“Home” for the Holidays

For many of us, the next few weeks will be a flurry of holiday parties, last-minute gift runs, and the chance to see family and friends. In a bid to remember why we go through so much trouble to be with loved ones this time of year, consider picking up the third literary anthology in the Freeman’s collection entitled Home (Grove, $16). Thirty-seven writers from around the world focused on the idea of home, each bringing a new perspective and interpretation.

In the narrative nonfiction piece “Vacationland,” author Kerri Arsenault returns to her hometown of Mexico, Maine, which sits on the banks of the Androscoggin River. Now a derelict relic of a bygone era, the townspeople’s former prosperity came from toiling in the paper mill in nearby Rumford. “That’s money coming out of those smokestacks,” Arsenault’s father used to say, but there was plenty else coming out of those stacks, too–dioxin, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and other by-products of contemporary mass-produced papermaking, slowly poisoning the surrounding environment and its inhabitants. (Read “At the Crossroads” in On Paper for a look inside the modern commercial papermaking experience.)

Read more about the idea of home over at the Fine Books Blog.

(Children’s) BookNotes, May 31, 2016

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@BFGMovie @roald_dahl @vanityfair

A children’s book author admits to using a ghostwriter, a banned book in New Zealand makes its debut stateside, and moviegoers prepare for the film adaptation of the BFG, this week in children’s book news.

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Chris Hoy admits using a ghostwriter for his children’s book, pointing to a larger trend of celebrities cashing in on their fame by authoring books for kids. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/31/chris-hoy-admits-using-ghostwriter-for-new-childrens-book/ (See last week’s story about Simon Cowell here)

Self-published author Ted Dawe’s Into the River will be released in North America on June 14 by Polis Books. Originally published in 2012 in New Zealand, the book was banned due to racy sex scenes and obscene language. Publisher’s Weekly traces the book’s story here.

Roald Dahl’s classic The BFG will hit theaters in July. Read Richard Lawson’s review in Vanity Fair.