Links + Things: Zelda & F. Scott, Feminism & Social Class, More Plagiarism Wackiness, Speak, Rutger, Cheapo Books + More
I'm back with a round-up of interestingness on the web!
In case you missed it, recently on CEFS, we've highlighted our favorite reads from the last month, posted a new podcast about "new adult" fiction, Laura wrote a very insightful review of Eleanor & Park, Sandra found one of her certain favorite reads of 2013, and I got a bit ranty about libraries and ebooks and pleaded for help finding some good audiobook listens.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for your cheap-o book fix!
This Week's Video of Awesome
Open Culture recently shared this intriguing YouTube of rare photos and video of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. They bring up some concerns about whether or not some of the images and clips are properly identified, but most are clearly of the pair, and it's pretty amazing to see so many collected in a single place.
Intoxicated by sports, a school lost its way.
Look at that ESPN videotape again, if you can bear it. This wasn't your crabby old high-school coach dropping F-bombs and making slackers run wind sprints after practice. You or I would be sacked on the spot for behavior like Rice's. That's not a politically correct opinion. It's expected human decency.
I'm not sure how widely the story about the coach of the Rutgers basketball team's behavior has permeated outside of the sports world, but if you've missed it, I highly recommend this excellent piece about this coach's despicable behavior, and why it needs to change. Yes, coaches have behaved in this way for a long time, and yes, in some instances it's become part of the culture of athletics. However, that does nothing to mitigate the reality that it's still unacceptable and needs to change.
Well before Steubenville, "I was shocked when I realized how ignorant boys are about this," she told me. "It became clear in 2002, after five years of pretty heavy school visits, and people putting the book into the curriculum. In every single demographic—country, city, suburban, various economic classes, ethnic backgrounds—I'd go into a class and talk about the book. And usually by the end, a junior boy would say, 'I love the book, but I really didn’t get why she was so upset.' I heard that so many times. The first couple dozen times I sort of freaked, and then I got down from my judgmental podium and started to ask questions. It became clear that teen boys don’t understand what rape is."
I was well out of high school when Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak was published, but I know when my mother was still teaching high school, it was consistently devoured by her students. There's a lot to digest in this Atlantic profile of the author, but I was struck more than anything by the timelessness of Speak and of Halse Anderson's experience with high school students.
Sometimes people, um, borrow his guide without giving him credit. This happens fairly regularly, and when he finds out about it, he sends an e-mail asking them to take it down. Usually they do. But when he sent an e-mail to the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research, asking that a roughly 1,200-word, near-verbatim, uncredited chunk from his guide be removed from the consortium’s materials, the response was unexpected.
Rather than apologies, a lawyer sent him a cease-and-desist letter accusing him of plagiarizing the consortium’s materials and demanding that he take down his guide or face a lawsuit seeking damages up to $150,000.
Stories about plagiarism are universally mind-boggling, but this one is the bogglingiest of the them all. An organization stole a 1,200-word guide and then threatened to sure the author of said guide. I haven't seen a resolution to this crazypants story yet, but I'll be sure to share it if I do.
Interestingly, while the novel insists that mother-daughter relationships can transcend class boundaries, it simultaneously suggests that romantic relationships cannot. At least not when class is constructed in terms of education and level of intellectual engagement.
I'm always excited to read a new post from Jackie at Romance Novels for Feminists--she always breaks down nuances in novels in such a thoughtful, focused way that even if I'm not familiar with the work or author or disagree, it's fantastic food for thought. In this case she take a close look at the depiction of social class in Kristan Higgins' My One and Only. Social class in romance is a fascinating topic (FYI, my favorites which confront these issues are Unsticky by Sarra Manning and Can't Hurry Love by Molly O'Keefe) and Jackie brings up a lot of issues with this novel that I see a lot in the genre (and, admittedly, in fiction in general).
- Do you love the movie The Sandlot? Here are a few fun secrets about the film.
- Here's everything you need to know about touring Hollywood movie ranches, including the one from Little House on the Prairie.
- I adored this video of the history of the cellphone.
- Even more reason we all need a vacation: The farther from home we are, the happier our tweets are.
- I haven't posted my review yet, but I loved The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Moviefone thinks the movie adaptation will kick ass and take names.
- In other movie news, here are 12 adaptations of YA novels to keep on your radar. (It amuses me that The Fault in Our Stars movie isn't on this list. I imagine that's because so many people don't even realize it's a YA novel.)
- Zondervan, a Christian imprint of HarperCollins, is launching a general trade imprint. Though the description sounds like it's the same sort of books that Zondervan publishes already, right? Plus, the comment about the "dark" nature of YA concerns me, as it feeds a perception that's in no way related to reality, and it feels judgmental regarding the very real "dark" issues today's teens face.
- With her Soul Screamers series at an end, Rachel Vincent announced her new YA project (her first not with Harlequin). It sounds fantastic, but what I want to know is what's on her docket for her adult projects, since the fabulous Unbound series concludes at the end of this month.
- At Kirkus, SBTB's Sarah Wendell tackles reader shaming.
- I meant to link to this last time, and omitted it. I highly recommend reading Nafiza's thoughtful take on Goodreads, Amazon and books as cultural and/or commercial products.
- Are you a baseball fan like our household is? The LA Times has a roundup of the latest baseball non-fiction titles.
- Finally: Dolly Parton's on Tumblr!
Cover Art News
I'm really looking forward to Daisy Whitney's Starry Nights, which has an original blurb that claimed it was like "The Da Vinci Code with a feminist twist." I'm not quote sure what I think of the cover--it certainly looks romantic, but the random heart on the Eiffel Tower is a bit banal. However, I did see that Bloomsbury is saying the cover is "beautifully decorated" in print, which intrigues me.
I hated the hardback cover of J.K. Rowling's adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, with an intense passion, so while it's pretty generic, I think the hardcover is a vast improvement. (I doubt I can really be enticed to read it, despite the makeover, but I bet it will appeal to an entirely different segment of readers with the new look--not the it needs help with sales.)
Angie posted the cover of the fourth book in Cassie Alexander's stellar Edie Spence series (I reviewed the first two books on CEFS) on Pinterest earlier this week and I am so, so excited. Do I spy a boat?! And a creepy octopus thingy? I'm excited and the third book isn't even out yet!
Books That Are Cheap
In addition to these deals, Audible is also having a their semi-annual sale, so loads of popular audiobooks are priced under $10. Click on the cover to visit the Amazon page, or scroll to the end for links to other resellers. (Be sure to double-check prices before clicking "buy," as these change frequently.)
- Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor books aren't the deepest novels, but they're fluffy and fun and she does a great job of creating characters you'd want to hang out with. Several books in the series are on sale in ebook form at both Amazon and BN. I do recommend reading this series in order, to avoid the confusion I had when skipping a book or two.
- I have not read Going Bovine by Libba Bray, but it's been recommended to me as "weird and awesome" approximately 837 times. It's a good deal right now at $3.99 for Kindle and Nook.
- I just bought Confessions of a Prairie Bitch (the memoir of the actress who played Nellie Olsen on Little House on the Prairie) on sale at Powell's, but it's also on sale for Kindle and Nook for $2.99.
- When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer is one of those YA novels that I like to trick adults into reading. It's culturally rich, emotional and should appeal to the "new adult" readers and fans of music and dance. You can pick up the paperback for $4 at Amazon. Get on that deal ASAP.
- I'm always on the lookout for novels in verse, and one I haven't yet read, The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith is only $3.20 for the paperback at Amazon.
- Finally, this isn't the world's greatest deal, but it's nothing to sneeze out for one of the best books I've read in a long time, The Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is on sale for Kindle for $5.99 (no Nook discount, unfortunately).