In Flavorwire, Emily Temple tells us that TV tends to refer to refer to literature to make just about anything a little more highbrow, and adds that “nothing’s more fun than seeing books on the boob tube.”
She picks 50 of the greatest and most memorable literary allusions, shout-outs, cameos, and references on television, as well as real-life author appearances and whole episodes, or even whole seasons, based on books.
For example, she cites The Infinite Jest episode of Parks and Recreation, Maurice Sendak on Colbert, Norman Mailer was on Gilmore Girls, John Cheever and John Updike on the Dick Cavett Show, etc.
A very nice 4-star review of Random in Goodreads by Jen that begins:
I was so set to give this a 3-star review and be really glad to expand my reading horizons (Were-anything is not my usual go-to reading fare) and be delighted at Alma Alexander’s way with prose.
BUT NO. She had to go and create these passionate characters in a fascinating universe of differentiated Were clans and structures with adults with possibly shady moments and then THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it. But be aware, there is no way you can’t not track down the second book, whenever that comes out).
[Editor’s note: Book 2 due in the spring]
This wasn’t my favoritest book ever; I think Alexander expects a bit too much of her readers in terms of keeping information. In setting up the Celia story, she left the opening scenes to simmer–and, I think, risked burning them, because I for one had kind of forgotten the finer points when we returned to that time.
Then it felt like the two stories were running parallel for a while; it took me some time to really believe how all the various pieces connected… I
That said, here’s what Alexander is awesome at: the grey outsides.
What I mean by that is the places where you would not have thought there needed to be stories, but there do. I abso-freaking-lutely loved Alexander’s explorations of the Jazz-into-Jesse storyline, playing with sex and gender and all of the ways that male and female trip over each other. I loved her descriptions of Turning and how vivid it was; I loved that she didn’t immediately go for a love interest; I even appreciated the inclusion of the blogging…
Alexander is herself a transplant, and her descriptions of the Marsh family coming to the New World and reinventing themselves were heartbreaking and real, grounded in the confusion of language and mores that absolutely come with being totally out of what you always understood.
I can’t wait to see what Chalky becomes and the backstory of Peregrine. Will definitely be tracking down “Wolf”…even despite myself.
I think she’ll be happy with Chalky in Book 2, and I suspect even happier in Book 3 where he takes center stage. Book 3 is coming by the end of the year.
Another new review comes from Paul Weimer at SF Signal.
PROS: Interesting exploration of a modern take on shapeshifters; epistolary format an excellently used narrative structure.
CONS: “Wham line” (a line of dialogue that radically alters a scene) ending does encourage continuance of the series at the expense of a complete story; vagueness in external world details didn’t work for me.
BOTTOM LINE: An interesting and fresh take on shapeshifters.
BTW, I will send a free ebook of Random to the next 10 people who pledge to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or ...
To accept the offer, just send an email HERE with the subject line “Free Random Offer”
11 Eulogies for Writers Written by Writers
At Mental Floss, Daniel Kolitz reflects on the fact that te literary eulogy is an ancient art form, and he offers a “grab-bag of belletristic mourning in all its forms, from 19th-century poetry to 21st-century magazine writing.”Image credit: getty images
Toni Morrison was close friends with James Baldwin, and when Baldwin died in 1987 she penned this highly moving tribute for the New York Times. Written as a second-person letter to Baldwin, the piece describes the “three gifts” Baldwin gave to Morrison (and, by extension, world literature): Language, courage, and the ability to cut anger with tenderness.
There’s no question Baldwin profoundly influenced Morrison’s work, but what gives the piece its enormous power is that his influence extended not just to her prose style but to the act of writing itself. Morrison, who from Baldwin learned “the courage of one who could go as a stranger in the village and transform the distances between people into intimacy with the whole world.”
Sometimes a writer’s own words offer the best eulogy. At Buzzfeed, Daniel Dalton selected 15 notable quotes.
Authors Older Than Sliced Bread
Sliced bread has been around since 1928, Off the Shelf tells us, and it has found some authors who are older than that.
Here We Go Again is a behind-the-scenes look at Betty’s career from her start on radio to her first show, Hollywood on Television, to several iterations of The Betty White Show, and much, much more. Packed with wonderful anecdotes about famous personalities and friendships, stories of Betty’s off-screen life, and the comedienne’s trademark humor, this deliciously entertaining book will give readers an entrée into Betty’s fascinating life, confirming yet again why we can’t get enough of this funny lady.
Quote of the Day
“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination, consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.” ~ Robert De Niro
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