One of the best modern children's books is also an affirmation of wonder, friendship, life, and baseball.
by Loren A. Roberts (culture critic)
Summer definitely has a unique feel to it, and so does summer reading. Back when we were in school, summer reading meant either a) homework for the upcoming school year (yuck!) or b) whatever you wanted to read. Now, there is only b) whatever you want to read.
But there is a certain type of book that makes for good summer reading. Why else would so many people compile summer reading lists?
This is not a summer reading list. In fact, this is not a summer reading book. This is a “read me now” type of book. Not “now” -- as in anytime, but “now” -- as in, the beginning of summer.
Summerland is Michael Chabon’s first book for the younger set, and, although I love me some Wonder Boys or Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, this might now be my favorite Chabon novel. And it is the perfect way to start off the summer.
- First off, there is adventure. Ethan Feld and his friends must go off to save the world.
- Next, there is friendship. These kids have to find the teamwork to make the quest work.
- Finally, there is baseball. And don't check out right now if you don’t like baseball, 'cuz neither does Ethan Feld.
The book is an easy read, so there is no excuse. Go get it from the library (yeah, they still have libraries).
ALBUMS YOU PROBABLY HAVE NEVER HEARD
I got introduced to Rosie Thomas when she did a benefit concert for a film that I was working on a long time ago. Loved her music then, after getting hooked on a very quirky album entitled These Friends of Mine. At first listen, I didn't like this new album, With Love, but now for some reason I can’t stop listening to it:
If I posted the lyrics to some of the songs, you would puke because they look so trite on paper. But when she sings them, with her voice, and with her journey, and with her absolutely gorgeous melodies, I can’t think of anything better.
LOREN A. ROBERTS produces films, videos and music, designs magazines and logos, plays and sings in a rock-and-roll tribute band, and is a student of what happens when science, the arts, technology, and culture collide. www.hearkencreative.com
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