Sunday, December 15, 2013

Poetry Project: Sestinas!

Sorry this edition is late, I was spectacularly busy.

I've found that my method of selecting poems was a bit too random.  So, I've decided to do a different theme each week.  This week, it's sestinas.

A sestina is a poetic form in which the last word in each line is rotated in a set pattern.  There are six stanzas, each containing six lines, and there is an envoi at the end consisting of three lines.  It creates some interesting effects, but is difficult to write, particularly because the line endings can sound repetitive.

I read a few sestinas this week, and the best one was probably A.E. Stallings' "Sestina: Like".  However, Algernon Swinburne gets an honorable mention for being amazing/crazy enough to write a double sestina, 'The Complaint of Lisa'

I have tried writing sestinas myself and, if you are brave enough to attempt one,  I've found that the sestin-a-matic is a really useful tool.  It will keep track of how the line endings change.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Poetry Project: Week 1

I've recently decided that I'm going to commit to reading one poem everyday.  I want to read more poetry, particularly from writers or movements that I haven't explored before.

I thought I might share my favourite poem that I read each week, because life is better with more poetry.

So, without further ado, this week's favourite is "The Café Filtre" by Paul Blackburn.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Just in case you missed me...

Hello there,

It's come to my attention that I haven't posted in ages, and I have been flattering myself, thinking that some of you are actually kind of sad about that.

In my defense, I have been incredibly busy, as I am writing and editing a magazine and we just launched our first issue.

If you want to check out our blog, where you can find the articles in our latest edition, some bonus reviews, and a print archive of all the previous issues, you can find it below 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Shakespeare Cinema Sins

One of the courses I'm taking this year is about Shakespeare, and it looks at both the text of the plays, but also how they're adapted on the stage and screen.  As a result, I've been watching a lot of different films based on Shakespeare plays.

While I've really enjoyed most of them, and I might make a recommendations post at some point in the future, this is not that post.  This is the post were I complain about things that so many of these films get wrong, and that really get on my nerves.

So, without further ado, here are my Top 3 Shakespeare Cinema Sins.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Book Review: Fire and Hemlock

As a fan of fantasy novels, I was always a little bit embarrassed that I had never read any of Dianne Wynn Jones' books.  However, after having read Fire and Hemlock, I think I was a bit hard on myself about it.

The book opens with the protagonist, Polly, looking at a photograph, and realizing that she only has a vague sense of how she got it and the events that followed.  As she looks back and tries to remember, she uncovers many new memories; about the photograph, about Thomas Lynn, and about stories that start to come true...

The book's concept was quite interesting, and supernatural aspects of the novel were very well integrated. I thought the world-building was excellent.  Unlike most fantasy novels, most of the "rules" of the world aren't revealed until very late in the plot. However, there was still a sense that the world had always operated according to those rules, and they didn't have a deus ex machina feel to them.

I thought that the characters were reasonably well written.  There were some complex, dynamic ones that I really enjoyed, but there were also a few characters that were just a bit too flat given their relative importance in the book.

I would have to say that the prose itself was the weakest element of this novel.  It just seemed really clunky.  The dialogue sounded like it was from 1940, even though the book is probably meant to be set in the 70's or the 80's.

I was kind of disappointed with this book, so I think I'll end this review on a question to all the Dianne Wynn Jones fans out there.  Have I got it wrong?  Is Fire and Hemlock just not her best novel?  Which book would you recommend?

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 65%

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Defense of Nanowrimo

I've been reading a blog called The Literary Mercenary for a while now, and normally I think it's interesting and I tend to agree with a lot of what he writes. However, he recently wrote a post about Nanowrimo which was generally really negative about the whole concept.  I was going to write a comment about why I disagreed with him, but then I realized that I needed more space to fully articulate what I had to say.

As some of you know, during the summer I participated in Camp Nanowrimo, which is basically Nanowrimo in July.  I enjoyed the experience, I thought that it was useful and I think that my writing benefitted from it.  I don't agree with the idea that people who've never done it before have to be "warned" about it.

His main issue seems to be with the word count; he says that 50,000 words is an arbitrary number, and that most people just end up writing words for the sake of getting the word count.  I take issues with this on a number of levels.  Firstly, yes, 50,000 words is arbitrary, but it's not ridiculously arbitrary.  Most novels do come in at around the 50,000 word mark, and many have much more.  The Great Gatsby is generally seen as a relatively short novel, and it has about 47,000 words.  Secondly, at least in Camp Nanowrimo, they have introduced a new facility which allows you to chose your own word count goal.  Finally, I think that there are benefits to having to reach a certain word count, even if it is a tad arbitrary.  I'm a perfectionist, and I could probably spend the rest of my life on the rough draft of a novel, and it still wouldn't be good enough for me.  So, for people like me, it's actually helpful to have a sense that you just have to put words on paper; it doesn't matter if they're perfect, just as long as they exist.

He also takes issue with the fact that Nanowrimo doesn't give you time to go back and edit your work. Now, while they don't really advertise the fact that much, Nanowrimo is really supposed to be just a rough draft.  If the novel is good, then you can go back and edit it, and if it's not, then it's not a complete disaster; you've only spent a month on it as opposed to half a year.

The other issue he has is with the "spirit" of Nanowrimo.  He claims that people feel that Nanowrimo is a way to churn out a novel to earn some quick cash.  Although I've personally never experienced this, I am willing to accept that this attitude exists.  However, I think he is wrong to suggest that this is an outlook that Nanowrimo encourages.  I have never found anyone from the organization suggesting that novel-writing is lucrative or easy.  If some individuals have latched on to this idea form who knows where, then that's bad, but Nanowrimo isn't responsible.  If anything, it does the opposite.  Anyone who starts out thinking that this is going to be a walk in the park is going to be sorely disappointed.

Finally, he claims that Nanowrimo doesn't make you a better writer.  Everyone's different, my personal experience is that it has improved my writing.  The novel I wrote this year is significantly better than the one I wrote last year.  Novel writing (like most other things) is something that you need to practice to get better at.  Writing short stories and poetry isn't automatically going to make you a good novelist; they are different art forms.  Nanowrimo provides you with an opportunity to get that practice.

Nanowrimo isn't perfect; but it isn't the bucket of excrement that he claims it is.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Book Cover Manifesto

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I talk a lot about book covers.  During the year or so that I've been blogging, I have:

  1. Ranted about the Bell Jar cover
  2. Ranted about book covers that try to piggy-back on the success of a certain teenage vampire romance series
  3. Talked about how, even though it might not be the best idea in real life, judging a book by it's cover can be a good idea

However, I have recently realized that my thoughts on the topic are scattered, and occasionally contradictory.  This is partially due to the fact that my opinions about the topic have changed in the last year.  I've also generally brought it up in relation to something else.  So I've been largely skirting around it, and this probably makes things unclear.

So, I decided to write one post that would try and set down in clear terms what I think about this topic; a sort of Book Cover Manifesto.

Friday, August 30, 2013

RIP Seamus Heaney

I've just heard of the death of Seamus Heaney.  It's a terrible loss; he was an amazing poet.

If you have never read his work, I would highly recommend it.  My personal favourites are Digging, Mid-Term Break, and A Bat on the Road.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thoughts On: Broken Books

As you may have noticed, I am currently reading Toni Morrison's Jazz. I'm really enjoying it so far, but I'm not sure whether I'll have time to write a full review.

However, I am going to take some time to talk about the book; and by that I mean the actual, physical book.  The copy that I'm using is about 20 years old.  So, even though I am normally very careful with books, occasionally a small piece of the binding will just crumble off. I've already had to use Sellotape on a corner that fell off for no reason.

This got me thinking about how we treat books and how they age.  It's perfectly natural for books to gradually age; for the pages to yellow, and for the binding to crack.  However, many people (and I include myself in this category) put a lot of effort into making sure that doesn't happen.  I'm really careful when I open paperback books, I never open them too wide.  I feel bad whenever I read on the beach because the book might get sandy.  Some people go even further and use special covers.

It's not that I don't like old, shabby books.  I actually really like the way they look.  It's the in-between stage that I can't stand; when there is that one defect that you can't help but fixate on.

Of course, I could just deliberately age a book when it reached that stage, but destroying a book on purpose just feels wrong.  More to the point, I always find that the overall dilapidation of a book is directly related to how often I have read it.  In a sense, being tattered is almost like an achievement that books earn by being read and loved over and over.

Perhaps this preference is just an aesthetic one, or maybe it says something about my own relationship with books.  That I'm comfortable with books that I've read once, and with the books that I love so much that I read them again and again, but that I don't like to think about the other ones.  The books that I loved the first time, but on a second reading I realized that they weren't so good.  The ones that were popular for a while, but then faded away, so that I can remember loving them, but have long forgotten the plot. The ones that I just grew out of. Maybe I romanticize my relationship with books, and those books that aren't quite ruined yet remind me of the parts of the reading experience that I don't like to dwell on.

Or maybe I've just been writing this post for far too long.

What about you?  Do you like keeping your books as neat as possible? Is life just too short to worry about things like that?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5 Bookish Rants

As you can probably tell, I love books. However, there are a few things that just get on my nerves.  So, without further ado, here are five things that I needed to rant about.

1.  Spoiling the ending of a book in the blurb

I don't know why, but recently I've bought several books where they tell you the ending, or at least several important plot points, in the blurb.  I can't understand why anyone would think that this was a good idea.  What do they honestly think will happen?  That I'll walk into a shop, pick up a book, read the blurb, and then think "Oh, I really like the ending, I think I'll go read it now."

2. The "This book is just like Twilight" cover   

Never mind the fact that Twilight is an objectively bad book, or that the book had a really gorgeous cover before, or that this book has absolutely nothing in common with Twilight.

3. The Never-ending Story

This was supposed to be just one book, but then the author found out how much money they could make if they wrote a sequel or two.  Or four.  What's that you say?  The previous book was advertised as the end of the series? Never mind, your readership are like goldfish, and you waited a few years, they've probably forgotten about all that.

4. The Writer who's "Down with the Kidz"

This writer understands young people.  They're hip to the fact that teenz like their cellphones, and slang, and this new-fangled internet thing.  They spend the entire novel proving just how rad they are using the latest slang, demonstrating their knowledge of the cool new bands, and writing out text messages in full to show that they know how to abbrevi8.

5. Books set in Privilege Land

Welcome to Privilege Land, where everyone is rich, able-bodied, white, straight, rich, cisgendered and ridiculously good looking.  For bonus points, have all of the characters pretend that their lives are terrible, when the worst thing that ever happens to them is that they have a crush on their friend's boyfriend.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The novel I want to write about today is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  Ivey adapts an old Russian folktale called "Little Daughter of the Snow" in a largely successful attempt to create a more complex understanding of it.

The Snow Child is set in Alaska in the 1920's.  Mabel and Jack are trying to start fresh by setting up a farm in the Alaskan wilderness.  They have always wanted a child, and when they notice that a mysterious young girl is living in the woods, they begin to wonder whether that dream might just come true.

My favorite aspect of the novel were the descriptions of the setting.  The writing is really atmospheric, and it really highlights the gorgeous, rugged setting.  I thought that it really set off the plot, and it felt really seamless, unlike some other books when the descriptions feel like they were just added to increase the word count.

It is a novel that is more character-driven than plot-driven, and I know that's not to everyone's taste, but I still think that it's worth a try, even if it's not the kind of book you would normally read.  Personally, I like character-driven novels.

While I loved the opening parts of the book, I was actually slightly disappointed by the end. Without spoiling it, I think that there were a lot of interesting themes and ideas that weren't satisfactorily resolved.

The last page has the words "Not the End" on it.  I hope this means we aren't looking at a sequel. Even though the ending wasn't perfect, I did like the fact that it felt conclusive.  I think that there are a lot of books out there with unnecessary sequels, or series that get dragged out too long, and I appreciate it when a writer knows when to move on.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Camp Nanowrimo Winner's Goodies

I know I should probably stop talking about this.  I mean, we are well into August.  However, I just managed to get the Camp Nanowrimo Winner's Goodies, and I think they look really sweet.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
(my own photo)

Summer is a really good chance for me to catch up on reading that I've been meaning to do throughout the year.  I've been meaning to read this book for quite a while.  I'll admit that this was partially due to the movie, even though I haven't seen it yet.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower focuses on Charlie, who goes into his Freshman year of high school shortly after his friend commits suicide.  During the course of the year, he makes new friends, and goes through several rights of passage traditionally associated with the teenage years.

I really liked the book; I thought that it dealt with a lot of different aspects of growing up, and it didn't shy away from more complicated or darker aspects of adolescence.  That being said I would definitely say that it is for older readers, because it deals with a good few mature themes.

The epistolary structure and the writing style gave the novel a really interesting voice.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blogging Nanowrimo Part 3: The End

Well, it's the end of the month, and I'm officially a Camp Nanowrimo 2013 winner.  My novel was less than perfect, my blog posts were really quickly written, but I'm really happy that I did it none the less.

If you wrote a novel as well this month, I hope you have succeeded.  If not, I hope you enjoyed reading my blog posts.  Whatever you did this month, I hope you had a lot of fun doing it.

It will be business as usual on this blog for August.

Until next year...

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Poetry Project Ireland

Just an interesting website I thought I would briefly share

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blogging Nanowrimo: Part 2

My cousins were visiting last week, and I fell really behind on my word count. So I have spent the last couple of days playing catch-up.  The thing about Nanowrimo is when you fall behind, it can seem really daunting to try and get back on target. Every time you get a bit closer to where you're supposed to be, it's the next day, and now you have another 1,667 words to catch up on.

Even if you have kept it up and have been consistent, the middle of the month can be hard.  The romance of the first week is over, and you still have a long way to go. So, I thought that the theme of this blog could be how to keep motivated.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Blogging Nanowrimo: Part 1

So, it's the first week of Camp Nanowrimo, and I'm currently at 7,523 words.  Here's what I've learned so far:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Camp Nanowrimo

November is National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo for short).  So, every year since 2001, thousands of aspiring writers have tried to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  In 2011, Camp Nanowrimo was born.  It operates on the same basic principles as Nanowrimo, except it takes place in the summer. 

I'm going to be doing Camp Nanowrimo this July-and blogging about it.  (Because what does one do after writing 1,667 words a day? Write a blog a post about it.)

There are a whole bunch of exciting changes taking place; you can set your own targets (but I'm sticking with the classic 50,000 words) and write in a wider variety of formats.

I'm really enthusiastic about doing it this year.  I did it last year in June and it was a great experience.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in writing a novel (or script) to participate.

Sign up for Camp Nanowrimo!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
(my own photo)

"There is a force that wants you to realize your destiny..."

A shepherd called Santiago keeps on having the same dream; a child takes him to the Pyramids and tells him that he will find treasure there.  He goes on a quest to find the treasure, but gets more than he bargained for along the way.

There were several aspects of the novel that I really enjoyed.   The plot moved at a nice pace, and I thought that the story and writing style managed to keep me engaged throughout.

That being said, I did have a few issues with this novel.  This book has a really clear message about fate, destiny and interconnection. I personally don't agree with it, but that isn't my main problem. Coelho seems to be a fan of "telling" his message, as opposed to "showing" it.  I think that the message would have been far more compelling if he had chosen to write about it differently, especially since he starts to "tell" his message in no uncertain terms really early on in the novel.  Maybe this doesn't bother other people as much.

Another issue I had with this book was the fact that so many characters were so fatalistic.  Maybe this is just my personal experience, but people are rarely completely willing to accept that destiny will decide everything, and that they should just go along with it.  Even people who are generally deterministic still try to control their futures, even if it is just an instinctive desire to preserve life. Some of the characters, particularly the more peripheral ones, didn't seem fully-rounded to me.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 60%

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thoughts on: Poetry Reading (with bonus review of Station Island by Seamus Heaney)

Station Island by Seamus Heaney
(my own photo)
I have recently finished reading Seamus Heaney's Station Island.  I was originally planning to write a review, but it just didn't feel right.  I can't exactly review a whole collection of poetry in the same way that I would a novel, and it would take forever to review every single poem.  Instead I'll keep it brief; if you like reading poetry, then you'll enjoy this.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%

Reading Station Island lead me to think about how poetry is read.  I read it reasonably quickly, but with hindsight that probably wasn't a great idea.  If you have the time, it's better to have a book of poetry on your bedside table to dip in and out of, as opposed to trying to read it all at once.

Station Island has a very definite structure; it's divided into sections which have different ideas, and there is a progression from one section to the next.  However, it has generally been my experience that poems are read one at a time, often without regard for the order in which they were placed in a collection.  Some poets are more concerned than others about the place of a poem within a collection, and not all poets publish books.  Nonetheless, it does raise some interesting questions about the value of reading a poem outside of the context of the original work.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Book review: Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan

I got this book a while ago from a friend for my birthday, but I could never find the time to read it.  However, I'm glad I finally did because I really enjoyed it.

The novel tells the story of a wealthy family of Indian extraction living in Malaysia.  As various different aspects of and perspectives on the family's story are explored, the novel also highlights the cultural, historical and political context in which the events took place.

I thought that the story of the family was interesting in itself.  The characters were really fleshed out and complex, and even at the end of the novel there was still no firm division between "good" and "bad" characters.

Before I read this book I didn't know that much about the history or racial politics of that particular part of Asia, and while I don't think that reading one book turns someone into an expert, I do think that I have a better, more complex understanding of certain aspects of another culture.

The writing style was really beautiful, and I really enjoyed the way it was written.  It may have lagged a bit in a few places, but it was great overall.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
(my own photo)
Just when you think that you have had enough adventure for a lifetime...

On his one-hundreth birthday, Allan Karlsson decides to leave the old people's home.  He climbs out of the window and embarks on a crazy journey, complete with a runaway elephant, a criminal gang, and an almost-doctor.  The story is intercut with details of Allan's eventful life, and his role in some of the most important events of the twentieth century.

The novel was really funny.  The juxtaposition between Allan's direct, matter-of-fact outlook and the sometimes wacky, sometimes world-changing events he is involved in was very entertaining.

I really enjoyed the characterization of Allan. It's really rare to see an elderly person as the central protagonist of a novel.  More often then not, they're someone's wise mentor, or someone looking back on their eventful, younger years.  Allan was a really fun character, and I enjoyed reading about him.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 95%

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Yes, I'm still alive

Remember that one time when I didn't post for nearly two months?  Yeah, sorry about that.  In my defense, I was really busy.  I am going to try to post more often during the summer.

In other news, I think I have to make a quick clarification.  The books I write about on this blog have consisted entirely of books that I have read in my spare time.  It does not include any of the material that I read for school, which is quite a lot.  I'm not sure whether I'll write about that stuff later on or not, but so far I have decided not to.  This is partially because I feel like it's cheating, since the rules of my 50 books challenge specifically states that books I read for school don't count.  Another factor is that if I were to write about every single book that I read for school, it would be fairly simple to figure out where I go to school, and from there to figure out where I live etc., etc., it just gets creepy very quickly.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Double Feature: Death of a Salesman and No-one Makes You Shop at Walmart

I just realized that it's almost April, and I haven't written a single post this month.  Even though I'm ridiculously busy right now, I think I'll just get busier as the month goes on.  So, even though I have had absolutely no mind-blowing, incredible, amazing, earth-shattering ideas for posts, I think I'll just write a quick piece on the two books I've read this month so far.

The first one is Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.  I absolutely loved this play. The writing was really incredible; it was much shorter than a novel, but every sentence had so much weight. I can't decide whether I prefer this to The Crucible, but I don't think that matters.  When I start comparing work by the same author side by side I always end up not liking one of the texts as much as I had before, because I realize that even though one might be great, it's not quite as good as the other.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book review: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Recently, I was quite worried that I was writing too many book reviews, and that I should spend more time on other topics.  However, I have come to the startling realization that I haven't written a review since September.

So, I've decided to review Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, partially because I saw it on display in the bookshop, and partially because it was released fairly recently, so reviewing it seems slightly less passé.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
(my own photo)
Kahneman's book is based on the idea that while humans are traditionally seen as rational creatures, we do a lot of irrational things.  So far so obvious, but Kahneman does more than just give a list of all the most illogical things we do. His book focuses on psychological research into heuristics, or mental shortcuts, and how they sometimes cause us to make poor decisions.  Much of the research is his own, but it's not the sole focus of the book.

It's really interesting to have someone writing about their own research.  Books that are this accessible to the lay reader are generally written by science writers.  While there is nothing wrong with that, I enjoyed the fact that we got it "straight from the horses mouth".

As I mentioned, the book is aimed at the lay reader, and the language is straightforward.  At the same time, I never got the sense that it was oversimplified or dumbed-down.  Kahneman seems very conscious that his work does have practical implications, and he is very keen to highlight them.

Overall, I thought it was a brilliant book.

That being said, I think that Part IV: Choices dragged a little bit.  It was probably due to the fact that the examples used were so similar, which meant I had several bouts of déjà vu.

Chances of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 65%

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thoughts on: The New Bell Jar Cover

This year Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar celebrates its 50th anniversary.  The book itself is incredibly haunting and poetic, and I would highly recommend it.  But I don't want to talk about the book.  I want to talk about the new cover that has just been released.*  It's incredibly controversial, and to be perfectly blunt, I hate it.

Firstly, it's not an accurate representation of the novel.  Yes, Ester Greenwood is an intern at a fashion magazine.  Yes, there are sections that discuss clothes and make-up and image. Nevertheless, completely ignores the book's darker side, and focuses completely on one small portion it.

This cover is clearly an attempt to re-market the book as chick lit.  There are two major problems with this.  Firstly, it's not actually chick lit.  Secondly, the fact that they are choosing to re-brand this book in this way clearly demonstrates another major issue for female writers and creators.  Their work is consistently branded as being "for women".  The fact that almost anything written by a woman is separated from other books and put into another, significantly pinker category creates this idea that women's writing is only relevant to women, which is ridiculous.

I understand that publishing companies exist to make money, but when you have the rights to an author's work, then you also have a certain level of responsibility to protect their legacy.  This warped representation of the novel completely ignores that responsibility.  With this cover, Faber have given up even pretending to care about anything other than profit margins.

Another problem I have with this image is that it glamorises the 50's inspired woman on the front. This  is not only historical revisionism, but again undermines one of the key ideas of the book.  The ideal of the 1950's housewife is not a sweet, simple notion. At that time it represented the only acceptable option for a woman.  Both Ester Greenwood and Plath struggled with the very limiting views on femininity, and the fact that this cover completely ignores that is insulting.

There are some people who have suggested that this new cover is good, because more people will buy it and be introduced to Plath's work.  While the sales of the book have gone up since the release of the new cover, but it's questionable as to whether this is due to the cover itself, or all of the hype surrounding the cover and the book's 50 anniversary.  Even if this new cover did increase book sales,  we seriously have to question the cost of these additional sales.  The new cover is a yet another example of "if we make it pink, women will buy it" syndrome.  These insidious stereotypes are harmful, because they normalise dichotomous notions of gender.   The marketing of this book might encourage some people to read it, but it is also clearly an attempt to appeal only to a very specific market, and this will alienate a lot of other readers.

This cover is horrible on so many different levels.

What are your thoughts?

*I haven't posted a picture to avoid any copyright issues.  If you google search something along the lines of "Bell Jar 50th Anniversary cover" it should come up.