Friday Whatnot: April 10, 2015

Author/illustrator Travis Nichols was so excited to get his advance copies of his new book Fowl Play, he celebrated with a one-man dance party. Fowl Play will be released in August.

Be warned… this contains pretty catchy music. If you end up having your own spontaneous dance party, please capture it on video and send it to me. (I would have done the same for you, but alas, I didn’t record mine.)

Melville House editor Taylor Sperry offers this look at The Sonnet Projectan initiative by New York Shakespeare Exchange “to create 154 short films in 154 different NYC locations with 154 different actors–one movie for each of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, which are either recited as dialogue or played in voiceovers.” Sonnet 27 was premiered this week, marking the 100th film released so far.

Yesterday on, author Karen Russell interviewed younger brother Kent Russell, whose collection of essays–I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Sonwas released last month. Here’s Karen Russell’s first question, which should give you the flavor of the interview:

“For years, I’d tell you one of my book ideas, all ginned up and lemur-eyed, only to discover that I was yet again replicating the plot of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. With Swamplandia!, I was so excited about the prospect of alternating story lines–two parallel journeys to hell, figurative and literal–and I described this Watson-and-Crick vision of a helical structure to you, in great detail. You responded by saying: “Oh, right. Like that Sesame Street movie, where there’s a live action Big Bird and a fantasy Big Bird. Bird Odysseus. Follow That Bird.” When I described Sleep Donation, you told me cheerily that I was actually doing some fusion-plagiarism of Nightmare on Elm Street and Stephen King’s Thinner. So here’s my question: What horror movie or Top-40 song or Rachael Ray recipe or whatever works as your secret influence, for I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son?”

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay