Wednesday News: Amazon’s best books list, adapting comics characters, is adolescence obsolete, and snail love
The 10 best books of the year, according to Amazon – Not the bestselling books, but their “best of” list. It’s actually an interesting list, with Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad taking the number one spot, and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time rounding out the list at number ten. And it reminds me that I want to read Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.
“The main challenge for us was that there were a number of great books to choose from,” Amazon Books editor Chris Schluep told Business Insider. “In the end, we picked [the top book] for a few reasons: first, it’s a great piece of literature, second, it’s the one that stuck with us the most, and third, it’s a book you look forward to picking back up.” – Business Insider
WATCH: HOW MARVEL CHARACTERS SHOULD REALLY LOOK – Comparing characters as they appear in Marvel Comics to their counterparts in film and television. It’s interesting to contemplate the choices made and the possible reasons behind them (e.g. a handsome actor, for example). – Cosmic Book News
The end of adolescence – Fantastic article by UC Berkeley’s Paula Fass, who talks about the social construction of adolescence, especially in the U.S., and the way a number of cultural factors have confounded the correlation of the teenage years with a clear transition from childhood to adulthood. She talks about changes to education (e.g. a high school diploma is no longer the standard for career success), earlier sexualization, and other circumstances that have radically changed the way we think of maturation. It’s interesting to think about this piece relative to both YA and NA.
With the concept of adolescence, American parents, especially those in the middle class, could predict the staging of their children’s maturation. But adolescence soon became a vision of normal development that was applicable to all youth – its bridging character (connecting childhood and adulthood) giving young Americans a structured way to prepare for mating and work. In the 21st century, the bridge is sagging at both ends as the innocence of childhood has become more difficult to protect, and adulthood is long delayed. While adolescence once helped frame many matters regarding the teen years, it is no longer an adequate way to understand what is happening to the youth population. And it no longer offers a roadmap for how they can be expected to mature. . . .
The extension of necessary schooling into the 20s (and sometimes even into the 30s) strongly attenuated the relationship between a stage of physical maturation (puberty) and the social experiences to which it had been attached in the concept of adolescence. And active sexuality, which had been held at bay by a high-school life defined by dating, now intruded earlier and earlier into the lives of the young, while marriage was increasingly delayed. Adolescence was no longer an adequate description of this long postponement of adulthood. It never had been more than an in-between stage, meant to comprise a moratorium of a few years. Americans floundered to find a term to cover the new postponement of maturity. The best they have come up with is Jeffrey Arnett’s ‘emerging adulthood’. – Aeon
Love Is Patient: Rare Snail Finally Meets Mate Willing to Accept His Differences – Snail love: compelling, repulsive, fascinating, and bizarre.
Due to a genetic mutation, [snail] Jeremy’s shell swirls counterclockwise and his sex organs are located on the left side of his head, the opposite arrangement of most snails. According to NPR, this rare “lefty” look has made it nearly impossible for Jeremy to find a mate, because his sex organs don’t align with those of other snails.
Luckily, Jeremy found a friend in Angus Davison of the University of Nottingham, who is working with a team to find out what gene creates this one in 100,000 anomaly. One of the best ways to do this is to study Jeremy’s offspring. But first the snail has to haveoffspring, which requires another counterclockwise snail.
To find a mate for the lovelorn snail, Davison asked the public for help on Twitter, attaching the hashtag #snaillove to his plea. – Yahoo News