>Matthew insists on puffed sleeves

>and Anne her e. But what’s the difference between gray and grey?

>Infer this.

>Magazine reviewer Jonathan Hunt offers his picks for the five best YA works of fiction this year over at NPR. I will nitpick that one of the choices is not fiction and another not YA but all five are good books. Three of them appear on our Fanfare list, which will be whizzing its way […]

>Think before you write.

>”The red liquid was wine, but it shimmered like blood.”–from The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I’m sure Stephenie Meyer could be trusted to rearrange this simile into its proper order. And can we talk about that title for a minute? In my opinion, “The Lost Symbol” is right up there with “When You Reach […]

>Get Your Factoids Straight

>I’ve got the new Dan Brown (audiobook edition) for our flight this weekend to meet the grandchild. Can’t wait for either! Child_lit has been discussing how books perceived as page turners (like The Hunger Games) don’t get the respect they should, but I figure there’s page-turners and then there’s page-browsers–James Patterson, I’m looking at you. […]

>Go west, young man, WEST!

>Childlit has been debating historical accuracy in fiction–what’s dramatic license and what’s a betrayal, basically. It makes me think of the many romances of stage, screen and text where Elizabeth R and Mary, Queen of Scots excitingly rail at each other, when in real life they never met. It also makes me remember when Elizabeth […]

>(Un)block that metaphor!

>”We have turned off the spigot, but we have a very robust pipeline”–Houghton Mifflin Harcourt spokesman Josef Blumenfeld, explaining the company’s rationale for ordering its editors to stop acquiring manuscripts. No, Joe, what you have turned off is the water supply, rendering both the pipeline AND spigot irrelevant.

>I love them

>Semicolons, that is. I am less taken with apostrophe-s, but that’s what Chicago tells us to do, along with B.C.E., usage of which just makes me feel old if still A.D. (.) Apropos of nothing, I have drops in my eyes from an opthamology exam this morning and am thinking about an incredibly lame Betty […]

>You’re not the boss of me,

>I say. Defining poetryIs a task best left to those who Do,Not some Society.

>Its they’re misson!

>But I bet their pretty anooying at at dinner partys.

>Getting the Shakes

>Child_Lit is currently enjoying one of those pearl-clutching reports about the abysmal state of American education, this one taking on colleges that do not require English majors to take a course in Shakespeare but allow them to study such horrors as queer theory and children’s literature. Let’s start with the sheer–and shrill–irrationality of comparing required […]