Please yell at me, and then teach me how to use google scholar.
MORGAN, the semester is almost over. Get off your ass and do your assignments. And ask your librarian-like people how to use Google Scholar. We didn’t have new-fangled things like that when I was in school. I had to use LexisNexis and stuff.
Are you guys doing RedditGifts? I am, and I’m super excited. But I’m also less than rolling in dough right now. I’m worried my hard thought of gifts will be a let down to someone expecting a crazy, amazing, awesome gift packages that I’m seeing go up on the website.
“I am the product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and he never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents’ interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.”—C.S. Lewis, born today in 1898 (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
When I started to write it was the ’70s and throughout that decade we didn’t have any problems with book challenges or censorship. It all started really in a big way in 1980 … It came with the election, the presidential election of 1980, and the next day, I’ve been told, the censors were crawling out of the woodwork and challenging, like it’s our turn now, and we’re going to say what we don’t want our children to read.
But I think it’s more than that. It’s what we don’t want our children to know, what we don’t want to talk to our children about; and if they read it, they’ll know it, or they’ll question it.
”— Young adult lit author Judy Blume on the rise of censorship in school libraries over the last several decades. (via npr)
Books win their audiences for a reason. Most popular books wear their artlessness on their sleeve: Stephenie Meyer, the author of the “Twilight” series, is an awkward writer with little feeling for construction, but the intensity of emotion with which she imbues her characters is enviable. You never doubt her commitment to the material, which is half the battle won. So to say that Paolini is an unskilled narrator and a derivative mythmaker is more or less beside the point. What is it, then, that makes the books enter kids’ consciousness?
First, kids experience them as mythologies more than as stories—the narrative sweep is, curiously, the least significant part of their appeal. When kids talk about movies, it’s usually the cool parts that get highlighted. (“So there’s this, like, cool part where the guy—the blue guy?—has to tame, like, a flying dinosaur and they’re all on a cliff and he says, like, ‘How do I know which one is mine?’ And, so, the blue girl is, like, ‘He will try to kill you!’ ”) Readers of the Eragon books don’t relate cool incidents; they relate awesome elements. You hear about the Elders, the dragon riders, the magical fire-sword Brisingr; what drags readers in is not the story but the symbols and their slow unfolding. The sheer invocation of a mythology casts a deeper spell than putting the mythology on its feet and making it dance. If you talk to an Eragon reader, you will see why the introductory seven-page synopsis of the mythology is necessary. The synopsis is the story.
And the truth is that most actual mythologies and epics and sacred books are dull. Nothing is more wearying, for readers whose tastes have been formed by the realist novel, than the Elder Edda. Yet the spell such works cast on their audience wasn’t diminished by what we find tedious. The incantation of names is, on its own, a powerful literary style. The enchantment the Eragon series projects is not that of a story well told but that of an alternative world fully entered. You sense that when you hear a twelve-year-old describe the books. The gratification comes from the kid’s ability to master the symbols and myths of the saga, as with those eighty-level video games, rather than from the simple absorption of narrative.
“There are lots of reasons to support local businesses, whether it’s mom-and-pop hardware stores or neighborhood farmers’ markets. But when you buy from an independent bookseller, you’re doing something more. You’re helping to keep alive an important force in making our national literary culture more diverse, interesting and delightful.”—Support your indie bookstore! - American Spring - Salon.com (via bookladysblog)