I have an irrational fear of jellyfish. Scientifically-minded folks tell me that the real name for my fear is scyphophobia, presumably from the Greek word for squishy monster.* If they ever say anything more about jellyfish, I never hear them over the sound of my screaming. I had thought that my life was mostly insulated… Continue reading People are Making Books Out of Jellyfish Now
It is strange to realize that your favorite book by an author is sometimes overlooked by other readers. Young adult author Francesca Lia Block is probably best known for her Weetzie Bat series (otherwise known as Dangerous Angels). The books follow the adventures of a young woman named Weetzie who lives in a magical version of Los… Continue reading When Other People Don’t Remember Your Favorite Book
It’s no secret that bookstores have had a tough decade. Independent shops have struggled. Behemoths like Borders shuttered. And every other day someone publishes a think piece about the imminent demise of the book industry. In response, bookstores have tried to become increasingly creative about the ways they make money. Their shelf space has shrunk,… Continue reading Barnes & Noble to Save Itself through…More Books?
Words can be dangerous. Though we tend to think of censorship and book banning as modern phenomena, the prohibition of books has existed since the creation of the written word. In honor of Banned Book Week, I want to take a quick look back at censored books in history. Traditionally the people who banned books considered… Continue reading From the Qin Dynasty to Concord, MA: A History of Book Banning
When I worked in a college library, I had to periodically go around and wake people from where they had fallen asleep in the book stacks, on tables, or in quiet corners. I didn’t wake them to be cruel but because the library had to close sometime, and they couldn’t spend the night even… Continue reading Sleeping in the Stacks
“Readers hoping for an expansion of the Harry Potter universe can rejoice; there is another Harry Potter Film on the horizon. This one will be about how a young boy named Tom Riddle grew up to become the best loathed snake-faced villain in the realm of witches and wizards. Last summer Tryangle Films began working… Continue reading A Movie about Voldemort (But Will He Look Like a Snake?)
When it comes to choosing character names, I have a terrible habit. It stems from the fact that I love names and spend far too much time thinking about them. Settling on only one causes me physical pain. To avoid the terror of choosing a name, I often use a placeholder when writing drafts. That… Continue reading Falling into a Character Name Rut