New literary craze has readers topsy-turvy!

Readers of avant-garde literature are flipping over the latest experimental wrinkle in fiction. Inspired by the narrative hijinx of such post-modern stylists as the late David Foster Wallace, and Mark Danielewski (whose Only Revolutions asks the reader to rotate the book while reading), a bold new breed of writers and publishers are literally overturning the literary scene with what may be the most dramatic re-purposing of traditional prose since Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy: inversive fiction, or upside-down books.

inverted-copy-of-john-irvings-a-son-of-the-circus-courtesy-of-justluc1Although the tropes and conventions of these new topsy-turvy tomes are similar to and in many cases identical with more traditional — or “right-side-up” — books, they are framed in an entirely new way that places radical demands on the reader. “Inverted literature is certainly not everyone’s cup of fur,” remarks professor emeritus Duns C. Penwiper of the Stanislaw Lem Institute for Narratological Science in Cheney. “These stories place great demands on the reader, requiring them to learn what is in effect a completely new language — a language that is, as one might say, both upside-down and Continue reading “New literary craze has readers topsy-turvy!”

Eat This Book!

If you haven’t yet heard about the Seattle Edible Book Festival, prepare to be delighted. This annual event scheduled for “around April 1” each year is our local chapter of the International Edible Book Festival — no, this is better — Le Festival International Du Livre Mangeable! Yes, there are people all over the world doing image-of-the-giving-tree-edible-book-courtesy-of-newneonunionthis: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States of America, Russia, and Hong Kong! Which is not all that surprising, considering this is that inspired intersection of two of the best things in existence: food and books!

The festival has several dimensions, from the artistry of beautiful cakes and Continue reading “Eat This Book!”

Close to you: Our fascination with ‘Siamese’ twins

the-girlsMy book group recently read Lori Lansens’ novel The Girls about sisters in Canada who are conjoined twins. We were all a little hesitant to tackle it and not sure we’d be able to get past the subject matter to get to the characters and story, but Lansen’s writing made that concern a moot point, and we all loved it. It wasn’t sentimental, or prurient; the sisters came across as vivid characters who just happened to have an unusual set of life challenges (albeit life-defining ones). Our book group had one of its liveliest discussions ever, most of which centered on the dilemmas of the characters, but some of which focused on what it would be like to be a conjoined twin.

It made me start nosing around to see if there were other novels featuring conjoined twins, besides the several fictionalized accounts of the lives of Continue reading “Close to you: Our fascination with ‘Siamese’ twins”

Which books to bring?

acropolis-photo-by-wallygWhenever I plan a trip, the first thing I consider is which books to bring with me. I want books that are pertinent to my travels as well as books that will entertain and inform me—and comfort me in my strange and scary new environment. Also, for obvious reasons they must be in paperback. I then spend a considerable amount of time wringing my hands mentally packing my carry on.

Later this spring my husband and I are planning a trip to Turkey and Continue reading “Which books to bring?”

Spring Break Fun for Teens at the Seattle Public Library

Hey Seattle area parents:wii-mii-beatle-by-megnut

Stuck at home this spring break with a teenager (or two) who’s got nothing to do? Well, you’ll be glad to learn that the Seattle Public Library is offering a number of cool programs for teens—and they’re all free! For example, the Northgate Library will be showing anime videos on Tuesday, March 31, and hosting an afternoon of open videogame playing (featuring Dance Dance Revolution and the Nintendo Wii) on Thursday, April 2 at the Northgate Community Center. Find more details about these programs at Push To Talk, Seattle Public Library’s blog for teens, where you’ll also find lots of great content created for and by teenagers including book reviews, information about free programs and events for teens around town, and other fun stuff.  

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg—to find out what’s happening at other libraries, visit the Seattle Public Library’s calendar of events for teens.  There will be open gaming at 3 different locations, a hands-on workshop in which teens will make wearable, recycled robots, and more! All library events are free and open to the public.

None of these programs appeal to your teen? Well, don’t forget that the library also has thousands of great teen books — check out our recommended reads for teens in all genres and the latest teen fiction and nonfiction books to be added to the collection. 

Here’s hoping you and your teens have a relaxing and fun spring break next week—at your local library!