Posts Tagged Reading

A Well-Read Woman . . .

oh yes we are!


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Maurice Sendak on Children

If you ever wanted to understand a little more about where in the imagination of Maurice Sendak books like  Where The Wild Things Are came from, this lovely video will give you an insight into the man.  100 Scope Notes


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25 books every child should have on their bookshelf

Fabulous Flavourwire, makers of taste and purveyors of internet good taste have posted this list.  The books are an interesting take on must read childrens classics.  Would you have chosen them?  It got me thinking, I wonder what would be on a similar list if it was made in New Zealand?  Surely there’d be a Maurice Gee or a Joy Cowley, a Jack Lasenby or a David Elliot.  There would also probably be some of the books on this list too.  I know everyone else in the country would insert a Margaret Mahey but my kids never really loved those and I didn’t much love reading her books to them.  My kids would have had Wombat Stew and Possum Magic and The Little Yellow Digger when really little and Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Matilda on their middle of their childhood lists.  I guess everyone would have different titles but it is nice to have a think back and remember and also to think about the books which helped form you.  Have they had an affect on your reading tastes in the long term?  I wonder.





An evening of awesome with Hank and John Green

Watch The Vlog Brothers perform a live concert at Carnegie Hall.  It is great!  the music is lovely and the sentiments in the songs resonate!  Lovers of the Green Brothers will be in heaven!


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The Indie Next List is out

Get your buying list notebooks or apps out to take notes for when your budget is all filled up again, cos there are some things you’ll want to buy/read on this list folks.  This is a list of the new cool stuff hitting the shops in the States this winter.  Books for every level are here. Some are out already here, a couple are in my ‘I’m taking this home for the holidays box’ right now.   Here is the link to the list.  And look at that, here is a link to the downloadable shelf talkers.  Oh how I love shelf talkers.

Link from 100 Scope Notes – full of the power of awesome.


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Younger Americans Reading and Library Habits – the Pew Report

Numbers using a library in the past year

I stumbled upon this interesting story via a Storify link.  There are three parts to Linda W Braun’s Young People, Reading and Libraries.  You will need to delve into it yourselves and pick out the gems but there are certainly some gems for secondary school librarians in the report  but also in Linda’s storify which has plenty to mull over without even leaving the first page.

Items which I found particularly interesting were the ebook readership, interesting stats.  I’m interested in these figures as I decide whether to delve into the ebook platform and these stats make me feel rather better about delaying my decision.  Go look at the figures there.

Also interested in the graph on where teenagers get their book recommendations from.  I wonder if these stats would be the same here in New Zealand.  Probably the same.  And what would happen if they surveyed younger students, I think in my school it would be quite different statistics with many of them relying on my recommendations – possibly equal to those of their peers.  I do like the idea of students recommending books to each other.  That is my ideal world, a sharing of reading joy the “I loved this book, you should read it too!” which happens all the time with adults who read.

Anyway the Report itself is here.  Part one of the YALSA Storify is here.

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The Role of Science Fiction by Gareth Powell

Science Fiction author Gareth L Powell presented this marvellous speech three years ago, The Role of Science Fiction in our Understanding of the Future, yet it is just as relevant today.

Powell refutes the role of the science fiction writer as a predictor of the future, rather suggesting that their aim is to dream up plausible futures, to model a vast range of possible outlooks. By assessing the sociological and technological trends, they show us what may happen  if man continues on their current path.

Good science fiction looks at the world we know and asks, “What happens if?”
  • What happens if the ice caps melt and sea levels rise by fifty feet?
  • What happens if we discover a way to halt the ageing process and everyone lives for 1000 years?
  • What happens if the government puts a CCTV camera on every street corner?

“This is my job as a science fiction writer: to speculate and imagine, and tell stories. The future is truly an undiscovered country. Futurology and philosophy can give us a map of the terrain. But if we want to know what it’s going to feel like to live and work and love there, one of the best tools we have is science fiction.”

He says that futurologists and philosophers can tell us the possible outcomes but that the science fiction writers make the future human by creating characters that must adapt and survive in, generally, these dystopian worlds. The author must take the reader on a journey to really understand what living through such a scenario would be like, to experience such an event, and so the reader asks themselves, “What would I do?”

Gareth Powell’s speech is well worth reading – it puts a clear voice to what science fiction is all about.

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