Happy 5th of July, FYAers. I hope that those of you who are Stateside or just big fans of America are celebrating this, the day after Independence Day, by nursing a hangover and plotting tortorous death on the first person who stops by your cubicle asking you to do real work. You know, pretty much like every day!
Also, hey! We have so much to celebrate! We may have discovered God (particle)! Let's go super-collide some shizz and watch Nerds of the World pop bottles like rap stars!
As you probably know, July's FYA Book Club selection is none other than Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (RIP!). And if gathering with other people in your town and discussing it wasn't enough, we have a few more suggestions you can use for Howl-related fun. Enjoy! (And please tell me if anyone actually does these things.)
1) Create a moving castle. Build a castle out of shoeboxes, construction paper and various other 3rd grade building supplies. Make sure that you include a fireplace for Calcifer or this whole thing won't work. Place Calcifer in the fireplace and tell him to move the castle. Realize that Calcifer is magic and this book is fiction and there's no such thing as castle-moving fire demons. Instead, place a strong magnet inside the bottom of your shoebox castle. Place it on a coffee table. Holding another, even stronger, magnet in your hand, place your hand under the coffee table and start moving it. Smile when your castle moves as well. Shout out loud to your cat/dog/partner/child/walls, "LOOK! I'M MAKING MAGIC HAPPEN!" Fix yourself a drink. You earned it!
2) Dress up like an old woman. Don a grey wig and wear a flowered dress (note: Dress MUST come from either a vintage store or a thrift shop. Dress may not be flattering on your figure in any way.). Find the ugliest tennis shoes you own and wear them along with mismatching socks. Give yourself bonus points if your socks feature cats, unicorns, rainbows or are inappropriately seasonal - i.e. Halloween socks or Thanksgiving socks. Grab a cane and hobble around town like an old lady. Give everyone you meet a smart-ass reply to the most innocuous of questions. "Can I help you carry your groceries?" they might ask. "Can I help YOU carry your nutsack?" you might reply. Fix yourself a drink. You earned it!
3) Dye your hair. Howl changes his hair color almost daily. Why does he get to have all the fun? What, just because you're not an egotistical but incredibly charming wizard means you can't have blue hair? Nay! Go out, dye your hair. It doesn't have to be blue; I mean, it's your hair. Dye it whatever color you want. Lock yourself in the bathroom for two hours making yourself look amazing. Saunter out and declare out loud to your cat/dog/partner/child/walls, "Fuck yeah, I'm awesome!" Fix yourself a drink. You earned it!
4) Fly to Wales. I mean, it seems like it's probably a nice country. They film Gavin and Stacey there, and I like that show. My fiance went to University there, and he seems to really like it. I bet there are a lot of sheep, and only some of them will menace you. You should go there! And then tell the pub landlord to fix you a drink. You earned it!
5) Watch the Miyazaki film. Some of you people are too lazy or lame to do any of the four suggestions above (though I'm dressed like an old woman today and am planning to dye my hair tomorrow, so it's not THAT hard), so if you still want to celebrate Howl's Moving Castle in a way that's not actually book related, you can just watch the movie by Hayao Miyazaki. Warning! The film isn't really much like the book at all, and loses a lot of the book's lighthearted and heartfilling joy. (Also it's about war? So that's a thing that happened.) But it's anime and Howl is voiced by Christian Bale using his real accent, if that's your sort of thing. You should create a drinking game for the movie before you watch it and then drink a lot during it. Why? Because I said so! (Let's face it, you didn't really earn this drink. All you did was watch a fucking movie. What do you want, a prize? Should have built a castle out of shoeboxes then.)
Even if you do none of these things, be sure to check our Book Clubs page to find a Book Club near you. Is your city not on the list? Don't despair! Fill out our "I Want A Book Club" form and we'll get back to you! Enjoy July and have fun with Howl's Moving Castle!