No more boys-only books

Gender-specific books demean all our children – or so says Katy Guest, the literary editor of The Independent, and therefore her paper will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex.

Bully for her!

Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of, she writes. And boys? They’re made of trucks and trains and aeroplanes, building blocks, chemistry experiments, sword fights and guns, football, cricket, running and jumping, adventure and ideas, games, farts and snot, and pretty much anything else they can think of.

At least, that’s the impression that children are increasingly given by the very books that are supposed to broaden their horizons.

 A good read is just that. Ask any child, regardless of gender.

 No more gender-specific books

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Boys Will Be Boys, and Girls Will Be Accommodating

In her blog, Laurel Snyder (I write books, chase after children, and talk too much) explains why ‘boy books’ aren’t always the solution

I have seen it happen time and again. A mom or dad looks down at a book and sees a girl on the cover and says something like, “No, not that one. I have a son. I need a boy book.”

It’s conventional wisdom. Boys read: fart jokes, battle scenes, and cartoons. Girls read fairies, princesses, and anything pink. (Of course, given the success of The Hunger Games, we can assume that if you introduce enough battle scenes, boys will read a book about a girl, but probably only then.)

Hunger games (But) when we assume that boys won’t read books with girls on the cover, and then institutionalize that assumption by leaving the “girlie” books out of award nominations, we insult them …by suggesting that boys have … an inability to imagine a world beyond their own most obvious understanding.

In the same stroke, we neglect our girls…because when they see those awards, they also learn something —to accept a world in which they are rarely the central players. They learn, at a formative age, that the “best” books are the ones about boys.

Girls learn boys books are best

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Hmmm. No comment.

The dangers of reading less

The UK is divided in terms of reading, with those who read less more likely to be male, under 30 and with lower levels of qualifications, happiness, and satisfaction in their lives, a new study says.

Readers rule

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Avid Reader Leaves Library $6 Million in Her Will

Simply because she loved to read, Lotte Fields bequeathed $6 million to the New York Public Library after her death.

A reader’s will

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How do you get art from chaos?

ViralNova takes a look at the work of Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, a Cuban-American contemporary artist. When you see his works, you won’t know what to think, no matter what type of art you typically connect wth. You’ll be so confused… that is, until you zoom out. Then, it just gets crazy.

Jorge specializes in making large-scale works out of art.

Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada-before

And they only begin to take shape…

Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada afterWhen you’re REALLY zoomed out.

Art from chaos

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Five Crime Novels Where Women are the True Detectives

Female detectives were bringing new twists to the classic tropes“, Ujala Sehgal writes at The Millions. “Some of the best mysteries I was reading had women cracking the cases.”

This is a short list of crime novels (many of them the start of series) where there’s a woman in charge. You might discover, like me, that you’re an accidental fan of the female detective.

Garnethill Garnethill begins when Maureen O’Donnell wakes up with a terrible hangover to find the dead body of her lover, a psychiatrist at the outpatient clinic she attends, tied up dead in her living room. There are clues in the room that point to Maureen’s own trauma as an incest survivor — secret pieces of her personal history that almost no one knows about. Looking to clear her name, Maureen and her close friend Leslie, a domestic violence shelter employee, begin uncovering a horror story of abuse at the local psychiatric hospital.

 

Women the crime solvers

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How the other half lives

A Cruise Ship on which residents live permanently as it travels the world

The WorldImage (c) Rick Stemmler

The World is a private residential cruise ship serving as a residential community, owned by its residents who live on board as the ship travels the globe, MessyNessy reports.

It has 165 residences (106 apartments, 19 studio apartments, and 40 studios), all owned by the ship’s Residents who can decorate with their own furniture, art, books and personal touches. There’s a deli and supermarket onboard and six restaurants if you didn’t feel like doing the washing up in your own kitchen.

Cruising forever

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Quote of the Day

But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going…I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. ~ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

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Alma Alexander

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