Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Salon - July 20

The Sunday

Last week, I said I planned on starting Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts. I ended up a bit derailed from that plan, finishing Positive Discipline: The First Three Years by Jane Nelsen instead (I'm hoping to write my review later today, this is one of the best parenting books I have read so far!). I then picked up and finished M is for Malice by Sue Grafton. It was only this morning that my frequently changing reading tastes led me back to Founding Mothers

With most of our unpacking done, and hubby with a whole weekend off of work, he has promised a few undisturbed hours this afternoon so I can catch up on blogs, read the NY Times Sunday Book Review, and delve into Founding Mothers to my heart's content. I am really looking forward to the experience. Growing up near Gettysburg, PA, I believe my high school American history classes were a bit skewed towards the Civil War. Philadelphia was only two hours away, but for some reason, not once during my schooling did we go on a field trip there. Gettyburg, on the other hand, I have been to dozens of times.

As a result, my knowledge of the Revolutionary War and early American history is sketchy at best. Beyond George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, I am at a loss. I know next to nothing about the colonial women that supported the men that signed the Declaration of Independence, and wrote our Constitution. With the exception of Betsy Ross--and what I learned about her in school has controversially been debunked by historians--I could not name a single other woman of that time except for Martha Washington. Therefore, I am really looking forward to delving into this book! 

On another note, Maggie's recent question to her readers "What is your definition of young adult literature?" had this topic fresh in my mind. Therefore, my eye was quickly drawn to an essay in today's NY Times Sunday Book Review about books that were written for adults...only to get marketed as YA, usually against the author's wishes. There are novels such as The Book Thief, which is marketed for adults in Australia, and young adults in the United States. Personally, the demarcation seems very random, subject to the whims of a publisher's marketing department. What's a shame is that many "YA" authors are shunned by other writers, and not taken as seriously. Quality literature can be found in any format, whether it's a board book, Young adult, or targeted at adults!


Iliana said...

Oh thanks for the link to the NYT article on YA Fiction. I wonder if the same happens to a lot of graphic novel writers? Will have to check it out. Hope you are enjoying your free reading hours :)

maggie moran said...

I just caught this and I'm sorry I was late. Another odd turn is those adult authors who are writing YA with the cash dollars in his/her eyes. Look how much money JK Rowling makes and all you have to do is write a book for YA. :)