However, I think that now more than ever, the Goodreads community is pretty ripe for the plucking. Given a similar online forum with fewer ads, less author pandering, and more assurances of reader/reviewer rights, I think a large portion of the Goodreads community would leave. One of my favorite bloggers, Amanda Nelson from @deadwhiteguys, is writing a series comparing Goodreads to LibraryThing (she has two posts up so far). I’ve recently created a LibraryThing account and will probably be spending more time over there, so come find me!
The other big news this week was NPR’s publication of its 100 Best Ever Teen Novels, which many of us nominated books for and eventually voted on. The results are both completely unsurprising and a little baffling. The popular giants – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games – are all there but then there are some odd choices. The Hobbit, which I would consider a children’s book, is number three. Lord of the Rings, which I would consider an adult book, is number seven. NPR caused a bit of dissension when they initially culled some of the nominations for being outside the targeted age range, so it seems odd to see these two (among many others that seem inappropriate) among the winners. Forever Young Adult published a hilarious response to the list, which I completely agree with.
Yet more idiocy in the “reviewing has become too nice” crisis of 2012 was published this week, prompting a very well-reasoned response from our friend Sarah over at Clear Eyes Full Shelves, which as usual, we agree with.
And a few other articles that made us shake our heads:
Sue Grafton expresses her rather strong opinion about indie/self-published authors.
The Atlantic asks: Why Do Female Authors Dominate YA Fiction? and includes this little gem in its response:
“Plenty of theories have been floated to explain YA's surge, particularly among adult readers. Some attribute it to ingenious marketing or to the childlike simplicity of the plots, suggesting that the craze is a distressing symptom of a reading public congenitally adverse to nuance. Matazzoni proposes that for adult readers, nostalgia plays an important role: "Readers have fond memories of being curled up with a book, in the summertime especially. Memories are what we believe people are tapping into, and the opportunity to share the books they love."
It’s probably a good idea to read a few (or a few hundred) YA novels before you start theorizing about their popularity.
And finally, in more exciting/distressing news (depending on your point of view), Stephanie Perkins announced that her next book will be a teen slasher. She writes, in part:
“Yes, it's a contemporary. The killer is not a supernatural creature. I'm talking about ye old traditional knife-wielding maniac.
Yes, it will be bloody.
Yes, it will be sexy.
Yes, it will be scary.
At least . . . I hope it'll be scary!”
What do you guys think? Are you looking forward to a scary book from Ms. Perkins? Or are you just scared?