Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Sunday Salon: All Kinds of Stuff

Yesterday I went to ALA which is shorthand for the American Library Association's Annual Conference. I mostly went to socialize and still ended up with more books than I wanted. The key to me is going to be fast turnaround on them. I did get Melissa Marr's Carnival of Souls which I'm really excited about as well as The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black which I've been eager to read since reading about it in Publisher's Lunch.

The highlight was of course spending the day with Danielle and her husband Alan--they are always so much fun, and super lovely nice people. I got to meet a variety of other bloggers for the first time as well as authors. Apart from those things, though, the big bookish highlight for was meeting Eve Bunting.

Eve Bunting has written so many picture books and of course I haven't read them all, and it's not like I'm remembering them from my childhood. Her books became meaningful to me when I started working in adult literacy and I realized that her stories transcended age. Sure they were wrapped in a children's book package, but they were truly meaningful stories that spoke to universal human experience. And as I watched my students work through the books themselves, I saw how the stories touched or entertained them, sometimes bringing tears to their eyes. I don't know how to explain what that that meant to me, apart from saying that watching others enjoy and be moved by reading fiction for a first time in their lives helped me understand its importance and meaning in my own life all over again. And of course, I also love the books, I love them. So meeting her was a real thrill and highlight for me.

I had a great time, but it's okay with me if I can't go to a conference like this for awhile. I have a hard time saying no to the books and I really DO NOT need them.

TV Stuff

Jace Lacob wrote a great piece about the rising popularity of Nordic Noir which included Borgen. I really enjoyed the piece, but I took some issue with it and had to think through why. I think I'll save those thoughts for a post of its own, but definitely read the article and mourn with me how we'll never see this great TV in the US.

I watched The L.A. Complex and already wrote a lot about it, but...just pointing that out in case some of you missed it and would like to discuss with me! :)

Due to my friends Caitie, Ana, and Jodie, and everyone on tumblr who reblogs this stuff like crazy, I started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. Actually, I started watching it several months ago and while I found it to be cute, it didn't really compel me to keep watching. But Ana advised that it takes half of the first season to really feel invested and since she took my similar advice about Buffy, I took hers and I agree that I am utterly charmed by the show now, and feel far greater affection for the characters, and appreciation for the writing. It's also laugh out loud funny for me. My eyes still glaze over during some of the action scenes, but that is not unusual for me in any show/movie. Anyway...I'm almost finished with the first season and I look forward to watching the rest!

I also watched a few episodes of Awkward but I don't think this show is for me. It's kind of funny, and the lead girl is so cute and really appealing, but it's too caricaturish for my taste, so I don't think I'll be watching the rest of it.

And I really didn't like the second episode of Bunheads of all. It grated on my nerves big time, and my question for anyone who watches this and also watched The Gilmore Girls is this what I should expect? Because if so, I think I'll give it a miss. I just felt like the humor, dialogue, situation, etc was trying too hard to be fun and quirky and came off as really annoying. Also maybe some of the acting.


I haven't seen Brave yet but I ran across this quote in a review on tumblr:

But wait, why can't Pixar's first head girl take a balloon adventure to Venezuela or go traveling to Sydney to find a lost loved one or cook beautiful food in a Parisian kitchen? She's just a girl who doesn't want to get married?

It reminded me of how Pixar's defense for never having told a story about a girl was that they never conceived a girl as the center of a story before. And it made me really sad because for this to be the first story they think of for a girl means they think in quite traditional terms--there can't be an interesting story to tell about girls that doesn't involve the way she reacts to her love life...either she's a love interest or a reluctant one. So while I'm grateful that Brave is a step in the right direction by acknowledging that girls exist, but still somewhat sad that we don't yet exist in fullness.

I hope everyone's having a great first weekend of summer!


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