Good afternoon, gentle readers.
I hope you are having a relaxing Sunday. This is such a bittersweet time of day for teachers. Monday morning looms ahead. We're thinking about the papers we need to grade, or the lessons we need to prepare. We may be regretting the time we twittered away on Saturday. Or not. I'm finally getting my twitter mojo. Here are a couple of interesting things I came upon via twitter:
I can't remember who tweeted this link, but there were lots of comments from book bloggers in this post from the Waxman Literary Agency on the use and abuse of ARCs.
I discovered One Literature Nut via twitter, and I liked this post about "distracted reading." Turns out I'm an "escape reader." That is, I can completely tune out the rest of the world when I'm reading. I find it a delightful talent; family members sometimes find it annoying.
Speaking of annoying: I feel the need to rant about "The Problem with Memoirs," published by Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times Sunday Book Review. Rebecca Jones Schinsky of The Book Lady's Blog (she tweets @bookladysblog) has been tweeting the link. Here's a rant-worthy excerpt:
Excuse me, but is this the "I'm writing for the New York Times, so I must be interesting fallacy?" Or the "I'm a book critic, and I've decided to grade people's actual lives on the side" fallacy? Does anyone else find this idea of assigning grades to peoples' actual lives condescending and repugnant?That you had parents and a childhood does not of itself qualify you to write a memoir. This maxim....is really a response to a broader problem, a sort of grade inflation for life experiences. A vast majority of people used to live lives that would draw a C or a D if grades were being passed out--not that they were bad lives, just bland. Now, though, practically all of us have somehow gotten the idea that we are B+ or A material; it's the "if it happened to me, it must be interesting fallacy."
That might be why so many readers are reading and writing book reviews on blogs. Because they are tired of pretentious rubbish like "The Problem with Memoirs." And the argument that "this flood just has to be stopped" just doesn't hold water (heh), because more and more books are being published electronically. And just wait until this day comes: e-books and self-publishing will probably make Neil Genzlinger's opinion as relevant as my old eight-track player. Sorry, but the gates are closed and the barbarians are already inside. Snooki has a book. Or is it Snookie? Anyway, who cares. People write about their lives, and if you think you can dismiss writers because you think they have C- lives, you have fallen prey to the Pogo fallacy. You think there is a "them" and you're not part of it. For those of you whose parents don't remember World War II, do a Google search for "Pogo" and "we have met the enemy and they are us."
I actually have a whole lot more rant left in me. I'm just going to have to save it for the next post, wherein I shall rant about grades in general: grading student work, grading teachers, grading schools, and grading parents. Stay tuned. I've got to go plan some lessons.