Guest Blog Post: Grow Up and Read Some YA

Hello, there!! Inertial Confinement agreed to write a guest post for our blog here. It’s about YA, and the impression everyone has about it. How it is not mature enough, blah blah blah. I must say I agree with it wholeheartedly! 🙂

Let’s all welcome our friend here, and please share your opinion!


We’re all adults here, so let’s get serious. We need to have a serious discussion. We need to read some serious literature, then open up some serious dialogue to guide our minds in a more serious direction. Did I mention we’re being adults here? And that we’re serious? Not just serious. Seriously serious. Put your serious faces on. I’m serious. 

I’m convinced this is what it means to be growing up. Becoming an adult.

Seriously, grow up! Stop laughing! Try and be a little more mature!

Having now reached that good old age of you-should-be-embarrassed-to-be-caught-in-the-YA-section-of-a-bookstore-and-for-heaven’s-sake-do-something-about-your-hair-what-is-wrong-with-you, I am now realizing some of the literature I am reading is considered “Young Adult.”

I can’t tell you for sure how much YA I read as a young person because when I was a young person, I read just to read. I read books that blew my mind. I read books I didn’t fully comprehend or relate to. I read books that changed my perspective on my view of life. I read literary fiction. I read science fiction. I read romance. It did not occur to me there were books I was supposed to be reading, and books that I shouldn’t read. I often read books without even checking the genre first because books were wonderful and stories were wonderful and I was a reader of books. Not just books–I was a reader of books, magazines, recipes, poetry, manuals, and backs of cereal boxes.

But then there comes a day when you decide to log onto the internet and your whole blissful ignorance is shattered. Dun, dun, dun. There are books that are considered “trash” and there are books that are considered “serious.”

Do you want to be considered serious? Are you a mature adult? Well, then, you need some serious literature! Hurry! Pick up your copy of Swann’s Way and take a number so you, too, can be on the path to becoming a Serious Adult™!

Sometimes I wonder if the word “serious” will cease to have any serious meaning now-a-days because it’s seriously being thrown all over the place.

What makes a book “serious” anyway? Who sets these standards? And why did I ever let myself think I wanted to meet these serious standards? And seriously, I probably should do something with my hair.

But you know what? I’m about to let you all in on a little secret. My favorite part about becoming an adult was when I stopped becoming an adult. Becoming an adult is a transition that never ends. Becoming. Becoming. Becoming. Wait, when did I get old?

It’s too confined. It’s restricted. And what exactly is the prize when you reach the end? I think Neil Gaiman drove this point home in his novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane: 

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”

I’m done walking down the drive. I’m tired of all these proverbial paths. I’m done becoming an adult. I’m ready to end this transition and just be.

Perhaps nobody who catches me in the YA section of my local bookstore will ever take me seriously. Ruth Graham sure won’t. [See Graham’s article on Slate: AGAINST YA ( ] But why should I care what book snobs think of me anyway? As the Indigo Girls would say, “I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind / Got my paper and I was free.” Yes, I just quoted Indigo Girls. Yes, I still expect you to take me seriously. Or not. I’m really not so sure anymore.

I enjoy reading, and I will continue to read what I enjoy and while reading for my own enjoyment, I will read what suits my mood, whether it be the lectures of Richard Feynman, the newest Murakami novel, or some random book I happened to pick up in the section marketed toward Young Adults.

And if you find yourself braving the YA section of your local bookstore among the more sophisticated folk, you can arm yourself with this relevant C.S Lewis quote I’m about to drop like it’s hot:

“Critics who treat “adult” as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

In other words, if you’re avoiding YA because you’re an Adult™, you really need to grow up.

FUN QUESTION TIME: Have you ever been embarrassed about what you read? What do you think of the process of “becoming an adult”? What makes an adult?

Please follow my friend (if you don’t already!)

I plan on hosting guest posts on Fridays, If you want to be featured on my blog, just email me at or tweet me at @EvolutionofNoah


Guest Blog Post: You Have Been Lied To

Hello, my dear followers! Miss Theodora Zheng agreed to write a guest post for Science, Books and Silly Things, and here it is. It has to do with what my blog (and my life) is about: Science and English (Or any language), the mix that some people may call “weird”, but it is not. 

I am glad to host Theo on my blog. Her posts are amazing, pertinent and even fun. I hope to one day be a writer like her.

Without further ado, here’s Theodora and her take on how Science, Math and English shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

The most annoying kind of people are those who say, “You know, I’m not really much of a ________ person.” They say this and then they use it to justify why they perform poorly in the subject of choice.

You could replace the blank with any subject, really: English, math, history, science. But it’s strange. Students are taught that loving a “hard” subject (math or science) means that they can’t love or understand “soft” subjects (history or literature). And that’s not true. The three major loves of math, science, and English should not have to be mutually exclusive.

notes: From here on out, when I refer to “English” I am referring to all aspects of English, including literature, fiction writing, nonfiction, essays, grammar, poetry, etcetera. Additionally, Let’s begin with the premise that to truly love something, you must understand it. Therefore, the reason a person does not love math is because they cannot understand it; it does not make sense to them.

From elementary school, our failures in a subject are explained by differences in thinking. that originate from birth. A person who excels in math or science is “logical” and “rational.” A person who excels in the creative arts is an “artist type,” dreamy and vague and undisciplined. We are taught to think that loving knowledge is an either/or decision, and that we cannot love more than one “type” of subject. It’s limiting. When an “English kid” does poorly on a Math test, he is excused because it’s just something he can’t (and maybe will never) understand.

Compare it to the proverb “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” Saying that an “English kid” will never understand math and using that as an excuse to teach him negligently is like telling your significant other to stop trying to communicate with you because they’ll just never understand you. Sure, women and men may communicate differently, and they also act differently in certain cases (supposedly, women are inherently “docile” and men are inherently “aggressive”). However, women and men are not inherently different. Differences that arise in the sexes are a result of parenting and gender schema.

Minor differences in biology do not mean that men and women cannot reach mutual understanding. It also does not mean that children are born with inherent skills in math or science.

In both of these situations, this form of thinking is perpetuated by educators. In academics, the educators are teachers. In the men/women analogy, they are parents. But think about it: just like all men and women and in-betweens are humans, all subjects are knowledge. Why do we treat them differently?

“Everything happens for a reason”

Small post with some of my musings about fate. Hope you like it.

Everyone has heard this phrase. We tell it to ourselves constantly. I think I told it to my friend as recently as yesterday. No one can deny, though, that we say it to make ourselves feel better about an event that is out of our control. Sometimes we don’t mean it, but desperately want to believe that bad things happen to us because something good is about to happen, or that we’ll benefit in some way from what is happening.

Most of the time, though, it isn’t like that. Fate might exist, yes, but it is all bound to us, our decisions and what we do. Our actions define our future. We can run on autopilot, yes, but that won’t do any good for us. Our action or inaction will cause something to happen. This is basic physics that we can apply to life. This is also the principle that defines the butterfly effect. That’s the beautiful thing about humanity. We have free will, and it is our duty to exert it as well as we can so our future (and others’) is as bright as we can.

There are, however, some factors that we cannot control. The weather and someone else’s actions or words are things that could ruin (or change) our plans. What we can work with is how we react to these events. Our mind is sometimes our biggest enemy, and controlling our negative thoughts is the key for success. Life is about these little things. One can learn to enjoy it, or grieve for everything we lost. It is our choice.

Some things do not happen for a reason. The sooner we accept that, the better.  What is up to us, though, is what we do about the events that happen. Are we going to go with the flow, with inertia, or are we going to fight for what we want?

By the way, guys, I’m thinking about having guest blog posts on my blog, so if you’re interested, contact me. 🙂

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