Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Question: Do you care about disclaimers in reviews?

First, context: I'm planning to start posting a list of books I've read each month, with maybe a few sentences about why I did/didn't like each one. So, in thinking about this, I had a question . . .

What level of disclaimer do you care about when I'm recommending books by authors I know or am in some way connected to? It seems obvious that I should mention if I work for someone. But what if I just know someone? Do you only care if I consider them a friend? What if we're Twitter buddies, or I worked with them at a conference once? What if we have mutual friends? What if I don't know them but know their agent or editor? What if I do freelance work for their agent?

On the one hand, I am happy to provide this information, and don't want to seem like I'm secretly pushing my friends' stuff or anything. (I'm happy to openly push my friends' stuff.) And let's face it: while I would never lie about my opinion of a book because I knew the author, it's ridiculous to pretend that it's possible to stamp out all subconscious bias. On the other hand, I don't want book posts to come across as "Here is a list of authors I know" or, worse, "Look how connected I am."

Thoughts? How do you handle writing about books (or movies, or TV, or games, or . . .) made by people you know? How do you want me to handle it here?

Morning Coffee (8/27/14)

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday - technical difficulties.

Zara has pulled its wildly misguided "sheriff" shirt for children featuring stripes and a big yellow star. For what it's worth, I believe them that it wasn't intended as a Holocaust reference, but someone somewhere along the way should have said "Hey, wait a minute . . ." long before it got to the point of going on sale to the public.

In other "someone should have considered how this would look" news, the British embassy sparks anger for tweet celebrating 1814 White House burning.

Who wants to come see Rainbow Rowell in Cambridge with me? (MA, not England.)

And in other local-ish news, this is INSANE: The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

The Emmys put Sofia Vergara on a rotating pedestal, and it was terrible

Hi, I'm the one person you know who is completely and unironically excited for season three of The Newsroom.

My friend Christine writes hilarious Reign recaps and has also started sharing history links. Highly recommended.

Also via Christine: The National Archives (U.K.) offers Latin tutorials!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Morning Coffee (8/22/14)

I think it's finally Friday. So. Let's have some non-depressing links.

This is awesome: Mother of Malala Yousafzai Learns to Read and Write

There are few things I want in the world right now as much as I want this Emma Approved version of Clue, dreamt up by the great Katie Campshure. (She also made Lizzie Bennet Diaries Monopoly. And she makes puppets of the characters and they play the board games. You guys.)

My friend Susan Adrian's first book Tunnel Vision is coming out in January - and I loved it, by the way - and look, it's the cover! (And a giveaway to enter!)

Because the Kitten Bowl is not enough: Hallmark Channel is starting an entire Feline Football League.

Here's Lev Grossman on How Magic Conquered Pop Culture.

The Fug Girls Look Back on Ten Years of Celebrity Snark

Hee: 25 Things Everyone Who Went To A Small Liberal Arts School Knows To Be True

The Most Satisfying People to Subtweet (in Ascending Order)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Morning Coffee (8/19/14)

It's the long-awaited day - Whole Foods is opening in Nashua!

Eeee, here's the new Taylor Swift video! Love it.

If you, like me, never like Greek yogurt as much as you want to, I recommend Stonyfield Petite Creme. (They're not paying me to say that. I just tried it yesterday and was delighted.)

Former Sen. Jim Jeffords has died.

Children’s Place Responds Terribly To Complaints Of Gamora-Less Guardians Shirt

This story is about lawsuits, knitting, and bleak Danish TV. Basically everything I like.

I want to go to the National Lighthouse Museum.

Super-cheery vacation idea: Attic that inspired Jane Eyre's 'madwoman in the attic' Bertha open for public tours

Friday, August 15, 2014

Morning Coffee (8/15/14)

Happy Friday! Boy, this week was long.

Meet the 4 Women Who Will Join the FDNY This Year

Sophie Turner and Jeremy Irvine as Mary and Percy Shelley? I'm in.

I've known Lev for a few years and I didn't even know he had a twin, never mind one who's a novelist, but this joint interview is a really good read.

Pop Quiz: Can You Identify These ’60s Hits by Just Their First Second? I got 14/16. I am ashamed.

Let's ogle a bunch of Harry Potter covers.

Hee: We're Our Own Family Now

I think we all need some cats in straw hats today.

And then we should all have some pudding.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Morning Coffee (8/14/14)

If you need to catch up on what happened in Ferguson overnight, and to keep up with it all day, I recommend Vox's constantly-updated article.

And here's Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery's story of being detained for sitting in a McDonald's in Ferguson last night.

I'm not sure we have the whole story here, but this looks worth looking into, at least: Opting Against Ebola Drug for Ill African Doctor

How Amazon built a TV studio that’s finally challenging Netflix

Useful: Some URL shorteners will get around Twitter's ban on links in DMs.

Oh wow, Rudy Kurniawan was sentenced. I read a fascinating story on him a few years ago. Oh, here it is. Highly recommended.

It's been 30 years since the discovery of Lindow Man and the BBC has an interesting overview.

In Church Attics, Clues to the Private Life of Early America

Monday, August 11, 2014

Morning Coffee (8/11/14)

Hi everyone! I think I'm back! Well, sort of. For today I've got some various stray links - some of them now a bit old - that I've collected over the past few weeks. Hopefully we'll be back to normal tomorrow.

I never knew Tom Tierney's name, but I definitely appreciated his work.

How to Get a Job in the '60s: Have Your Husband Incorporate You

I don't know how I never knew there were Royal Diaries movies, but I must see them.

Hee: John Lennon Writes Imagine

I want this amazing hair clip.

100 Actual Titles of Real Eighteenth-Century Novels

Everyone Has Imposter Syndrome Except For You