To liven up your Thursday, here are some curious reads, activities, and discoveries going on around the Web these days:
- Actor Jim Carrey joins the growing troupe of celebrities extending their reach into children's books. On September 24, his picture book, How Roland Rolls, will be released and will address the more existential crises of early life -- notably that sudden awareness of life and loss.
- Read a cultural examination on why Sci Fi and paranormal YA matters at McGill Daily. A simple look perhaps, but it ultimately focuses on the importance of sci fi to allow readers to think outside the normal conventions and to address social and political issues in exciting new ways, as well as inviting social change. It also tries to justify all the romance. That's a lot of romance to justify.
- Evidently one of my favorite current middle grade novels, Reif Larson’s The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, is being converted to the big screen. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) is bringing his whimsical, enchanting style to a book that explores the meaning of childhood through an exhibition of love of country and humanity (the amazing conceptual maps that situate the young boy clearly in his regional space, demonstrate his ability to broaden that awareness, and expose his acute sense of what humanness is). I am somewhat obsessed with maps and all that they signify and influence, so anything to do with this story excites me. Until I saw the trailer, and began to fear the changes they would feel obliged to make to a remarkable story about a young cartographer and the transformation of the hold his family has on him. Another time I'll discuss this in detail. For now, take a look at the trailers, and if you have read the novel, let me know your first thoughts!
- Disney is re-imagining what it means to watch a movie in the 21st century with 2nd Screen Live. I'll withhold my comments on this except to say that here is cultural disparity at its best -- enlisting young children to bring an iPad to the movie theatre because of course all children have them, and they should of course be consumed by constant interaction on numerous interfaces at all times.
- Wrapping up on a lighter note, authors around southern California are invited to a book event at the Norman F. Feldheym Central Library, Saturday, Sept. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m. to discuss their books and old book signings. This celebration of authors will involve all kinds, from children's book writers to mystery, sci fi and local history writers.
- And lastly, a bit of book fun: Better book titles for children's books!