Links! (1/21/15)

Here's what's caught my attention around the web this week.

I've been thinking a lot (a LOT!) about diversity in my media consumption. Trying to make 2015 the Year of reading Diversely (not that 2016, 17, etc shouldn't also be like that, of course!).

Here's a post from Book Riot that didn't really "start it all" for me but certainly encapsulates my thought right now: Reading Diversely FAQ

But as I try to read diversely, I've also been really aware of the tropes that "multicultural" (or whatever jargon the publishing industry feels the need to use) books can fall into. Here are two excellent articles about the pitfalls I want to avoid. The first is by Chris Prioleau at The Awl and is about depictions of Blackness in film (but applies to books for sure): Stagnant Blackness and the Modern Race Drama; the second, by Jabeen Akhtarover at the LARB, is a little older and is specifically about South Asian stereotyping in books marketed to Western audiences: Why Am I Brown? South Asian Fiction and Pandering to Western Audiences.

Both were super interesting articles and opened up lots of questions for me, primarily: WTF publishing industry. WTF!

Just one of the books recommended
by that Flavorwire article.
In other bookish news, and now that you're looking around to diversify YOUR reading list, this recommended book list from Flavorwire pretty much exploded my TBR pile. It was tragic. If by tragic you mean awesome, but made my husband mad at me because "more books? More books? You have student loans! You're in debt!" Here you go. I'll share the pain: 50 Books Guaranteed to Make You More Interesting (oh and here's a prior list: 50 Novels to make you a better person.)

And to wrap up my bookish love this week, am I the last person to the "Better World Books" party? If I'm not, all of you are invited. I love this on-line bookstore. I found them only perhaps a week ago, and all of my pent-up (because student loans) book-buying enthusiasm has been directed towards them. From their website:

"Better World Books is a self-sustaining, for-profit social venture whose mission is to capitalize on the value of the book to fund literacy initiatives locally, nationally and around the world. We partner with nearly 3,100 libraries and over 1800 college campuses across the U.S. and Canada, collecting unwanted textbooks and library discards in support of non-profit literacy programs."

Yo. You buy books from them, they donate to literacy programs. And their books? They're used, which is my preference, and used? That means cheap. If you shop their "bargain bin" and buy more than three, the books are $3 each. Shipping is free. AND for a few cents extra you can buy carbon offsets for the energy used in shipping. Carbon offsets!

They're having a 40% off sale on their bargain bin books right now. I may have just bought 24 books from them, many in hardcover, for a grand total of $60. That's $2.50 a book. (Carbon offsets added up to an extra dollar or so, total.) Don't tell my husband.

(I don't care much for e-books as I feel I don't retain their content nearly as well. Also I love my books hard — I like to mark them, dog-ear them, crack the spines, and highlight them, so I tend to stay away from library books. Sorry.)

In science and medicine this week, I loved on this article from Steven Novella over at his neurologica blog. I am an unabashed Golden Rice booster (less because I think it's the be-all end-all and more because I think it's one among many great programs, but it has been unfairly smeared, so it needs some extra love) so the anti-science Golden Rice hate coming from anti-GMO activists . . . steams me. Novella does a nice take-down here: Golden Rice Follow-Up

And, finally, the feel-good article of the week, an intrepid medical student bravely stands up to academic skullduggery. Read it here: Hero Medical Student (ok, that's not the actual title of the article, but it should be!)

Happy reading!