Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

lead

“Masters of Love: Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.” [via The Atlantic]

“How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship” [via Wall Street Journal]

“Advice from 617 years of marriage: Trust, love, and dancing” [via Boston Globe]

“‘Cool’ kids in middle school struggle in their 20s, study finds” [via LA Times]

“No, Women Don’t Have to Get Married to Avoid Domestic Violence” [via The Atlantic]

The New York Times talked postpartum depression/ maternal mental illness this week in two articles:

“‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’: New Findings on Timing and Range of Maternal Mental Illness”

“After Baby, an Unraveling: A Case Study in Maternal Mental Illness”

“The Joy Of Leaving An Arranged Marriage — And The Cost” [via NPR]

TW! “This Is How A Domestic Violence Victim Falls Through The Cracks” [via Huffington Post]

“19 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me in My 20s” [via Savvy Sugar]

“13 things mentally strong people don’t do” [via The Mind Unleashed]

“24 Real-Life Habits Of Actual Couples. This Is Not Relationship Advice From A “Love Expert.”” [via Distractify]

“The real story behind the war over YA novels” [via Daily Dot]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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11 comments… add one
  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 20, 2014, 1:32 pm

    That YA article was interesting. I’ve read a lot of YA books over the past few years and I think the reason I find enjoyment in them is because the other books I read are mainly non-fiction, scientific books. The YA books help break it up! Sometimes I just want to escape in a book without having to think too much about it.

    Really, though, is there anything more snobbish than looking down on people for their reading choices? I mean, people are READING. Let’s celebrate that instead of judging them for reading the “wrong” books.

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    • gigi

      gigi June 20, 2014, 1:43 pm

      Exactly – escape, not having to think, just enjoy. And I dont think 20-30 yr olds are the only people who think about what the post-apocryphal world might be like, & life changes, etc etc…. & can releate to some of these books. I don’t appreciate all of them, but some of them are very enjoyable & thought provoking.

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      • Portia

        Portia June 20, 2014, 2:07 pm

        I agree with both of you, I’ve gotten back into YA in recent years and kinda wondered why I was so against reading it (and chick lit) for a while. A book can be enjoyable, it doesn’t have to be a great work of genius every time. But for a more humorous take-down of Ruth Graham’s article criticizing YA, I very much recommend this: http://www.nerve.com/books/a-young-adult-authors-fantastic-crusade-to-defend-literatures-most-maligned-genre
        (It’s funnier if you’ve read a few YA novels and know a few of the tropes.)

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 20, 2014, 2:19 pm

        I agree with both of you! To me, reading is an escape. If it takes a YA novel, or a suspense novel, or something from, IDK, Mindy Kaling, I’m going to read it and enjoy it and not care if I’m reading some intelligent piece of literature.

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      kerrycontrary June 20, 2014, 3:01 pm

      I love YA books and I think that a lot of them explore good themes. I still don’t love chick lit but I won’t look down on anyone who reads it. Who cares what other people do to relax/escape? Someone who has too much time on their hands, that’s who.

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    • avatar

      Banana June 20, 2014, 3:16 pm

      I’ve followed the whole pro/anti-YA thing for a while b/c I write YA…and the point that I think people on both sides miss, a lot of the time, is it’s not a case of “valuable” reading (something intellectually stimulating) versus escapism; escapism has its own value too, and I think it’s very important to our psychological wellbeing. Escapist fiction is like a dream you have when you’re awake, and aren’t dreams a part of healthy sleep? In that sense, I don’t think anyone should ever be made to feel defensive about reading YA (or mysteries…or romance…or chick lit) and excuse it by saying, “Oh, sometimes I just need something silly to escape into, but I read serious books too.” There’s nothing small about what you’re doing. It’s a big deal, and important in its own right! We should embrace it: “I love YA because it gives my mind a place to roam.”

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      • avatar

        Banana June 20, 2014, 3:28 pm

        Also, in order to understand the underpinnings of the pro/anti-YA “war” it also helps to know a bit of publishing history. Every category that any book is published under is entirely made up by publishers and booksellers to try and figure out how best to sell as many copies as possible. Literature written specifically for teens wasn’t even really a category until the mid twentieth century. Before that, when you graduated from grade-school books, you just jumped into the adult literary canon and started with the easiest ones you could find, working your way up in reading comprehension. So the very idea of literature targeting teens is relatively new, and on top of that because it is, after all, a SELLING category, “Young Adult” has come to mean something way more specific than just “written for teen-level reading comprehension.” I’ve worked with authors who didn’t want their books categorized as YA (they wanted to push it younger, or go in the other direction and pitch it as an adult book) because YA has very specific connotations that include a lot of graphic content. Publishers treat it that way, too — if you approach a publisher with a relatively innocent book for teens, they may be likely to push it to the Middle Grade category rather than YA. So that’s created an extremely specific sub-category with a lot of baggage attached (in terms of the material that has come to define it).
        .
        The way I see it, though, is that the flip side of understanding that YA (as a category) is basically a selling tool is to realize that many of those books really COULD be considered adult books, and were pushed in to the YA category by marketing and sales professionals who thought that adult audiences wouldn’t want to read about a teenager, and the material suited it for YA. (I’ve run into this problem myself — the other side of it is if you write an adult book with a teenaged protagonist, it’s pretty much impossible to sell it to an adult imprint). In other words, arguing about the intellectual worth of YA as a category is like arguing about whether the Emperor’s new clothes are green, purple, or blue. In terms of using the category as a standard of intellectual content, YA doesn’t really exist. That’s not what it’s there for (to separate the “smart” books from the ones that are written to enhance your reading comprehension as a child). It exists solely as a selling tool. So don’t judge all books, one way or another, as a lump because they’re labelled YA — judge the books individually, as you would any other adult book.
        .
        Bit of a ramble, hope that made sense.

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      • avatar

        Banana June 20, 2014, 3:36 pm

        Ugh. That was such a ramble. Shorter version: People who get snobby and say “I can’t believe you read stuff written for kids” are wrong, because YA is no longer defined as “written for kids” — much of it probably could be categorized as adult fiction if the YA label had never evolved. Instead, within editorial departments at publishing houses, YA tends to be defined as a work featuring a teen protagonist who undergoes some kind of coming-of-age experience; it should also have a fast-paced plot, and generally it’s at or around 60 – 80k words long. Authors are discouraged from writing down to their audiences. The books are written to appeal to teens as a consumer group, but NOT in the sense that they are written for a lower comprehension level as a teaching tool.

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  • avatar

    ktfran June 20, 2014, 2:16 pm

    I’m mentally strong. Yay! It took therapy to achieve a lot of those things. But it’s true. Of course, I mess up now and then. Like this week, I’ve given into a little bit of sadness. BUT… I’m ready to be over it and move onward.

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    • gigi

      gigi June 20, 2014, 2:59 pm

      I read that & initially thought “Yay Me” but after thinking about it a minute, realized that on several categories, I really am not, all of the time. Like sometimes I do wallow in self-pity, but then I usually shake it off & move on. Or dwell on the past…. but I don’t think I do it excessively? Or even that often. And sometimes I think its needed anyway since I sometimes gain new insights from things that happened in the past. So I am not sure I agree that ticking off every item on this list qualifies someone as mentally strong … but then again, I am not a big fan of these quickie lists, they are a little too black & white for me. Makes you stop & think tho I guess.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl June 20, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I really found the first article on marriage prediction interesting… nice to ‘put on paper’ so to speak the importance of kindness and showing care and interest for your partner

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