The Thursday Book Beat: Reading Rainbow’s Bringing Back Your Books on Netflix
Be honest: you totally started singing the song. Millions of kids learned to love books over the show’s 23-year history, including yours truly, and Netflix will be bringing it back for a new generation. Some of my favorite books as a kid were ones that I found on Reading Rainbow, such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day and The Legend of the Bluebonnet, and I know I’m not the only young adult who’ll be tuning in on August 1 to relive her childhood.
The morning of July 29 was a bright one for some authors, as their names were revealed to be on the prestigious Man Booker’s longlist. Five Americans made it onto the list, including Hanya Yanagihara, whose A Little Life has drawn much critical praise. The list is wonderfully diverse, with authors from Nigeria (Chigozie Obioma), India (Anuradha Roy) and Jamaica (Marlon James). Five women also garnered nominations, three coming from the United States: Laila Lalami with The Moor’s Account, Marilynne Robinson with Lila, and Anne Tyler with A Spool of Blue Thread.
Shortlisted nominees will be announced on September 15, 2015, with the winner’s name revealed on October 13, 2015.
Rule was known for her work in true crime coverage–her debut book in 1980 was a profile on serial killer Ted Bundy. Her succeeding books were focused on crime in the Pacific Northwest, and she was also able to assist police in their search for the Green River Killer. When asked about her motivation to write about such dark topics and people, Rule said:
“I wanted to know why some kids grew up to be criminals and why other people didn’t. That is still the main thrust behind my books: I want to know why these things happen, and so do my readers.”
While mainstream media focused on Go Set a Watchman this summer, another book came out this month that stirs more powerful reactions. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ epistolary Between the World and Me is an astonishing book, if reader response is any indication. In a recent interview, Jon Stewart asked Coates about whether he believes he is more of a Malcolm (X) than Martin (Luther King, Jr.), as mentioned in a criticism of the book. Coates’ response was as straightforward as his book: “I feel like [the arc of history] bends toward chaos. And I think the record of history–and human history–is behind me.”