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I’ve been lucky enough to keep in touch with some of my high school teachers on Facebook. One in particular – this is her first year of retirement and I am now in my fourth year of teaching high school – said to me recently in a Facebook message, and not entirely without reason, that she was hearing a lot about The Hunger Games but couldn’t get past the idea of children killing children. I’ve had to defend this a few times, especially since I started teaching The Hunger Games two weeks ago, but because I take it so personally (from others, not my high school teacher) I’m not able to formulate much of an argument outside of a lot of sputtering and “So then why do they teach Lord of the Flies?!”

So this warmed my little teacher heart.

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We all know now that beloved author Maurice Sendak has passed away, and now there is an abundance of articles about the man and his work. Here is an excerpt from the one I liked:

It seems to me that part of that craziness, or rather the insight produced by that craziness, is that he wasn’t afraid of writing very dark and disturbing children’s books. In fact, he understood that what children really want is to be disturbed, ruffled, terrified.

Sendak so got five-year-old me.

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Perfumes that smell like old books and ink and paper. I shit you not.

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Vote for the best prom dress made from newspaper. The detail on some is quite surprising – I’m pretty sure most of these are more impressive than any of the bizarre junk challenges on Project Runway.

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The following won the Paris Review contest for the John Irving hypothetical jacket copy contest (and it’s fantastic):

Phillip is a forty-two-year-old virgin who believes that he would become a sex-addicted pedophile once he experienced his first sexual sensation. Hating himself for that slippery slope, he devotes his life to helping restore nineteenth-century houses as an antique bullion maker. Working on the Hilton Road house south of Augusta, Maine, Philip befriends the abused daughter of his employer. Forced to flee by duty of circumstance, for the next twenty years they live together an unlikely life. Can the dysfunctions that debilitate be the very things that save us? Or are the centrifugal forces that bind us together ultimately what will tear us apart?

Not embarrassed to say that, if this were an actual book, I would totally read it. John Irving or not.

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Pynchon in Public Day was on Monday. Apparently, a couple hundred people went about reading their Pynchon, business as usual, and thousands of others went around looking douchey.

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The New York Times Magazine asked eight critic-types to choose their own winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. There wasn’t much of a consensus there, either, I’m afraid.

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The Huffington Post claims to have identified the WORST. BOOK. EVER. I think there are worse, but their pick covers two of the biggies, racism and sexism, and that’s only the beginning!

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This teeny-bopper literary critic is an absolute prodigy… or at least I like to think of him that way since he’s way smarter and more articulate than I am.

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Ever read American Psycho one too many times and start to lose touch with humanity? Well, you’re (probably) not crazy—the effect is a legitimate psychological process called “experience taking.” This is a method by which people, while reading a fictional story, find themselves feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own—and Ohio State University researchers recently looked into the topic and found surprising results (albeit with slightly more benign reading material).

I guess I need to think long and hard about whether or not I really want to re-read The End of Alice.

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What exactly is meant by “the next J.K. Rowling,” whether we’re talking about Samantha Shannon or anyone else? Does this just mean the next YA sensation? Because I thought that was Suzanne Collins? So clearly there’s more to it than big bucks and blockbuster movies… so what does “the next J.K. Rowling” mean?

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A BDSM-involved blogger is concerned about misrepresentation of BDSM and safety issues that may ensue due to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. People are now asking whether or not E.L. James has a responsibility to accurate representation of the BDSM community if the story is fiction anyway. While many are acknowledging the dangers of this misrepresentation and misinformation – I acknowledge it, too – I think the greater danger would be in attempting to regulate it at all.

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The Toronto Star presents The Hemingway Papers: collected articles written by the man himself early in his career.

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25 Inspiring Literacy Projects Around the World

Because it’s not all books-on-wheels anymore, people.