Wonderstruck: A My Bookprint guest post from Brian Selznick!
By Lauren on September 8th, 2011
As you may know, we’ve been awestruck by Brian Selznick’s upcoming novel Wonderstruck. And we’re not the only ones. The book has been getting a ton of buzz—USA Today did this awesome cover story, and The Today Show’s Al Roker has chosen it as the next pick in his Book Club for Kids. NPR.org reviewed the book and said, “Brian Selznick’s lovely story will likely find its own place in the hearts of young people who yearn for a world of their own.” And as we’ve announced right here on OOM, Brian Selznick is going on a massive nationwide tour!
Well, the wait is almost over. Next Tuesday, Sept. 13th, Wonderstruck will be available wherever books are sold. If you can’t wait (and let’s face it, you probably can’t), The Wall Street Journal Speakeasy Blog recently released an exclusive excerpt! In the meantime, here’s a special treat for all you OOM readers—Brian Selznick’s very own Bookprint!
That’s right — we asked Brian to talk about the 5 books that have made the greatest impact on his life. You can do the same over at You Are What You Read. He says:
1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
“A book I’ve reread many times over the years. Brilliantly plotted, filled with unforgettable characters who you love and hate, it evokes the hopes and disappointments we all feel as we grow up. This is one of the books I most wish I’d written myself.”
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
“I discovered this book while working at Eeyore’s Books for Children over twenty years ago (I hadn’t read it as a kid) and it awoke in me an awe for the genre of children’s literature. I realized that it was possible to create rich and beautiful works of art within the covers of a children’s book as stunning as the very best art made for a ‘grown up’ audience.”
3. Fortunately by Remy Charlip
“My favorite book as a child. It made me laugh out loud (it still does), and it was suspenseful, and it was beautiful. It celebrates the joy that comes from turning the page, and it allows the reader to fully engage with the object of the book. We are in control of the story, moving it forward page by page, revealing the surprises.”
4. The Borrowers by Mary Norton, illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush
“A work of non-fiction about a family of tiny people that live under the floorboards of a boy’s house (at least I was convinced it was non-fiction when I was a kid). I made tables from spools of thread and bowls from walnut shells and left them around my house for the Borrowers that lived beneath my floorboards. I think this is where I get my love of miniatures, and collections.”
5. Pale Fire by Vladamir Nabakov
“This book, in part, inspired me to write The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It’s a puzzle of a novel, a spoof of academic writing, with a story that’s hidden within a poem and fictional ‘author’s notes.’ A 999 line poem in rhymed couplets (there’s already something wrong…shouldn’t rhymed couplets make a 1000 line poem???) that’s been left behind at the death of the author (the fictional John Shade), is published here for the first time with annotations by a Shade scholar (the equally fictional Dr. Kinbote). As you read through the annotations, you begin to realize that Kinbote is making up all his information, or he’s crazy, or both. The ‘novel’ actually reveals itself only when you read the annotations in the end notes. This gave me the idea to write a poem about the early history of cinema and then, after reading the poem, we’d eventually discover that the poem was written by an automaton, which we would then discover was once owned by Georges Melies. I wrote the poem, began creating the plot, and soon realized that I didn’t want my automaton to write a poem, but rather draw a picture. So the poem fell away, but the story had begun…”
Thanks, Brian — what a great Bookprint! Readers, what do you think of Brian’s Bookprint? Does it share any books with yours? Check out You Are What You Read to find more! And don’t forget — Wonderstruck hits stores next week, while “Hugo” (the 3-D film directed by Martin Scorsese) lands in theaters this Thanksgiving!