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Academic Editing: CambridgeEditors’ Specialty

CambridgeEditors edits all types of writing, from novels to surveys, but one type of editing is requested above the others: Academic Editing. 

Academic writing can really cover any subject as long as it remains within the view and application of study. It is its own art to translate a subject into the realm of academia and make it readable for your peers. Academic editing also has its own art. 

As the name already suggests, this form of editing is for academic papers, manuscripts, or other materials that would be linked to an institution or for independent scholars. Academic editing is a specialized comprehensive service that improves language and the overall formatting of the piece, but also streamlines and strengthens your argument and ideas. A good academic editor will remove repetitive data and indulgences without taking away the writer’s voice or the importance of the subject.

CambridgeEditors’ history is steeped in academia. Our Head Editor and Founder, Dr. Harte Weiner graduated from Stanford, Columbia, and Harvard University, and many of our Staff Editors have graduated and taught at top universities like Yale University and UCLA. Our editors know how an academic document should be read and, more importantly, they know the steps to refine a piece and make it publishable. 

 CambridgeEditors edits a wide range of scholarly work such as dissertations, journal articles, master’s theses, thesis and grant proposals, course papers, application and advancement materials, and much more. CambridgeEditors provides academic editing in all areas, from the humanities and social sciences to business, law, and STEM fields. Our editors are well versed in all the appropriate styles, including Chicago, MLA, APA, Harvard, and the CSE styles, and your editor will have experience and advice on your specific area of study.  

Academic editing is more of an umbrella term in which other particular types of services can be applied. You can request other types of edits such as Copy Editing or Line-by-Line Edits, and specify that your piece be edited for academia. The overall goal is to get the piece ready for its intended audience, whether it be a university or the general public. Our most popular academic editing services include the Line Edit and Copy Edit. The Line-by-Line Edit is designed to offer authors meticulous revisions for structure, flow, and diction. The Copy Edit is designed for authors requiring final corrections to style, grammar, and citations. Both services include our proofreading of text and graphs, tables, and figures. Other services widely requested of CambridgeEditors are our layout, formatting, and indexing services. 

Who better to get your dissertation or submission paper ready than academics themselves? CambridgeEditors is ready to help! For assistance, please visit our website for more information or email us at editors@cambridgeeditors.com. 

-Isabella

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The CambridgeEditors Experience

How does CambridgeEditors help you get your manuscript from a rough draft to a polished final piece? Whether you’re a first-time novelist, a doctoral candidate, a seasoned author, an academic, or anything in between, we want to work with you to make your writing the best it can be. Here’s how you can get started!

First, reach out to us by emailing editors@cambridgeeditors.com or calling us at (617)876-2855. We work with clients from all over the world and we edit all different types of writing. Additionally, many of our editors specialize in working with authors whose first language is not English. We are happy to help with any of your editing needs from virtually anywhere! The most important information that we need before getting started is:

  • Type of work (thesis, novel, article, etc.)
  • Estimated page count
  • Time frame and flexibility (Do you have a hard deadline? When would you like to see your piece finished?)

These will help us determine what kind of edit is right for you. Check out our last blog to learn more about the different editing services we offer! 

Once we have a better idea of what your project is and how long it needs to be worked on, we will send you a proposal. In the proposal, we will give you a thorough description of the services you will receive, the timeline of your project, your editor, and an estimate of the total cost. You can check out our website for a detailed explanation of our rates, but the price is determined by the length of your piece, the type of editing you need, and the type of piece you are working on. We also offer new discounts every month based on the content covered in your work, so check the home page of our website monthly to see if our specials apply to your work!

After the first half of your proposal is paid,  you will be paired with an editor who is particularly interested in your project and skilled in the type of work that it needs. Our editors specialize in many different areas like technical writing, business, finance, humanities, science, short and long form fiction, and poetry just to name a few. Every writer has different strengths, and our wide range of editors gives you the opportunity to work with someone who is excited about your work as well as familiar with its subject matter. No matter what kind of work your manuscript needs, you will be matched with an editor who will bring your work to the next level. You can learn more about our editors on our website, or through editor spotlights on our Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook!

Writing and editing are not always easy processes, but at CambridgeEditors, our goal is to do some of the heavy lifting for you. Hopefully this blog gives you a better idea of what it is like to work with us, and how we can help you with your next project! Regardless of what stage you are at in creating your manuscript, we want to help you make it your very best work.  

-Kathleen

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Which Editing Service is Right for You?

“Can you edit this?”  

This is a question many people ask everyday. Whether it is a social media post, an academic paper, a manuscript, or even a text message—editing can be both general and specific. 

Editing is an umbrella term for various forms of rewriting and reworking. Some professional editors are versed in many types of editing whereas others are experts in one or two specific forms. At Cambridge Editors, we offer eight editing services tailored to fit the needs of your work. But how do you know which one is right for you? 

Line-by-Line Editing 

Line-by-Line edits are what they sound like—a meticulous read through carefully analyzing every sentence. Mindful of the particular purpose of each individual manuscript, our Line Editors carefully review structure, syntax, word choice, and flow. Moreover, the Line-by-Line Edit encompasses our Proofreading service as well. Because it moves with care and thoroughness at every point, the Line-by-Line Edit is the most popular of all of CambridgeEditors services.

There are three aspects which the Line-by-Line Edit focuses on: 

1.) Line Editing for structure—the organization and readability of the piece. 2.) Line Editing for flow—the motion and transition between points or sections of the piece. 3.) Line Editing for diction—the word choice and vocabulary of the piece. 

The Copy Edit 

Copy Editing is a very popular and yet very overlooked aspect of editing. It edits based on grammar, style, and citations. CambridgeEditors will assign an editor that is quick and capable, as well as familiar with your particular genre of work. Your editor will also ensure, where applicable, that publication guidelines are followed. Edits to in-text citations and bibliographies are included in the Copy Edit services. 

The Proofread 

This is a step that clients often select just before publication or submission. This service detects and edits grammatical mistakes, punctuation, and forms of address, however, these editors don’t subtract or add any text. Proofreading also does not include the editing of style or organization. It merely acts as a final pass over the work before it can be sent for publication. For those looking for a more hands-off edit, the proofread is the right choice.  

Formatting and Layout 

This service does not alter or edit the text of the manuscript, but makes sure the format and overall look of the piece fits the standard that the client requests. This applies to table of contents, images, graphs, title pages, indexes, appendices, reference sheets, etc. 

Coaching 

Coaching or counseling sessions are a more heavy handed form of editing usually reserved for larger works such as dissertations, novels, or nonfiction monographs. Whether outlining an idea or looking over a complete draft, your Coaching Editor will help you flesh out ideas, devices, and the overall concept of the manuscript. This service requires personal contact with your editor, such as skype meetings, zoom meetings, or phone calls. The number one goal of your Coach will be to help you mentally and editorially through the difficult process of writing a lengthy or complex document.

The Developmental Edit 

CambridgeEditors Developmental Editors are here to help authors with the process of transforming ideas for a manuscript into a finished work of writing. Sometimes an author (or would-be author) has working concepts for the final piece, but no exact sense of how to make them tangible. A Developmental Edit is just what is needed. This service also works for if you have a preliminary manuscript in the early days of its conception. Like the Coaching service, a Developmental Edit requires more one on one time with your editor. 

The Written Critique

This service looks at the work as a whole. The Critiquer first reads the manuscript and then gives it an essayistic analysis. It is usually requested by those who are working on a longer piece such as a book or dissertation. Your Critiquer will look at your goals and see whether you succeeded in them, asking, “Does this work make sense? Where does it not?” This service pays the utmost attention to shape, content, and organization. 

Cambridge Editors has many options for editing services in order to better serve our clients’ unique needs. To learn more about what we can do for you, please visit our website at https://cambridgeeditors.com/ or contact us at editors@cambridgeeditors.com.   

-Isabella

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Meet the Editors of CambridgeEditors

Per the name, our editors are one of the biggest reasons CambridgeEditors is such a great company to work with. All of our editors are seasoned professionals with years of experience in editing and writing. They each have different areas of expertise, but regardless of what service you need, you will be matched with an editor who is dedicated, experienced, and believes in your project. Here you can get to know a few of our editors and the great projects they have worked on since starting with CambridgeEditors! 

Harte Weiner

Harte Weiner is both the founder and lead editor of CambridgeEditors. After receiving her BA from Harvard, MFA from Columbia, and PhD from Stanford, she served as Acting Assistant Director to The Academy of American Poets and contributing editor to The Paris Review. Dr. Weiner also taught at Tufts, Brown, Harvard, and The Cambridge Center for Adult Education, where she directed many junior papers and senior theses. She founded CambridgeEditors in 2003 with the mission of helping other writers improve and perfect their work. Aside from editing, she offers workshops, dissertation, creative and expository editing, and multi-session group or individual meetings. Some of her recent edits include a book about families’ experiences at after school programs, a short fiction story, and a poetry book about African social and political culture.

Felicia Lee 

Felicia has been with CambridgeEditors since 2012, and specializes in academic, promotional, and technical writing. She holds a BA and MA in English from Stanford University, and a PhD in linguistics from UCLA. Recently at CambridgeEditors, she has served as a developmental editor for Women’s History Month content, a developmental editor for a dissertation on leadership in South East Asia, and a proofreader for a Young Adult Asian American fantasy novel. 

Tom Sullivan

Tom specializes in editing ESL, academic, and technical texts, as well as book development and layouts. He originally wanted to be an engineer, until he discovered a passion for literature halfway through engineering school. He wrote a master’s thesis on the aesthetic history of William Blake’s work and serves as a full time editor, but he is also interested in learning new software and taking technical jobs that allow for more innovative book design. Some of his most recent work at CambridgeEditors includes a thesis about epilepsy mutations, an academic article about infinite series equations, and a dissertation about how nonprofit hospitals can improve public health.

Adriana Cloud

Adriana holds an M.A. in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, and she has over a decade of experience in book publishing. She worked for eight years at Harvard University Press, and she has done freelance work for a number of impressive publishers like MIT Press and Yale University Press. Her most recent work at CambridgeEditors includes proofreading a series of three articles for the King’s College London Department of Digital Humanities and turning a dissertation into different articles about Psychoanalysis, Film Studies, Feminist Studies for St. Andrews University.

No matter what your next writing project is, it is important to have an editor who cares about your work as much as you do. At CambridgeEditors, you will be paired with an editor who is not only excellent at their job, but who is genuinely interested in your work and making it the best it can be. Follow us on social media for more editor spotlights!

Instagram: @cambridgeeditors

Twitter: @CambEditors

LinkedIn and Facebook: CambridgeEditors

-Kathleen

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Top 5 Reasons Why People Choose Cambridge Editors

Publishing your own work can be difficult, especially when you are doing it alone. As all writers know, writing and re-writing is exhausting both physically and mentally, as well as time-consuming. And receiving rejections and critiques can be disheartening, whether you are an academic writer or a novelist. This is why CambridgeEditors exists. We are here to make the process of writing and editing easier so that you can publish and submit your manuscript with confidence. 

Below are just a few reasons why Cambridge Editors has been trusted with first drafts from writers all over the world:

1: Personal Contact 

An amazing facet of CambridgeEditors is our one on one consultation from an editor with a specific background and knowledge relating to your field. Whether it’s language translation, copyediting, or even certain political knowledge—we will find an editor right for you. This editor works with you personally to get your work where it needs to be. 

2: Location Doesn’t Matter 

While CambridgeEditors is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we have clients from all over the world who elicit services remotely. We have worked with clients from Nigeria, Japan, Sweden, and many more countries. Our services are trusted worldwide! 

3: Strong Presence in the Academic Community

CambridgeEditors has often been sought out by professors and faculty from many colleges and places of higher learning. We have worked with Ivy League schools as well as smaller private colleges. Again—insitutitions from all around the globe! Our founder and lead editor, Dr. Harte Weiner, graduated from Harvard University and has years of experience with higher education from a teaching and editing standpoint. Many of our editors have worked in academia at one point as well. 

4: Offers Multiple Editing Services

Cambridge Editors has several editing options to choose from based on your personal needs. We offer: Academic Editing, Line by Line Editing, Copy Editing, Proofreading, Formatting and Layout, Coaching, Developmental Editing, and Written Critiques. For more information about each different service, visit our website at https://cambridgeeditors.com/

5: Fantastic Testimonials From Past Clients 

Cambridge Editor’s email is flooded with glowing reviews from past clients. We post them regularly on our website and social media but here are a few quotes that show how well we treat our clients: 

  • “I have received many valuable suggestions from Elizabeth. They involve using secondary literature, articulating my thesis, envisioning my audience, unpacking quotations, and maintaining a consistent tone. It sounds generic, but when coupled with specific instances drawn from my manuscript, they are beneficial…I am confident of Elizabeth’s expertise and feel comfortable accepting her guidance.” ~Client, June 2021
  • “Please convey my deepest gratitude to the editor, I have looked over the comments and changes and really think the piece is much more refined because of their help and care…Also – I am happy with this experience and plan to send in more chapters of academic writing once I have them. Thank you!” ~Client, July 2020

For more client reviews and testimonials, please visit our website and go to the “Testimonials” page. 

CambridgeEditors is a versatile and useful tool to utilize on your journey as a writer. We are here to help, above all. We have guided many writers as they submit for publication, and clients keep coming back time and time again. From our personal touch to our expert knowledge in many fields, CambridgeEditors would be delighted to get in touch with you about your latest work. To start your editing journey, please visit our website or email us at editors@cambridgeeditors.com

-Isabella

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What You Should Know About the Boston Writing Scene

Although CambridgeEditors works with clients from all over the world, its home in Boston has an especially vibrant and historic writing scene. Many great names in literature like Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Frost produced some of their most famous works in the city of Boston. One article on Writers Access notes that Boston is considered the birthplace of transcendentalism because of writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Boston has historically been home to great writers and thinkers, and that remains true in 2021. We are lucky enough to work with many of them here at CambridgeEditors! If you’re a writer or a fan of literature, here is what you need to know about the writing scene in Boston.

The way that Boston is structured actually has a lot to do with why it is such a major writing hub. Aside from the rich history, gorgeous architecture, and countless spots for inspiration to strike, Boston’s physical accessibility makes it a great city for writers. The same Writers Access article mentions that the ease of transportation between suburban and metropolitan spaces make Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods “a desirable place for writers to both work and network.” Boston is also home to many colleges and universities where talented faculty and students can publish their academic and creative writing. The combination of accessibility, education, and inspiration make Boston an ideal city for writers.

Writers in Boston also have a wide range of job opportunities. According to Glassdoor, content writers in Boston made an average of $47,430 in 2018, copywriters made an average of $61,300, and content marketing managers made an average of $84,000. 

Boston is also full of great spaces for people to sit down and write. Whether you’re the type of person who needs total peace and quiet to focus or the type who enjoys some background noise and movement, there are plenty of beautiful spaces to sit down and just write. The Boston Public Library has stunning study spaces for individual or collaborative work. The quiet study room is full of large windows and gorgeous arches on the ceiling, as well as multiple rows of bookshelves to browse through if you need a break. They also have private rooms that can be booked for groups or individuals who need more space. 

If you like some background noise, you can forgo the crowded Starbucks and head to Tatte, a regional coffee shop with several locations in Boston! They have a great coffee and tea menu, as well as pastries, breakfast, and lunch options. It is the perfect study spot if you want some background noise and a drink or snack while you work. The Boston Common and Public Garden are also great outdoor spaces if you need some fresh air while you write. It is a great place to people watch or simply admire the scenery as you work.

For writers of any kind, Boston is a city with inspiration on every corner, an abundance of networking opportunities, and tons of great places to create your best work. Whether you’re an academic, a novelist, a poet, or just write for fun, Boston is a great place to put your ideas into the world.

-Kathleen

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The Maidens: Behind the Popularity and Into the Controversy

Lovers of Greek Mythology and mystery beware: Alex Michaelides is back with his sophomore book, The Maidens. Michaelides previously wrote The Silent Patient in 2019, a bestselling psychological thriller in which a woman kills her husband and then remains silent in a mental institution. The book gained popularity for its daring and intriguing plot about mental health and women’s issues, but also fell under  controversy because readers felt that Michaelides misrepresented the suffering of women. Michaelides’ new novel, The Maidens, seems to be headed in the same direction of both being acclaimed and under scrutiny. 

The Maidens is a mix of psychological thriller and a gothic horror story with a healthy dose of greek mythology. It centers on Mariana Andros, a therapist in Cambridge, England who becomes obsessed with convicting a Cambridge University Professor for murdering one of his female students. The classics professor in question, Edward Fosca, is followed around by a group of young women called “The Maidens” who are rumored to be a secret society within the college. When Andros finds Fosca is particularly fixated on the Rites of Persephone and the goddess’s journey to the underworld, the therapist decides to take things into her own hands and investigate the university and avenge the dead maidens. 

Michaelides’ second novel has been topping the charts, no doubt to the recent popularity of other Greek mythological books like Adriane and A Thousand Ships. Many of these books deal with retellings of forgotten or unloved female mythological characters like Adriane, the deserted lover of Theseus or Helen of Troy, who many blame for the Trojan War. Of course, there is a slight difference between these authors and Michaelides. Michaelides is a man. 

This was the criticism that the male author faced when he published The Silent Patient, a story that depended upon the suffering of women at the hands of the medicilized mental health industry of the past. The ending point of the book (spoilers ahead) is that the main character is brutally killed by her therapist. The Maidens is similar in that it deals with women who are abused and murdered by men and are supposed to represent certain female figures in mythology. Michaelides has decidedly only written about women’s trauma and has been criticized for using that for a selling point. 

A Washington Post review on The Maidens by Mauren Corrigan, who was a fan of The Silent Patient, wrote that she felt unnerved by how many references to sexual violence and misconduct were being introduced in the plot. Corrigan writes, “Throughout The Maidens, Michaelides quotes from the melancholy poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, one of Cambridge’s most celebrated poets. But a line from another Cambridge poet seems to me more apt as a final pronouncement on The Maidens. I’m thinking of A.E. Housman, who was a professor of Latin there in the early 20th century. Housman wrote the long poetry sequence ‘A Shropshire Lad,’ which contains the oft-useful line, ‘Terence, this is stupid stuff.’” 

And Kirkus Reviews said pointedly on the novel: “Eerie atmosphere isn’t enough to overcome an unsatisfying plot and sometimes-exasperating protagonist.”

That being said, The Silent Patient had plenty of readers engaged and enthused with the novel. And The Maidens has been receiving modest reviews, but has been getting featured on many “To-Read” lists of the summer. The Maidens does mix the popular genres of both Greek mythological retellings as well as academic mysteries like The Secret History and Ninth House.  But if you are looking for a novel that deconstructs feminist issues with academia and Western classical mythology, then this probably isn’t the book for you. 

-Isabella

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Top 5 Beach Reads to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Finding the perfect summer read is no easy task for a reader. With such a wide range of options from romantic summer flings to dysfunctional but lovable family trips to compellingly sappy teen dramas, it can be hard to find the ideal book to pick up on the beach, the plane, or the porch. Here are some of our favorite summer books to pick up for a vacation or staycation:

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The newest addition to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s repertoire is not one that you want to miss. Malibu Rising is a novel about the four adult children of legendary singer Mick Riva. Surfer and model Nina is going through a very public divorce, and she is not looking forward to the massive end of summer party she is throwing at her home in Malibu. Jay, a professional surfer, is discovering love again after a terrible breakup, Hud, a photographer, is deep into a secret romance, and Kit, the youngest, has invited a mysterious guest to the party. By the end of the night, secrets will be revealed and Nina’s house on the Malibu shore will go up in flames. The 1980s California setting, the drama within the Riva family, and the summer bash in a mansion on the beach make Malibu Rising a delicious addition to your summer reading list. 

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen’s teen romance novels are a staple of the Young Adult genre, and Along for the Ride is one of her absolute best. The story follows Auden, who just graduated from high school, and is spending the summer with her dad and stepmom at their home in a small beach town. She makes new friends at her job at a boutique in town and meets Eli, who has the same sleeping problems that she does, and takes her on adventures around the town at night. On their nightly outings, Eli helps Auden appreciate the messy and complicated life that she has, and Auden helps Eli make peace with the town where he has lived his whole life. Together, they learn to move forward from their lives in high school and inevitably fall in love. Along for the Ride has all the ingredients for a teenage summer fling, but with the addition of a more mature tone as the two main characters move from adolescence into their adult lives.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation is a story about best friends Poppy and Alex who could not be more different. Poppy is spontaneous and adventurous, while Alex is a homebody who enjoys predictability. She lives in New York City while he stayed in their hometown, but they get together every year for a week-long summer trip. Two years ago, though, they stopped speaking and ended their summer tradition. Missing Alex terribly, Poppy suggests that they put their differences aside and take another trip together to fix their decade-long friendship. The chemistry between Alex and Poppy is undeniable, and Henry draws readers into their complicated relationship, exploring their past and potential future together. At the core of the story is friendship, and how it can change our lives in the best ways. If you’re looking for a great friends-to-lovers story, don’t skip People We Meet on Vacation this summer.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

This is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers, fake-relationship story, but with a twist. Olive, maid of honor at her twin sister’s wedding, is pretty cynical about love. When everyone at the wedding comes down with food poisoning except for Olive and best man Ethan (who Olive despises), they are offered the chance to go on the bride and groom’s all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii. Not wanting to turn down a free trip, they begrudgingly agree to go together. However, when Olive runs into her new boss on vacation, she ends up pretending to be on her honeymoon with Ethan. Chaos ensues, love is discovered, and there is a fun sequence of mishaps along the way. The beach trip setting and well-executed romance tropes make this the perfect summer read.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuinston

The highly anticipated release from the author of Red, White, and Royal Blue is not one that you want to miss this summer. 23 year old August does not believe that moving to New York City will bring any kind of newfound magic into her life. Working at a diner and living with too many odd roommates, she quickly finds her assumptions correct. But one day on the train, August meets Jane, a beautiful and eccentric punk rock woman that she quickly develops a crush on. Of course, though, nothing is what it seems when it comes to Jane—August soon learns that Jane is actually from the 1970s, displaced in time in the modern world. She is forced to leave her old beliefs about New York City magic behind and help Jane get back… while falling in love with her. McQuinston is beloved for her adorable romantic scenes, high-stakes relationships, and lovable characters, so if you’re looking for a great summer romance read, be sure to pick up One Last Stop. 

Any of these books will be sure to make you swoon this summer, whether you’re hitting the beach or staying at home. Whether you love classic tropes or a totally unique story, all of these romances will satisfy the need for a perfect summer read.

-Kathleen

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Revisiting Jenny Slate’s “Little Weirds” 

In 2019, comedian and actress Jenny Slate added “author” to her list of accomplishments. Her book of autobiographical essays, Little Weirds is a small, but hard-hitting work of humor and memory. The book isn’t like a traditional autobiography, tracing important moments of the comedian’s life. There is little talk of “big breaks” and of a rise to stardom. It’s an emotional memoir that describes Slate’s Valentine’s Days after her divorce, small trips made with friends, her childhood haunted house, her newest house. It’s a microscopic look at Slate’s experience with everyday life and how she views the world. 

Named one of Vanity Fair’s Great Quarantine Reads, the book has had a myriad of reviews—from critics who thought it quirky and fun to those who found it dry and humorless. Little Weirds is not written like it’s by a famous comedian, it feels like a writer wrote it. Of course, Slate is a writer, composing her own material for stand ups and comedy specials. But Little Weirds isn’t a slapstick comedy-memoir like that of Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants or Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. 

Bonnie Werthiem writes for this New York Times article, “Maybe this isn’t what you were expecting from Slate, who is known for voicing animated characters in television shows like “Big Mouth” and “Bob’s Burgers,” as well as the internet’s favorite anthropomorphic shell, Marcel. Nor is it what you might have assumed would emerge from the mind of the stand-up comedian whose monologues are punctuated by “poop and fart jokes,” as she put it, among other bodily concerns. But Little Weirds wasn’t really meant to be funny.” Little Weirds rarely discusses Slate’s fame or even her celebrity relationship with superstar Chris Evans. Slate writes about eating hot dogs in Norway instead. And it is magical prose. 

Fellow comedians, John Mulaney and Mindy Kaling promoted Slate’s book with stellar reviews. Mulaney stated, “A man on the 2 Express Train read some of Jenny Slate’s Little Weirds over my shoulder. ‘What kind of book is this?’ he asked. ‘The best kind,’ I replied.” 

Not everyone gave Slate’s book such shining reviews however. NPR literary critic, Lily Meyer, thought that the autobiography wasn’t weird enough in this review. She writes, “Little Weirds is full of soft and lovely moments…..I am, however, disinterested in loveliness for its own sake.” 

To that, I can’t help, but think of this excerpt from Little Weirds: “I was born as sweet as that and if I am too sweet for your tastes then just clamp your mouth shut and spin on your heels. I can’t add sourness to my sap anymore just to fit onto a menu in a restaurant for wimps.” Little Weirds isn’t for fans of the traditional celebrity biography or haters of the whimsical. Prepare for a journey into the silly and strange perspective of Jenny Slate where she describes bunny rabbits, feeling like sardines, and the various ghosts she grew up with. It’s a wonderful mess of images and stories. 

Little Weirds is delightful, devilish, childish, mature, sweet, sour, playful, and most importantly weird. For lovers of Ross Gay’s Book of Delights, this book will certainly be to your liking. Jenny Slate dissects herself inside out and displays it on a nice table setting with a glass of sweet tea for the reader. 

-Isabella

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Some Book to Screen Adaptations are Favoring TV Series Rather Than Movies

Many book lovers dream of seeing their favorite stories come to life on screen in a way that captures the essence of the book while bringing new visuals, music, and actors to the table. There are many challenges that come with creating a good book to screen adaption: deciding which scenes or characters to leave out, making changes to the plot, casting believable actors, and creating a film that both existing fans and new viewers will love. One of the greatest challenges for filmmakers is fitting hundreds of pages of writing into a movie that is just a few hours long. However, in the era of streaming, many creators are opting for television series rather than movie sagas—and for good reason. 

Television series like Anne With an E, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Shadow and Bone are similar to their literary counterparts in the sense that the audience spends a good deal of time with the characters, watching the story unfold. While movies are meant to be watched in a single two to three hour sitting, television series can take more liberty with running time because viewers do not have to watch every episode immediately. Whether the show is ten episodes long, like the recent adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit, or nine seasons long, like Game of Thrones, fans can spend hours, months, or years watching their favorite stories come to life. Even shorter series are hours longer than the length of a three or four movie saga.

Many successful movie adaptations like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight were well-received because they had impressive cinematic effects, talented teams on and off screen, and writers that ultimately did not change too much of the plot or character arcs, even though they had to leave out some details. On the other hand, though, with too many modifications to the original story, even sky-high budgets and well-known actors are not enough to save a franchise. Adaptations of Divergent and Percy Jackson and the Olympians both fell victim to these problems. 

In the case of Divergent, the source material was not strong enough to create a movie storyline with high stakes, likable heroes, or villains with clear motivations. Even with a star-studded cast with actors like Shailene Woolley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller, strong performances could not make up for a weak story. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters did not do well enough to continue the saga because the writers changed major plot points and important details, like the color of Annabeth’s hair. Even Rick Riordan, the author of the series, has never seen the movies, describing them as “my life’s work going through a meat grinder when I pleaded with them not to do it.” However, Percy Jackson has been picked up by Disney+ to be turned into a miniseries that Riordan is heavily involved in. Logan Lerman, who played Percy in the movies, tweeted that he hopes the series finally gets the adaptation it deserves. 

Movies and television series both have pros and cons when making an adaptation. Television allows fans to spend more time in the worlds created by their favorite stories, but movies can spend more of their budget on effects and big name actors because they are creating a single film rather than multiple episodes or seasons. “Major Hollywood studios can bring in $250 million in profits from a single film, while a respected cable network like HBO can make money off a huge hit like ‘Game of Thrones,’ which costs millions to shoot,” Dana Zipin wrote in a 2019 article. Longer books with complex, detail-oriented plots may be better suited for television to incorporate each of those factors in a meaningful way, like Game of Thrones. However, three or four book series with books that are only a few hundred pages might be better suited for a movie series, like The Maze Runner. 

Getting a well done page to screen adaptation means everything to book lovers, so it is important that film and TV creators take this into account when translating stories into a different medium. From what we have seen, staying true to the original story while offering fans a way to put faces to characters and see the reality of the world that they read about is the key to a great adaptation.

– Kathleen

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