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August 2018


August is the month for #urbanread – books, films and games set in any environment ranging from a densely populated city, towns (even small towns) to small villages. They may be set in any time period including the Victorian era or the distant future. The city itself may become a character, such as in books about urban places.

Consider reading author Ian Rankin or watch the My Place series by Nadia Wheatley to explore this. You may like to read urban fantasy, featuring magic and strange creatures, a great example is American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and make sure you include some Chuck Wendig too, with Dinocalypse now and Blue blazes, not to mention Cassandra Clare. Horror is brilliant for #urbanread as some of the most terrifying reading takes place in urban areas.  Randa Abdel-Fattah, Will Kostakis and Benjamin Law have some great #urbanread suggestions.

This is the month to go local. Read something set in your local area-your place, where you recognise the landmarks, cafes, sights, maybe even the vibe of the town re-created in the setting of the books. Plan some urban travels to compliment your #urbanread. If you want some factual information about your environment, start your research in the local studies section of your local library. Incidentally, this is also a good place to find something to read by a local author. You may like to read further afield, for example, about slums, such as described in Slum Dog Millionaire. You might enjoy reading about buildings, urban planning or architecture.

Sustainability in our environment is another hot topic. In both fact and fiction there’s lots to read, watch and learn about. Choose something to read from the selection of Goodreads Sustainability book lists. Watch a movie, anything from Happy Feet or Wall- E to documentaries such as An inconvenient truth.

What about crime, including true crime? Crime stories can be set in any environment, usually urban. Read about underworld figures. Underbelly, Ripper Street, and Sherlock all present great watching for #urbanread.

While street art adorns the urban landscape, graffiti often poses the question – art or vandalism? You decide – try exploring the issue by reading some books celebrating the art of graffiti. You may enjoy some Graffiti in fiction.

Street literature is another upcoming genre to try.

Sometimes stories are based on an urban legend – why not scare yourself silly reading horror stories? Read something by these masters of horror – Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Edgar Allan Poe, Graham Masterton, H.P Lovecraft – they will leave you reading with the lights on. Many of these have also inspired film adaptations. Which is spookier, the book or the movie?

Think about urban wildlife too

While you are reading, playing or watching your #urbanread, you might like to tweet about it using #urbanread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #urbanread. You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #urbanread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

There will be a twitter discussion on 28 August starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.  8am – 10.30am, GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #urbanread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of urbanread, so others can join in the conversation too.

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