Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Sunday Salon: The Casual Vacancy Inspires Thoughts that Have Nothing to Do with the Book, Also Some TV Stuff (Nashville!!)

First things first, I sent out all the emails for the All Hallows Read Swap, so if you signed up you should have received your email! If you didn't get an email from me, you either didn't sign up or perhaps it went to spam? If you know for sure you signed up and did not get an email, let me know!

The ghastly 105 degree weather October ushered in seems to have calmed down a bit and it's actually going to maybe be in the low seventies this week! (I never trust the forecast they always seem to adjust it up by ten degrees later) So that is exciting! I might actually feel like drinking a pumpkin spice latte! The only problem is that gas has shot up 50 cents over the last couple of days, California be cursed. I don't want to go anywhere. It's 4.66 a gallon at the cheap place. Gas stations were shutting down over a fear of shortage and the apocalypse was nigh. They promise it's going to get better but I don't really believe them because the prices keep going up.

Okay friends I had the worst reading week in that I actually didn't read anything until Friday's been a long time since that has happened. It's just been a strangely stressful week and all. Anyway, I finally dug into The Casual Vacancy and I'm not that far yet so...I still have time to make up my mind about this stuff, but so far it is a very run of the mill lit fic book to me. Which made me think about two things.

First of all, it was kind of puzzling to me all along that J.K. Rowling was both publishing this book under the same name that she used to publish Harry Potter and yet discouraging a heavy marketing campaign. It was like trying to have your cake and eat it too...wanting the selling power and automatic authority of the name, while also taking a step back and saying, "this is nothing like Harry Potter." The truth is, the book feels very ordinary to me right now and it is worth questioning if it would have sold very many copies without the power of her name. At the same point in time, isn't it worthy of being read because of who wrote it? I don't know, this is kind of a fascinating topic to me!

Also I should say it's a bit like reading Madeleine Wickham books after reading Sophie Kinsella books...the books written under the name Sophie Kinsella are light and good hearted and funny and charming and the books written under Madeleine Wickham are more serious and dare I say, dreary. (though I still really liked them, just not as much as Sophie Kinsella's books. It might be backwards to say, but the books that she wrote as Madeleine Wickham felt like books anyone could write so to say, while the voice of Sophie Kinsella is charming and unique and fun and takes a very special kind of skill)

The other thing I was thinking about was the difference between YA books and adult books and can't we learn something by what an author who writes both feels about it? The Casual Vacancy has a lot of adolescent characters. To be honest, I think it supports my theory that YA/children's stories take a more gentle and compassionate view of the world. The characters in Harry Potter are incredibly flawed but they are presented with such love by the author. Whereas this book...I don't even know.

Also, you have to wonder with passages like this:

A great apron of stomach fell so far down in front of his thighs that most people thought instantly of his penis when they first clapped eyes on him, wondering when he had last seen it, how he had washed it, how he managed to perform any of the acts for which a penis is designed.

Like....did she really want to write about that Professor Slughorn, I mean...

Anyway, I will hopefully finish the book soon, and have more to say!

Also TV this week!

I watched the Nashville pilot which is available online now, on Hulu, ABC, and iTunes. I liked it so much! For some reason I only had it in my head this was going to be about an aging country star and her younger competition and didn't realize it was going to be about Nashville. So the scope of the show actually seems much bigger than I originally thought. I like the characters, I think Connie Britton's character is fantastically interesting as an older country star with her own regrets and strained family relationships and Hayden Panettiere is great as the young spoiled younger star who uses her sexuality to get everything. But there are also other aspiring artists, and stuff going on, so...I don't know I was actually bummed when it ended because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. So I call that a win. They really got me invested in these characters quickly and interested in their back stories. Also, there's a Civil Wars song at the end that I really liked! So for me, ABC wins this season with the two new shows that I really like. (well so far anyway, they could both go bad quickly, I suppose)

Also as an update to last week, I thought the second episodes of both the Mindy Project and Ben and Kate were so much better than the first ones. But especially The Mindy Project. I liked the episode a lot, I think having a bookstore and referencing some of my favorite movies helped. :)

And...I watched everything else but have nothing to say. Still like Elementary, Scandal is working a nerve (though I really liked the paralleled speeches of Mellie and Olivia to wife and mistress of the pastor), The Good Wife got off to a solid start (minus the Kalinda stuff but more on that later) I'm behind on Switched at Birth, but...

I'm looking forward to The Vampire Diaries coming back and Arrow starting!

Hope you are all doing well and I welcome your thoughts on anything!


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