By Sam Levenberg, Staff Writer
So, I walked into my kitchen earlier and saw, sitting in a little bowl on the counter, the first summer tomatoes from my dad’s garden. As I sat down to enjoy a few lightly salted tomato slices (you should try it—it’s surprisingly delicious), I remembered some of the other small things that make summer simply delightful: eating dinner on the porch, lounging by the pool, playing summer nighttime games like capture the flag or manhunt, and, most especially, taking the time to sit down and read a good book.
Being an English major, I am required to read a lot of books, some of which are enjoyable, some of which are not. Often the books I read for school are not the ones I would pick up in my spare time. Ever since I was a little kid, I have enjoyed reading good adventure stories because they are always amazingly fun to read and can usually be finished in a day or two. As I have gotten older, the stories shifted from young adult to mature fiction, but my love for adventure stories has not diminished. So without further ado, here are some of the books, authors, and stories I have been reading this summer.
Fables: This is not technically a series of book-books, but a series of graphic novels. The story lines they contain are so intricate and wonderfully original that I have literally spent hours reading and re-reading the series. In short, magical creatures called Fables, kicked out of their own world, end up in moving into ours. The series is about their struggles to live among humans, or “Mundies” as they call us, while still keeping their own lives in check. If you’re interested in a new spin on storybook characters such as Snow White, Prince Charming, The Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella, Jack (from “Jack and the Beanstalk” fame) and others, then this is a must read.
Amberville: This one is definitely interesting. Set in a world exactly like ours, except populated by anthropomorphic stuffed animals, Amberville is a gritty, dark mystery novel that does not disappoint. While the mystery itself was not all that spectacular, the characters in the story are what sold it for me. If you’re interested in reading something wayyy out of the ordinary, then this is definitely for you.
Percy Jackson: When I say Percy Jackson, I mean the whole series, not just the first book (read the book, DON’T see the movie—the book is way better), because it features a genre and a story arc that are personally right up my alley. Having had to read canonical literature for most of the last eight months has been grueling, so picking up this series and reading it cover to cover in two weeks was a nice break. As well, being a fan of mythology, I was pleased to see how Rick Riordan incorporated almost every Greek myth and story into his books in various ways. These are nice and easy reads, but they’re still fun and engaging all the while.
Roald Dahl: This man is my favorite writer by far. Many of you have probably read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda as well as a number of his other children’s stories. Yet, what I love most about his writing is his short stories. While mostly dark and humorous, all of them are simply amazing to read. Consequently, his stories cover a lot of the darker topics his more popular fiction does not, and yes, there are quite a few—murder, art, sex and humanity’s insanity are some of the more common ones, but this topic list has an extensive range. If you get a chance, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of The Best of Roald Dahl. My personal three favorites are “Lamb to the Slaughter,” “Skin,” and “Pig,” but if you do read his stories, let me know which ones you liked. I can talk about his works for hours upon hours upon hours.
That’s it for now. I wish you all a happy day, and happy night, and a happy everything. Feel free to contact me with any of your good summer reads, as I am running out of books to read and could use some mighty suggestions.
With summer restlessness,
Dear Scary Monsters, Nice Sprites, Ghosts n Stuff,
“I’m truly happy my work is appearing in this particular issue of Yorick Magazine, alongside the great words of other poets and writers. The magazine transitions smoothly from poem to poem, story to story, and provokes thought through powerful writing. The editors here certainly know what they are doing. Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto & Katherine Steiger are two poets in this issue to make note of.”
We’re grateful to Walton for his flattering review and are thankful to have him on our team of contributors. If you haven’t read his work, or the works of the other lovely artists and writers in our fourth issue, click the link and give us a Facebook like!
Walton has been up to quite a bit in New England, as he’s heading a project called Poetry to the Streets, where contributors have the opportunity to have their work spread by carrier pigeon.
That’s an absolute lie. But their work will actually be circulated by Walton and a few other volunteers in the streets of New Hampshire! Placed on trash cans, lamp posts, store windows, and other places where you might not normally find poetry, these grassroots blossoms (maybe crumbs of pollen, to be more accurate) are the darlings of Walton’s mantra: “Bring the average person free poetry.”
Poetry to the Streets is managed through The Virus Is Silence, another of Jeremiah’s blogs that will be published in summer 2013. According to Walton, “The Virus Is Silence will promote poetry activists, those who creatively promote poetry, and are inspirational to us as poets. The website the blog is hosted at will feature a list of potential publishing presses, self publishing resources, and general tips and ideas for creatively promoting your poetry.”
The distribution does not have to be contained to New Hampshire; in fact, it shouldn’t be contained. It should be spread. Silently. Like a virus. If you’re interested in circulating free poems in your streets, email Walton at TheVirusIsSilence@gmail.com and you’ll receive some poems that you can print and hand out in your area. The goals are voluntarism and outreach. Visit Walton’s website, publish a blog post linking to the project, and use the weird vibrating qualities of your mouth to tell others about Poetry to the Streets.
If you want your poems carrier-pigeoned in this grassroots fashion, email TheVirusIsSilence@gmail.com with your submissions and watch as the world gains another great work.
Don’t forget to do anything that I wrote in this post! I’ll be holding you accountable. Dubstep is cool.