The thing about stories is that they make room for the weird and (almost) impossible. We've met characters who push our imaginations to the limit and show us all the amazing things they can do. Towns are like that too. Fictional settings can be a little strange and "off." While they make look normal on the surface, there's usually something odd hiding underneath. Here are six fictional towns that re-define what it means to be weird.
Summer is here, and it’s high time for some good Young Adult escapism. When preparing for this, I thought of all the YA books I’ve read and heard of that take place in the summer. Should be easy, right?
I quickly realized that all the ones I knew were stereotypically beachy and “girly.” What about the literary YA? What about adventures and fantasy? Where are the male protagonists in the summer? YA male readership is rather low, for a number of reasons: girls in glamorous dresses plastered across the front of nearly every book facing out in the bookstores, girl protagonists in general, immense amount of paranormal romance, and because most boys gravitate toward nonfiction or immediately jump into adult fiction and fantasy. How could I find some books that are perfect reads for the summer and fit every reader?
It was a struggle, so I called upon some amazing people for help in narrowing down some of their favorite summer reads that could be read by anyone, any age. Summer is about escaping the hassle of work and school. Whether these YA reads are set in the summer, the sweltering South, in a far-off land, or packed with adventure, take a break in the sun with a nice cool glass of lemonade and crack open any of these books!
The National Anthem has been sung and the peanuts and crackerjacks are being tossed about. One of the all-time greats steps up to the plate. Now here comes the pitch: a literary baseball team! Which authors would you pick and at what positions would you play them? You have to keep in mind people’s strengths and place them accordingly, otherwise your team is going to get blown out!
Here’s the starting lineup for your Quirk Books Literary All-Star Team!
Pitcher: Shakespeare - It makes sense to start Shakespeare at this position, since pitchers think their position is most important. I imagine if Shakespeare was able to look at the history of literature, he would certainly agree. Plus, what a pitch count Shakespeare has! I’m not talking about pitches he may have made, but how many times do you think someone has said “it’s like Hamlet, but with robots,” or “it’s Macbeth, but with puppies.” That’s a high pitch count.
Philadelphia may be the City of Brotherly Love, but when it comes to its signature sandwiches, the hoagie and cheesesteak, it’s more like a Civil War battleground.
Why the decades-long rivalry? Maybe because both sandwiches to varying degrees reflect the city itself: Rough around the edges with a heart of gold, reliable, hard-working, and self-assured.
After all, how do explain Pat’s King of Steaks in the heart of South Philly? This iconic Philly eatery founded in 1930 is open 24/7 (Thanksgiving & Christmas Day excluded) and boasts lines that snake around the building and spill onto neighboring blocks. It’s not because of their exemplary service, or is it?
When first-timers go to Pat’s, as I did a couple of years ago, they’ll find the servers fast and furious, and you’d better be too. You see, unlike other sandwiches, when it comes to ordering a cheesesteak, there is a correct way to do it. Do it incorrectly, and you’ll get hollered at by the guy taking your order. Dare to disagree with him or show your snarky side, and you may even get tossed from the joint. (Note: If that happens, go across the street to Geno’s, Pat’s rival.)