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Literary Links

25 Books Your High School English Teacher Was Right to Assign

Veronica Booth, a lifestyle and culture writer from Boston, MA, explains that “reading important literary works at a young age can shape your perspective of the world, your empathy toward others, and your beliefs.” Her list of books that underscore her point includes The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Grapes of Wrath.

Adult Books for Fall 2024

This is a feature from Publishers Weekly, where you’ll have to sign up with your email address for free access to a limited number of articles per month. If you’re willing to do that, you can see their list of 703 forthcoming titles of books in 13 categories.

What Can You Read in Prison?

“Books provide a lifeline to the incarcerated, but censorship and accessibility are major obstacles. In America’s prisons, people are finding their own ways to fight back.”

Beyond the Role of Main Character Syndrome

“Main character syndrome can be healthy or unhealthy, the main difference being how it affects one’s ability to empathize.”

“Main character syndrome is a new colloquial term that’s used to describe someone who sees themselves as the ‘main character’ or the protagonist, in the performance of life.” 

I had not heard of this term (the article says it’s a “relatively new term, popularized on platforms like TikTok”), but the concept is the basis for Life Stories in Literature. 

Because I’ve only focused on the positive aspects of life story understanding, I’m thankful to have come across this piece that points out the potential for misapplying the concept.

The Ascendant


In this piece for Vanity Fair, Leah Fay Cooper details the life of award-winning author Jesmyn Ward.

The Unexpected Afterlife of Autobiography of a Face

“Lucy Grealy’s 1994 bestseller has become part of a larger story of literary friendship and the boundaries between artists and their work.”

I reviewed Lucy Grealy’s memoir Autobiography of a Face back in 1998 and Ann Patchett’s related memoir Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, published in 2004, in 2007.

In this article for The New Republic, Alice Robb looks at how these two related books hold up all these years later: “I wondered, as I read, if this relationship would even be possible today.”

How the Giller Prize Became Associated with Genocide

“Scotiabank’s military investments have tainted one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards”

This report comes from Canadian publication The Walrus.

Eight Books to Read If You’re in a Creative Slump

“These books dispense practical advice on managing one’s ambitions—or describe the dread of writer’s block with precision and humor.”

Chelsea Leu writes about having a creative block: “The books below depict writers, artists, and other creators struggling with stalled projects, or discuss the mysterious source of ideas, and together they form a clearer picture of the affliction.”

Saturday Books, Imprint with New Adult Focus, to Launch Next Fall at Macmillan

If you’ve signed up for that free access to Publishers Weekly, you’ll also be able to see this announcement of a new imprint at St. Martin’s Publishing Group  specializing in new adult fiction.

New adult fiction in a recent addition to fiction categories. It’s a “YA-adjacent” category, aimed at readers between the ages of 18 and 30 who still enjoy YA. 

© 2024 by Mary Daniels Brown

2 thoughts on “Literary Links”

  1. So what do you think about the 25 books high school teachers are correct in assigning to students? As a high school librarian I had the responsibility to check out these books, and others, to students for assigned class reading. Something about telling students they have to read a book takes all the joy out of it. Ha! I think the reason we don’t assign newer books to students is cost. The district had paid money for the purchase of 200+ copies of Lord of the Flies so by golly, the students will read it!

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