Category Archives: Dabney AAR

Not that I need more, but here are two extra reasons to love Patrick Rothfuss.

My love for the words of Patrick Rothfuss is well documented. I think his Kingkiller Chronicles–The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and the to be released some day in the far too distant future Doors of Stone–are better than Mr. Martin’s far more famous fantasy series. I, and my four new adults, have read both books several times and listened to the audiobooks and, every time, discover new greatness. Continue reading

The 2014 Goodreads Choice contest has begun. What will you vote for?

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The 2014 Goodreads Choice Contest is open. If you’ve never participated before, it’s a readers’ choice contest featuring competitions in twenty categories. Romance is a single catetory–there’s no sub-genre separation–and this year, like like last year, is heavy on New Adult picks. There is one straight historical romance: Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke. Also representing romances with a historical bent is the latest by Diana Gabaldon, Written in my Own Heart’s Blood.

You can go here to begin voting: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-romance-books-2014

Sherlock: “I’d know exactly how to please a woman….”

Sherlock-Molly-Kiss-BBCGreat gods almighty. Have you read Benedict Cumberbatch’s interview with ElleUK about what sort of lover Sherlock would be? It’s, well, beyond hot.

Mr. Cumberbatch says, among other things, that Sherlock’s focus would make him a god in bed.

And then I would be devastating. I’d know exactly how to please a woman, I’d know exactly where to put my fingers, where to put my tongue, where to put my – his I should say – his fingers, his tongue. Think about violinists, think about what they can do with their fingers.

Whew. There’s even a part two where he talks about whether Sherlock had sex with Irene Adler and what made Sherlock’s kiss with Molly so hot. Read at your own risk.

Confessions of a life-long Barbra lover.

One of my first musical memories is listening to Barbra Streisand with my father. He’d fallen under her spell after seeing her on Broadway in Funny Girl in 1964. We had every album she’d recorded and, even though they were my parents’ music, I kept listening to them as I grew older. I went to movies and marveled at her in Funny Girl, Hello Dolly, and What’s Up Doc. To this day, I can’t watch the last scene in The Way We Were without sobbing so hard I can barely see. (The same is true of my husband–he doesn’t cry quite as hard–which is one of the many things I love about him.)

In high school, I performed Barbra songs when I sang for an audience–I once sang both parts of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” in front of my entire school. In college, I played her albums despite the scorn her pop performances drew from my punk listening peers.

So, it was a given I’d buy Partners, her latest album. It’s an album of many of her greatest hits all sung as duets with male singers. (There’s a rumor she plans to make a similar album with all female singers.) Not all of the remakes are fabulous. But, a few are wondrous: “What Kind of Fool” with John Legend, ” Somewhere” with Josh Groban, “How Deep Is the Ocean?” with her son Jason Gould, and “People” with Stevie Wonder. Her voice is still astonishing–she hasn’t sounded this good in several years and it’s a joy to hear her work her vocal magic.

 

A winning combination: Pride and Prejudice, P.D. James, and the BBC


PEMBERLEYMrMrsBenn_2767241bAs Austen fans probably already know, the BBC has filmed a mini-series based on P.D. James’s mystery tribute to Pride and Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberley. (You can read our review of the book here.)

The series airs on PBS beginning on October 26th. Here’s a first look.

Thus far, the reviews are exceedingly favorable.  I suspect this will not be the last of new versions of Austen’s adored novel. (For a fun take on the many version currently out, read this article from A.V. Club.

 

Dabney Grinnan

Is there any way for a woman to age in Hollywood?

Helenrenee-zellweger-435Several news sources have slammed Renée Zellweger’s face recently. Slate.com said “But when fallen It Girls like Zellweger re-emerge in middle age with radically retooled faces, we can’t look away.” Comments on Twitter ranged from snarky to snide.

For her part, Ms. Zellweger says “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”

In Hollywood, women over 40 are almost always visually wrong in some way. Either they look too done, too old, too fat, too thin, too saggy, or too tight. There’s a reason we all swoon over Helen Mirren. (She has confessed to considering plastic surgery but says she hasn’t gone under the knife yet.) She looks impossibly beautiful at 69. Ms. Mirren, however, is a rarity. Most actresses over 40 are marginalized or consigned to dowdy roles.

What do you think about Ms. Zellweger’s look?

Dabney Grinnan

When art and its patrons become one work

knights.jpg.CROP.original-originalIf you’re like me and you like going to museums, you’re probably a secret people watcher too. (Or maybe it’s just me….) I love watching how people respond to art, how they hold themselves back to see a painting from a distance, or scurry past a statue that seems, to them, hideous.

This artist, Andres Wertheim, has been using sophisticated photography to create works of art that meld masterpieces with their viewers. I think his work is fascinating and beautiful.

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What do you think?

Dabney Grinnan