Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ethical Parenting Response

Today’s post is the alternative to “Ethical Parenting” written in New York magazine which I talked about yesterday. Whew. You know how she feels about the article right from the start.

New York magazine ran an article by Lisa Miller last week called “Ethical Parenting.” At first I thought it was going to be a serious piece about the tough choices we parents have to make to raise mensches. Instead, it was a self-justifying piece of entitled crap wrapped up in fake hand-wringing.”

She is especially pissed about her comparing non-ethical parenting to Noah. This is what she said in New York.

“Ever since Noah installed his own three sons upon the ark and left the rest of the world to drown, protecting and privileging one’s own kids at the expense of other people has been the name of the game. It’s what parents do.”

Her counter.

“No it’s not… God ordered Noah to build an ark because the earth was full of wicked people. The people who deliberately lie and cheat so their kids can get ahead are the wicked people. Noah’s ark-building impulse did not come from a realization that there’d be less competition for Harvard if all the other teenagers drowned.”

Pretty interesting response. Albeit riddled with Jewish references.

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Ethical Parenting op-ed

I love those op-ed articles where someone writes strongly about a subject and then two days later in another magazine (or sometimes the same one) someone else writes about how they strongly feel that person is wrong. Basically I love confrontation. I love being devil’s advocate. In New York magazine last week there was an article titled, “Is Ethical Parenting Possible?” and I was in love with this woman. I have no kids but I love reading about how to parent or how much it sucks. If only to confirm that I don’t want kids. Read this article. It is great. And tomorrow I will post the opposing article titled, “Ethical Parenting is More than Possible.” Admittedly it is printed in a Jewish blog, nothing like New York magazine. But fascinating nonetheless.

Some of my favorite quotes from today’s article.

“If some science-fiction sorcerer came to me with a button,” writes the philosopher Stephen Asma in his 2012 book Against Fairness, “and said I could save my son’s life by pressing it but then (cue the dissonant music) ten strangers would die somewhere … I’d have my finger down on it before he finished his cryptic challenge.”

“According to a 2009 survey by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, 51 percent of people age 17 or under agree that to get ahead, a person must lie or cheat, compared with 18 ­percent of people ages 25 to 40. Two years later, in another ­Josephson survey, 57 ­percent of ­high-schoolers agreed that “in the real world, successful people do what they have to do to win, even if others consider it cheating.” Younger people are likelier than their elders to lie to parents, spouses, and bosses and to keep the change if a cashier makes an error in their favor.”

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10 Non-Spooky Books

In honor of Halloween coming up here is a post from Story Time Secrets of 10 Non-Spooky Books for kids.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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Finished this book a week or so ago. NPR loves it (and I love NPR). The New York Times loves it. Vanity Fair talked to the author.  The Guardian talked about the stink Kwan makes concerning stereotypes. There are so many book reviews about how everyone loves it so I obviously had to check it out. I was initially drawn to its glitter gold cover. Who wouldn’t want to walk around reading a book that blinds people with its sparkle? I also adore novels that have multiple view points. It makes the book quicker because you want to get from one character to the next and find out what’s happened to your favorites. This book did a great job with that. Here’s a quick summary.

“When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.”

Although there are many other characters in the book it is mainly centered around these two love birds, Rachel & Nick. It’s also centered around money, lots of money. I listened to the book on audio which was very helpful since there are some tricky names and phrases. Although I was a bit disappointed to learn (through reading reviews) that the print book has entertaining footnotes.

Also, the World Wide Web claims this book has been nabbed for a movie by the people who produced The Hunger Games. True? No idea.

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Adults who Read YA

I am an adult who reads young adult books. For some reason people think this is weird. I wouldn’t have known this was the case unless I read blogs. There are posts all over about how weird it is that that young adults novels are not being read solely by young adults. There’s even a hashtag for it #whyadultsreadYA. Ridiculous-ness. Anyway, there’s a great article about an adult who is addicted to YA.

“Most of these books are shorter and sell at a lower price point than comparable adult offerings, and there are YA authors who seem able to churn them out almost yearly, so the momentum of buy-read-buy-read-buy can continue unabated. I can’t be blamed for my actions.”

That’s her practical reason. But that’s not really why we do it. Read the full article to find out more.

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Neil Gaiman & Libraries

I love this article that Neil Gaiman wrote for the Guardian about the importance of reading, reading fiction & the importance of libraries. Here are some of my favorite bits but make sure and check out the whole article. It is AH-mazing.

“Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.”

“We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside.”

“Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. I’m going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. It’s this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point, imagined. Someone decided it was easier to sit on a chair than on the ground and imagined the chair. Someone had to imagine a way that I could talk to you in London right now without us all getting rained on.This room and the things in it, and all the other things in this building, this city, exist because, over and over and over, people imagined things.”

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New Trends in YA

Apparently dystopia has run its course. After posting about Veronica Roth’s Divergent I felt this article was a great juxtaposition. Considering Divergent IS a dystopia it obviously hasn’t run its course yet. HOWEVER, Roth got on that bandwagon when it was popular and since its a trilogy she still has a hold. Had the Divergent manuscript been read now in 2013 perhaps we wouldn’t even know who Roth was and she’d be out living her life like a normal 25-year-old.

“Certain YA trends—paranormal love triangles, apocalyptic aftermaths—have become played out; what was once a fledgling segment of the market, kids 12 and up, has matured into a vital category.”

New trends are coming to the young adult field. According to the publishing agents quoted in this Publisher’s Weekly article the new this is contemporary realistic fiction.  Books such as Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and The Fault in our Stars by John Green are mentioned. Not all realistic fiction is a bestseller, the agents say what makes them stick are “a strong voice and a good hook.” These agents also say they’re looking for authors who can be “category killers” like Ellen Hopkins. From what they say, readers aren’t necessarily looking for this I don’t think. Editors and publishers are looking for people like Hopkins who can monopolize a certain category of YA. She particularly has the free verse knocked out to her advantage and typically writes about “hard hitting subjects.” To me this means they’re looking for a go-to. If a young adult were to come ask me for a book about hard topics these agents want us to automatically think of their books, of Hopkins.

THANK GOD there’s also a section where publisher’s say they’re thrilled to be putting stand alone novels out there again. I am SO strung out on the trilogies. I still haven’t read any of the book 2s I mentioned months ago.

“There was a time when it was actually easier to sell a trilogy than a stand-alone but today it’s probably even odds. Publishers are being more cautious, wanting to see how the first book performs before committing.” Adams also senses the real fatigue may not be from publishers but from the retail market. “I think the backlash is more from book buyers than editors, but it’s still an important consideration.”

Check out the full article for more about whats new in YA.

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