Books

Some Songs Inspired by Famous Novels

I like music. My first job ever was at an alternative music magazine and I still love all things rock – from punk to folk. If it has a guitar in there someplace and some politics behind it, I’ll probably love it. One day, while listening to The Gaslight Anthem, their song called Great Expectations came on and it got me thinking – there are a lot of songs out there inspired by books.

Even if the song itself doesn’t seem like a summary, there’s still a parallel or a contrast for the listener to have in mind when listening to the music and thinking back to the written work. Here are a few songs I’ve found that have some tie in to literature:

Great Expectations by The Gaslight Anthem
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Leo9HSaGQ&w=560&h=315]
This song, in title and in content, ties in with the book Great Expectations.
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Good Literature: What is it?

Being an English major, the conversation of what good literature actually is has come up on more than one occasion.

If you look up the word literature, you’ll find many definitions, the most basic being that literature is the art of written language. Yet, you don’t find most people discussing the latest Dan Brown or Jodi Picoult novel and calling the piece literature. Now, before anyone gets offended, I don’t mean to say these novels aren’t entertaining or enjoyable, but there are many who would argue that these authors and their novels are not on the same level as, say, Shakespeare, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or Twain (and the list goes on).

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Free Comic Book Day

Yeah that’s right. The most anticipated holiday of the year is fast approaching, save Saturday May 4th for a day of comic book store-hopping.  But wait, what is Free Comic Book Day you ask? You’ve never heard of it you say!

Well, Free Comic Book Day is a single day, the first Saturday in May each year, when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores.

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That’s So Chocolate Bar: How a Book is Helping Fund Research to Cure a Rare Disease

When 6 year old Dylan Siegel wrote the book Chocolate Bar and then single handedly pushed for his parents to self-publish it, it was well received by the public, earning over $92,000 and landing him multiple book signings and interviews. So what’s the story behind Chocolate Bar‘s success?

Dylan, right, and his best friend Jonah, left
Dylan (right) and his best friend Jonah (left)

Dylan wrote the book to raise money for his 7 year old best friend, Jonah Pournazarian, who has a rare liver disease, glycogen storage disease.

“My goal is to raise a million dollars!” Dylan told TODAY.com. “Then I think I’ll make a whole series of Chocolate Bar books so I can raise money for different diseases.”

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Graffiti: Bringing Literature to the Streets

Great literature can inspire various forms of art, including the kind that paints our streets: graffiti. Graffiti is generally illegal in the United States, unless it is done in cities with walls designated for such a purpose. However, the drawings left on these walls are often painted over by other artists due to the limited space. Because it is illegal, graffiti writers often go through great lengths to leave their artwork on a public wall, often making political statements in the process.

Below are a few examples of literary graffiti around the world. Which one’s your favorite?

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince

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Louis CK On Clifford The Big Red Dog

In Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theatre, the comedian discusses being a parent and reading books with his two little girls, specifically Clifford the Big Red Dog. Louis is critical of the children’s book, which was written by Norman Bridwell and published in 1963. Check out the video below to get a few laughs and find out why.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Eix1CDVHYE]
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