Category Archives: Lost in the Stacks

Episodes of “Lost in the Stacks”

Lost in the Stacks 5: Art versus Artist

Scott Adams says some really dickish things, but the Pointy-Haired Boss is still funny to laugh at.

Mel Gibson shows his anti-Semitic side, but Lethal Weapon is still one of the best buddy cop movies of all time.

Dave Sim writes a compelling political drama in his comic book series Cerebus, but then shows himself to be a homophobic misogynist of the highest order.

Once you’ve learned something about your favorite writer or artist, it may poison your view of the art you used to love. How can you reconcile these feelings and still be able to look at yourself in the mirror? The answer [1] is in this month’s edition of Lost in the Stacks: Art versus the Artist! We look at whether art can be considered separately from the person who made it, and what it means to deal with a moral problem that has plagued us since art began. Take a listen and join in the conversation in the comments!

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[1] Disclaimer: answer may not actually be an “answer”

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Filed under art, criticism, ethics, fans, fiction, Lost in the Stacks, morality, reading

Lost in the Stacks 4: Writers and Readers

With the debut of HBO’s “A Game of Thrones” miniseries and a new article in The New Yorker, the strange story of George R. R. Martin and his fans has been on my mind. So, in this episode of Lost in the Stacks, we examine the weird, often dangerously codependent relationship between the Writer and the Readers.

What does the writer owe to his or her readers, if anything? What can the readers honestly expect of their writer? What promises, implicit or explicit, have been made, and what happens when they’re broken?

Join me for an interesting conversation, and let me know what you think!

George R. R. Martin’s homepage
Finish the Book, George
Is Winter Coming?

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Filed under analysis, criticism, ethics, fans, fiction, George R. R. Martin, Lost in the Stacks, morality, reading, writing

Lost in the Stacks 3: Women in Fiction

This week, Scott Adams handed the internet a firebomb and then complained when it went off. In a blog post (deleted from his blog, but kindly reprinted here), he compared women asking for equal pay to children asking for candy. It roused the ire of the ‘net’s feminist population – rightly so – but his reaction of, “You’re just not smart enough to get it” was the icing on the cake.

Yes, ma'am....

But some good did come out of it – I started thinking about female characters in fiction. What difficulties do writers have in creating female characters, and why? How can we go about making sure that more writers do a better job at writing women?

It was an interesting topic to talk about, and I’m sure I made some mistakes or omitted some important details somewhere. After all, from my testiculated point of view, I’m bound to overlook something, so give the show a listen, drop me a comment and let me know!

Some links of interest:

Comics Alliance – ‘Dilbert’ Creator Scott Adams Compares Women Asking for Equal Pay to Children Demanding Candy
Feministe – Scott Adams’ alleged response to criticism
OverthinkingIt.com – The Female Character Flowchart
OverthinkingIt.com – Why Strong Female Characters are Bad for Women
Feminist Frequency – The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies
The Bechdel Test Movie List

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Filed under analysis, fantasy, fiction, gender roles, Lost in the Stacks, science fiction, Scott Adams, women, writing

Lost in the Stacks 2: Young at Heart

Marissa, a listener in the U.S., asks: “Is young adult fic something that adults should be reading too?”

An excellent question, Marissa, and thank you for giving me a topic for this month’s episode of “Lost in the Stacks.” The is the kind of listener interaction that keeps me going….

Just a few from my collection....

Young adult fiction is big business for writers and publishers these days – kids are reading more than ever, and a lot of them have money just itching to be spent. This is one way to not only get young people interested in reading, but to challenge their minds and opinions on the issues that they face in their lives – divorce, abuse, loneliness, the search for meaning, love and friendship. There are so many topics that apply to young readers that the value of young adult literature for teenagers is almost a given.

But what about adults? Why are there communities of adults who enjoy YA literature, and should they be enjoying it? What does this kind of writing bring to the adult reader that more “grown-up” literature can’t?

For my take on it, take a listen to this month’s episode. If you have thoughts on the topic, I would love to hear them – that’s what the comments section is for, after all!

Enjoy!

References:

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Filed under Lost in the Stacks, reading, teenagers, young adult

Lost in the Stacks 1: Reading Evangelism

Let me tell you about a good book I read. How much time do you have?

Here’s something new for you all – Lost in the Stacks, a companion podcast to the Labyrinth Library.

A few people in the listener survey said that they would like to hear more on general book and reading topics, and this is something that had been sitting in my head for a while, so here it is! The plan is to do this monthly, in the last weekend of the month, and hit topics that cover reading in general rather than focusing on one book.

To listen to the podcast, you can either download it directly by clicking the link, or subscribe in iTunes, in which case it will be delivered right to you.

To start us off, we’ll be talking about “Reading Evangelism,” or how to get other people to share what you love. How can you do it without coming off like a snob or a pedant or, *shudder* a high school English teacher? What I think it comes down to is the right mix of passion and understanding.

You love what you love, and there should never be any shame in that. Whether you love gardening or reading or collecting antebellum mustache combs, you should own your passions and be willing to share them with others. At the same time, you need to understand that no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to convert everyone to your side. More’s the pity.

In this episode, I talk about my experience as a teacher of high school English and what I learned about trying to encourage others to read. I hope you’ll join in the conversation and we can all learn a little bit more about how to convince people to join us in our madness.

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Filed under Lost in the Stacks, reading, teaching