Friday High Five: iPad babies and classically bad covers

Our pick of the news and articles from around the internet this week.

The Stella Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist has been announced for the very first Stella Prize, awarded to the best book of the year written by an Australian writer. The full shortlist is available on the Stella Prize website. ‘Anyone who thinks women’s writing is all about masochistic sex and dates with vampires should take a close look at the powerful shortlist for the first Stella Prize for Australian women’s literature,’ writes Susan Wyndham in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Stella Prize judges: chair Kerryn Goldsworthy, Kate Grenville, Claudia Karvan, Fiona Stager and Rafael Epstein.

The Stella Prize judges: chair Kerryn Goldsworthy, Kate Grenville, Claudia Karvan, Fiona Stager and Rafael Epstein.

Bad covers for classic novels

This Flavorwire top 20 bad covers of classic novels has been doing the rounds of the internet today. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out - from a kitten in a briefcase to represent The Scarlet Pimpernel to an alien ice mountain and an amoured man with a sword on the cover of Frankenstein, these covers are so bad, they’re good.

A bewildering Brazilian cover of Stephen King's *The Shining*.

A bewildering Brazilian cover of Stephen King's The Shining.

The iPad generation

In 2001, the term ‘digital native’ was coined to describe children growing up with computer and video game technology (as opposed to ‘digital immigrants’, learning to adapt). With the advent of the iPad in 2010, the touch-screen generation was born; children’s researchers called it a game-changer. ‘Touch technology follows the same logic as shaking a rattle or knocking down a pile of blocks: the child swipes, and something immediately happens.’

Are iPads changing the way our kids' brains work? How much is too much, and how much is educational? And does it matter if screens replace traditional toys?

Lena Dunham’s dogs: Girls meets Beethoven

In a New Yorker personal essay, Lena Dunham shares stories about her lifelong love of dogs. She talks about her failed attempt to raise puppies she adopted from a stranger in a van while her parents were out of town, adopting a dog despite having a boyfriend who’s allergic to them, and being one step away from being the kind of woman who keeps shoes and jumpers in her oven.

Lena Dunham and doggy friend.

Lena Dunham and doggy friend.

The New Yorker rejects itself

‘If the New Yorker is the most desirable literary magazine in the world … whatever story the New Yorker gets would – logically – be so intrinsically desirable that all lesser literary pubs (e.g., everyone) would pine for it. Just like the prettiest girl at the dance: the guy she picks is the guy chicks dig. Basic deduction 101.’

David Cameron tested this theory by sending a New Yorker short story, under the name of a fictional unpublished writer, to pretty much all of the noted literary mags in the US – including the New Yorker itself - and it was universally rejected. He repeated the experiment with a second story; the results were scientifically ‘elegant’.

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