Books in the News: A Weekly Update

The Nook and the Kindle both reduced prices this week.  The Kindle is down to $189.  Of course this is a reaction to sales of the IPad – but I’m hoping it’s also an indication that a new Kindle is on its way this holiday season.  I’m still on Version 1 and itching to see the next one…

Is anyone else following the reviews of the recently opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  I don’t like theme parks, and I don’t like Orlando, but it sounds like the designers of this one have done a great job.  The reason?  It’s not about the rides, it’s because they designed the park to be consistent with the books and movies.  JK Rowling apparently approved every detail, down to selecting the recipe for butterbeer (mmm, butterbeer).  So what I’m reading is you get talking paintings that look like talking paintings, you get Buckbeak that looks like Buckbeak, you get Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, even an Ollivander’s Wand Shop where the wand actually selects the buyer.

Only merchandise actually featured in the books are sold – not that there’s any shortage of that – to the extent that Harry Potter books are only sold at the end of the last ride because they are inconsistent with the theme.  A recent article in a local Louisiana paper says that the only thing out of place in the park is the modern looking people in shorts and t-shirts.  So, as dorky as it sounds, I’m intrigued.  I don’t have kids to take with me, but I’d kind of like to go!

Finally, check out this interesting article a friend sent me from the New Yorker, “Fresh Hell”: It’s all about why dystopian young adult fiction is so popular right now.  It talks a lot about the Hunger Games and the Uglies series, and a few others.  I think dystopian fiction has always been really popular among teens, for some of the reasons discussed in this article – the life of a teen IS a dystopia.  High school IS hell.  You are more or less powerless as a teen, and freedom from oppression is what life is all about.  As adults we have more perspective, but to a teen, what happens day to day means everything.  All of that makes teens great fictional characters and makes their stories more interesting.

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