Podcast Listening Hour with the New York Times Book Review

This week I listened to two podcasts from the New York Times Book Review. The first was dated 8/27/10 and featured Susan Collins author of The Hunger Games. The podcast also discussed E-book rights and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. However, I will focus on the interview with Susan Collins. In this interview Collins discusses the current teen trend toward dystopias. She mentions the importance of teens becoming aware of current hot topic issues. During the interview I felt like tapping her on the shoulder and reminding her that this is not a new phenomenon. She brought up teens’ interest in the environment, war, hunger and concerns of the future. Once again, not new topics from teens of the past; Green Peace, Desert Storm and economic concerns were the hot topics from my youth. What I did think was unique was her comparison of today’s dystopia themed books in comparison to reality TV and the ancient gladiator games. “If there is not an audience then there isn’t a game.” Interestin and true!

The second podcast was from 8/6/10 and featured Francine Prose, Pamela Paul and Mary Roach. From this pod, I will focus on the interview with essay writer, Pamela Paul.

Paul wrote and essay titled, “The Kids’ Books Are All Right.” In her essay she also discusses the current dystopia trend. YA, young adult, books are generally about coming of age stories. Today’s popular fiction takes that theme and adds the mature issues of the time. She commented on how these books are attracting an adult audience and that that’s okay. I think there has always been an adult following in the YA section of the library. However, with the popularity of these books spilling over into the movie business more people are talking about adults reading youth literature.

How can these two podcast topics relate to library science? Ah, from the Field of Dreams quote, “If you build it, they will come,” so is true of the library. If you buy extra copies and create book clubs, they will come. “They” as in the adults and youth and they will come in droves seeking the next exciting read. Happy reading!

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