Links of Literacy – May 20, 2009

(As per the manifesto, here are five things I’ve found interesting in the field of books in the past week in addition to my comments on them. Note that relevance in the news is only one factor I use to select these articles – some might be older ones I’ve just been linked to and found to be interesting.)

1. Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud, Verlyn Klinkenborg, The New York Times, May 16, 2009

A very well-written article I discovered thanks to Neil Gaiman’s blog, reminding me of just how much I appreciate author readings and the act of reading aloud. I’m a bit more sympathetic to audiobooks than she is, especially ones that are read by the authors (as I’ve said before), but I appreciate the clear emotional connection being made here to the physical act and the interpretative quality.

2. Could William Shatner Defeat Kirk? Marty Beckerman, The Daily Beast, May 16, 2009

A review by Beckerman, author of the excellent “Dumbocracy,” of a title he compares to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and which calls up my memory of the recent film “My Name Is Bruce.” It certainly looks like a fun title and worth checking out if you locate it.

3. Long-Borrowed Library Book Will Be Hard to Forget Now, Michael E. Ruane, The Washington Post, May 11, 2009

– This is just a good story all around, about someone who appreciates books and libraries, and an anecdote about just how books tend to get around.

4. Mom wants to ban, burn ‘Bunny Suicides,’ Joseph Rose, The Oregonian, October 20, 2008

– An older story I saved when it first popped up, it serves as an excellent parallel to the previous article, focusing on the sort of person who clearly has no idea of the function libraries are supposed to serve. Follow these links as well for the entertaining conclusion to the story.

5. Art of the Deal, Tom McCarthy, New York Times Book Review, May 14, 2009

– A review of Clancy Martin’s “How To Sell,” a book I would consider reviewing myself, but the original review I learned of it from is so well done I can’t think of what extra I’d say, except to emphasize his distaste for the gushing back jacket quotes (I used to work for a publishing house and know the procedure for soliciting those). I’m adding the title to my queue and after the review you might consider doing so yourself.


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