Some links, since I seem to have collected some things I haven't tumblred. I've also been too busy to keep up with the news At All, which led to Christopher looking at me like I was from another planet when I asked him, "Wait. What's going on in Wisconsin?"
- An interesting WaPo piece about 'Tolkien Professor' Corey Olsen and his podcasts, which talks about the changing nature of the public intellectual.
- The ever fabulous Justine Musk on why fiction matters. We all need reminding of this from time to time.
- Alexander Chee reads The Hunger Games and has some related thoughts about the Reagan era.
- Mette Harrison had an interesting post (and the comments section is as well) about The Mistake as a plot point in romance. I actually see this a lot less in the modern romances I read; most of the best ones seem to use the reader's expectation that the wires are about to be crossed in this way as something to subvert, by having the characters not react in the expected way. Way more satisfying for the reader. (None of which is to say The Mistake can't sometimes work–Harrison gives some great examples. Just, it can't be a cheap trick. Readers are more sophisticated than that.)
- An Open Letter to Madeleine L'Engle at McSweeney's. (Note: I should have said, I'm pointing to this because it's mostly charming, but there is a decidedly uncharming crazy paragraph devoted to a crazycakes unflattering interpretation of current YA. One I see all too often these days.)
- I'm sure you've already seen the news about the loss of the great Margaret McElderry. Some links well worth checking out: the Horn Book has posted part one and part two of a long-form interview conducted by Leonard Marcus from 1993/94; Betsy Hearne's academic article (which I read in grad school, after I realized while reading older YA fantasy that she'd edited a LOT of the ones I liked best) "Margaret K. McElderry and the Professional Matriarchy of Children's Books" is available in its entirety as a PDF online; and the New York Times has several stories about her well worth reading. R.I.P.