A Note from Me (June 25, 2020)

Dear friends:

Oh, NO, did I just engage on Twitter? I thought I had learned my lesson.

Nonfiction, though. The Horn Book editors had a rousing discussion of its protean nature in the May/June “Breaking the Rules” Special Issue of The Horn Book Magazine, but enough about them: I’m discovering in both work and life, nonfiction is really hard to read on a Device. Unless it’s narrative nonfiction or biography, nonfiction relies so much on illustrations, layout, and design that the e-reading experience is frustrating and sometimes impossible. (It is also frustrating for fiction, of course, particularly in the fact that you can’t flip. And don’t get me started on picture books.)

Also in nonfiction: I had the pleasure of talking to Candace Fleming in a Random House–sponsored interview about her new book The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh. Even though I knew about Lindbergh’s belief in isolationism (and had watched The Plot Against America) I did not know it was a mere bagatelle in that man’s twisted psyche. If I were booktalking-icon Hazel Rochman, I’d recommend you tell kids about the scene set in the “mousery.” Eep.

Have you all read Shaun Bythell’s Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller? He is so cranky. If I had to write this letter more than once a week I imagine I might be the same, reaping dry comedy from the foibles and eating habits of my coworkers, snarking about other people’s taste in reading, sighing audibly about the mere existence of other people and their unreasonable demands on Me. Still, booksellers. We love them!

— And you.



P.S. And don’t forget — the annual July/August “ALA Awards” Special Issue of the Magazine will be published online and otherwise starting Monday. THE ONE WITH THE SPEECHES.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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