Tuesday News: recommending books, 50 years post-Loving, Outlander season 3, and Kondo comics
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover—Judge It by Its First Page – I think we posted something about Recommendmeabook.com a while back, but I’m glad to see it’s still going (and hopefully the library of available books has increased). This is the kind of rabbit hole I could spend hours falling into, but I agree that it’s a much better way of browsing new books than relying on covers.
You’ll find these easily enough on the site, which currently has a limited selection of titles. Or flip the script and browse all the book covers, clicking through for the first page.
If you don’t need your first pages anonymized, try the subreddit /r/firstpage, which collects the beginnings of books like Beloved, True Grit, and Paddle Your Own Canoe. – Lifehacker
‘The Loving Project’ Explores 50 Years Of Interracial Marriage – With the 50 year anniversary of Loving v. Virginia this week, we are seeing a lot of coverage of the decision, including this NPR piece on Brad Linder and Farrah Parkes’s podcast. But there is much more out there to explore, including this article from The Atlantic on the way the case was not so much about romance, as it was a legal strike against eugenics and white supremacist beliefs. On the other end of the spectrum is this piece from The New York Times that features stories from interracial couples on their experiences (more than 2,000 couples submitted stories to the paper). NBC News has put together a list of children’s books on the decision, as well. And it seems particularly important to recognize Loving at this moment in the U.S. As Osagie Obasogie puts it in The Atlantic article,
At its half-century mark, Loving v. Virginia should be celebrated for fostering multi-racial relationships that have brought joy to many families and made communities stronger. Yet, it’s also important to understand and appreciate its relevance to not only intimate relationships, but also relationships between government and those who are governed. Loving is a decision that implores us to reject the eugenic and supremacist remnants of a distant past and to pursue a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. That, in a nutshell, is what love is truly about.
How Outlander Season 3 Will Be Changing From The Book – Are you watching Outlander? Do you love it? I haven’t been able to tolerate the television series, but I know there are a lot of Gabaldon fans who love it, and many who had not even heard of the book who are now avid fans. And Gabaldon has apparently insisted that the series will adhere closely to the books, even though Ron Moore, executive producer of the STARZ series, has this to say:
“The majority of the major events are in the season, but we are probably going to reorder them and present them slightly differently. The third book is a clean narrative as opposed to the second book –which was a very complicated narrative. It still went to Jamie’s storyline for a very long time and then Claire catches up. . . .One of the things we wanted to do was talk about what Claire was doing in those 20 years as well. The way we’ve structured the season allows you to experience both [Jamie and Claire’s lives] at the same time.” – Cinema Blend
Marie Kondo transforms into a comic book character to sell you KonMari – The cynic in me rolled my eyes at this, but my inner-contrarian thinks it’s pretty cute. Twenty-nine year old workaholic Chiaki Suzuki, and her apartment, are pretty much out of control. Until “Manga Kondo” (LOLOLOL) swoops in to help Chiaki fix her life (no, that’s another messy-life expert – sorry). Anyway, it seems like a clever sell, and at least it’s not a man who rescues her.
What is Chiaki to do? Since this book is by Marie Kondo, you can probably guess. Marie Kondo — or rather, Manga Kondo — takes on Chiaki’s case, and over 185 pages, the pair get Chiaki’s life back together.
In shoujo manga books, protagonists are clumsy and messy. Partly, it’s to make a more likeable heroine, but partly it’s to make her meek and looking for protection and attention from handsome men. In this manga, illustrated by Yuko Utamato, we learn about all the ways Chiaki has let herself go. She realizes she doesn’t cook for herself anymore, that she doesn’t enjoy her life, that she doesn’t have a way to move forward. Through the KonMari method, she learns how to value the things around her, and thus herself. (To anyone who’s read a Kondo book, this will sound familiar.) – Washington Post
There’s a lot about the Outlander TV show I like, but it’s attempts to match the seasons to the books has made it very clear how different the pacing is in the novels to a good TV show. France needed to be a separate season – instead Culloden becomes a weirdly long epilogue and the finale seems really annoyed it’s got to even include it when it could be back in the 60s instead. Also not a fan of the voiceover – when the actress is doing such a good job of conveying conflicted emotions and Claire’s need to behave contrary to her nature in some scenes, having her tell the audience that’s what she’s doing over the top feels like they think we might be too stupid to figure it out. Handmaid’s Tale does the same; it’s like someone’s gone “oh, this is a cool way to convey that the book is in the first person” without wondering whether a TV show needs to convey that.
I quit Outlander after season 1–all the violence got to be too much for me, to say nothing of Clare’s bordering-on-TSTL behavior. I appreciated the production values (Scotland certainly looks beautiful) but one can’t watch a show for production values alone.