Brown has given us a TITLE!!!!!!! Drumroll Please!!!!

 The Casual Vacancy

It will be released worldwide on September 27, 2012.

“It begins when the sudden death of a well-liked man rocks the “seemingly idyllic” town of Pagford, England. Beneath its pleasant facade, Pagford is actually a “town at war,” roiled by class conflicts — rich people at odds with the poor — and in-fighting within families.” (Shelf Life)

Could this be the political fairytale we heard about

23 Mar

agirlwithameme:

While I agree with the title of the CNN post, I disagree with the sentiment that Bella is an “okay” role model for girls and Katniss is a better one. A girl who says “SAVE ME” to a boy and goes along for the ride is not a role model for anyone….period. A lost girl does not need to be saved by a boy and that message needs to be stopped PRONTO. It is so harmful for girls AND boys. Young girls and women have agency and are perfectly capable of being the persons they were born to be–even when the “odds are NOT in their favor”. They can rise above every circumstance through their own uniqueness and do ANYTHING. SPARKLY VAMPIRES BE DAMNED! Bella may be the worst thing to hit literature and girlhood since the early Disney princesses. Katniss is a fantastic role model for girls (hearts for Katniss!!!!!), but she is not a novelty–and we should celebrate those that came before. She stands in a long line of female heroines and female leads that teach girls (and boys) what badassness looks like. So today I offer a toast to Hermione, Lyra, Luna, Minerva, Molly, Lily, Ginny, Anne, Leia, Juniper, Galadriel, Arwen, and the many other strong girls and women that have paved the path for our GIRL ON FIRE! Have any more? Paint the Roses!!!

Originally posted on GeekOut:

Editor’s note: Colette Bennett, aside from being Geek Out’s main otaku, is an obsessive fangirl. Recently, her love of “The Hunger Games” series led her to call it the “thinking woman’s YA series.” As fans across the country camp out to buy tickets to “The Hunger Games” movie premier, Bennett explains the singularity and relevance of Katniss worship.

In the era of obsessive young adult literature fandom, a new heroine towers above all the others — Miss Katniss Everdeen.

Friday marks a great day for avid fans of “The Hunger Games,” as they anticipate public vindication for their devotion to the book’s 17-year-old lead character, who has a handsome boy on each arm and a political uprising to lead.

The first movie adaptation of the popular book series opens Friday night, and the trailers have already whipped fans into a frenzy. The madness is sure to soar…

View original 909 more words

21 Mar

agirlwithameme:

So…we don’t know each other that well yet….but I HATE the Mortal Instrument series. Look at my ABOUT ME section. I warned you about it. Implied incest that went on too long, an author that rubs me the wrong way (cough cough plagiarism in the Potter world that you brushed off too lightly), and a fourth book that was put out just for money (seriously…it did not follow the series at all…the series was OVER by book three. Where was the integrity to your “ode to incest”?). This just makes me want to hurl books at someone–namely Cassandra Clare.

Originally posted on Shelf Life:

[ew_image url="http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2012/03/14/cassandra-clare_240.jpg" credit="" align="right"]Simon & Schuster has announced that best-selling young-adult author Cassandra Clare will write a third series of novels, following the huge success of the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices series. The new series, which isn’t planned for publication until 2015, will be called The Dark Artifices.

According to a press release, here’s the plot of the first Dark Artifices book:

View original 206 more words

Pottermore!

8 Mar

Coming Soon.....

Open to all users in early April……

For more information, visit the Insider!

I am geeking out like Dobby at a sock factory ya’ll!!!!

Dobby, A Free Elf!

Please don’t let me down Pottermore. You are the last thing on my fandom checklist (other than name every single one of my kids after a Harry Potter character….).

Cover Reveal: Reached

8 Mar

The cover and title for Ally Condie’s newest book in the Matched trilogy was released this week.

Reached, Ally Condie

For her interview at EW.com and more details on the newest book, head over to EW’s book blog, Shelf Life.

What do you think of the cover? Excited about the final book? Any theories or thoughts on the conclusion?

Did you hear that Matched has already been optioned and picked up as a film? Exciting…..

If you have not read this series:

-Dystopian

 -Similar to Lois Lowry’s The Giver

-Set in a Totalitarian Future

-Government decides who your perfect MATCH is (in regards to the interest of the community) and what is good for you (job, life, wash your hair….they pretty much decided how you breathe).

Great read in the ever-growing genre of dystopia. They are a bit slowish–but not without some real merit (the questions the books asks are awesome).

Everyone is on the hunt for the next Hunger Games….

6 Mar

So….

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

My friend Kate and I were having dinner and talking about what makes Dystopian YA literature such a magnet (I have my theories….a whole DISSERTATION worth of theories)….

and then I saw this great piece from NPR that I just had to share!

Enjoy!

The Next Hunger Games

What do you think?

Why is Dystopian Literature so popular right now? What does it say about us? What themes keep coming up? Do you think this is a passing genre?

What book or series do you think are going to be big? Any reading suggestions?

PAINT THE ROSES!!

 

 

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