Great Salon piece evaluating the recent trend for literary and genre authors like Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, Carl Hiaasen and Isabel Allende to turn their hands to kids literature. I've recently read Coraline
, Neil Gaiman's wicked-creepy kids' novel, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a little disappointed that the author missed out on literary-horror giant Kathe Koja's kids' book, Straydog
, which should absolutely be at the top of your (and your kids') to-read list. Koja is nothing less than a genius, and it was a bright day for kids' literature when she turned her prodigous talents to kids' books.
It's partly the memory of the potency of their childhood reading that prompts many adult authors to try their hand at the form. Handler says, "You never love a book the way you love a book when you're 10. No matter how much I admire the work of Nabokov or Murakami, I'm not going to reread 'Lolita' or 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' nearly as many times as I reread 'Harriet the Spy' in third grade." (It might be interesting to see what part "Harriet the Spy," a book about the pleasures of voyeurism if ever there was one, played in the development of future film critics. I know of at least three who worshipped it as kids.)
Chabon feels similarly: "You never forget the delight that the books you loved as a child brought you; it's all still there, you remember it. It's fairly inevitable, I'd say, to want to try and get some of that for your own kids; but in the past, in this country at least, it was not necessarily feasible and perhaps not quite taken seriously enough."
As Chabon notes, the appearance of these books does seem, for some of the writers at least, tied to the children in their lives. Isabel Allende says that her new "City of the Beasts" was inspired by reading to her grandchildren. The household of Clive Barker, whose "Abarat" is the first in a new fantasy series, includes the teenage daughter of his partner. Michael Chabon is only partly joking when he says that he always thought he was going to write kids books because he was a kid when he first wanted to become a writer.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.