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What Should Children Read?

What Should Children Read? | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Shakespeare vs. menus: The battle over public school reading lists.

 

David Coleman, president of the College Board, who helped design and promote the Common Core, says English classes today focus too much on self-expression. “It is rare in a working environment,” he’s argued, “that someone says, ‘Johnson, I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.’ ”

 

This and similar comments have prompted the education researcher Diane Ravitch to ask, “Why does David Coleman dislike fiction?” and to question whether he’s trying to eliminate English literature from the classroom. “I can’t imagine a well-developed mind that has not read novels, poems and short stories,” she writes.

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25 Queer Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading If You're Not Already

25 Queer Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading If You're Not Already | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A writer’s queerness is not necessarily the central part of who he or she is. Yet this identity did (and still does) carry a stigma, and struggle of any kind inevitably affects the way a writer writes, the way she pours her soul out onto the page, or the way he chooses to spin a story. This collection of incredible queer writers (definitely not definitive — I could have gone on and on!) is an acknowledgment that they exist and that their writing endures. And it’s important to bring these authors forward and celebrate them for their voices, their writing, and their participation in literature. 
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Why Even Magic Needs To Play By The Rules In Fiction - io9

Why Even Magic Needs To Play By The Rules In Fiction - io9 | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Sometimes magical events and characters can really push a story into a much more interesting place, but sometimes their appearance seems to stop things in their tracks. What makes the difference? Remembering that even magic has to follow the rules.
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Writers of fantasy and science fiction get to build their own worlds. Here's a reminder that even those worlds need to abide consistently by their own rules. 

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A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’

A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’ | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Ms. Voiklis said she wanted readers to know the book wasn’t a simple allegory of communism. Instead, it’s about the risk of any country—including a democracy—placing too much value on security. The tension between safety and personal freedom is an idea that resonates in today’s politics.
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Eileen Battersby picks her favourite fictional mums for Mother's Day - Irish Times

Eileen Battersby picks her favourite fictional mums for Mother's Day - Irish Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
From Mrs Bennet to Ma Joad, writers have created many wonderful mother figures

 

Mothers are important in fiction; some writers revere them, others confront them, most try to understand them, all agree they are vital and they account for many of fiction’s most enduring creations.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

To create a sense of balance, in time for your Mother's Day consideration.

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Teen opinion: how dystopian fiction calls me to the wild side - The Guardian

Teen opinion: how dystopian fiction calls me to the wild side - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
As the world becomes ever more urbanised and with fewer opportunities to connect to the wild, teens are turning to dystopian fiction, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, to get their fix of nature...
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Why The Greatest Leadership Tool You've Ever Overlooked Is Gathering Dust on Your Bookshelf - Forbes

Why The Greatest Leadership Tool You've Ever Overlooked Is Gathering Dust on Your Bookshelf - Forbes | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Here’s a depressing (yet unsurprising) fact: 42% of all college graduates will never read another book after graduation. Even I have contributed to this epidemic of literary abandonment, and I was an English major.

 

It turns out that you develop skills from reading fiction that simply do not emerge from consuming other forms of content. Reading literary fiction is strongly correlated with a higher capacity to understand what’s going on in other people’s heads, a talent often referred to as “theory of mind.”

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Yet another realization from the business world--Forbes!--that reading fiction can be beneficial to one's career.

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Inside the Pulitzer Prize Book Winners - Daily Beast

Inside the Pulitzer Prize Book Winners - Daily Beast | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Mass extinction. A pope and a fascist. A lost North American tribe. A beguiling WWII tale. Scott Porch, Bill Morris, William O’Connor, and Malcolm Jones on the Pulitzer board’s picks.
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Greenville woman, 89, authors 2 World War II novels - Hattiesburg American

Greenville woman, 89, authors 2 World War II novels - Hattiesburg American | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Helen K. Jordan has written two suspense novels full of history, romance

 

Within four months, she had written 373 pages and published “The Leather Satchel.”

 

“I didn’t dream I would get through with it that quickly. But at my age, I felt like I needed to,” she said.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Writers, it's never too late.

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“Sorrow everywhere with nowhere to go”: Elizabeth Alexander on losing her ... - Salon

“Sorrow everywhere with nowhere to go”: Elizabeth Alexander on losing her ... - Salon | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
"The Light of the World" is the new memoir by Alexander, the poet who read at Obama's 2008 inauguration ceremony

 

Elizabeth Alexander lost her husband quite suddenly right after he turned 50. Ficre Ghebreyesus’ heart failed him, but it lives on in the pages of her memoir, “The Light of the World.” The poet writes her way into and around grief, using the tool she knows best to make sense of it all: words. Alexander’s husband was an artist, and it’s easy to see how the two fell in love: a shared sense of creativity and wonder.

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Political Science Fiction - UConn Today (blog)

Political Science Fiction - UConn Today (blog) | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
How Star Trek, Game of Thrones, and Battlestar Galactica explain international relations.
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Good Video Games Are As Meaningful As Literature And Cinema - Tech Times

Good Video Games Are As Meaningful As Literature And Cinema - Tech Times | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
A new study shows that video games with a good story offer just as much – if not more – meaningful entertainment value than books, plays and movies.
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Apparently a good story is a good story, no matter what the medium.

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My Top 5 Favorite Quotes from Psychological Thrillers - moviepilot.com

My Top 5 Favorite Quotes from Psychological Thrillers - moviepilot.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Psychological thrillers are easily one of my favorite genres. They all have some fantastic twists and turns, and incredible jaw-dropping scenes. But they also have some great lines in them, and it's really no surprise. This list today is compiled, not the buildup or the gimmicks, but only by the lines and how they were delivered.

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Junot Díaz: 'Read more rebelliously' - Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Junot Díaz: 'Read more rebelliously' - Brooklyn Daily Eagle | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Junot Díaz: ‘Read more rebelliously’

 

Díaz, whose 2007 novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” was recently named the best novel of the 21st century to date by BBC Culture, was visiting St. Francis College as the latest speaker in the school’s Walt Whitman Writers Series.

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Sci-Fi's Difficult Genius - The New Yorker

Sci-Fi's Difficult Genius - The New Yorker | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

Wolfe has published more than twenty-five novels and more than fifty stories, and has won some of science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious awards. But he has rarely, if ever, been considered fully within the larger context of literature. His books contain all of the nasty genre tropes—space travel, robots, even dragons—and he hasn’t crossed into the mainstream on the strength of a TV or movie adaptation. Wolfe himself sees the trappings of science fiction and fantasy, the spaceships and so on, as simply “a sketchy outline of the things that can be done.” But even within fantasy fandom, Wolfe’s work presents difficulties. His science fiction is neither operatic nor scientifically accurate; his fantasy works are not full of clanging swords and wizardly knowledge. But ask science-fiction or fantasy authors about Gene Wolfe and they are likely to cite him as a giant in their field. Ursula K. Le Guin once called Wolfe “our Melville.”

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

This article has generated a lot of activity among writers on Twitter.

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13 Modern Shakespeare Retellings And Continuations To Read, Since You ... - Bustle

Bustle
13 Modern Shakespeare Retellings And Continuations To Read, Since You

 

Retellings have always been a popular form of literature, especially in the young adult world, and it isn’t a wonder why. They take stories we love and cherish and allow us to explore them and enjoy them in new and exciting ways. Modern restagings come in all different forms — continuations of the original story, new spins on old tales, the same story but told from a different perspective, homages — and act like like new frames on classic art. And when it comes to Shakespeare, the master of comedy, tragedy, history, romance, and even poetry, these retellings have the power to reinvigorate a more than 400-year-old story. 

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Writing psychological thriller novel was 'cathartic', says social worker ... - Communitycare.co.uk

Writing psychological thriller novel was 'cathartic', says social worker ... - Communitycare.co.uk | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it

White is the Coldest Colour is the debut novel of former police officer and child protection social worker John Nicholl

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“When you’re writing, you have control over events that you don’t have in real life,” he explains.

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The case for young adult literature - The Stanford Daily

For most of us here at Stanford, young adult literature is a thing of the past.

 

Ultimately, though, we should read YA because it’s fun. Most YA novels are real page-turners and almost impossible to put down. Additionally, you get all the benefits of reading without the pressure of reading something extremely linguistically dense. You won’t end up having to look up every other word because you’re not fluent in Olde English. Young adult literature can feel really relevant to things that we’re dealing with in our own lives, even if the characters are sometimes slightly younger than we are. It deals with a lot of firsts (first loves, first experiences with illicit substances, first instances of having to take real responsibility for actions), that most of us can to relate well.

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A Stanford student defends reading YA literature.

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The Worst Mothers in Literary History

The Worst Mothers in Literary History | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
As Philip Larkin wrote in the Greatest Poem of All Time (GPAT): “Man hands on misery to man/It deepens like a coastal shelf/Get out as early as you can/And don’t have any kids yourself.”

 

Fictional mothers are orders of magnitude more damaging than real-life mothers could ever be. Take our quick tour through some of the Worst Mothers in Literary history and feel grateful all over again for your own wonderful and kind mom.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Just in time for your Mother's Day consideration

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The Making of a New Kurt Vonnegut Documentary Took Twice as Long as ... - Newsweek

Newsweek
The Making of a New Kurt Vonnegut Documentary Took Twice as Long as ...
Newsweek
A major theme in Vonnegut's work is the nature and passage of time, and because of Weide's funding problems, it's also a big theme in the film.
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Looking Back on Misters Minghella and Ripley - Huffington Post

Looking Back on Misters Minghella and Ripley - Huffington Post | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
I ran across Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley on HBO last night. It was late and had been a long day. I figured I'd watch a few minutes, wind down, then hit the sack. Of course, I couldn't take my eyes off it for the duration....
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Revisiting A Suburbia-Gone-Sour In Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction - KANW

Ross Macdonald had a smart answer to the tedious question of why he devoted his considerable talents to writing "mere" detective stories: Macdonald said that the detective story was "a kind of welder's mask enabling writers to handle dangerously hot material." Like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler (the great hard-boiled masters whom he revered), Macdonald set out to excavate the dark depths of American life, but to find his own "dangerously hot material" Macdonald descended into uncharted territory. His hard-boiled predecessors had walked the mean streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles; Macdonald moved to the suburbs — a California landscape of mortgaged dreams that already seems exhausted in the four mystery novels of the 1950s reprinted in this Library of America collection. All those images of suburbia-gone-sour that distinguish the work of a John Cheever, Richard Ford, Tom Perrotta, or even the early seasons of Mad Men owe something to Macdonald's penetrating vision.

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Seven questions for Indiana Jones author - Tallahassee.com

Seven questions for Indiana Jones author - Tallahassee.com | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Rob MacGregor is best known for the seven Indiana Jones prequel novels he wrote for Lucas Films and Bantam Books

 

The title of my keynote talk is: “Indiana Jones and the Writer’s Quest: Pursuing the Creative Muse Through Dreams, Synchronicity & Meditation.” It’s about the need for writers to move away from logical, rational, and analytical thinking for periods of time in order to connect with their muse. Meditation, working with dreams and watching for meaning coincidences or synchronicities are key points I’ll make. (BTW, I worked as a journalist for 12 years out of college and coincidences often played a role in finding story ideas and sources for stories.)

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Important advice for writers of all kinds.

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Five Things I Learned At The World's Top Star Wars Convention - Forbes

Five Things I Learned At The World's Top Star Wars Convention - Forbes | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
I left Anaheim more convinced than ever that Disney’s Star Wars purchase will prove to be a $4 billion bargain.

 

2. Even in a fantasy universe, the lines between fact and fiction are hotly disputed. That’s a good thing.

 

A year ago, Disney decreed that much of the so-called Star Wars expanded universe was, in essence, fan fiction. Scores of novels and other literature related to the franchise became “Star Wars Legends,” paving the way for Disney to take a new direction with plotlines without technically contradicting existing texts.

Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

By Zack O'Malley Greenburg for "Forbes."

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As if Men Had a Monopoly on Murder: In Search of the Female Gus Fring - The Mary Sue

As if Men Had a Monopoly on Murder: In Search of the Female Gus Fring - The Mary Sue | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Perhaps no cultural phenomenon has generated more thinkpieces than the modern television antihero. Some of these have focused on the trend itself, and its roots
Mary Daniels Brown's insight:

Women can be antiheroes, too.

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Time 100 adds Haruki Murakami to list of world's most influential figures - The Guardian

Time 100 adds Haruki Murakami to list of world's most influential figures - The Guardian | Literature & Psychology | Scoop.it
Japanese novelist is joined by Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in famous ranking of the people ‘shaping the future’
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