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Tuesday News: Computational literacy, Diana Norman’s daughter finishes mother’s book, cool bookstores, and Dear Author gets love at BEA

Tuesday News: Computational literacy, Diana Norman’s daughter finishes mother’s book, cool...

But let’s back up a step: What if learning to code weren’t actually the most important thing? It turns out that rather than increasing the number of kids who can crank out thousands of lines of JavaScript, we first need to boost the number who understand what code can do. As the cities that have hosted Code for America teams will tell you, the greatest contribution the young programmers bring isn’t the software they write. It’s the way they think. It’s a principle called “computational thinking,” and knowing all of the Java syntax in the world won’t help if you can’t think of good ways to apply it. –Mother Jones

Because instead of grieving for her as desperately as I would have done otherwise, I was able to continue a dialogue with her — coming to terms with her physical loss by climbing inside her head; thinking her thoughts and writing with her voice, which, to me anyway, still sounded so strong.

I even adopted her writing regime, and would sit from 9am until 5pm at my computer at home in London, tapping away; and then, in the evenings, re-reading her books to make sure I had her style.

When news of what I was doing spread, I was contacted by many of her friends and fellow writers, offering their support — which I found enormously comforting. After eight months, the manuscript had to be delivered. Mum never missed a deadline, so I couldn’t be late. –The Daily Mail

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to attend BookExpo America (BEA), the largest annual publishing event in North America. The event, held this year in New York City, was attended by over 750 authors and 1,000 exhibitors from the publishing industry. In addition to author events and exhibitions, the BEA Bloggers Conference took place. We found out about some great new blogs while attending BEA and decided to share some of our favorites. –Book Vibe Blog

What Jennie’s Been Reading

What Jennie’s Been Reading

I haven’t been finishing books that quickly lately; first the holidays interfered and then work interfered. I read and reviewed The Lost Book of Mala R. and Lily. Here’s a rundown of what else I’ve been reading:

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: I started this on the recommendation of a friend; it’s her favorite book. I’m about halfway through, and…it’s good. I wouldn’t say I love it the way my friend does, but it has a nice atmosphere to it. Wikipedia says it’s an epistolary novel; I had always thought epistolary=letters, but I guess it can include other documents (in the case of this book, diary entries and legal statements form a good part of the story).  I’m interested in the resolution and how the disparate elements come together. I had previously had some vague idea that this was a ghost story, but it’s really more of a mystery with an unusual structure and some intriguing characters (the affable yet menacing Count Fosco chief among them).

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Pure by Julianna Baggott: I’m still fairly early on in this dystopian YA novel. So far, so good, though I find the world-building a little confusing. That’s not unusual for me, though (one reason I am wary of fantasy and sci-fi books). I plan to review this one.

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Leningrad by Anna Reid: I’ve been reading this one for a while but haven’t made a huge amount of progress. I was expecting it to be more composed of personal anecdotes of those who lived throug the Siege of Leningrad, but so far, while there are some of those, there’s also a lot of big picture stuff about the war, troop movements, Hitler and Stalin, etc. This doesn’t interest me quite as much, especially when it gets very military-focused – battle stuff bores me to tears. I still have hopes, though. I am having trouble keeping all of the Russian names straight – I wish there were a glossary or something similar to help me with that.

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The Vizard Mask by Diana Norman: I have heard about this book forever – I think Jayne is a fan, perhaps? Having caught up with the late author’s medieval mystery series (written as Ariana Franklin), I broke down and ordered this from overseas. I’m about 2/3 through it and enjoying it a lot. Penitence Hurd, colonial Puritan turned London actress turned mistress to royalty is a unique and fascinating character. I have to say, I have read a lot of books featuring Charles II lately, and I swear I like him less each time I read about him. Seriously, he appears to have been a real douche canoe, both as a monarch and a man.

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Until next time,