Meet Gail Horalek, the busybody parent to top all busybody parents. She is very concerned that her daughter’s copy of The Diary Of A Young Girl is pornographic. It would seem that it’s not offensive enough that a vibrant young woman was a victim of the Holocaust. It’s also very offensive that Anne Frank played with her clitoris.
Horalek’s 7th grade daughter chose to read the newer, unedited “definitive edition” of Diary Of A Young Girl for a class project. This version was long blocked by Anne’s father (the only surviving member of the Frank family) because it contained more sexual themes; however, schools have been reading it for over a decade now. But Gail Horalek will not abide this smut! Keep reading »
I turned into a teary-eyed sap as I read the New York Times obituary of Newbery Award-winning author E.L. Konigsburg, who died last Friday. Her classic young adult novel, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, is one of my all-time favorites. It’s the reason I swore from the age of 10 that I would move to New York. (I made good on that promise.) It’s the reason I am a certifiable word nerd. I still treasure my childhood copy of the book with my name handwritten on a purple sticker bookplate.
A Manhattan-based version of the greatest youth fantasy (read: a life devoid of parental supervision), From the Mixed Up Files follows Claudia Kincaid and her younger brother Jamie as they flee the suburban doldrums and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is adventure. There is mystery. There are grammar references and vocabulary lessons. It’s loaded with poignant wisdom.
Twelve-year-old Claudia is the kind of character who inspires all the best kinds of troublemaking. Here are a few important lessons I learned from this bold, enterprising runaway. Keep reading »
Forty years after the landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions is still a hotbed of discussion in state legislatures and a target of lawmakers. Outside of these state capitals, talking about abortion is still largely taboo.
Sarah Erdreich is trying to open up a larger discourse about reproductive rights and the next generation of women. Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement tackles the difficult issues of stigma, activism, pop culture and how to talk about abortion as not just a scary political battle but a more nuanced, personal choice for all women.
I had a chance to speak to Erdreich about the book and what she believes are the biggest issues facing the women who came after Roe and the right to choose. Keep reading »
Grumpy Cat is an intergalactic superstar for his sour little pussycat face. But some of us prefer animals with a bit of whimsy and happiness, like … sloths! In her coffee table book, A Little Book Of Sloth, author Lucy Cooke pens an ode to the humble sloth, complete with pictures taken at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Whether they’re slowly dragging themselves off to do something adorable, munching on a leaf, or snuggling a stuffed animal like their life depends on it, these little critters will put a smile on your face. Don’t just take my word for it — ask Kristen Bell! [$16.99, ModCloth]
Update, 5:15p.m.: Chicago Public Schools have rescinded the order to yank Persepolis from the shelves. This is great news! [Chicago Tribune]
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, is one of the best series of graphic novels that I have ever read. I recommend it to everyone. And I read a lot of graphic novels. The memoirs recount Satrapi’s childhood in Iran following the Islamic Revolution and the increasing strictures on the life of an artsy young woman who is increasingly at odds with the fundamentalist Muslim religious police.
It’s touching, inspiring, and educational — and I’m far from the first person to point out that graphic novels are a great way to get young adults who don’t love to read to engage with literature.
So why, then, have the books been pulled out of Chicago Public Schools? Keep reading »
It’s no big secret that one of the many battles the feminist movement fights against is its own poor PR. Many see feminism as the other “F-word” due to stereotypes that paint feminists as mean harpies with no sense of humor who hate men, makeup, bras, and shaving their legs. Despite the majority of feminists falling way outside these parameters, there are still many people — women in particular — who write off feminism as “not for them,” without bothering to dig a little deeper and explore if that’s truly the case.
Enter: Sexy Feminism: A Girl’s Guide to Love, Success and Style by Jennifer Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph. Their book, out this month, acts as a guide to help young women understand how feminism is not only great for the world, but for all aspects of their own lives as well. Keep reading »
Shhh. Don’t tell Mindy Kaling, but I didn’t read her first memoir. (Yet!) From what I hear, 2011′s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) was okay. Her publisher thinks it was more-than-okay, because the 33-year-old is going to write a second memoir about “the high highs and the low lows of the past 18 months” during the hiatus before the second season of “The Mindy Project.” And if that’s not enough Mindy Kaling for you, she’s also coming back as Kelly Kapoor for “The Office” series finale. Damn, that girl is going to be busy! I guess there’s no time anymore for lunches with Reese Witherspoon or flirting with President Clinton. [Deadline Hollywood] [Image: WENN]
I love traveling — it’s basically why I work. That, and to feed my cat. But sometimes it’s difficult to scrape together enough money to get on your way — plane tickets are murderously expensive and it can be impossible to take time off work. And that’s why, when I’ve gone through a stretch of not traveling, I like to read a travel memoir or two. If nothing else, a good travel book can help you figure out where you’d like to go when you actually have the time, money and inclination. And come on, you were sick of re-reading Eat Pray Love, weren’t you?
So we’ve compiled some of our absolute favorite travel books, so you can go around the world in 180 pages (ugh, sorry). Check out our list–along with picks from some of our travel writer and author friends–and share your favorites in the comments. Keep reading »
Every woman that’s looking to conquer the world knows you’ve got to fake it until you make it. And no, we’re not talking about fake hair, fake nails, or fake titties — we mean knowing how to fake like you’ve got your life totally under control. Whether it’s how to fake a clean bathroom for that sudden visit from your mom or how to fake short hair when you can’t commit to cutting (what, you can do that?!), Jennifer Byrne’s Fake It: More Than 100 Shortcuts Every Woman Should Know is your secret recipe for success. Lazy? Noooo! You’re just savvy! [$12.44, Amazon]