The NYRB Reading week has successfully concluded yesterday (November 7-13, 2010), although for some other parts of the world, one can still submit as late as today, I think. Thank you very much Honey from Coffeespoons and Mrs B from The Literary Stew for hosting such a lovely event.
though, such as NYRB Titles Skylark, The Summer Book, A High Wind in Jamaica, Alien Hearts just to cite a few. There were also quite a number of reviews shared which were written before the NYRB Reading Week as could be seen in the highly prolific blogger, William Rycroft in his blog Just Williams Luck. There are also other interesting posts connected to NYRB such as favorite NYRB classics by Thomas at My Porch, NYRB covers also by Thomas at My Porch (another prolific blogger), NYRB photo competition by Honey from Coffeespoons, and a competition on Best NYRB Cover design from Lizzy’s Literary Life. Frances from NonsuchBook has also generously shared a number of NYRB titles to bookbloggers based in the UK which Thomas from My Porch helped to disseminate while he was in London – simply for the love of it. Such generosity of spirit! What a heady NYRB week indeed!
I am also very happy to share that we have churned out a total of 8 (technically 9) book
reviews for the week. An astounding feat considering how heavy our workloads are (Mary is going crazy with grad school and corporate work; while I am literally drowning in paperwork in the academe). It is also a pleasure to share that we are the only ones who actually reviewed NYRB’s Children’s Collection, thus far! While we can claim monopoly in this genre at least for the week, we are imploring other YA lit bloggers and those from the kidlitosphere to join this lovely bookblogging event the next time around.
To summarize our posts, we have covered picture books for very young children in Esther Averill’s Jenny Goes to Sea written in very simple straightforward language to Frank Tashlin’s The Bear that Wasn’t which deals with environmental concerns and identity issues (perfect for children aged 4-9 years old) to the classic The Man Who Lost his Head by Claire Huchet Bishop and Robert McCloskey (again perfect for kids between 2-222 years old – yes, that ancient).
My highlights for this week, though, in the children’s literature genre is my discovery of three children’s classics – unbelievable find, both of which between 50-nearly100 years old. I have to admit that as a child, I was introduced more to American Lit – Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott (until my university years I suppose when I took up around 12-15 units of English Lit and contemporary American lit as my electives). Thus, knowing the Australian children’s classic The Magic Pudding is such a lovelylovely treat, and the genius James Thurber with his boundless imagination, wordplay and lyrical prose as seen in his books The Wonderful O and The 13 clocks both illustrated by Marc Simont. If not for this event, I would not have been introduced to such gut-wrenching laughter (truly a joy) this week – I don’t think I’ve read as much books as I had in all the recent months put together.
I would peg my review of Rumer Godden’s An Episode of Sparrows to fall within the YA category where some of the themes I believe would resonate best with a tweener or a young adolescent rather than a child aged 7-10. Mary ventured writing in the adult category with Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book. Finally, we have something in the non-fiction category with The Company they Kept, Writers on Unforgettable Friendships as edited by Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein. Truly a comprehensive list! What a lovely way to end the NYRB Reading Week.
Admittedly, I have several more NYRB titles that I have not yet reviewed – which I am reserving for the next NYRB event. Here are the photos that I have taken this morning to remind me that there are still six luscious titles waiting to be eaten up, digested, mulled over, and regurgitated through a perfectly laid-out blogpost here in GatheringBooks.
Knowing how rare these books are in other parts of the world – I feel that it is my responsibility to at least read these lovely literature and blog about them. Here’s to another NYRB Reading MONTH (week is way too short, haha).