“It is of the opinion of Lemony Snicket, author, reader, and alleged malcontent, that librarians have suffered enough. Therefore he is establishing an annual prize honoring a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact.”—
Young adult fiction is constantly evolving, but when it comes to including more diversity, sometimes it feels like it’s moving at a glacial pace. Authors like David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing) and Malinda Lo (Ash, Huntress) are always reliable sources of diversity in YA …
Barnes and Noble has created a list of 8 LGBTQ characters, including Petra from Beauty Queens, which you know we love!
Anyone interested in language, linguistics, archaeology, cryptology, or women’s history should pick up this book. Margalit Fox writes the obituary Alice Kober never had while at times her own commentary is trite and repetitive at times (she compares everyone in this book to Sherlock Holmes) the writing shines when she is documenting Kober’s work and life. Well worth reading.
Zora Neale Hurston is the literary gift that keeps giving. Arguably one the best writers of her time, of any time, she is remembered commonly as one of the preeminent writers of the Harlem Renaissance. She has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker and Toni Cade Bambara. She was a founder of FIRE!! magazine in 1926.
Hurston was almost lost to time, however. That is until author Alice Walker went looking for her grave and subsequently revived Hurston in the public imagination through her 1975 essay for Ms. magazine, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston.”
There is still so much, however, unknown about the life behind Hurston’s powerful voice. Most of what we know comes from her autobiography “Dust Tracks on a Road” and her semi-autobiographical master novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” From those works, Hurston has left us with powerful commentary on life. Here are a few of my favorites quotes.
1. “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
2. “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
3. “I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”
4. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
5. “If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.”
6. “Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.”
7. “It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.”
8. “Gods always behave like the people who make them.”
9. “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”
10. “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.”
Remember nprbooksBook Concierge? nypl has developed a similar service, just to highlight the best children’s books of 2013. Sweet!
Want full-color, in-your-face, informed-beyond-belief, ecstatic evidence that libraries support the publishing industry through and through? Enter this glorious interactive best-book experience, broken down by ages (e.g., picture books) along with topics (say, multicultural) and created by NYPL Labs, an R&D unit of the New York Public Library.
You can bet your ISBNs that it’s inspiring a new list in CAT, as is YALSA’s endless (in a good way) Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees, aka BFYA: 100 or so recommended reads for kids ages 12-18 and coming from Big Five presses as well as Abrams (coming to the Cloud soon), EgmontUSA, Candlewick, Flux, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and more.
I just went here for the first time ever, and I don’t know what took me so long. So many items were autographed and I met David Wiesner! If you are ever in New York visiting it is totally worth the trek.