Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do you have your book goggles on?

Today's blog is brought to you by Citizens against Steroid Use for Melons.

I just picked up Downsiders by Neal Shusterman from the library last night. I"ve been on a Shusterman kick. This is my 18th book in the "50 books in 2009" challenge. 4 of those are Shusterman books. Downsiders will make #5. Shusterman is creative, witty and takes his characters to places where I find myself thinking "Whoa! I can't believe what he just did to that character!"

But recently I've noticed another thing that Shusterman books do to me. Each one has an everyday element in the book that I can't help but think about when I see that object in real life.

Everytime I see a fortune cookie, I think of Everlost.

Everytime I hear the phrase "Unwind" I think of his book UNWIND. Which by the way, I can't say that I'm going to "unwind" anymore, because the word makes me think of the word in terms of the Shusterman book. It's just too creepy for me to say anymore.

I think of THE EYES OF KID MIDAS, when I see sunglasses.

I think of FULL TILT when I see amusement park rides.

And although I've only just started DOWNSIDERS, I'm certain that I'll never look at another manhole cover the same again.

Shusterman's writing is so vivid and powerful that those common objects connect me back to his books. I'd love to be able to write like that! It's like I'm looking at the world through book goggles.

What about you? Are you wearing book goggles? What things in everyday life remind you of a book? Was it the writing, or an experience or memory from the time that you read the book?


slhastings said...

I've never thought about the world that way, but now that you've mentioned it, I bet I will start seeing books everywhere I look.

Kelly said...

I've never read a Shusterman book. Will have to someday! My son and I smirk when we see something that reminds us of Harry Potter, but other than that, I need to get a new prescription for my book goggles!

C.R. Evers said...

You guys will have to come back and tell me what you see once you get your new goggles. :0)

Actually, before reading Shusterman, I wouldn've been hard pressed to answer this question. I have a lot of books that remind me of places, events or even smells that remind me of a book, not because of the writing, but because it was the book that I was reading at a certain time.

I think everyone needs to read Shusterman in order to find their own book goggles. ;0)

PJ Hoover said...

I love when I'm reminded of books in everyday life. Ditto music. I love when I hear someone say something and recognize it as lyrics to a song I love.

Bish Denham said...

Every fairytale type creature I see in sculpture or art (you know those kinds of things are popular garden decorations) I think of Oz or Middle Earth. Down the road there's an old oak with outstretched branches and it looks like an Ent.

Carrie Harris said...

Downsiders was the first Shusterman book I ever read, and I did exactly the same thing. Immediately went on a kick and blasted through as much of his stuff as I could. :)

Mary Witzl said...

Now I want to read something by Neal Shusterman!

When we drove through Kansas eight years ago, I kept thinking of the Wizard of Oz. I wondered whether if I'd come from Kansas, I might have dreamed up Oz myself.

C.R. Evers said...

PJ, music and books both have a way of digging into our souls, don't they?

Bish, ohhhhh I love that! I tree that looks like an Ent! Fabulous!

Carrie, you're a gal after my own heart! I'm surprised that I never heard about Shusterman until now. Where has he been hiding all my life? ;0)

Mary, I'd suggest starting w/ Everlost or Downsiders. And I bet you have an idea in your head that can go even beyond OZ!

adrienne said...

Interesting! I remember favorite lines from books, but can't think of many objects that remind me of one particular story. Roses sometimes remind me of a Garcia Marquez short story, Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses.

Angela said...

I'm going to look for his books, which one should I read first?

C.R. Evers said...

Adrienne, I love that! "disarranging these roses." hysterical!

Angela, I'd say to start w/ Everlost or Downsiders. I cautiously include Unwind in this list as well. It deals w/ abortion issues. I'm a bit sensitive to abortion issues, but i was not offended by the book, but I realize some others may have a hard time w/ it. Unwind is an amazing book, but may not be for everyone.

Rena said...

Great post, Christy. I'm really into wildlife, so when I see certain animals, I'm reminded of books. Like "Trumpet of the Swan" when I see swans. I see bears on my deck and think, "Funny, but that doesn't look like Pooh bear, now shoo!"

Edith said...

I wear book googles, where everything I read or see reminds me of my WIP. I call it "book head" but I like your expression better.

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