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Young Adult Fiction Failures for 2015

On March 11, 2015, in New Releases, by Admin

I just read this article on the Telegraph The Best YA Fiction for 2015 and I’m calling it now – none of these selections will succeed this year.

I think it’s bad to call these the best of a year that has only just begun and if these are the best, our year is going to be dire for YA Fiction reading.

My opinion is these will not get up the mark because they are all so DIRE. YA market needs escape, wishful thinking, imagination, HOPE. They get all these depressing stories that are referred to as “the best” in their Instagram feeds they don’t need to read a whole book about it.

Anyway I’ve called it. Would love to know what you think.




Nina Solomon’s Love Book

On March 11, 2015, in CliffNoteBooks Reviews from the Web, by Loren Kleinman
Nina Solomon's first novel, Single Wife (Algonquin 2003), was a Book-of-the-Month club, Literary Guild and Quality Paperback Book Club selection and was optioned by Warner Bros. Her second novel, The Love Book (Akashic/Kaylie Jones Books January 2015), was inspired by her own search for a soul mate, who, she is happy to report, only took 27 days and thirty years to find his way to her. She was born and raised in New York City and has lived in the same zip code since she was five. She is currently working on two projects, a collection of connected short stories and a novel.
Loren Kleinman (LK): Why do you think readers are obsessed with finding the perfect romance outside the books they read and in them? Why do we love love? Nina Solomon (NS): The Love Book is not a self-help book about how to find love, and especially not a perfect romantic version of love. Love is so many things. There are as many kinds of love as there are people seeking it. It can be romantic. But love is (more…)
The following is an excerpt from David Gelles's Mindful Work. In the book, Gelles discusses how meditation could be the key to happiness in the workplace. Exploring examples of effective mindfulness employed by businesses large and small, he shows how lower stress levels lead not only to employee satisfaction, but to productive workflow. Right around the time I began hearing about mindfulness at work, and plotting my trip to visit Janice Marturano at General Mills, I got a promotion. This was back when I worked at the Financial Times; after I had been covering media for a few years, my editor asked me to become the paper’s sole mergers and acquisitions reporter in the United States. It was a big offer, but I was reluctant to accept it at first. I enjoyed covering media and felt as if I was just hitting my stride. There was also the reality that covering M&A is notoriously competitive. Reporters on that beat are expected to be on call 24/7 and often work Sundays, chasing the deals that might break on so-called Merger Mondays. And in the United States, the FT was outmatched, competing against large teams of reporters at the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Nonetheless, it was a great opportunity to take on a prominent beat, and I accepted the job, even as I expected that the stress would be immense. I was right. (more…)
2015-03-11-1426085611-6874130-come_to_the_dark_side_by_lordhayabusa357d763pqq.jpg Image credit: LordHayabusa357/DeviantArt
Not everything I've written holds up well. But in rereading The Digital Economy for the 20th-anniversary-edition rewrite, I'm both struck by how well the book has withstood the test of time and deeply concerned about where we have arrived. The subtitle of the book was "Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence." The book was pretty breathless about the opportunities, but equally it warned of the huge dangers ahead. I wrote:
Some signs point to a new economy in which wealth is even further concentrated, basic rights like privacy are vanishing, and a spiral of violence and repression undermine basic security and freedoms. Pervasive evidence exists that indicates the basic social fabric is beginning to disintegrate. Old laws, structures, norms, and approaches are proving to be completely inadequate for life in the new economy. While they are crumbling or being smashed, it is not completely clear what should replace them. Everywhere people are beginning to ask, "Will this smaller world our children inherit be a better one?"
In hindsight, the digital economy has brought us many wonders. But I'm sad to say that every single "dark side" danger I mentioned in 1995 has in fact come to fruition. I outlined eight issues. Here are the first four. You decide. And I hope to see you at SXSW on Monday, March 16, where we can discuss these further. 1. "Dislocations in labor markets, with old industries and jobs disappearing."
The fact that we're entering a new economy is of little consolation to that displaced worker and his or her family. How will we manage the transition to new types of work and a new knowledge base for the economy?
Today: For the first time in history, economic growth is not generating a meaningful number of new jobs. Young workers (more…)

Freedom Jonathan Franzen Cliff Notes

On October 13, 2010, in Best Sellers, by Admin

The cliff notes for this work will be to the point, just outskirting the bare bones of the storyline because the text is so very, very rich, cliff notes cannot do it justice.  SPOILER ALERT OK – you’re warned.

Patty, Walter and Richard are the key players in Freedom, friends from College.  Patty starts hanging out with Walter in the hope of seeing his friend Richard, one of those guys that defies society, is a musician, very attractive sex god type.  Walter is the safe, supporting his family while in college, environmentally friendly earthy type.  Patty is an elite college athlete who injures her knee and is unable to pursue her sporting career, but all she ever wanted was to be a mother anyway. There is strong unresolved sexual tension between Patty and Richard.

So Patty, Walter and Richard grow up.  Patty and Walter marry and have two children, Joey and Jessica, and Richard goes on to become a moderately famous musician touring and womanising his life away.  But he falls on hard times, and