In Elif Shafak's excellent TED talk on the ways in which fiction can combat the restrictions of culturally-boundaried identity, the author discusses her own history of literary controversy and its intersection with political censorship. Shafak - a Turkish author, whose most recent work deals with the story of a murdered sex worker - is no … Continue reading Monday Musing: Literary Censorship And Political Control
It has been an excellent couple of years for dystopian fiction. The closer we feel to the brink of humanistic and political catastrophe, the more we turn to fictional dystopias, as though to torment ourselves with the preponderance of warnings to stay alert to the erosion - however gradual - of the freedoms that we … Continue reading Monday Musing: Why We Love Dystopian Fiction In A World Of ‘Alternative Facts’
There are many contemporary online trends - particularly those that have to do with social media - that cast a problematic light on the way that consumers interact with the work that they're consuming. Social media has brought us closer than ever before to the people from whom art emerges - musicians, authors, and other … Continue reading Monday Musing: Should Authors Be Exempt From ‘Cancel Culture’?
Returning to a theme on which I've been harping for a long time, The Guardian has reported that, over the course of a decade, less than 2% of authors and illustrators for children's fiction were people of colour. According to a report by BookTrust, 2017 was the least diverse year for children's fiction since 2009, … Continue reading Monday Musing: Addressing The Lack Of Diversity In Children’s Fiction
Now that spring has finally arrived in the US Midwest, I'm spending a good amount of time outside - allergies be damned. It's an incredible time of year. Unlike the autumn, spring is a transitional season replete with possibilities, beginnings, and a sort of contented restlessness that I've grown to love. "Nostalgia in reverse, the … Continue reading Monday Musing: Nature And Literature Are Perfect Partners
At the start of the year, I wrote about the different ways to formulate 'better' reading goals, with particular attention to your own needs and wants. So much of how we read is reflective of whatever we're experiencing in life. I know that over the course of my 30 years on this planet, both the types … Continue reading Monday Musing: Demanding Diversity in Literature
I make no secret of how much I depend on radio. Since moving to the US, in particular, my favourite BBC radio programmes are on regular rotation as I try to stay as connected as possible to my home. While many of them are on my schedule for nostalgia's sake, I'm also continually impressed by … Continue reading Monday Musing: Reading Through Radio
One of the perils of writing about books online is the inevitable pull (and general expectation) toward some degree of social media engagement. I've been writing on The Book Habit on-and-off since 2013 and have found that, over time, I've become more active in various parts of the book-loving community. Being able to communicate with other bibliophiles … Continue reading Monday Musing: Does Social Media Change The Way That You Read?
In last week's Monday Musing, I wrote about the ways in which I process and account for my dislike of particular novels. Inspired by my troubled impression of Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (although my continued love for his work is reflected in today's choice of quote), I found myself contemplating the meaning … Continue reading Monday Musing: How Literature Offers An Intoxicating Salvation From Life’s Challenges
It's relatively rare that I come across a book I dislike. I'm generally a kind reader, largely because I have an intense amount of respect for the arduous process of writing a novel and seeing it through to publication. It's an incredibly courageous choice - to put what is, for many writers, a culmination of … Continue reading Monday Musing: How To Hate A Novel