It’s Day 2 of Armchair BEA and I for one am having a blast. I think it’s serendipitous that the event falls on one of the few times of the year when I actually have a bit of a break, so I’m doing my best to really interact. I joined last night’s Twitter party, which was super fun, and I’ve been visiting new and old blogs alike, commenting like a madman and getting to know some gnarly people. What a community we have!
Anywhat, onto today’s themes:
Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online.
As someone who has been doing this for quite a few years, now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I still go “fanboy” over author interactions, especially when it involves some of my favorites. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with and work with some incredible writers who are also incredible people. These include Andrew Smith (author of Grasshopper Jungle and The Marbury Lens), Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of Jumpstart the World and Pay It Forward) and Kathe Koja (author of Under the Poppy and The Mercury Waltz).
What thrills me most about reading their books, now, is that I feel I know a bit about the minds and souls that created them. These writers’ talent cannot be denied –it’s something that reading their books alone will testify to– but their kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, and general grooviness, well, that’s something you can’t get straight from the books, and I feel lucky to have “met” each of them (among many others) through blogging and interactions on Twitter/Facebook.
More Than Just Words
On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?
To be honest, I read primarily classics and literary fiction, both of which are all about, well, words. I haven’t read many graphic novels (although Blankets by Craig Thompson is fantastic) and while I could look back on my time as a reading teacher to discuss picture books, like King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub and Where the Wild Things Are, etc., I’m not sure that’s what this question is after. I also do not really listen to audiobooks (except poetry), so that doesn’t work…
There are probably plenty of books that I’ve read in the last few years which do use images, and if I scroll back through my log I might find more to add to this discussion, but the one book I can think of now, off the top of my head, is one that has stayed with me for a long time: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd. The story itself is brilliant and touching, but the drawings add so much depth and emotion. It’s a piece of work I think most people will appreciate – beyond beautiful, and very difficult to describe. Go experience it for yourself, yeah?
I also really enjoyed the book Every You, Every Me by David Levithan. This one incorporates photographs into the story, in a kind of mysterious way. It’s a great book with a great story, an the use of photographs to advance the plot and add layers of mystery and intrigue (and emotion) was very clever.
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