Sanitizing “The Giver”

On August 11, 2014, thousands of teens and their parents eagerly purchased tickets for the long-awaited film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1994 Newbery Award-winning novel The Giver.  My teenaged son read it in junior high and loved it. I loved it too. Like Madelyn L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Lowry’s The Giver has a subterranean…

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Zeroes and Ones and Your Odds of Writing a Best-Seller

Did you ever suspect the runaway best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey was written by robots?  Well, somebody check E.L. James for vital signs because she might actually be an algorithm.  Check this out: Surely a human being would die of boredom before biting a lip in print forty-three times in one novel. Actually, I’m skewing…

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And the Oxford Word of the Year is… Selfie

Must. Remind. Self..  The OED is not an arbiter of, but a chronicler of,  English language use. Every year, the Powers-That-Be lean over the windowsills located high atop their Ivory Towers and cock an ear towards the milling crowds below. When they hear a word they do not recognize being shouted often enough, they dip…

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2013 National Book Award Winners

Is your Kindle finger itching? Do you have a yearning to go to the bookstore or library but don’t know what sounds good? Well, maybe this will help.  Last night, this year’s National Book Awards were announced. Here is the complete list of winners and finalists. James McBride took the fiction prize for his novel…

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Do It Now: Advice from Doris Lessing and Junie B. Jones

The world lost two influential literary voices this week. Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing, best known for her novel The Golden Notebook,  passed away Sunday at age 94.  And Barbara Park, author of the beloved children’s books featuring her irascible character Junie B. Jones, died Friday after a long battle with ovarian cancer.  Park was 66. While it may…

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