Around the Common Room: August 24, 2012

It takes some doing to beat Harry Potter in any form of sales record, but this week, Amazon reported that the Hunger Games trilogy “has suppl

anted Harry Potter as the best-selling series of all time on the website.” (Link and quote from EW’s Shelf Life.) Said Blogengamot member Arabella when forwarding this link, “That’s what JK gets for not releasing to ebook sooner and on Amazon.” Straight-up truth, there. Amazon’s figures include ebook sales, but Amazon has never been allowed to sell the digitized Potter books.

Amazon has more to offer literary fans this week, with a book of essays by YA authors on the Hunger Games books. This anthology can be augmented with a booster pack, which includes essays on the movies. Also, Twilight fans may be interested in Joel and Ella Emmett’s Twilight for Life: Finding Meaning in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight–and in Life.

And in other news:

The International Reading Association’s Engage site has posted a fascinating interview with Shannon Hale, covering some topics of likely interest to the Pub. For instance, here’s Ms. Hale on getting young boys to read about girls:

Sometimes we say that boys won’t read books about girls, and then we make that true by only offering them books about boys…. Meanwhile, our girls will read most anything—they are more flexible readers and likely will grow into more flexible adults. I’m scared that in the long term our boys are going to get left behind. The irony is I hear from fourth to six grade teachers that when they read PRINCESS ACADEMY to their class, the boys are initially put off (understandably by the title and cover) but in the end are just as big of fans or even bigger fans than the girls.

And on the related work of author and reader:

The writer should provide enough but not too much. Never try to force the reader to feel or react a certain way or make absolutes of interpretation. A story will have more power when the reader does half the work, finds what he/she needs from the story, creates her own morals.

More commentary can be found at the link.

The BBC has a pleasantly skeptical piece asking, “Is Alice in Wonderland really about drugs?

Mermaids may be YA’s newest trend, says io9’s Michael Ann Dobbs, with seventeen related books released so far this year and an eighteenth coming up. “Girl books” they may be, but this woman is going to have to get ahold of some of these.

Are you Generation Y, born between 1979 and 1989? If so, you’re apparently part of the most book-loving–or at least, the most book-buying–generation alive, reports the Christian Science Monitor. (If you’re not, don’t feel bad. I missed it by a year myself.)

Since 2005, the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) has awarded the Andre Norton award for excellence in young adult fantasy and sci-fi. You can read an interview with Norton judge E.C. Myers over at Intergalactic Academy.

Finally, graphic designer Evan Robertson illustrates fanciful literary quotes in black and white. Beautifully imaginative.

2 thoughts on “Around the Common Room: August 24, 2012

  1. Fascinating, Steve! I was only seven in 1985, so I can’t answer for back then–although that was the year I read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time–but if the divide is between Catcher in the Rye and the fantasy/folklore-influenced tales, put me on the side of the latter. 🙂

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