Thursday News: celebrating Romance, restricting books, rewriting Little Women, and erasing women’s history
Happy Ever After: 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances – An interesting list that at the very least reflects the difficulty in making any kind of “best of” list. If that’s what this is. We get back, pretty quickly, to the question of what makes a Romance novel effective, and what “good” or “best” or even “swoon-worthy” means in the context of a list like this. Also some of the comments will make you want to pull your hair out strand by strand. Although the discussion about covers is kind of interesting, especially in the way that they code the books for readers and how that should not be apologized for or seen as a negative thing, for any number of reasons.
Back in June we asked you to tell us about your favorite romantic reads, and you responded in droves. (We had to shut the poll down early after more than 18,000 nominations flooded in!) Once the votes were tallied, we turned to our expert panel, reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell, and authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkou, to help us break down the categories and shape the final list into a love story for the ages.
“It is my sincere hope and belief that readers new to the romance genre can pick up any recommended title on the list and find an interesting, affecting and satisfying read,” says Thomas. We hope new readers and longtime fans alike will find a happily ever after here — but if we’ve left out one of your favorites, please tell us about it in the comments! –NPR
AFTER PARENT OUTCRY, WEST ASHLEY HIGH PULLS SOME GIRLS ARE FROM SUMMER READING LIST – I haven’t read the book in question, but I’m surprised and dismayed at the power one parent was able to wield in this situation. I also wonder how the legacy of abstinence-only sex education has helped shape the idea that teenagers need to be shielded from everything sexual or sexually challenging. Also, what are the chances that these kids are allowed to watch violent television and movie programming, especially if it’s men blowing crap up or exacting vigilante justice.
Some Girls Are is a confrontational no-holds-barred look at young adolescent life. It’s about bullying–something most teenagers witness, experience or perpetuate in their school careers. It’s about a highly toxic culture that fosters aggression between girls. The novel explores the consequences of hurting people and asks us to consider the impact our actions have on others. It’s about picking up the pieces of our mistakes and bettering ourselves. It’s about forgiveness. . . .
I have made a career out of writing young adult fiction about difficult topics. It’s my deepest hope teenagers living the harsh realities I write about–because they do live them–will read my books and feel less alone. It’s incredibly powerful to see yourself in a book when you’re struggling. Not only that, but gritty, realistic YA novels offer a safe space for teen readers to process what is happening in the world around them, even if they never directly experience what they’re reading about. This, in turn, creates a space for teens and the adults in their lives to discuss these topics. Fiction also helps us to consider lives outside of our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic toward others. –Courtney Summers’ Tumblr
The CW Is Developing A “Gritty” Adaptation of Little Women & We Are Both Excited And Scared -I’m not really averse to the idea of a “gritty” Little Women, because I think LW has some gritty aspects already, but I guess my question is why adapt Little Women as a dystopian television series. I mean, why not just develop a dystopian series about four sisters? Like what is it about Alcott that supposedly lends itself to this treatment?
The script, written by Alexis Jolly, follows “disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy” as they “band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined—all while trying not to kill each other in the process.”–E! Online
You mean that isn’t what lady history is all about? – This was supposed to be a museum celebrating women of the East End of London and their “contribution to British history.” Now it’s a Jack the Ripper museum, because, of course, that’s a more “interesting angle.” You know, I tend to dislike calling everything that objectifies and defaces women “misogyny,” and the insult to historical research and actual history is pretty bold here, as well, but it’s pretty difficult to get past the “interesting angle” comment here without registering a powerful blow to the women’s history and the history of women representing the East End.
Mr Palmer-Edgecumbe said: “We did plan to do a museum about social history of women but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper.”
“It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place.” –Pharyngula