Parenting is hard work. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s a well-earned cliche.
Kids are pretty awesome, and they can even teach you a thing or two about reading, but they also have their moments. That’s why, if you want to be a parent, it’s important to make sure you are not a mental whack job.
Mental whack jobs who are parents usually produce kids who eventually become mental whack jobs themselves. This is not good.
Since fiction is often just a mirror of reality, there’s a lot to learn from literary parents, both good and whack jobbish.
Quite a bit, actually. Let’s take at some parenting tips I put together based on lessons I’ve learned from literary parents.
How have I missed this?
You might know I love To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s a classic. To me, that book is what literature is all about.
Had I read that book in 7th grade, though, my book review would have probably gone something like this.
Videos like this were the reason the internet was created. It’s starts accurate enough, but then things get out of hand.
Recently, my wife and I were discussing names for a possible second child sometime in the future (We have no announcement. We’re just planners.)
We’ve settled on a girl name. But, if we have a second boy, we’re still up in the air about what to name him. If she likes a name, I’m not crazy about it. If I like I name, she’s not feeling it. We’re having a constant back and forth.
The other day, I jokingly threw out the name Gatsby as a possibility. I mean, it’s kind of a cool name, I think. She declined.
But the conversation got me thinking about literary names. If we ever dived into the land of literature for our second child’s name, what are some possibilities?
It’s the age-old question: Do audio books count as reading?
Really, it’s probably more like “decade-old,” but I guess it’s still a heated discussion among literary nerds with nothing better to talk about.
Let me start by explaining my experience with audio books, using To Kill A Mockingbird as a case study. Here’s how it usually goes when I’ve listened to audio books while driving:
Mental Floss—a stellar website if you’ve never been, by the way—recently listed what some famous classic novels were almost called.
I found the list fascinating—it’s a literary “what might have been,” and it makes me wonder how the fate of these books might have changed if the original title had stuck.
If there’s one thing literary types like, it’s a good controversy.
Don’t let the literary world fool you—they may snub their nose at celebrity gossip, but replace “Paris Hilton” with “Jonathan Franzen,” and suddenly their ears perk up.
I find it interesting that, out of the first 43 books I’ve read and researched from the Time list, the large majority of the novels—or at least the authors—have been through some type of small controversy at some point.
Noticing that trend, I put together some of the more memorable “controversies” or rumors—some of which still linger today.
I’ve always been shocked to find out that some school districts and libraries have actually banned To Kill A Mockingbird. How ridiculous is that?
I’ve expressed my opinions about banned books on the blog before, so I won’t go back into all that. But, today, I’ll let Harper Lee give her opinion on the matter.
In 1966, the Hanover County School Board in Virginia removed all copies of To Kill A Mockingbird from their libraries. They believed the book to be “immoral.”
Harper Lee responded by writing the following letter to the Richmond News Leader, which, in turn, published it. The fund she mentions at the bottom of this letter gave away free copies of the book to any child who wanted one. That’s awesome.
I love this letter! (source: Letters of Note and Understanding To Kill A Mockingbird):
Several weeks ago, the social media world, or the country, or someone out there, celebrated “Banned Books Week.” Essentially, reading and promoting books that have been banned by schools and libraries in the past.
I’m not into starting political arguments on this blog, so I won’t throw out the censorship card. But I will say I’m all for a parent having the right to determine what his or her child reads. I know when my boy gets a little older, I’ll keep an eye on that.
But if you judge the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books from 2000-2009, it’s easy to see that some parents, school administrators, and librarians have lost their collective mind. Here are just a few books that made the ALA’s top 100 list of most challenged books.