Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

I've been following the webcomic User Friendly for several years now. One of its features is a Link of the Day. People send in links to interesting and odd sites, and Illiad, the strip's creator, choses one each day. Today's link was to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. While I don't think I need any superhero supplies, it seemed like a fun link to check out and it is. I don't think everything listed is actually for sale, but I'm not exactly sure how much is for sale and how much is just listed for fun.

When I clicked on the "Manuals" link it led me to some of the writings produced by the 826NYC group (these items are really for sale). It's a program for 6- to 18-year-old students interested in creative writing. The unusual name rang a bell. It didn't take long for me to recall it's a group Sarah Vowell is involved with, and a little looking around the site confirmed that. She is on the board of directors. I'd included a video about 826 National in my Squidoo lens about Sarah.

Sarah Vowell at Powell's Books, Beaverton, OR, Oct. 14, 2009
From MobyD's Soundings

It's interesting this came up because just this past Wednesday I went to Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton where Sarah was giving a reading from The Wordy Shipmates, her latest book just out in paperback. She told us she was trying something a bit different with this reading, so she read from the section of the book about the Pequot War in the 1630s.

Sarah Vowell's approach to writing about history is quite different from that of many other historians. She frequently mixes in her own personal experiences and makes frequent references to modern events that are related in some fashion to her subjects. Also, she's not afraid to interject her wry, offbeat humor. It makes reading her books much more interesting. She reads all the dry, sometimes difficult source material and presents her results in a manner that makes it both informative and fun to read. In putting together my Squidoo lens about Sarah, I saw quite a few videos, plus I've heard her on This American Life (mostly through online recordings). Now, having also heard and seen her in person, it's easier to imagine her style of delivery as I read her books.

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