Books are undeniably awesome, and I could blab about them all day. But there’s lots of great forms of media out there, and sometimes you need a change of pace! We listen to music while we read, we watch movie adaptations of books and comics, we write fanfic and original stories, and on and on and on. So here’s the first of a new post series I’m starting, where I match a book with a movie and a song.
Don’t worry – I won’t be pairing a book with its movie adaptation. We already know those exist, and I’d prefer to recommend a movie and song that more closely match the vibe of the book, since the adaptations don’t always do that. Hope you find something you like!
Read: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy
At the junior Air Force Academy, only two teams were chosen to fly experimental “Streaker” jets that may be the free world’s best hope in the swiftly approaching war. Brash teen Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx,” pilots one of the jets and is determined to ace the upcoming trials and prove the jet’s worth to the war effort. Full of high-flying action and larger-than-life personalities, Breaking Sky is fast-paced, dramatic and entertaining.
Watch: Top Gun
Put on your aviators and strap in, because this Tom Cruise 80s classic is full of fast-talking dudes, beach volleyball and more cheesiness than you can cram into a quesadilla. Perfect for a “campy movie night,” it’s best enjoyed if you get some friends together and embrace the ridiculousness as Maverick, Goose and Iceman take to the skies in their fighter jets. I feel the need. The need…FOR SPEED!
Listen: “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins
Since Top Gun feels the need to play this song on no fewer than three separate occasions during the movie, why not listen to it one more time? Prepare to die laughing if you watch the accompanying music video.
Read: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
My book club actually picked this one up because we were all on a Downton Abbey kick. Like the PBS period drama, Elegance of the Hedgehog tracks the secret lives of disparate social classes. French concierge Renée hides her love of culture and art behind a bland and frumpy exterior. 12-year-old Paloma conceals her genius mind from her politician father and the rest of her vacuous family. Only Ozu, a wealthy Japanese man who moves into their apartment building, sees them for what they are and encourages them to break the class boundaries they confine themselves by.
Watch: Downton Abbey
If you haven’t watched this highly-acclaimed series, you need to get on it. Right now. Right…now! The stellar cast expertly plays out the lives of the elite “upstairs” nobility as well as their “downstairs” servants, giving both groups equal importance and a well-rounded perspective overall. The series, which recently came to a close after its 6th season, spans the time frame from the Titanic’s sinking in 1912 all the way through World War 1 and the Roaring 20s. The poised sarcasm and dry wit of the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith (a.k.a. Professor McGonagall), are well worth the watch all on their own.
Listen: Mozart Requiem Mass in D Minor VI – Confutatis and Lacrimosa
Not only would such classical music probably meet with the approval of Downton’s upstairs folk, this music makes an unexpected and hilarious cameo in Elegance of the Hedgehog. Just to pique your interest, I’ll tell you this: it plays in a bathroom.
Read: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
This graphic novel follows the misadventures of Nimona, a shapeshifter with a penchant for destruction who appoints herself apprentice to supervillain Ballister Blackheart. Together, they’re on a quest to prove that the heroes at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics are up to something secretively shady. Blackheart’s former BFF and current nemesis Ambrosius Goldenloin tries to thwart them at every turn, though he may or may not be aware of the Institution’s possibly-evil plot.
Watch: Adventure Time pilot episode
This zany cartoon has much of the same ridiculous, over the top action as Nimona, plus bonus points for another shapeshifter in the form of Jake the magical dog. I recommend watching the 7 minute pilot, in which Finn and Jake battle the evil Ice King after he kidnaps Princess Bubblegum. This brief episode is probably the most manageable in terms of not feeling like you’re on an acid trip. Some of my college friends watched 5 hours of this when it first premiered on Cartoon Network, and I imagine it was the closest they’ve ever come to partaking in a mind-altering substance. Algebraic!
Listen: Space Unicorn by Parry Grip
Like the book and video I’ve paired it with, this song is super silly, short, and thoroughly enjoyable. If you’ve got a hankering for more, Parry Grip is the king of ridiculous tunes. Aside from this, some of my favorites include Space Unicorn Holiday, It’s Raining Tacos, and Last Train to Awesometown.