Although I remain devoted to books, sometimes it is nice to branch out into other media and give the old reading muscles a break while still tickling the brain. The following are some of my favorite ways to indulge in non-book, bookish fun.
This American Life distributes thought-provoking, often hilarious radio programs available on NPR or by free podcast. Although This American Life is always pertinent to modern Americans, it isn’t tied down to cutting edge events like news programs or magazines are; instead it meanders through the many topics and events currently effecting us and picks the most interesting to tackle. When a book won’t do – on a crowded subway or a long road trip – This American Life is there tide you over.
Whole books and blogs can be and are dedicated to movies and T.V shows, but one in particular keeps floating to the surface for me as fitting particularly well with the feel of this blog: the anime Avatar: The Last Airbender. I know that some might see the word anime and skip this section with a slightly condescending grimace, but let me just recommend this sophisticated, charming, riot of a series as a fantastic example of story telling for any age. If you’ve heard of the recent children’s movie, then you have also probably heard that fans of the series almost rose up in a mass rebellion over the shallow treatment, and they had a right to – the movie interpretation had little to do with the complex, rich story fans had come to expect.
I haven’t really played video games in about a decade, but my fiancé got me to play Portal one afternoon and every now and then the memory springs to mind as a day well spent. Its interwoven puzzles call to mind some of the more complex, multi-layer books I know and love, like The Westing Game or When you Reach me. Portal, for a wonder, doesn’t include fighting or a need to tap the space bar over and over again, just your mind, the puzzle, and a little manual dexterity.