Apparently using memes and GIFs is a “controversial” technique for reviewing books. While I’m certainly not clutching my pearls over this (I’ve used memes and GIFs myself,) I agree with the article’s assertion that they can be overused and just as cliche as calling a book “staggering” or “unflinching” or whatever.
So, maybe you should create your own visuals. Yeah, you can take a picture of your copy of the book, but that’s pretty boring too. Why not take things a little further and recreate an entire scene? Or take a picture of something that evokes the ambiance or the theme of the story? This is the idea behind Snap Scene, an Instagram project from Jessica Kluthe, author of Rosina, The Midwife (my review here.) From Kluthe’s website:
What is Snap Scene? It’s a simple concept. It offers another way for a reader to encounter a story/book/novel: through a photograph (a “Snap Scene”) that illustrates an otherwise text-only scene. It will offer the viewer some value by taking the viewer inside the story, the novel, the book, the essay…
If you’re a writer/author, this is a great chance to connect with some new readers. If you’re a bookworm, this is a great chance to find your next read.
What do you need to do? Stage a scene that illustrates a passage from a book/novel/story/essay. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you please. Along with the scene, in the caption below the photo I’d like to include 3 – 4 sentences from passage that inspired your Snap Scene.
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"I love how his headstone is so elegant and simple," you say, defying the prejudices of no one in particular. "Remember that when you're ordering one for me, Brigs. I don't want anything too fussy–no statues or angels or lambs." "I thought gravestone lambs were just for dead babies." You're turning away from me, waving one hand. "Everyone's the same age in heaven." – From Jenn Quist's Love Letters of Angels of Death.| #author submitted #snapscene| www.jenniferquist.com
“I love how his headstone is so elegant and simple,” you say, defying the prejudices of no one in particular. “Remember that when you’re ordering one for me, Brigs. I don’t want anything too fussy–no statues or angels or lambs.” “I thought gravestone lambs were just for dead babies.” You’re turning away from me, waving one hand. “Everyone’s the same age in heaven.” – From Jenn Quist’s Love Letters of Angels of Death.| #author submitted #snapscene| http://www.jenniferquist.com
To date, Snap Scene’s contributors have mostly been local authors promoting their own books, but I think the potential for reader participation is huge. It’s a cool way to share what you’re reading and help other people discover a new book that’s a little more creative than #FridayReads. It also reminds me of wildly popular Tumblr Slaughterhouse 90201, where literary quotes are juxtaposed with pop culture images, so the appetite for this kind of thing is there. Continue reading
I wrote about reading local last year, and why I think it’s important. I don’t know if there’s an exceptional crop of Edmonton books out this season, or if I’m just paying more attention, but I’ve got a short list that could rival any hoity-toity book award. Here are my most anticipated #yegbooks for Fall 2013. Which ones are on your To Be Read list?
1. Love Letters to the Angels of Death by Jennifer Quist
- Release date: August 3, 2013
- I received a review copy from the publisher, Linda Leith, but assure you it was my most anticipated book before that happened.
Why I want to read it:
- I love Jennifer’s blog. Every post has me nodding my head in agreement. She’s a beautiful writer.
- She got a great review in the Montreal Review of Books.
- The novel is about a happy marriage. I like to read about dysfunction so much that maybe I need to change things up.
- A personal connection. The set up is the death of the main character’s mother just before his wife gives birth. My husband lost his father just weeks before our first baby, and I didn’t deal with it very well. I’m looking forward to a fresh perspective on life and death (yep, my expectations are pretty high!) Continue reading
You eat local. You shop local. Do you read local?
When I’m not reading from the list, I usually come across books by accident – browsing the library or used book store, or a random recommendation – but I love it when a theme emerges. The idea of “reading local” has come up a few times lately:
I won a copy of From Away by Edmonton author Michelle Ferguson from local book blog Eat Books. From Away is about an outsider in a small Nova Scotia community. I have family on Cape Breton Island, and have heard the expression “from away” used to describe not only visitors, but anyone not born on the island, even those who have lived there for twenty plus years.
- A random person tweeted me with a recommendation for Americas by Edmonton author Jason Lee Norman. Americas is a collection of 22 short stories, one for each of the countries in the Americas. This is another case of a local author writing about “away.” I’m looking forward to this one, as short stories sound like the perfect antidote to months of dense Russian drama.
- Another way to read local is to connect with local readers. Fellow book lover Andy Grabia (@agrabia) is organizing a book swap on June 26th where each person must bring a book they loved as a child, a book they loved as a teenager, and a book they loved as an adult. Henry and I will be there, for the first hour or so anyway. Bedtime must be observed. Check it out, sign up and maybe I’ll see you there.
And with that, my summer reading is set. From Away, Americas, and whatever I pick up at the book swap will keep me reading local for the next few months. I’m interested to see how the themes of being “local” versus “from away” play out in these books.
Do you read local? Does a book’s setting or author’s origin influence your reading choices?