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Why I teach a course connecting Taylor Swift’s songs to the works of Shakespeare, Hitchcock and Plath Elizabeth Scala, professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin, explains how and why she created the course “The Taylor Swift Songbook,” an introductory English course. Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Reading Why read old books? …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

On the End of the Canon Wars This think piece by John Michael Colón examines the question of whether and, if so, how a “liberal education” (which really means study across the humanities) benefits students. Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture, Reading A dinosaur is a story “in science as in fiction, the …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The Dreariness of Book Club Discussions Novelist and critic Naomi Kanakia, who belongs to two book clubs, uses the context of her book group discussions to examine why we read fiction. The point of novels, she writes, “is that something happened. Something was at stake in this story. Characters made decisions. Those decisions had consequences. …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

PEN America Rejects Calls to Cancel Coney Barrett Book Last week’s Literary Links included an article about Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s book advance as well as an article about PEN America’s report on diversity in the publishing industry.  This week we have a link to Publishers Weekly’s news that PEN America has condemned the …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Book Banners Are Weaponizing Legitimate Resources: Book Censorship News, October 28, 2022 Danika Ellis writes, “One of the strategies book banners are using that makes me nervous is that they are weaponizing resources that were never meant to defend book banning.” She’s particularly concerned about “resources that were specifically made to help teachers and parents …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

How Do the Books We Read Change Our Brains? “Gregory Berns on Measuring the Effects of a Really Good Story” In this article, adapted from his book The Self Delusion: The New Neuroscience of How We Invent—and Reinvent—Our Identities, Emory University psychology professor Gregory Berns describes a neuroimaging experiment he devised to measure whether reading …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Opinion  Have we forgotten what a public library is for? The executive directors of the Michigan Library Association and Michigan ACLU reflected on the recent vote to defund a public library outside of Grand Rapids over its display of LGBTQ books.  Categories: Censorship, Libraries The Ultimate Guide to Wondrous Independent Bookstores Shortly after opting out …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

The Queen of arts: Elizabeth II in fiction “It wasn’t until 1988 that the Queen began to make appearances in fiction, but since then she’s had many, largely sympathetic portrayals” Categories: Fiction, Literary History How Will Overturning of Roe v. Wade Influence Book Trends? “Without Roe v. Wade, we probably never would have gotten the …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

How Librarians Can Counter Lies from Book Banners This problem isn’t going to go away any time soon, so we need to stay informed. Categories: Censorship, Libraries 5 Messy Characters You Can’t Help But Love My favorite phrase for describing humans is “deliciously messy.” So I immediately zoomed in on this list by Zeniya Cooley: …

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stack of books and open notebook. Label: Quotation

Quotation: On the Writing Process

“writing a book is still bloody hard work. I usually start by letting an idea percolate and take shape in my brain, which looks a lot like re-watching things on Netflix and shopping for stationery. Then I superfluously color-code an Excel spreadsheet and use it to plot out the major twists, turns and reveals. Then …

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