Friday, October 30, 2009

The Diary of a Teenage Girl: The Play

Keep your eye out for the exciting adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner's graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl.  (Read a review of the book from Bookslut).  The play, written by Marielle Heller, is "the story of Minnie, a fifteen year old girl growing up in San Francisco in the 70s, who has just started an affair with her mother's boyfriend. Shit."

It doesn't open until March of 2010, 
but in the meantime you can watch 
the beautiful and intriguing trailer video!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Thanks to a very scientific process (which I borrowed from the blog 
All About Them Words) a winner has been chosen from the fabulous entries to The Mall contest. And the winner is the poetry of Perpetual Thought! Congratulations! Email me your address and I will get your prize packet in the mail right away!

Here is the winning poem about a memorable mall purchase:

Pocket burn spirit free
Took my twenty on a shopping spree
No regrets, passed a pack of cigarettes
Bat eyelashes at a nerdy hunk
A blue and purple purse made by a Buddhist monk?
Hmm, I think I like
Holds cell phone, camera, pack of Mike and Ikes
Made my three dollar purchase, made the economy good
wanted to hail a cab, but there I stood
never once thinking that on my way back
I would wet my phone, break my camera, spill my Mike and Ikes
give myself a heart-attack!
Why did I not use the purse you ask?
Because taking it out, packing stuff in, 
would've been quite the task
Broke my twenty on that stupid purse
should have spent more time being careful first.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Newest "Girl Next Door" is...

If you answered Marge Simpson you are correct!

Playboy has decided to feature the animated mother of two on the cover of its next issue and give her a full spread (pun intended).

The strangest quote of this very strange article states that, the staying power of The Simpsons "has been in large part due to its family values...." Um, yeah, that's not how I would describe it. I am a fan, and it's not family values that keeps me watching. Unless a blatant disregard for the physical safety of your reckless, troublemaking son is a "family value".

I agree with the notion that having an animated character on the cover of a nudey mag is misleading, but I also know that Playboy magazines are sold in a plastic 
sleeve that makes it so no one can flip through the pages while it sits on a 7-11 rack (Rack! Ha!). Having Marge on the cover of a Playboy, instead of the usual breast implanted platinum blonde peeking over the blacked out part of the plastic sleeve, is probably better than a small child being exposed to the unsleeved Maxim
cover on the shelf next to it. I think what is more troubling is the idea that anyone, child or legal adult, would actually want to see Marge Simpson's animated (and photoshop slimmed) nakedness. Yuck.

This further infantilizing (Miley Mania- Toddlers and Tiaras- Anime porn- Furries- Catholic School Girl costumes- what have you) of sexuality in America is troublesome. And Marge Simpson posing in Playboy is just one step too far in my opinion.

And since when is 7-11 a corporation that "wants to be a responsible member of American society..."? Last I checked encouraging people to eat processed cheese product and bad coffee is not terribly responsible.

Do You Desire A Denouement?

denouement |ˌdānoōˈmä n |
the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.

My friend Michael The Girl recently sent me this link to a blog discussion of the value of the denouement because I am working on a project that begs to end slightly ambiguously. 

Does anybody out there have a lil sumpin' sumpin' to say about books that end without wrapping up all of the loose ends?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twas Brillig...

There is a curious article in the NY Times about the value of nonsense on the intellect.  

I love the final paragraph.  

"Still, the new research supports what many experimental artists, habitual travelers and other novel seekers have always insisted: at least some of the time, disorientation begets creative thinking."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Brother's Keeper

My Brother's Keeper
by Patricia McCormick
(3.5 scoops)
Author Patricia McCormick tackles difficult subjects in her books; the war in Iraq, sexual slavery, cutting, and drug use. My Brother's Keeper follows a 13 year old boy whose father has left, his mother is struggling with finances and his older brother is dealing with his pain through drugs.  The protagonist is an anxious, insecure kid who is actually quite funny and endearing despite the difficulties he experiences in this novel.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


No basketball on this blog, just the good old fashioned National Book Award. The finalists are in and there are five nominees for Young People's Literature. Check them out:

Deborah Heiligman, Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith
Phillip Hoose, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
David Small, Stitches
Laini Taylor, Lips Touch: Three Times
Rita Williams-Garcia, Jumped

Coe Booth, the fabulous author of Tyrell and Kendra and contributor to The Longstockings blog and generally awesome and intelligent human being, was one of the judges this year so that gives me an extra boost of confidence for these titles.

I haven't yet read any of these books, but I am very curious to hear a lil sumpin' sumpin' from any of you who have. Keep me posted!

FOLLOW UP: There is now a controversy as to whether or not Stitches should have been nominated as a YA book when it was published as an adult graphic novel by W.W. Norton.  Read the full article at Publishers Weekly and weigh in on the debate.

Evolution of Tinkerbell

Check out this 12 picture evolution of Disney's Tinkerbell! Since I just finished reading the original J.M Barrie version of Peter Pan for class and spent several hours discussing what the text revealed about gender, this slide show was particularly interesting.

Having just read Constance Rourke's seminal 1931 work, American Humor: A Study of the National Character, however, I think Barrie was commenting more on the relationship between America (Peter Pan and Neverland) and England (The Darlings and British tradition).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall
by Wendy Mass
(4 scoops)
This novel is written in verse and, for the most part, the short lines enhanced the quick pace and ephemeral quality of the inner monologue, but at other times, the enjambment was so illogical that it stalled my reading. There were many genuinely touching moments in this story about a girl who gets pegged in the head by a dodge ball and finds her self in the hospital teetering between life and death. The ending is a bit didactic and moralistic, but it happens to be a moral I agree with, so I didn't particularly mind! Each section had a very clever ending, which made them fun to read, but since I read the book in one sitting, the predictability made the individual endings seem a bit less clever. Overall, despite a few flaws, I found this book extremely charming. 

And it has inspired another contest!

Tell me about a purchase you made at the mall 
that was significant in some way.
You can write a poem, like Wendy Mass, or just ramble as you see fit. 
Make sure to explain what the purchase was 
and how it turned out to be significant.
The winner will be announced on Friday the 23rd
and the prize is a mall inspired gift bag!
So, like, get to it!


I was reading The Longstockings blog today on which Kathryne posted a link to the NY times article about the Diary of  a Wimpy Kid series.  It points out that the appeal for kids is that the protagonist, Greg, does not always do the right thing and that as adult readers it gives us insight into the "child's ethical mind." I also enjoyed reading the comments if for no other reason that they illustrated that there are still places, unlike here or here, where people can comment on the internet thoughtfully and articulately and without name calling!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A classic?

Harriet the Spy
Louise Fitzhugh
(2 scoops)

What a clumsy, unfocused book! 
I had such a hard time getting through this novel. 
It is quite dated and the plot is preposterous.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Middle Grade

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
e.l. konisburg
(5 Scoops)

Louis Sachar
(4.5 scoops)

Peter Pan
J.M. Barrie
(3 Scoops)

The Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo
(2 scoops)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10 Little Things That Make Me Happier Than They Should

1. Parsley
2. Bright nail polish
3. Free refills
4. Having exact change
5. Chocolate dipped vanilla soft serve cones
6. A new pen
7. Compliments on my jewelry
8. Hand knit blankets
9. Comedians that actually make me laugh out loud
10. Non-lascivious smiles on the train