friday5 for November 2, 2012

What a long and crazy week it's been! Though it was big news, I won't cover the details of Hurricane Sandy here. It's not that kind of blog. But if you're able, please donate to your local Red Cross. A lot of people out there need help right now and it's up to those of us who were lucky enough to just have a really windy night (or nothing at all) to pull together and be there for those in need.

That said, let's get to the less humanitarian things that happened this week:

1. Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for over $4 billion. You know, as one does. You can put me firmly in the camp of people who were not remotely surprised to see this happen. In fact, I think a part of me assumed this already happened a few years back. I've certainly seen plenty of associations over the years. I'm not enough of a Star Wars superfan to weigh in with my thoughts on whether or not Disney can pull off future contributions to the film franchise with any success (I saw Episode I; it's not like the bar hasn't been lowered). Besides, that's not the part that caught my eye. In fact, like Sandy, this was such big news that I almost didn't bother to mention it, but then something truly intriguing happened: Lucas announced that he plans to use the bulk of the Disney money to fund education. I tip my proverbial chapeau to you, Mr. Lucas. That's some serious philanthropy. Hey, this story turned out to be rather humanitarian after all!

2. TV NEWS! A few things to mention so I'm grouping them ;)

a) Everyone's favourite offensively insightful comedian Louis CK will be hosting SNL this weekend. I'm not a regular SNL viewer (because I have a baby and I'm tired), but I know that either I or my PVR will be tuning in to see CK on the show. Even when he's bad, he's good. I do feel a bit sorry for the guy, having to host in the wake of Sandy, when many in the country aren't necessarily up for comedy, but a good laugh goes a long way to help people heal and CK absolutely has what it takes.

b) Community has a return date! Community has a return date! It's a miracle! And it's not scheduled for a Friday! It's a double miracle! (And it both is and isn't October 19th!) Okay, yes, a February 7th return doesn't bode well for the network picking up the balance of this season, but it's taking over after 30 Rock peaces out so maybe they can somehow turn that into more viewers and get picked up for a 5th season. #sixseasonsandamovie

c) This is a short one: The new season of The Vampire Diaries is rocking my socks. That is all.

3. Big publishing news this week. HUGE! (Didn't I say it's been a long and crazy week? This news already feels like it happened months ago!) The Random Penguin is a thing. Okay, it's not called The Random Penguin, but I think that's what the cool kids are gonna be calling it so I'm getting in on the first floor. Big time biggies, Random House and Penguin, are merging. Honestly, I'm still digesting this news. I've read quite a bit about it this week and I thought by the time I wrote this post, I'd have formed more of an opinion, but I'm just not there yet. And I think it's going to be a while before I am. I'm going to sit back and quietly reserve judgement. The deal isn't set to close until later in 2013 and what changes to the publishing landscape will result remain to be seen. I know I'll be keeping a close eye on things as they develop.

4. The US Election is everywhere you look right now (yes, even here in Canada). Since I'm not in a position to vote myself, the best I can do is share this brilliant video from the one, the only, His Royal Jossness: Whedon on Romney. Think about the future.

5. This week's YA book rec is for Rootless by Chris Howard.

Robot trees!!!
17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using scrap metal and salvaged junk, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree—they were destroyed more than a century ago—his father used to tell him stories about the Old World. But that was before his father was taken . . .

Everything changes when Banyan meets a woman with a strange tattoo—a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts—the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an uneasy alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.

In this dazzling debut, Howard presents a disturbing world with uncanny similarities to our own. Like the forests Banyan seeks to rebuild, this visionary novel is both beautiful and haunting—full of images that will take permanent root in your mind . . . and forever change the way you think about nature.
(Summary from

This description has me thinking twisted, post-apocalyptic environmental fairytale = awesome. Plus, male protagonist! They're so outnumbered in YA. We need to pay them some attention.

Okay, bloggies, that's it for this week. I need to get back to my NaNo project, Skin Deep, which, like Rootless, also features a strange tattoo--or five. Yes, five. With potential for more. I'm hoping to hit the 4k mark today so I'd better get to it! Happy weekend and I'll see you on Monday!