Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Digital Upheaval Surrounding Jill Abramson's Exit From the Times

The single day that has passed since the New York Times announced that Jill Abramson would be replaced as executive editor of the paper by managing editor, Dean Baquet has been filled with speculation and controversy.  Almost immediately the internet was filled with rumors that she had been fired due to gender discrimination.  It has been claimed by multiple sources that she was being paid less than her predecessors and it has in fact been confirmed that she hired an attorney to inquire into the matter.  But as far as accusations that gendered bias against her management style (a style that might have been acceptable in a male editor), only time will tell what the truth was.  While I don't think anyone in this day and age can condone blatant discrimination, we've now reached a point in our growth where it has become difficult to tell a legitimate decision by a business from a biased one.  And while it may be tempting to wonder into the truth of the matter, I can't help but feel it would be more productive to create an environment where women who have suffered from discrimination can come forward and speak their minds without being judged.

For more information see:

Indie Bound Next List May 2014

The Steady Running of the Hour
A Novel, by Justin Go (Simon & Schuster, 9781476704586, $26)
Recommended by Nicola Rooney, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

The Orenda
A Novel, by Joseph Boyden (Knopf, 9780385350730, $26.95)
Recommended by Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

The Serpent of Venice
A Novel, by Christopher Moore (William Morrow, 9780061779763, $26.99)
Recommended by Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

A Novel, by Cynthia Bond (Hogarth, 9780804139090, $25)
Recommended by Alice Meloy, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

A Novel, by Adam Pelzman (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 9780399167485, $25.95)
Recommended by Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

A Novel, by Stacey D’Erasmo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544074811, $22)
Recommended by Josh Christie, Sherman’s Books & Stationery, Bar Harbor, ME

All the Birds, Singing
A Novel, by Evie Wyld (Pantheon, 9780307907769, $24.95)
Recommended by Carin Pratt, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
A Novel, by Francine Prose (Harper, 9780061713781, $26.99)
Recommended by Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Ruin Falls
A Novel, by Jenny Milchman (Ballantine, 9780345549075, $26)
Recommended by Linda Dewberry, Whodunit? Books, Olympia, WA

The Sea Inside
by Philip Hoare (Melville House, 9781612193595, $27.99)
Recommended by Brian Boecki, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI

Between Wrecks
by George Singleton (Dzanc Books, 9781938103797, paper, $15.95)
Recommended by Julie Wernersbach, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Bees
A Novel, by Laline Paull (Ecco, 9780062331151, $25.99)
Recommended by Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Point of Direction
A Novel, by Rachel Weaver (Ig Publishing, 9781935439912, paper, $16.95)
Recommended by Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego, CA

My Accidental Jihad
A Love Story, by Krista Bremer (Algonquin, 9781616200688, $24.95)
Recommended by Annie Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

The Cold Song
by Linn Ullmann
(Other Press, 9781590516676, paper, $15.95)
Recommended by Jenny Patiño Cervantes, City Lit Books, Chicago, IL

The Garden of Burning Sand
by Corban Addison (Quercus, 9781623651299, $26.99)
Recommended by Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
A Memoir, by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury, 9781608198061, $28)
Recommended by Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

The Other Story
A Novel, by Tatiana De Rosnay (St. Martin’s Press, 9781250045133, $26.99)
Recommended by Jean-Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New York Times Announces Sudden Change in Executive Editor

It was announced just this afternoon that Jill Abramson, the executive editor for the New York Times, will be leaving her position.  Taking over in her stead will be Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the paper.  This is quite the historic change as Ms. Abramson was the first woman to fill this top job and now Mr. Baquet will be the first African American man to do so as well at the New York Times.

For more information see the New York Times article on the change released just minutes ago:

What Does it Mean to be a Critical Thinker?

This morning I stumbled upon a New York Times Opinion article which lamented the trend among American students to only focus on the "critical" part of critical thinking skills.  While I completely agree that the whole focus of a students education should not be a negative one, I also think it is a huge mistake to equate negative criticism with academic critique.  A true critique should be a neutral evaluation of what is going on in a text.  While this can include pointing to flaws, it really should be more about uncovering on a deeper level how and why a topic is presented in the way that it is.  I was never taught to think of critical thinking as an inherently negative process, but if this is the view of the majority of American, may be we do need a paradigm shift in how we present thinking skills to the children and adults of our nation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers

11THE TARGET, by David Baldacci. (Grand Central.) As the government hit man Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel, prepare for a mission, they face a new adversary. 2
2NATCHEZ BURNING, by Greg Iles. (Morrow/HarperCollins.) Penn Cage, a former prosecutor in Natchez, Miss., delves into the secrets of his father, a doctor who has been accused of murdering an African-American nurse. 1
32THE GOLDFINCH, by Donna Tartt. (Little, Brown.)  A painting smuggled out of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a bombing becomes a boy’s prize, guilt and burden.28
44THE COLLECTOR, by Nora Roberts. (Putnam.) A writer travels the world of affluent art collectors to learn the truth about what appears to be a murder/suicide.3
5*3CHESTNUT STREET, by Maeve Binchy. (Knopf.) Binchy, who died in 2012, depicts ordinary lives in Dublin. 2
68THE INVENTION OF WINGS, by Sue Monk Kidd. (Viking.) The relationship between a wealthy Charleston girl, Sarah Grimké, who will grow up to become a prominent abolitionist, and the slave she is given for her 11th birthday. 17
77I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN, by Mary Higgins Clark. (Simon & Schuster.) The producer of a true-crime show must contend with participants with secrets.5
85THE SERPENT OF VENICE, by Christopher Moore. (Morrow/HarperCollins.) A farcical mash-up of “Merchant of Venice,”  “Othello” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”2
9*11KEEP QUIET, by Lisa Scottoline. (St. Martin's.) A father hides a terrible secret to protect his son.4
109NYPD RED 2, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp. (Little, Brown.) Detective Zach Jordan is called in when the body of a woman is discovered in the Central Park.

New York Times Bestsellers top 10