There was a lot of buzzing about the Newbery and Caldecott winners this week, especially because 2011 was the first year both awards went to a debut author or illustrator (not to mention the snub on The Today Show).

Some of my favorite coverage was on local blogger Jules' Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, where you can see early sketches of the illustrations honored with a Caldecott Honor or Medal. Very cool. I especially loved looking at this older post, from June 2010, which features Erin Stead before she won the Caldecott for A Sick Day for Amos McGee. You can see Erin's workspace and some early (wordless) scans from the book. You don't get a better behind-the-scenes look at a picture book's creation than that!

In other news, The Millions recently ran a fascinating breakdown of fiction in The New Yorker over the past seven years. A sample: only 36.6% of the stories were written by women.

I was sorry to see that Nashville did not break the top 10 in this year's study (conducted at Central Connecticut State University) of the most literate cities in America. (We ranked at #22.) Still, I enjoyed Flavorwire's list of 10 Great Works of Literature for America’s 10 Most Literate Cities. A few of the picks were to be expected (Gone With the Wind for Atlanta), but others are new to me (Until They Bring the Streetcars Back by Stanley Gordon West for St. Paul—not Franzen's Freedom).

Just for fun: Still can't figure out the difference between affect and effect? The Oatmeal has put together a funny (and handy) chart for sorting out those pesky words so many of us just can't get right in our heads.

What links do you have to share this week?

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