Friday, April 18, 2014

POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY!

Seems like a little thing, but it's kind of awesome and enormous. All you have to is carry a poem in your pocket today and, maybe, if you can find a way, share it with someone (even if it's just your dog).

You don't even need to find a poem because the Academy of American Poets has an app for that (or a widget or something--I don't know exactly what it is but it's easy enough for even me). Here it is:


Here's the poem I'll be pocketing. It's one of my all-time favorites:

When I Heard the Learned Astronomer
  by Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
   and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
   much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rock the Drop!

Today is Support Teen Literature Day and, along with that, it's Readergirlz annual Rock the Drop--a day on which participants "drop" books to be discovered by other readers (more details can be found by clicking on "Readergirlz" above and following the link).

Looking to support Autism Awareness Month and Rock the Drop? Here are two great titles to leave for future readers. As for me, I'll be dropping a copy of TSoLG somewhere in my hometown.
 
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OH, PAUL FUSSELL, WHAT YOU DO TO ME!

I'm guest posting at the blog of the inimitable E. Kristin Anderson today. The topic? My intellectual crush on Paul Fussell. WHO IS PAUL FUSSELL, you ask? Click over and see!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

ORPHAN BLACK returns! A reading list for CLONIACS

Since discovering ORPHAN BLACK during a holiday TV-watching binge with my awesome 19yo, I have been breathlessly awaiting the second season and folks, we are ALMOST THERE. Why am I posting about it TODAY? Because, folks, today I am sharing my CLONE-THEMED reading list.

In addition to being masterfully acted by Tatiana Maslany, ORPHAN BLACK is a fascinating exploration of the nature of identity, personality, individuality and the boundaries of scientific intervention into the lives of homo sapiens. The show makes me FEEL & THINK and that's pretty much the whole deal.

Here are a few books to read alongside your journey with the many faces of Sarah/Alison/Cosima...

EXPIRATION DAY - This fantastic futuristic debut by William Campbell Powell takes readers on a journey with Tania Dealy who, like Sarah Manning, begins by thinking she is an ordinary human girl. More about technological cloning than genetic cloning, nonetheless this is a terrific read. (Tor Teen, April 2014)

THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION - Nancy Farmer's award-winning 2002 novel is a modern-day classic. Here's the start of the Amazon description: "Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested." Need I say more?

THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist (Dutton, 2013) is a fascinating meditation on how human thoughts are born. The narrator is a robot who seems to have made a cognitive leap past her identical sisters.

ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury (Razorbill, 2012) is a techno-romance set in a lush Amazonian garden. Here's high praise from National Book Award-winner Judy Blundell: "Is this science fiction? It feels too scarily real. This spellbinding tale of the horrors of genetic engineering gone mad is both thriller and love story, breathlessly paced and beautifully told."

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005), which inspired a very good film by the same name starring Kiera Knightly, Carrie Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, is a haunting fictional memoir narrated by Kathy H., who accepts her lot as "carer" and ultimately "donor." As the reader discovers the true meaning of these words, the story grows in potency, complexity and tragedy.