Come talk with us over on our YouTube channel about the first grown-up book you ever read.

Critical Linking: September 21, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

Slow reading means a return to a continuous, linear pattern, in a quiet environment free of distractions. Advocates recommend setting aside at least 30 to 45 minutes in a comfortable chair far from cellphones and computers. Some suggest scheduling time like an exercise session. Many recommend taking occasional notes to deepen engagement with the text.

Reading daily is good for you (with a side of technology-is-killing-our-ability-to-think).


Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.

The fascinating history and origin story of Wonder Woman.


Young adult novels externalise evil as an enemy that can be seen and understood. They give teenagers a Lord Voldemort, a monster that can be defeated, an evil that can be vanquished. But increasingly the evil in young adult fiction is the adult world itself. In the Hunger Games it’s an adult world of political and economic repression. In Divergent it’s an adult world that demands conformity, at the expense of the individual. In The Maze Runner it’s an adult world that has escalated to such technological complexity that we are all lost within it. And increasingly, it’s not just teenagers that need allegorical warnings against adult reality, but adults themselves.

This is a nice piece on why (sci-fi) Young Adult fiction is loved by kinds of readers, not just teenagers… and why that’s just fine.



How about some amazing Roald Dahl inspired cakes?

Judith Jones’s career was about bringing authenticity to the forefront. Whether that was a woman hell-bent on writing French recipes for American cooks, or the story of a girl hiding in an attic from Nazi soldiers, or of a woman trying to capture the cuisine of her childhood, the lifestyle of food that seemed to be slipping away – it was all about honesty and authenticity. It was about telling a story.
from Editor Crush: Judith Jones by Dana Staves
Books in translation hitting shelves this month. Check ‘em out.

Books in translation hitting shelves this month. Check ‘em out.

Want to win a copy of Caragh M. O’Brien’s The Vault of Dreamers? We’ve got 10 up for grabs this weekend. Try your hand.

Want to win a copy of Caragh M. O’Brien’s The Vault of Dreamers? We’ve got 10 up for grabs this weekend. Try your hand.

The Week’s Most Popular Posts: September 15 - 19, 2014 

Grab some snacks and let’s take a look back at the week that was …

So often we, The Bookish, get down on movie adaptations of books. It’s a fair thing to do – plenty of them are terrible. It’s hard to recreate a book in a meaningful way in a two hour setting. However, here are five movie adaptations that either did the book (or short story) justice or surpassed it… friends, let’s admit that that’s possible.

from 5 Movie Adaptations That Got It Right by Wallace Yovetich


I started tracking my reading on accident: I signed up for a Goodreads account years ago, and it automatically keeps a tally of how many books you read each year. Their stats section can also tell you how many books your read from each of your created shelves, how many pages you read, and what years the books you read were published. That’s nice and all (and I still use Goodreads to catalogue the books I own), but none of those stats are useful to me. I need MEAT, so our Director of Content Rebecca introduced me to her reading spreadsheet.

Jenn invented it, and passed it to Rebecca. Rebecca passed it to me. And now I am passing it to you (with Jenn’s permission).

from How I Track My Reading: The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet by Amanda Nelson


Which is to say, I started keeping a book journal last year, because I could not for the life of me remember what I had read! I was consuming so much so quickly, in that precious spare time that I didn’t know what I’d read against what I hadn’t.

Furthermore, I’d begun to grow curious: What kind of reader was I? Who did I read the most? What kind of books, what kind of writers did I reach for immediately, and what did that say about my reading habits?

from How I Track My Reading: The Book Journal by Martin Cahill


Whenever I open a book to read, I do it with a wish that when I reach the end, its story will have left me a different person. Here are four books that changed how I view the world.

from Four Books That Changed How I View The World by E.H. Kern


Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to minor in history during college (sigh) but I luuurrrved reading about it. Why not design my own history course? I’d go through my library’s catalog and write a list of all the histories and biographies that piqued my interest (my tastes are pretty eclectic). Then, like all people obsessed with chronological order, I arranged them according to time period.

Below, I share with you a snapshot of the nonfiction audiobooks I’ve listened to, complete with listening-time (which is specific to my editions- the Amazon links may not refer to those same editions).

from A Western Civilization History Course in 40 Audiobooks by Rachel Cordasco


Across the Universe series by Beth Revis

from 7 Excellent YA Sci-Fi Romance Series by Kelly Jensen

Critical Linking: September 20, 2014 
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

Although the data I am working with is a selected amount — these are Top 100 and Top 10 lists, not the raw list of 5,000+ challenges that the OIF received over the last decade — I think it’s still quite revealing. It’s clear to me that books that fall outside the white, straight, abled mainstream are challenged more often than books that do not destabilize the status quo.

This isn’t surprising, but the extent to which diverse books are represented on these lists — as a majority — is quite disheartening. Diversity is slim throughout all genres of books and across all age groups — except when it comes to book challenges.

The message this sends is loud and clear: diversity is actually under attack. Minority perspectives are being silenced every year.

I’ve always been curious what the breakdown of challenged/censored books looked like in terms of minority representation, and the numbers are disheartening.


I use comics in my classroom because stories like these inspired my own interest in history. As a junior in high school during the 1990s, I read the classic March 1963 issue of Tales of Suspense, which includes Iron Man’s first appearance. In this story, the Viet Cong capture wealthy industrialist Tony Stark. To escape, Stark cobbles together his first primitive Iron Man suit. As a 17-year-old, I knew very little about the Vietnam War and what role America had played. The comics piqued my interest, and I went on to read several history books on the conflict. Weeks later, fate smiled upon me when my history teacher assigned a research paper on the Vietnam War.

Teachers who use comics in the classroom are awesome.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss those pencils that were made of stackable tips (oh the horror when you lost one!) or erasable pens that are really neither pen nor pencil but I do miss a good Choose Your Own Adventure book.
Those were the highlight of my childhood and in the interest of bringing back my childhood, I’ve compiled a list of books that would make great Choose Your Own Adventure books. 
These 5 books that would make great Choose Your Own Adventure books would indeed make great CYOA books.
The Lawrence Public Library on Thursday unveiled its third edition of banned books trading cards, the project that asks residents to submit artwork inspired by censured books for the chance to have it converted into a collector’s item.
These Banned Books Week trading cards get better every year.
Come talk with us about what you’re reading this week at Inbox/Outbox.
But as an adult, I also have a very different view of her life and death. This past February, on the anniversary of her suicide at age 30, I realized several things: I was older than her when she died, and oh, how we’ll never know what she could have produced. I feel so young, like my life is still ahead of me, and it made me so sad that her depression, that insidious illness, killed her. There is no romanticizing about her life now – her marriage was tumultuous and troubled, toward the end she was struggling in nearly every way possible, and the end must have been very, very bleak. She could be selfish and vengeful. Simply put, she was human, like the rest of us. That can be very hard to remember when you’re a teenager and idolizing writers that touch your bloody, tender heart.
from Sylvia Plath: More Than Just Her Death by Jaime Herndon