Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A book club for Grrlz

I found this on Media Bistro's GalleyCat blog and thought it would be a good idea to post it here. I wish there had been something like this when I was a teenager.
Reaching Out to Teens of Substance

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Celia Goodnow profiles the four YA authors who banded together to create, whose mission is ably summarized by their tagline: "gutsy girls reading gutsy literature." The site, which officially launches on March 1 to coincide with the start of Women's History Month, also aims to galvanize girls into taking action to change their schools, their communities and their sense of self. "The bottom line is getting girls to read great literature that will inspire them to reach out and be the best women they can be," said Justina Chen Headley, a former Microsoft marketer and mother of two who conceived the site last May after touring for her most recent book, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (and a few white lies.)
On the tour she made a point of visiting urban, low-income schools that couldn't afford to host author appearances. Though many of the girls she met were avid readers, Headley came away disheartened at the lack of support they received. "It profoundly shook me," Headley said. "They actually had the best questions, yet their libraries were abysmal. None of them had met an author before." So she started thinking, "Why can't I provide a rich, literary experience online?" She recruited her former writing instructor Janet Lee Carey, Dia Calhoun and Lorie Ann Grover and a site was born.
And with the new site has come a great many positive reactions. Already, Headley said, Readergirlz has caught the eye of National Public Radio, Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, local libraries and four of the all-girls schools in the area. She suspects the response is being fed by something deeper than a concern for literacy. "I think it's a convergence of the girl-power movement with the way the world is messed up today."

My paranormal romance review on BOFFM

I just had a review of Watchers in the Night go live on the Big Ol Face Full of Monsters web site, and I wanted to post the URL here for everyone to visit.
It's an honest review of this paranormal romance, and I enjoyed writing it.

I also just finished reading "Having It & Eating It" by Sabine Durrant, a British author. It was the fourth book of its kind that I've read, ie a novel in which the overly-body-conscious heroine has a husband and kids and is living outside of London but is still so unhappy that she's a complete b*tch. That's all the main characters in these English "chick lit" novels do, complain about their weight, how horrible their children are (they never discipline them, so I am not surprised) and how the only good thing in life is designer clothing and shoes, and the occaisional fling with the hunky Australian gardener. They kvetch and moan throughout the book about how their classmates from high school or college who aren't married have the perfect lives, full of glamor and fun, hot guys and haute cuisine, while our poor heroine has to cook and clean and take care of her kids all day because, of course, her husband is totally useless for anything but a paycheck. Whine, whine, whine. And women in British chick lit novels drink like fish. They are always having cocktails, champagne, beer, whiskey, etc. Seems like they can't keep off the sauce. They also always seem to find time for spa days and luxurious trips to the stores for fancy clothing and shoes and bikini waxes. The main character in this book, Maggie, has an affair with the gardener because she fears her husband is "having it off" with an old school rival, the glamorous Claire. Of course, she finds out she is totally wrong, and her husband is faithful, while she's been having illicit liasons with the stupid gardener for weeks. Never mind that he might have VD that she could give to her husband. Never mind that she drops her kids off with their grandmother or a friend with great and careless ease, as long as she's going out to get screwed, that's okay. Because she's a poor, put-upon mum. My heart bleeds. Not. These Brits seem so bitter and stupid, so cold toward their children and so juvenile in their emotions, it made me ill when the end of the book finally arrived, and I realized that the main characters had learned little or nothing from their adventures in the book. I had somewhat the same problem with "I Don't Know How She Does It." It seems to me that these women have little to complain about, and their sour attitude is immaturity cloaked with shallow yearnings.