We don’t care if you try harder

This New York Times article about whiny college students reminds me of the time a publisher called to complain about a negative review on the grounds that the book in question took three years to write. And that memory reminds me of the equally annoying line in a picture book autobiography by the admittedly wonderful […]

So much for good intentions

Reporting back from the ART production of Porgy and Bess, I can’t decide if the moral of the story is a) don’t mess with the classics b) stick to your guns or c) don’t tell people what you’re “planning” to do. Although director Diane Paulus  and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks had announced that they were changing […]

>Word order

>The Boston Globe’s thumbnail review for Captain America says the movie “packs a powerful, but predictable, patriotic punch.” How is that different from saying that it “packs a predictable, but powerful, patriotic punch?” I’m curious about which construction you all think is the more positive, because this is a trick reviewers use all the time, […]

>People who make purchase decisions based on starred reviews aren’t doing their job right

>Considering how professionally bankrupt–giving ‘em, getting ‘em, using ‘em–the whole starred review system is, I really like what Shelftalker has to say about the whole business.

>Keeping it up

>We’re editing Magazine reviews today, and a couple have made me wonder when and whether we should mention author or publisher websites that promise additional material that supports the book. If anyone in library school is reading this and needs a paper topic, please take a sample of books published, say, three years ago, that […]

>Let’s hope this doesn’t catch on

>An author is suing the publisher of a book review for criminal libel. The Times article is entertainingly snarky (it doesn’t hurt that the author, reviewer, and publisher are all lawyers) but don’t miss the exchange of letters between the author and the publisher (it’s a pdf), who seem to be friends. Or at least […]

>You probably think this book is about you.

>Scholastic editor and YA novelist David Levithan (whose latest collaboration with Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, will be reviewed in our January issue) has a new novel out for adults. PW and Booklist both like it but can’t quite agree on what or who it is about. Of The Lover’s Dictionary (FSG), […]

>November/December Horn Book Magazine

> The November/December issue is out, with a beautiful cover by Anita Lobel, whose Sutherland Lecture is in the issue. We’ve put online our reviews of new holiday books, Vicky Smith writing about religion and reviewing, Leonard Marcus on picture books from overseas and Mary Downing Hahn, Susan Cooper, and I discussing our choices for […]

>NBA Finalists

>We’ve posted our reviews of the finalists for the National Book Award, young people’s literature category, and I see that our little sister has done the same thing. Compare ‘n contrast!

>Did she just say what I think she did?

>Sparked by the Speak drama, the Tea Cozy asks the question, “what would you do if someone used your review as ‘proof’ that a book shouldn’t be in a library or a classroom?” and there’s a good discussion in the comments. My own touchstone for this question is Judy Blume’s Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson, […]