The Soul of Wit

A fun look at how stylometry helps prove that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

I’m always a little baffled when people try to make a big conspiracy theory around Shakespeare. (See also Truman Capote writing To Kill a Mockingbird instead of Harper Lee.) Let the dude have his work!

Also, this is good proof that a writer’s voice is a real thing. Even though Shakespeare wrote sonnets, historical dramas, fantastical comedies, and more, all his works have his particular tone and style.

Maybe you’re not Shakespeare, but you have your own writerly voice. Someone else can be writing about spooky ghosts or family dramas or adventures in space, but your voice is all your own, and that’s part of what makes everything you write unique.

Libraries Are for Everyone

A moving video about all libraries do for everyone in their communities:

Libraries are for readers, for the young and old, for people who are searching for jobs, for people who are learning new languages, for people who are new to their communities, for people who can’t leave their homes, for people who need some help, for people who want to share their knowledge.

Libraries are for everyone.

Let’s make sure our libraries get the support they deserve.

Bad Reviews as Read by Children’s Book Authors

Normally I don’t approve of authors responding to bad reviews, but this is too good to pass up:

To be fair, I’d be a little concerned about that lion in the rain, too.

It’s a good reminder that even well-respected and established authors, who get lots of positive reviews, also get some bad reviews. Just gotta shrug it off, smile, and keep going.

(via bookshelves of doom)

Turning the Page for Library Support

An awesome video about the Toronto Public Library system and why it needs support.

I think most public libraries (or school libraries for that matter) could say the same. Every so often I see articles about how libraries are dying and how they’re not necessary anymore, but they continue to be a vital resource for their communities–for readers, for families, for educators, for students of all ages, etc. Now more than ever, we need our libraries.

(via bookshelves of doom)

“Heads Will Roll” on Halloween

Happy Halloween, everybody! In case you couldn’t guess by my Twitter feed today (or really, this month), I’m a big fan of Halloween-ish music. Who needs Christmas carols when you have classics like “The Monster Mash” and the Ghostbusters theme song?

One of my current favorite creepy songs is “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The video is really fun, too:

Similarly, I like when Halloween pops up in books/movies otherwise not about Halloween. The Chance You Won’t Return has a Halloween scene, and has been there since the first draft. So much of the book is about who you present yourself as and who you really are, which meant that having a Halloween scene seemed necessary. Other favorite books with Halloween scenes include:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    Class halloween parties are great until there’s a troll in the dungeon. Who doesn’t love the moment when Harry, Ron, and Hermione become friends?
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
    So much of the book feels like summer to me, but the last terrifying and beautiful scene is set on Halloween night.
  • The Egypt Game
    Halloween is when the group takes its full form, with Toby and Ken joining. This book feels like fall to me.

Hope you all have a fun and spoooooky night!

Read Aloud With Banned Books Week

Happy Banned Books Week, everyone! It’s a great time to celebrate freedom to read and to honor those who fight censorship. For this year’s Banned Books Week, I’m taking part in the Virtual Read-Out, which encourages readers to share a passage from a banned/challenged book. Check out my reading from In Cold Blood by Truman Capote:

There are so many wonderful books that are banned or challenged, but I chose In Cold Blood because it’s a sincerely upsetting and arresting book. Capote’s depiction of the Clutter murder doesn’t pull any punches (nor does it sensationalize), while he also portrays their killers as full people–damaged, terrifying people, but full human beings nonetheless. It’s a hard book to read, but that’s why it should be available for all readers. We can’t deny that there are truly scary things that happen in the world, and accounts like this one validate our fears and force us to confront them with empathy and thoughtfulness.

To share your own video or to see lists of banned/challenged books, check out the Banned Books Week site.