Radiant children, the future of football and eau de literary hero

Untitled painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Family-friendly readings. Sci-fi meets sports. And my new signature scent. Here’s what’s new from the literary web.

Smell like your literary heroes

A friend came back from the Renegade Craft Fair with some very important intel: There is a perfumery called Immortal Perfumes, and it’s created an entire line inspired by literature. The company’s tagline: “Channel Marie Antoinette…or your favorite dead writer.”

It gets better:

“Immortal Perfumes is a micro-perfumery specializing in historically inspired, handmade perfumes. Ever wonder what Mr. Darcy's estate, Pemberley, smelled like after a fresh rain?”

To be honest, no, not until this moment. I’m guessing grass? Which, as it happens, is a popular element in “green note” scents. Well done, Immortal Perfumes. You’ve got my number. I’m hooked.

Not into Austen? There’s many more: a Sylvia Plath scent, Poe’s Leonore, cologne inspired by Kerouac, and his and hers “Literary Lovers” perfumes called Catherine and Heathcliff. There’s a Dead Writers sample pack for the indecisive, or simply Dead Writers Perfume, a unisex scent that “evokes the feeling of sitting in an old library chair paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe.” Time to crack a spine and get spritzing.

Where sports and sci-fi converge

This is a story about the future of American football. It’s also blowing my mind.

Created by Jon Bois at SB nation, “17776” is a science-fiction, Internet Age war of the worlds that’s been making the rounds on social media since the first installment was posted last week. The format is immersive: a multi-media “infinite scroll” not unlike “Snow Fall,” but, you know, with a heavy dose of speculative fiction. And sports.

I’m part way through the third chapter, but I’m impressed and excited by the innovation of what I have seen. An episodic narrative, new chapters will be posted through July 15. This is storytelling created expressly for the Internet, and while a lot of other things are online-only — including this post — few take such advantage of the medium. I’m not entirely sure what “17776” is, or what it’s saying, but I’m intrigued.

And I’m not alone — “17776” has 2.3 million page views and counting. As an immersive experience, “17776,” which is presented initially as a glimpse into the future of football but quickly shifts into something very different, may also be a glimpse into the future of reading on the Internet.

Take the kids to ‘Radiant Child’

Here's something to schedule for readers of all ages:

Javaka Steptoe, whose picture book “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” won the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, will appear at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Studio City branch of the L.A. Public Library, and at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Felipe de Neve branch.

Expect a reading, an interactive workshop, an artist talk and a book signing. Both events are free, refreshments will be provided and attendees have the chance to win a copy of the book, which introduces “readers to the powerful message that art doesn’t have to be neat, clean, or inside the lines, to be beautiful.” Amen. A perfect way to beat the heat with family.

“Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe.
“Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


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