Showing posts from March, 2011

More on Books and Clean Reads

We had lots of great discussion with my post about books and ratings. Thanks for all the comments!
As I mentioned, I'm all for sites that provide guidelines to books. They give us a heads-up on the actual content rather than slapping a one-size-fits-all rating. I'm not for ratings themselves because they're too subjective too be truly helpful.
Since that post, a few sites like that have come to my attention. I'm sure there are others, but here's a few to start out with:
Good Clean Reads A great site mentioned in the comments by its creator, Kim, is Good Clean Reads. She's developed her own system to "rate" books. I put that in quotes, because it's not so much a rating system as it is a way to clue in readers on content. (This brings me all kinds of joy. It's just what we need!)
Each "rating" consists of three numbers, from 1-5. The numbers represent sexual content, violence, and profanity. Put the numbers together, and a rating could look…

WNW: St. Patrick's Edition, Take 2

Three years ago, I explained how I scarred my daughter on St. Patrick's day.

Last year St Patrick's day landed on a Wednesday, so we celebrated our word nerdiness with the holiday by learning about Irish terms.
This year, with St. Patty's being a Thursday, we're a day off, but I'm celebrating with Word Nerd Wednesday anyway, this time with a classic Irish phrase:

Éirinn go Brách
First off, Éirinn go Brách means "Ireland forever." (Or, according to Merriam-Webster, not "forever" so much as "until doomsday," which, let's hope, is forever away.)
I see it as sort of a mix between a patriotic call and a shout from the football crowd for their Cougars or T-birds or whatever. The fact that many Irish pubs post signs with the phrase sort of supports that theory. Other places say it's a battle cry (right up there with slogan from last year's post).
Another translation I found is "Go green the Irish." I wonder if "green&qu…

Ratings for Books?

I recently received an e-mail asking my opinion about the idea of creating a ratings system for books, like the one we already have for movies, TV shows, and video games. About two days later, the same issue came up in an online forum. Seems to be a hot topic right now.

I have rather strong opinions about this (I know, jaw-dropping news, right?). After I wrote a long letter in reply, I realized it was practically a blog post, so this post is pretty much what I sent back.

Feel free to agree or disagree with me.

First off, as a mother, I can totally empathize with the desire to have a rating system. I absolutely see where parents demanding one are coming from. It's getting harder all the time to find clean youth literature. To make matters worse, publishers are quite happy to put out books with "content." A lot of people think that talking about drugs, sex, violence, language, and more is not only "real" but good for kids. Others say it's a great way to reach yo…

Author Interview: Melanie Jacobson

Today I get to interview fellow Covenant author and friend Melanie Jacobson, whose first novel, The List, just came out. I got to read a tiny bit of it a couple years ago at the LDStorymakers conference when she was at my Boot Camp table, and I loved it. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it. She's funny, kind, and has an envy-inspiring collection of shoes.

More about her: Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a popular speaker who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies for Covenant and maintains her humorous slice-of-life blog, Write Stuff.

How long have you been writing and how did you get started? (When did t…

National Grammar Day

I'm offline most of the day, but before I unplug, I wanted to point out for my fellow word nerds that today is National Grammar Day. (March fourth/forth. Hahahaaaa!)
As you can imagine, Grammar Girl is celebrating big time.
Visit her site to send a celebratory e-card to your "favorite language lover or language offender."
She's got got ten grammar myths, a writing contest, t-shirts, and much more. Visit her National Grammar Day post for all the fun.
Go to iTunes to buy her new song, "March Forth." You can even get the sheet music for it. Here's the song. Listen closely to the lyrics for full appreciation!

WNW: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

How fun that Dr. Seuss's birthday lands on a Wednesday this year. Let's celebrate, Word Nerd style! (Fun word nerd bit at the end, I promise.)
(If it's all the same to you, I think I may celebrate with chocolate rather than green eggs and ham . . .)
When I think of Dr. Seuss, the former child in me remembers "Gertrude McFuzz," "Yertle the Turtle," and "The Big Brag." We had a collection with those three stories in it when I was a kid, and I loved, loved, loved it. To this day, Gertrude is one of my favorite Seuss characters. (I've since bought a new copy of that collection for my kids. Of course.)
The mother in me thinks of a few other things, like how stinkin' LONG some of his books are, and how your child will inevitably insist on hearing The Cat in the Hat Comes Back when you're exhausted and would prefer something nice and short, like a Sandra Boynton book.
(Note: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, when read aloud, fast, takes a solid…