Monday, June 17, 2013

A Blumesday of a Different Sort

Today is a different kind of Blumesday:  it celebrates the famed author Judy Blume.

I didn't know about this holiday before I heard this story on NPR, which tells how it came about:  "Blumesday creators Joanna Miller and Heather Larimer are writers — and they're pretty well-read. But they were never huge fans of Ulysses. 'We sort of self-deprecatingly said, 'Well, the only way we could participate in Bloomsday was if were Judy Blumesday.' And then the joke turned into, 'Wait, why aren't we doing this?' Miller explains.

'We realized that there is a whole community around this writer that feels just as impassioned about her work as people feel about the work of James Joyce,' Larimer adds."

I have Judy Blume on the brain for other reasons.  Yesterday, I watched the movie version of The Hunger Games (which I've also read), which led me to think about the books I read as a young adult and The Hunger Games.

I know that there are some people who think that The Hunger Games is too violent for younger children.  I'm not sure I agree.  I read a variety of dystopian novels as a child and young adult, and I feel I was none the worse for wear.

I also read Judy Blume, and I found those books to be an enormous comfort.  I think it's good for readers of all ages to have all kinds of books to enjoy and to help explain the world.

I didn't think that the movie did as good a job as the book at exploring the inner world of the characters, and frankly, I don't know how it would have done this.  Much of the movie shows Katniss alone or with sick or dying characters, which makes it tough to know what she's thinking and strategizing when it comes to allegiances.

Still, it was a pleasant way to pass a Sunday:  making homemade pizza and watching a movie.  And then I turned to my current favorite apocalyptic book:  Annalee Newitz's Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction.  So far, I've read through her interesting history of past mass extinctions.  I look forward to seeing where she goes with this idea.

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