Links + Things: Colbert on The Great Gatsby, Mean Girling, The Importance of Pleasure Reading, Guinea Pigs in Outfits, Cheapo Books, Discounted Tablets + More
Better late than never, right? Welcome to this week's edition of Links + Things!
This week I've got a bunch of interestingness for you, including guinea pigs wearing cute outfits, a fabulous discussion of the practice of mean girling, the importance of reading for fun and some good discounts on ebooks and Nooks/Kindles.
This Week's Video of Awesome
I had to choke back tears of laughter watching Levar Burton explain The Great Gatsby to Stephen Colbert and Carey Muligan.
Reading for pleasure leads to greater self-understanding, the fostering of social relations, greater well-being, improved cognitive and academic development, and a higher disposition to participate in civic society…
The Canadian government's National Reading Campaign commissioned a study about the benefits of reading in terms of, well, its impact on society. What is most interesting is that it reveals that reading for fun reaps many rewards--yet another reason to think twice before deriding anyone's choice in reading material.
Here's my concern, people hate Gwyneth Paltrow more than Chris Brown - a man who beat his girlfriend.
The first round of understanding Mean Girling starts with figuring out what it is about these people that sets us off. Sure, people rub us the wrong way and to each his own, but... come on. All of these flaws we're heaping onto these women - would they bother you if a man did it? Are you saying Anne Hathaway's (#9 on the list, btdubs) nerdy, forced ease with awards season is worthy of a legion of Hathahaters, but Adrien Brody (not on the list at all) can steal an epic kiss from Halle Berry without her permission and still be adorable?
I reviewed Liza Palmer's wonderful novel, Nowhere But Home, earlier this week, which is an absolute must-read. Also a must-read from Liza is her blog post about the way we--as a society--engage in the practice of "mean girling."
McCleave's question—and Messud's outburst—raise two broader issues. First, do people treat male and female literary characters differently? That is, are readers actually more inclined to evaluate female, as opposed to male, protagonists on the basis of their potential as friendship material? And second, gender issues aside, what kind of a question is that, anyway—a legitimate one, or, in essence, a fairly dumb one? Should we be going to literature to look for potential friends in the first place?
The Atlantic raises some interesting questions about the standards to which readers hold male versus female characters, asking the question of why so often female characters are often expected to be "friend material." I don't necessarily agree with all the conclusions made in this piece, but the discussion is an important one.
- My favorite sportswriter, Holly Mackenzie, tweeted this wonderful column written by Brittney Griner about the importance of living one's own truth and helping others do the same.
- Here's another piece about Judy Blume and the Tiger Eyes movie--I cannot wait for this film!
- Have I ever mentioned that I adore guinea pigs? Because I do. I had two wonderful guinea pigs for a number of years and I still get giddy-excited whenever I see one. Hence, I loved this wackadoodle story about a japanese company that makes outfits for guinea pigs.
- I love the Smithsonian Magazine's history of baseball stadium nachos, obviously.
- The story of this diamond heist in Brussels and it's subsequent foiling has become a minor obsession of mine.
- Occasional CEFS contributor Hannah recently posted this story about artist Lindsay Joy's "Anxiety Series" of needlework pieces about anxiety (which I've had the
misfortunepleasure of suffering from myself) on her Tumblr, and I love everything about it.
- The Huffington Post has a fabulous roundup of the best facial expressions made my Jennifer Lawrence at the Met Gala. (I really don't understand why J-Law and I aren't BFFs yet.)
- Need tips on how to be a grown-up? Publishers Weekly's got you covered!
- A new study discovers that women prefer men with some stubble, not beards (shudder) or a clean-shaven face. Thank you, science.
- Domestic Suspense is a new website celebrating a lost generation of female suspense/mystery writers.
- We may be seeing more international books in the US market soon. (Yay!)
- Anna shared this interesting piece about the lack of female road narratives and it's definitely an important read.
- I love this takedown by Carolyn Hax of a guy who's concerned about his wife and her friends reading YA. (Thanks to my friend Nathe for sending this my way.)
- Ink & Pen has a roundup of YA novels featuring characters with Asperger's or Autism. I'd also add Shaunta Grimes' forthcoming VIral Nation to this list (I have a review copy of this one and can't wait to read it.)
- Looking for a funny YA novel? The Lawrenceville Public Library's got you covered.
- Smexy Books asks authors to share their intentions regarding series--yes, please!
- GalleyCat takes a look at how a cover change turned around a self-published novel's sales. (The new one's awful too, but definitely demonstrates that sex sells.)
- Another week, another school district bans a book that gives kids factual information about their bodies and sex. Sigh.
- Wonkomance discusses the notions of sacrifice and love in terms of romance writing.
(Click on the cover for more information--and make sure you double-check prices before clicking "buy.")
I could only find three intriguing deals this week, unfortunately. The first is Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, which is one of my favorites, and is priced at $2.99 for the Kindle book (sorry Nook people, it's not price-matched on BN). Shiver, the first book in her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, is also discounted for Kindle ($4) at the moment.
The book formerly known as Level 2, The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans, is discounted to $3.79 through this weekend only. I'm not a huge science fiction reader, but I've only read good things about this book and will be snagging it at this price for sure. It's priced at $3.99 for Nook.
Robison Wells' Variant is a book I snagged last time it was on sale and haven't read yet, but I have yet to read it. It's supposedly a creepy dystopian/sci-fi novel in a boarding school setting. It's $1.99 on Kindle at the moment. The price is the same for Nook.
I received a ton of promotional emails about Mother's Day discounts this week and I thought I'd pass along a few.
- First, if you use the promo code FIRE4MOM, you can get $20 off a Kindle Fire. We have a couple of Fires in my house, and my mom owns one as well, and we all really love them. I believe this discount is only good through midnight tomorrow.
- All of the Nook HD tablets are discounted $50 to $90 this weekend. Before I had my Fire, I had an early version of the Nook tablet and it was pretty nice, though a bit buggy. I hear that the newer ones are fab and the weird lagging that I experienced is no longer an issue.
- Amazon's Big Deal was just announced, with loads of ebooks discounted 85%.
- Finally, Kobo is having 30% off promotion on select ebooks if you use the promo code 24HOUR30. This code is good through this weekend only. I buy a fair amount of ebooks from Kobo because they often have great promotions and read them on the free Mantano app (which I highly recommend) on my Fire.
Happy weekending, all!
And happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!