I appreciate and (mostly) agree with this post In Praise of Ripening at Writer Beware. Although the lowered costs involved in self-publishing these days are a good thing in that niche or marginalised writers whose work might never have been published can do-it-themselves and get their words out there, I dislike the DIY-as-fast-as-possible idea. I love the stories I'm working on, and I want the published versions to be the best they can be, and that requires a lot of work. I can't imagine there are any writers whose work doesn't benefit from the eye of a good editor or at least a practiced reader.
NPR is running a readers' poll for a top 100 list of teen novels. I voted for:
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithan
Discworld/Tiffany Aching (series), by Terry Pratchett
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Ruby Oliver Quartet (series), by E. Lockhart
Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta
and I couldn't decide on a ninth or tenth!
The nominations are pretty good! There are loads of books I really want to read on there and only a couple that I think are totally overrated (am I the only one who feels that way about The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Maybe I need to give it another go). I didn't vote for either the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games trilogy, or His Dark Materials, as I'm sure they'll get plenty of votes, and I wanted to support books that were more likely to be underdogs. Also, aren't the Harry Potter books children's lit? I know Harry, Hermione and Ron are in their teens for most of the series, but due to the readers-younger-than-characters rule and the fact that bookshops shelve them in 9-12 (or on their own stand, of course), I always think of them as children's rather than teen.
As a counterpoint to the NPR list, which is rather heavy on American authors, the UKYA blog is now receiving nominations for their own top-100 of British teen novels. You have until Saturday 3rd August to leave a comment on the post linked above with your own suggestions. I know it'll take me quite some time to decide on mine!
The Guardian books staff have started a 'What are you reading today?' Flickr group in which members can post images of the book they are reading that day. I'm not quite sure how discussion will evolve from this but it'll be interesting to look at occasionally.
I know next to nothing about the Olympic athletes but Jo's post on weartheoldcoat pairing athletes with YA audiobooks made me smile! 'Usain Bolt reading The Hunger Games. Don’t even pretend you wouldn’t buy it.'
I've decided to include links to the most interesting reviews I've read recently from now on. I had two favourites this week. Luisa Plaja's review of The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Susie Day was really intriguing, I loved Girl Meets Cake and the idea of a Susie Day book with a darker edge has sent this one straight to my wishlist.
I was drawn to Cicely's review of The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale because I love fairytale retellings and have never read a retelling of 'The Goose Girl', which is one of my favourites. It sounds similar to Robin McKinley's Spindle's End, which I really enjoyed.
Anything bookish you've seen that you think I'd enjoy? Please share it in the comments!