May is a fantastic month. Not like cold February or boring September: it’s got spunk. The weather turns warm and the flowers bloom and the mosquitoes start breeding . . . Here in America, we celebrate National Moving Month, Military Appreciation Month, Older Americans Month, Hamburger Month, and Zombie Awareness Month. I’ve rambled long enough. Here’s what was good in books this May.
1. Book Nerd Debates. It’s always a hoot to fill a room with English majors and say inflammatory things about Salinger and Lord Byron. My personal favorite? Did Shakespeare really write all those plays?! Here’s some ammo for your next wine and cheese party. Click.
2. Literature: The Gathering. BookExpo America was this month, drawing crowds of publishers, authors, librarians, booksellers, and faithful readers. Here’s a little insight on the party scene (let’s be honest, we all like free champagne). And a quote by our own Chuck Adams, about Jonathan Evison‘s upcoming novel West of Here, has been tweeted and retweeted: “I see a lot of good writers, but I don’t see a lot of good stories,” said Adams, who has been acquiring books since 1969. “I think this is the best that I’ve ever, ever worked on.”
3. Consumer Appreciation. I love seeing people out and about, just reading. You know–at a cafe, on a park bench, on the bus, sitting at the kitchen table while I hang in the tree outside his apartment building with my binoculars and some trail mix . . . it’s not my fault that good looking men like to read. See?
4. Working Backwards. We all know that many movies have their origins in books. But what if it was wayyy more than you thought? Somebody really creative made these: I Can Read Movies.
5. The Personal Library. I have a bookcase with all the shelves holding two rows of books and then little towers of books leaning against each side. I also stack books around my desk, next to the window, and under my bed. But last night, I dreamed of this.
6. Operating Instructions. No one ever sits you down and teaches you to use a book. It’s just something you grow up knowing . . . like how to eat or how to punch your sister. It’s natural. But if you ever have any questions about the ways in which you’re operating your books, just consult these instructions.
7. Summer. It’s about time for summer, and we all know that means SUMMER READING! The perfect excuse to read the classics you missed or the guilty pleasure murder mystery you’ve been lusting after. Not only that, you’re allowed to get sand and lemonade in the pages. Don’t have a book yet? Get help.
8. Celebrations. Harper Lee’s beloved novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is turning fifty years old. Fifty! From California to New York to Alabama, book lovers are throwing parties, auctions and tours, and holding reenactments of the famous courtroom scene. I’m going to dress up like Boo Radley for a week–thank you, Lee, for a wonderful book.
Last chance to put up that maypole, for come Tuesday, it’s June.