A Week in the Books: Links I Loved the Week of 10/5/18

Links include untold slave narratives, a 21st century literary canon, a janitor wins a literary award, new screen adaptations, and a Pinterest community.

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We made it to Friday! Here are some bookish links to get you through the day. Hope everyone has great reading plans ahead for the weekend!

The Power of Untold Slave Narratives – The Atlantic
This is a fascinating article about a book by Zora Neale Hurston, called Barracoon, that she initially tried to have published in 1931 and was released just this year. The book chronicles three months of conversations between Hurston and the last living survivor of the transatlantic slave trade.

Compared to narratives in which slaves obtained freedom through an unlikely stroke of fortune or by overachieving, Kossola’s journey from Africa to Alabama offers little to be read as political agenda. There were no white abolitionists who could be seen as saviors; Kossola didn’t earn his freedom through literacy or religion, nor did he escape through a concerted revolt…. Kossola became his own free man through simple communal reflection and remembrance. In Barracoon, Hurston illuminates his resilience without romanticizing it as necessary in the search for self-realization.

A Premature Attempt at a 21st Century Literary Canon – Vulture
Premature is right, but I still enjoyed perusing this list of 100 books written so far in the 2000s that a group of critics have pegged as potentially enduring, classic, or important. I certainly wouldn’t consider this a must-read list (it’s a little too pretentious for my reading tastes); I agree with a few of them and a few others I really disliked.

Of those mentioned, I’ve read these: Freedom, Never Let Me Go, My Brilliant Friend, The Year of Magical Thinking, Middlesex, The Human Stain, The Road, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Gone Girl, The Goldfinch, Dept. of Speculation, All My Puny Sorrows, Winter’s Bone, Harry Potter, Gilead, Super Sad True Love Story, IQ84, The Year of the Flood, The Hate U Give, and All Grown Up. Which have you read?

Janitor Wins Prestigious Literary Prize from the University She Cleans – SFGate
I did not love Caitriona Lally’s Eggshells, but this is a great story.

Netflix is Building a Chronicles of Narnia Universe – TV Guide
I’ve never been a huge Narnia fan, but I know this will be big news for a lot of readers. I can’t deny the potential for a sweeping, visual creation–and a series provides much more room to explore the nuances of the books.

Circe by Madeline Miller Optioned for TV Series – BookRiot
More adaptation news. I haven’t read Circe (I’m on the fence, because I don’t tend to like mythology), but I know many bloggers who LOVED it. No details here on the station or service where it might play, and my understanding is that “optioned” means it’s not a sure thing that it will be made (??). Anyone know more about the ins-and-outs of Hollywood deals?

Books & Reading Pinterest Community – Join!
Are you on Pinterest? If so, I hope you’ll join the Books & Reading community. You don’t have to be a blogger to participate. Pinterest recently rolled out its new Communities feature. It’s not totally clear what we’ll be able to do with them–they look a little like Facebook groups–but I thought I’d experiment with this new way to connect using Pinterest, which up until now has been more of a search engine than social platform. Whether you’re a blogger or just someone who loves to read, I invite you to join the community and learn how we can use this feature to connect with other readers.

On the Blog

October 2018 Reading List

Last year: I was looking for advice from Harry Potter fans — and you delivered 🙂


A Week in the Books: Links I Loved the Week of 10/5/18


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