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Old 04-28-2012, 03:35 PM   #16
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I've always found the NYT's to be populated with articles aimed at the YA or younger audience anyway...
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:50 PM   #17
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Of the books maligned in the "debate", Hunger Games is by far the least deserving; neither the themes nor the treatment nor the quality of the writing are juvenile. The movie is very good, with excellent acting and a haunting soundtrack--but the books are better still.

Ms Collins followed the old Heinlein "formula" perfectly: make the protagonist 17 and write the book as normal. Both for Heinlein and Collins "normal" is very good. And the Hunger Games trio does more than just hang with Heinlein's juveniles; it hangs with his best.

They are very dark reads and by no stretch of the imagination are they kid stuff. Except, perhaps, in the absence of the vulgarity and gratuitous sex and violence that decorates a lot of so-called adult material.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
The NYT has always relied upon inspiring a sense of elitism in its readers rather than putting out a good product.
The brief OP opinion piece is not part of the product they sell, at least not the printed one.

[quote]
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Tells us where the NYT stands these days, huh?
(Those *are* the same guys who think Jennifer Lawrence is too fat to play an athletic backwoods huntress.)
I read the New York Times Latest News Blog at least twice a day -- essentially all the front page stories, and a smattering of the rest, and I never heard of Jennifer Lawrence. Without googling, am I right to guess that there was an entertainment review you didn't agree with? And you think this was a group effort? And the group represents some official view of the newspaper?

It seems to me that attacking one of maybe two US papers that does a decent job of original foreign news reporting, on the basis of a few scattered opinion articles, is as preposterous as, oh, attacking adults who read YA fiction because you don't like Harry Potter.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=SteveEisenberg;2061321]
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I read the New York Times Latest News Blog at least twice a day -- essentially all the front page stories, and a smattering of the rest, and I never heard of Jennifer Lawrence.
Well ,considering they got slapped around by a whole range of organizations for their reviewer's demeaning characterization of a rising young actress who looks like a real woman and not a plastic doll, you really wouldn't expect the NYT to actually *report* on it.

The advantage of reading multiple news sources is you can compare the different flavors of koolaid.

The NYT has been living off their last century reputation for way too long.
But if taking them at their gospel word floats your boat, have at it!

Have fun!
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The advantage of reading multiple news sources is you can compare the different flavors of koolaid.
I do read multiple news sources. Preferably ones, like the New York Times, and Washington Post, that present a variety of views and generally try, to the extent reasonably possible, for objectivity.

And I just found the supposed koolaid:

A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission. The graver problem is a disengaged performance that rarely suggests the terrors Katniss faces, including the fatalism that originally hangs on her like a shroud. What finally saves the character and film both is the image of her on the run, moving relentlessly forward.

I can't judge the review. But as far as claims being thrown around the web that the above is somehow going to push young women into being anorexic, I would balance it against Gina Kolata's repeated stories, published in the Times over the years, describing research which debunks the value of weight control efforts.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #21
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Oh, here's the big secret we're keeping from Joel Stein. We didn't switch to ereaders to hide that we are reading bodice-ripping romances, we're really hiding that we're reading YA. And we don't care what you think. We just don't care to put up with your condescending looks and sneers because we like to sometimes read something other than the latest adult bestseller, like that Twilight fanfic with some kink.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #22
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i don't read YA but sorry, the 'important' adult books we're supposed to be reading are boring. painfully so. i'm a 34 year old nerd, i'm sorry i enjoy books about paladins fighting the undead and science fiction involving a captain and her tree cat. maybe i should be reading a heartwarming memoir of a middle aged woman coming to terms with menopause and her estranged daughter but i don't want to, not even if you paid me. i don't care how insightfully something exposes the human condition, i don't want to read it.

its cliche to say but at least people are reading. far more people could stand to read something, anything instead of sitting there and drooling in front of 'reality' tv.


since i hit my 30s i've been trying to figure out what being an 'adult' is supposed to feel like. god knows i still feel like i'm 16. but if being an 'adult' involves becoming and feeling like a crashing bore, i want no part of it.

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Old 04-28-2012, 07:30 PM   #23
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My mother-in-law is in her uppers 60s and she has read The Hunger Games Trilogy and enjoyed them. I did as well. The Times author is writing about something he has no clue about since he refuses to read to find a clue.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:46 PM   #24
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I admit, I have not and probably will not read the article, but the title made me think of this:

In school, a child's reading level is often measured by his/her Lexile. A student's Lexile number is determined by a test that measures the reader's comprehension level through having them read a passage and then answer questions without consulting the text.

The average adult novel is in the 800 to 900 lexile range (approximately on par for middle school level). The Series of Unfortunate Events books range from 1010 to 1370, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is 1030 and Tales of Beedle the Bard is 1290.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
I do read multiple news sources. Preferably ones, like the New York Times, and Washington Post, that present a variety of views and generally try, to the extent reasonably possible, for objectivity.
, Thanks, I needed that!!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Nyssa View Post
The average adult novel is in the 800 to 900 lexile range (approximately on par for middle school level). The Series of Unfortunate Events books range from 1010 to 1370, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is 1030 and Tales of Beedle the Bard is 1290.
Thanks for the link. That's good to know.

It would be interesting to know what the average Lexile range for YA novels is. It's interesting that some of the most popular are above average even for adults.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Nyssa View Post
I admit, I have not and probably will not read the article, but the title made me think of this:

In school, a child's reading level is often measured by his/her Lexile. A student's Lexile number is determined by a test that measures the reader's comprehension level through having them read a passage and then answer questions without consulting the text.

The average adult novel is in the 800 to 900 lexile range (approximately on par for middle school level). The Series of Unfortunate Events books range from 1010 to 1370, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is 1030 and Tales of Beedle the Bard is 1290.
Thanks for that link it is interesting. Those results either say something very encouraging about the some of books young people are reading, or very discouraging about the average adult novel.

Though the criteria used in computing that score seem excellent for measuring how young people are progressing in their reading level in school (measuring breath of vocabulary and complexity of sentence structure) there are other things that I feel contribute to how adult, or perhaps a better term would be difficult, a book is such as complexity of themes and challenging comprehension, for examples.

I confess that of the books mentioned in that rather silly piece in the NYT the only one that I have read is the first Harry Potter book. It was a fun tale that I do not feel embarrassed about enjoying it at the age of 50+, but it is a rather simplistic good versus evil story.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:18 PM   #28
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I sometimes enjoy YA books. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books.

On the other hand, I would never read the NYT.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:03 PM   #29
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I am 41 and a confirmed HP fan. I have all the books too. Another thing the NYT seems to forget is that YA books don't write themselves. They're written by (gasp) adults! Adults who actually do read YA books to see what is current and generate new ideas for their own writing projects. Also a lot of people read to be entertained and sometimes that means a storyline that isn't as serious as in an adult novel. In other words sometimes it means an adult reads a YA book in order to get away from the cares and worries of adult life, if only for a little while.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:03 PM   #30
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Thanks for the link. That's good to know.

It would be interesting to know what the average Lexile range for YA novels is. It's interesting that some of the most popular are above average even for adults.
From what I've seen at the school library, the more popular books range between 600 & 900.

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Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
Thanks for that link it is interesting. Those results either say something very encouraging about the some of books young people are reading, or very discouraging about the average adult novel.

Though the criteria used in computing that score seem excellent for measuring how young people are progressing in their reading level in school (measuring breath of vocabulary and complexity of sentence structure) there are other things that I feel contribute to how adult, or perhaps a better term would be difficult, a book is such as complexity of themes and challenging comprehension, for examples.

confess that of the books mentioned in that rather silly piece in the NYT the only one that I have read is the first Harry Potter book. It was a fun tale that I do not feel embarrassed about enjoying it at the age of 50+, but it is a rather simplistic good versus evil story.
True, and there are other tests used specifically for comprehension, but more along the lines of fact gathering... basically the average standardized reading test.

With reguards to YA books vs adult books, I think that more authors are trying to keep up w/ the kids. My daughter is in third grade and has a reading lexile level of 1019. Although there are many YA novels that are too mature for her, IMO, some authors are bridging the gap between complexity and maturity.
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