The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

>> Monday, July 20, 2009

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet is the last of the books I added to use as an exemplars for my major research paper on fiction for emerging adults (18 - 25 year olds). I had intended to use Slam! by Nicholas Hornby, but was never as enthusiastic about it (it was originally published in the U.K. not in Canada - and there were rather too many similarities between it and one of the other novels I am using, Having Faith in the Polar Girls Prison by Cathleen With - not that the two books are really all that similar - but both deal with teenage pregnancy).

So when The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet was suggested as one which fit in with what I'm doing, I happily accepted a copy and now, having read it, have decided to use it.

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet was written by Reif Larsen and is about 12 yo T.S. a genius mapmaker who wins an award and fellowship at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. He does not go to his parents (Dad's a rancher not into all the science stuff, Mom's a self-absorbed scientist) or even to his supposed mentor (who is the person that nominated him for the award) but rather sets out on his own, hobo-ing his way there by train.

The book is unique in that it provides maps, diagrams and other assorted materials in its margins, and also includes a secondary work supposedly written by T.S.'s mother. I found these bits somewhat challenging at first - I have attention issues so a novel which includes its own distractions can be a bit frustrating - but soon discovered that they were well worth exploring and really did add a great deal to the experience of reading The Selected Works.

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
is, as Stephen King calls it, "a treasure", and has a great deal to offer; I did, however, find the ending of the book to be rather a disappointment; Dad shows up and they run away through secret tunnels presumably heading for home, the end. Fortunately, it wasn't the ending that made the experience worthwhile though - clearly, in this novel, it is the journey that matters.


Too Many Girls!

>> Saturday, July 11, 2009

I have decided that I have too many emerging adult girls in my facebook connections and not enough boys.

My paper on emerging adults and Canadian publishing kept running into issues because of my not having been able to push the Internet survey bit through the Ethics committee's process - I had to axe that part of my application in order to get approval to do anything. Yesterday I hit upon a solution - a way of gathering data about what fiction emerging adults are reading: I logged into the weRead application in facebook and was able to copy & paste the titles/authors for all of my connections who are in the emerging adult group. Which gives me a lot of what I needed to work with - except for the fact that I only have a very few EA males as connections at all and not one of them uses the weRead app.

If you happen to have any 18 - 25 yo (preferably Canadian, but not necessarily) male friends/family/connections that use weRead (or Shelfari or any other such app) I sure could use your help to make a connection with them (assuming they don't mind) .... all I'm doing is making a list of the books in their collections - I'm not allowed to actually interview or anything :(

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