May 23, 2011

Star picks

Last week Google reader delivered me a selection of thought-provoking blog posts, including:
  • author Sarah Ockler's reaction to a New York Times review of two YA books that claimed that the 'purpose' of YA is often to 'to send a message, usually in the form of a much-needed lesson'. Yep, because young people don't have enough people in their lives telling them what to do/think/be. Sarah's post was timely for me: since Little Sister was released I've been asked by a couple of journalists whether I wrote the book out of a feeling of 'responsibility' to address bullying and homophobia, to which my reply is always the same: as a writer of fiction, my only responsibility is to write a book that people want to read.
  • The Rumpus's gorgeous San Francisco Public Library in its own words reminded me once again how much more our libraries do than just loan books, and why they're so important to communities. (via The Centred Librarian)
  • Meg Rosoff commenting on 'factory books' and their toll on publishing (and readers).
  • V. Rossi sharing her conference commandments, timed for the US writing conference season, but equally applicable to Reading Matters in Melbourne this week, I think.
  • John Green's stirring vlog about the value of studying both maths and literature. (I agree with him in theory, but, as someone who struggles with the most simple maths problems, I can't help thinking that you can only be as enthusiastic about this as John is if you actually understand both mathematical and literary theory.)

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