For the French, love is something to celebrate. For centuries, the French have situated themselves as guides to the world of love. In How the French Invented Love, author and French professor Marilyn Yalom takes the reader on a wide-ranging journey of the multitude of ways that the French celebrate love.
Last May, the publicity team at BenBella Books offered me a copy of a collection of critical essays about Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series, The Girl Who Was on Fire. In celebration of The Hunger Games movie, BenBella Books has released an updated, movie tie-in edition of the book with three new essays and, if you buy the ebook edition, bonus movie content a week after the film is released. According to a press release they sent out with the book,
On March 23, 2012, the film The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, hits theaters—and one week later, Smart Pop will provide e-book buyers with those YA authors’ thoughts about the film.
The Girl Who Was on Fire is what I’d consider “literary criticism light” — it’s not so theoretical that it’s dense or hard to read, but it’s not simple enough that I’d already considered all of the arguments in the essays. I really enjoyed exploring the series again through a more critical lens — a lens I couldn’t find myself when I read and reread the books.
I’ve been in some sort of funk the last couple of weeks. I mostly blame it on the weather — we had a few nice days, and then Mother Nature decided to smack everyone in the face with a sleeting/raining/snow storm on April 19 that caused my car to get stuck. In April! I was not at all pleased. But even with that, it’s just been an out-of-sorts week or two, so earlier this week I was looking for a book to pull me out of the funk.
I had a lot of options, but I ended up grabbing a copy of Erin Blakemore’s The Heroine’s Bookshelf, which I’ve had on my shelves for awhile now. A book about literary heroines seemed like the kind of book that could potentially cheer me
The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again by Sven Birkerts is a book of literary criticism looking at the role of time in memoir (duh, I guess). It also explores why memoirs are important and gives a defense of memoir against some of its common criticisms.
As Birkerts explains it, most memoirs have at least one thing in common:
They all, to greater or lesser degree, use the vantage point of the present to gain access to what might be called the hidden narrative of the past. Each is in its own way an account of detection, a realized effort to assemble the puzzle of what happened in the light of subsequent realization.
Title: Understanding Comics Author: Scott McCloud Pages: 215 (hardcover) One Sentence Summary: A non-fiction comic that explores the definitions, history, and vocabulary of comic books. One Sentence Review: Even though reading a comic on comics was a challenge, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in comics that wants to learn more about the [...]
My friend Phil pointed out an article in bitch magazine called “Bite Me (or Don’t)” which is a feministy literary criticism of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Do not read the article if you hate spoilers, the article covers events that happened throughout the entire series. I’m not much worried about spoilers, so I didn’t mind, [...]
In the last few days I’ve read a couple of interesting blog posts/articles about the role of literary criticism and reviews in a changing literature market, and am just getting around to posting about them. The first comes from Jacket Copy, the LA Times Book Blog. The post is called “Being a freelance critic for [...]