What I’m Into (August 2015) and a Surprise Announcement

nightvale
First, some exciting news: I finished my book last week and received an offer of representation from Trident Media Group, a well-respected literary agency based in Manhattan. Exciting!

Books

Because I spent most of the summer writing a memoir, I wasn’t able to indulge in my usual summer reading spree. However, I did manage to begin reading a few books:

The Sword in the Stone, a whimsical story of the young Arthur’s education and training that heavily influenced the foundational premise (and some of the characters) in Harry Potter.

Redwall, a novel about mice and other woodland creatures who hang out in an abbey eating fish and cheese and sipping elderberry wine. It’s sort of a modern spin on The Wind in the Willows, which I’m also re-reading.

– John Green’s YA novel An Abundance of Katherines, an emotional first-person story about a gifted but socially awkward young man who struggles with his own fears of getting older and being ordinary.

The Prince of Nothing, by R. Scott Baker. One of the most gorgeously written and original fantasies I’ve read in a good while, in spite of the fact that I currently have no clue what’s going on.

– My good friend Courtney gave me one of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, and I am in love. In spite of what some critics might have told you, these are literary works of a high quality.


Movies:
I didn’t have a lot of time for movies, but I did manage to catch a few in between “mourning the shipwreck of my ill-adventur’d youth”:

Wings on Wheels, a 2005 documentary about the making of Bruce Springsteen’s seminal album Born to Run. ***1/2 stars

Network, an acclaimed satire drama from the 1970s about a news anchor who is mad as hell. ***1/2 stars

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, since I’m carefully studying the plots of Miyazaki’s films for inspiration for my next book. ***1/2 stars

The Unauthorized Full House Story, which is every bit as trashy and ludicrous as it sounds. *** stars

Television and Podcasts: My sister recommended a new animated series called Bojack Horseman, the first two seasons of which are streaming on Netflix. It’s a satirical portrayal of contemporary Hollywood through the eyes of a once-famous celebrity actor who struggles with depression. Most of the characters are animals.

My friend Britta got me hooked on “Welcome to Night Vale,” an NPR-style podcast about a fictional southwestern town where horrifying Lovecraftian events are as common as a trip to the supermarket. This is possibly my favorite thing I’ve discovered this month. “The Sherriff’s Secret Police are searching for a fugitive named Hiram McDaniels, who escaped custody last night following a 9:00pm arrest,” runs a typical broadcast. “McDaniels is described as a five-headed dragon, approximately 18 feet tall, with mostly green eyes and weighing about 3600 pounds. He is suspected of insurance fraud.”

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