On April 13 (yes, Friday the 13th), Black Bear Books in Boone, NC, put on a wonderful Hunger-Games-themed evening, including a costume contest, trivia, and food from the cookbook based on the triology. In addition, I shared my thoughts on the way in which Collins elegantly wraps up all the major symbolic elements of her story in one very important little gold pin. Follow me after the jump for for more on this super event, presided over by bookstore owner Karen Hall, who makes a lovely Effie, but is far more experienced in the role of Cinna.
Black Bear Books is an independent bookstore that also carries a variety of knitting and crocheting supplies. On April 13, the shop was transformed into Hunger Games Central. Store owner Karen Hall dyed her hair pink and donned a classic Effie look (complete with rhinestone beauty mark), and prepared lamb stew, muffin tops, drop biscuits, and goat cheese treats for patrons to enjoy. They were also welcomed by the store’s own Katniss (who usually goes by “Becca”) and challenged to a super-challenging list of 24 questions about the series.
Guests at the event included a number of folks who really got into the spirit of things by dressing up. The costume contest winners were “Tribute” Destiny Jenkins and “Prim” Sarah Phillips. Door prizes (drawn from the Reaping bowl) and trivia winners were also awarded, with goodies including gift certificates, pencils, bookmarks, watches, and CDs. Everyone who came was presented with a certificate, signed by “Katniss.”
But the event was about much more than having fun and trying some interesting food (and coaxing people to buy that cookbook). One of Hall’s visions for her store is to make it a place of true literary conversation, so she invited me to share about the novels’ complex and powerful artistry.
The talk I presented (with lots of fun audience participation), is one I call “A Token of My Affection”; it covers the major symbols of the series, from animals, to numbers, to circles to gold and fire, all of which are in that lovely little pin. We had a lively time, laughing and getting a few “Whoa!” moments from readers who were delighted to see new layers in the text.
I was deeply impressed by the thoughtful and interesting conversation, including great insights from Hall herself, who, as a television writer, knows much of the Capitol’s nefarious ways (and its lack of symbolic sensitivity.) I love seeing younger readers, in particular, grow in their journey as thinkers and readers. Overall, the evening was a huge success, and the folks at Black Bear are planning to do it again, and looking for more ways to bring books to life (A Lewis birthday party, perhaps!).