Things to Check Out

Things to Check Out

I've encountered a few things I want to pass on lately. Starting with the book stuff:

The Dead and the Gone* 1) When I finished reading Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer last spring I wanted to press it into the hands of everyone over the age of twelve and insist that they read it. If an asteroid hit earth changing the moon's orbit and sending life on earth into chaos I'm sure Life As We Knew It and its companion book The Dead and the Gone are exactly how life would unfold for countless American families.

I wish more adults would venture into the teen section of their local bookstores or libraries because both these young adult books have the potential to appeal to a much broader age range than their place on the shelf would suggest. Susan Beth Pfeffer doesn't sugarcoat the terrifying struggle to survive in a world without electricity and sunlight. The tension will have you speeding through page after page. In fact, when I neared the end of The Dead and The Gone, while at the car dealership waiting for a car tune up this past weekend, I had to blink back tears and struggle to hold myself together.

It's not that there's no hope in Life As We Knew It or The Dead and The Gone, but what there is, is extremely hard won. Reading these books is an experience you won't forget. Congrats to Susan for hitting The New York Times bestseller list with the paperback for Life As We Knew It!

* 2) Courtney Summers' first two chapters of Cracked Up To Be are now up at her website and once you take a peek at what Parker's up to, the curiosity rapidly snowballs. I'm betting you'll be hooked and need to read the rest come December when Courtney's book arrives in stores.

* 3) David Yoo's new book, Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, is out today. I'm looking forward to checking it out—and not just because both our titles have links to Smiths songs! Have a look at the trailer.

* 4) Online magazine Teen Scene have their first ever sex issue available daily through October 10th. Even if you're not having sex yet, or not even thinking about having sex, it's always good to be informed.

* 5) I've been coming back to this YouTube video of Swedish duo First Aid Kit covering the Fleet Foxes tune Tiger Mountain Peasant Song all week. It's strangely haunting...ageless...

And here's Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold playing Tiger Mountain Peasant Song at London's ULU in June.

* 6) I got a chance to see Michael Winterbottom's latest release, Genova, at the The Toronto International Film Festival a few weeks ago and loved it. Colin Firth plays Joe, a man who decides to spend a year in Italy with his two daughters after his wife dies in a car accident. While the youngest daughter has constant visions of her mother, the older discovers Italian boys and bitterly keeps a heartbreaking secret about her younger sister. The movie's by turns eerie, contemplative and aching. I've never seen Firth better and the two girls playing his daughters are absolutely wonderful too. THINKFilm has acquired the North American rights and Metrodome snapped up the U.K. and Irish ones so eventually it should appear in a theatre near you.
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