I present to you:
1. The Casual Vacancy was released this week and reader be warned, it's so not for kids. I started reading it yesterday, but I'm not compulsively devouring it the way I compulsively devoured HP 1-7. I think Jo is a brilliant writer, but when it comes down to it, I'm a YA girl through and through. Don't get me wrong, I've read and adored many an adult book, but there's something about Jo's voice (as in writing voice, not her actual speaking voice, which is lovely btw) that makes me think outside the real world. There's something, dare I say, magical about it. Whimsical. As I read TCV, I keep expecting something splendidly otherworldly to happen. But there's only dark, gritty reality to be found. So it's not that the book isn't good, it's just that I'm finding myself quite distracted as I read.
2. In other publishing news, this is happening. I honestly don't understand why this is causing so much controversy. A contract is a contract. If an author doesn't deliver the manuscript they were paid to write, they're in breach of contract and should have to pay back their advance. Advances aren't just free money for anyone who can land a book deal. They're an advance. The money is tied to responsibility. I think it's interesting that certain people are making assumptions about non-delivery vs. rejection based on editorial quality. If Penguin rejected any of these manuscripts based on editorial quality, then the authors should be working with their editors to get the manuscripts in shape and no lawsuit is necessary. I think the very fact that they're going after these authors for non-delivery is almost certainly because none of the manuscripts were actually delivered. Does assuming that make me look foolish? Maybe, but I'd rather look foolish for assuming something reasonable than look foolish for insinuating something just to make Penguin look like the bad guy.
3. In TV land, this week's Sons of Anarchy reduced many of the show's tough-guy fans to tears. If you're a fan of the show, you definitely know what I'm talking about. I don't know what else to say on the subject except that I'm a huge Opie fan and watching Tuesday's episode left me feeling extremely ill. As an avid Whedon follower (worshiper?), I'm no stranger to tragedy for the sake of good storytelling (and sickening as it is, it is good storytelling, if for no other reason than because it stirs up such an emotional reaction and that's what art should do), but that doesn't make it any easier. Part of me doesn't want to watch the show anymore (this season has been particularly brutal and it's only three episodes in), but another part knows it's an excellent show with solid writing and pitch-perfect acting. And so, as I did with Boardwalk Empire post-Jimmy (still smarting about that too), I know I'll keep watching. Doesn't hurt that I'm now thirsty for vengeance.
4. New fall shows! I should add a disclaimer here that though I will undoubtedly talk about movies here on occasion, I will probably talk about TV far more often. I'm a big fan of well-scripted TV. It allows for so much more character development than movies (though some movies do a phenomenal job in 120 minutes) and for me, it's almost always about the characters. Anyway, I've only caught a few new fall shows so far, including the first two episodes of the event-drama Revolution. This show has a lot of buzz and the concept is solid, but so far, I'm feeling a little iffy about the writing. I know it takes time for a show to get into its groove so I'm willing to give it a chance (plus, Bella's dad wielding a sword, you guys! Bella's dad! A sword!), but right now, I feel like something is missing.
5. I think my #5 every week will be a recommendation, so this week I recommend you check out This is Not a Test by the AMAZING Courtney Summers. Not only is Courtney a fellow Canadian, but the girl can seriously write. You won't regret picking up any of her books, but This is Not a Test is her latest. I'm reading it right now and it's fantastic. Even if you aren't a fan of zombie books, there is so much more going on in this story and again, the writing alone is enough of a reason.
Have an opinion on any of the above topics? A recommendation of your own you'd like to share? Hit me with 'em in the comments!