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Tag: isaac marion

What Would They Read?: New Girl

new girl
If anyone could appreciate creating lists of books for their favorite TV and movie characters, it’s Jessica Day.  She would probably assign book suggestions to her stuffed animals and then present them in the form of a jaunty song.  While we patiently wait for the next season to start up, I thought I would compile a list of books that the characters of New Girl would enjoy.

New Girl provides a large cast of characters that are so over-the-top that it feels authentic.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to play a round of “True American” and climb atop furniture while spouting random historical facts?  For those who are not familiar with the premise for the show, it’s fairly simple.  Jess answers an ad in Craigslist and moves in with three guys, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston.  The guys are not used to living with a girl, and Jess turns out to be much more than they expected.  Jess has several quirks that set her apart from the other girls they know, but it soon comes out that they have their own bizarre traits as well.

If you haven’t seen the show, I suggest watching it immediately.  After watching an episode or twelve, come on back and see what books each character would read.

Jess – While this title is a bit on the older side of YA lit, I would not be surprised if Stargirl bystargirl Jerry Spinelli was sitting on Jess’s shelf.  Stargirl wears granny dresses and plays the ukelele, which are two things I would most definitely see Jess doing as well.  Jess has a celebratory air about her and she would relate immensely to a girl who wants to do her own thing, despite how many people around her wish she would just conform to the rest of the crowd.  In a similar vein, I would also give Jess Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick.  Amber Appleton would most assuredly be buds with Jess and Stargirl, but this book skews slightly into drama when Amber’s story is revealed.  

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Find Your Next Supernatural Read

Photo by Denis Collette.
Photo by Denis Collette

With Halloween fast approaching, now is the perfect time to pick up a good book about the supernatural. But which type of supernatural creature are you in the mood for?

Are you a fan of vampires?
Vampires remain a popular book topic and there are almost as many different types of vampires as there are books about vampires. The following are sure to offer something for every type of vampire fan.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (2008 Teens’ Top Ten) – Soon to be a movie, the Vampire Academy series takes place at a boarding school specifically for vampires and their half-human protectors. The first book follows Lissa, a vampire princess and her bodyguard, Rose, as they are brought to the boarding school and must try to integrate with the student body and prevent Lissa from becoming one of the Strigoi, the most dangerous vampires of all.

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Pairing Books And Tabletop Games

Image by Ella's Dad via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.
Image by Ella’s Dad via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.
This year while attending PAX East, Penny Arcade’s annual gaming convention in Boston, I started thinking about how certain games would be perfect for the fans of certain books. Some are obvious and intentional. More and more tabletop games are being created based on books or series, though often only after the books have been made into a movie or TV series. Recent examples include Harry Potter (which has spawned several board games including Hogwarts: House Cup Challenge), The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. In preparing this post, I even discovered that there is a Princess Bride board game.

While these are great for fans of these stories, I am even more interested in thinking about what books and games pair perfectly even though they are completely unrelated.

For example, if you are a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries or perhaps Secret Letters, Leah Scheier’s recent story about a girl who believes that the great Holmes is her father, you will love 221B Baker Street, a board game that puts you in Holmes’s shoes to solve a mystery through deductive reasoning.


From Classic to Contemporary: Romeo and Juliet to Warm Bodies

Classics — whether they are novels, plays, or epics — offer us great characters, interesting plots, and lots of things for discussion … but sometimes they can be a little tough to tackle. Sometimes we adore them, but sometimes we can’t get past page 3, let alone the requisite 50. That doesn’t mean that we should give up what they have to offer, though, does it? Many of today’s authors try to use these classic works as a starting-off point to write a more modern version. If done well, these contemporary versions can have a huge impact and impart the same wisdom that made the earlier story gain its classic status. Jessica Miller and I decided to find and examine some great pairs of classics and their contemporary rewrites to see if they are successful … or maybe not.

The Classic:  William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

romeo and juliet folger shakespeare library coverBy the time you’re in high school, you’ve probably been overexposed to this story and all the literary analysis that goes with it. You’ve seen both the Franco Zeffirelli film from 1968 and the Baz Luhrmann one starring a much younger Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, and Paul Rudd. And there’s another version slated to be released later this year in the UK, adapted by Downton Abbey favorite Julian Fellowes. If for some reason, you’ve never read it — not even the Wishbone version — here’s the breakdown.*

There are two families in Verona, a town in Italy (where Shakespeare set most of his plays. There’s a lot of talk about how he stole a bunch of these stories from Italian stories, but we’ll save that for another day). These families, the Montagues and the Capulets, and all of their servants, friends, and allies, have been at each other’s throats for as long as anyone can remember. When we enter the story, the violence between the youths of the families has escalated to the point where the Prince of the city has had to intervene.

Meanwhile, some of the Montague cousins (and family friend Mercutio) have discovered that the Capulets are having a party and decide to crash. They implore Romeo, the son of the Montague patriarch, to join them. He’s lovesick over some girl named Rosaline — whom we never see — and reluctantly decides to go. There, he sees and immediately falls for Juliet, who, it turns out, is the daughter of the Capulet patriarch. Much drama ensues, confusion prevails, and what everyone in 1597 thought was going to end up like a comedy (well, what they thought if they weren’t listening to the prologue) ends in tragedy and death.

The Contemporary: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

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