Podcast: Sherlock And His Fandoms

Our very first official podcast has been posted!

We still can’t figure out how to embed an audio player into this blog, but please go listen to our podcast HERE!Our logo

Show notes:

Most story information was gathered from the special edition leather bound “The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Dolye and published by Barnes and Noble.

Some historical information was gathered from the ever wonderful Wikipedia.

WE ARE NOT BEING PAID BY ANYONE TO TALK ABOUT ANY PRODUT OR WEBSITE. We thought we should say that again.

For information about the BBC show Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman go here.

For information about the film duo with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. go here.

The two fanfiction stories we talked about you can find here, Two Two One B Baker and Performance In A Leading Role.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Podbean, follow us on Twitter, Tumblr and like us on Facebook!

Like in fanfiction, we thrive on comments, questions and suggestions. Please make sure you review us on iTunes or leave us a comment on Podbean and here!

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It’s Banned Books Week!

It’s that time of year again when the American Library Association gets together and celebrates the books that were banned over the last year.

This is the 31st year of celebrating the reasons people think banning a book is okay. BBW12_ForbiddenPoster_close

Here is the top 10 most banned books in 2012 according to the Office for Intellectual Freedom:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

In a panel Sunday morning at the Brooklyn Book Festival, frequently banned young adult author David Levithan told the group sitting in front of him that for ever group attempting to ban a book, there is a community of readers that back the book and fight for it to stay on the shelves.

Most libraries and bookstores around the country are celebrating Banned Books Week in their own special ways, so make sure you check out your local and support their efforts to keep all kinds of books on the shelves.

Because reading, even if its a view point you don’t agree with or understand, is ALWAYS important.

Keep reading!

Our Podcast Intro!

Hey loves!

We’ve started our podcast! Yay! This is a short not even 5 minute post to introduce you to our crazy.

LISTEN TO IT HERE!

Sorry its not an embeded thing, we couldn’t make it work… We’ll try though for next time.

We’ll have a full hour long podcast for you either tonight or tomorrow morning about a special secret topic! That you helped pick!

Yay you!

 

These will become our show notes eventually for when we have actual links and things to share with you. So please make sure you comment and leave us notes here and on our Podbean site!

Tons of love,

Alissa and Sara

Sleepy Hollow: A Minor Rant

RIGHT. So. I (and Sara) watched Fox’s Sleepy Hollow on Monday night and we both kind of geeked out a little. Mainly because Tom Mison is amazingly attractive and John Cho was in it.

But this is really more about my experiences with Washington Irving and the actual story of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and my concerns, given that my experiences with Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” are varied and long standing.

Now, I grew up reading and watching various versions of Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and, apparently

Screen shot of Sleepy Hollow  on Fox

Screen shot of Sleepy Hollow on Fox

falsely, assumed that the tradition continued through today. Mind, I’m 27 and Sara’s 28, so we didn’t actually finish school all that long ago, though it does seem that way. I also wonder if because we grew up not an hour from were Irving died, that it was much more prevalent in our educations.

Just, when it comes to things like “Sleepy Hollow” I tend to be a bit of a weirdo. I LIKE the traditional American folk lore stories.  But, then I also like how people have interpreted them over the years. “Sleepy Hollow” for whatever reason seems to be the most adapted of the lore.

Mainly my concerns revolve around a post on Tumblr I saw after watching the episode. This poster said that they were seriously freaked out when the Headless Horseman came on the screen, because apparently, they weren’t expecting it. I can’t find the post now, but someone was very concerned that the Headless Horseman had no head, but could somehow turn and look at the person talking at them.

And when JOHNNY DEPP is in a movie based on the lore, how is it that people still don’t know the lore? I’m just not even going to touch the deviations Fox made for this newest of adaptations. Mainly because I want to see where they’ll take some of them and I like the snark of this Ichabod.

So, my question here is, SINCE THIS STORY HAS BEEN AROUND FOR 193 YEARS HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW ABOUT THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN??

Honestly! I just don’t understand how something that is so prevalent to me in today’s society was missed.

The plot and story line of the new show has been talked about on various platforms, some I’ve given you below, so I won’t really touch on that.

I just want someone to explain to me why American folk lore and stories have been lost to the younger generation. I don’t understand it and I don’t like it at all.

Make it stop.

❤ Alissa

National Book Awards 2013 Announced

Image

The above are the fiction books that have been longlisted on the National Book Awards list.  And we want to congratulate those who have been nominated for this year’s list!

If you don’t know, The National Book Awards are given to a fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young readers. As with the ManBooker shortlist, we find that we haven’t actually read any of these. Which makes us feel slightly inadequate and silly. But then Alissa looked at her Goodreads shelf and realized she’d spent this year reading YA. There will have to be a challenge to do something different next year…

BUT! The NBA awards. We’re looking forward to picking up some of these books, most probably “The Flame Throwers” by Rachel Kushner.  Also (in line with Alissa’s apparent history this year) we’d like to read the YA book “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan, VERY good things have been heard about this book.

Here are the other books long-listed for the NBAs:

Non-fiction

  • T.D. AllmanFinding Florida: The True Story of the Sunshine State (Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • Gretel EhrlichFacing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami (Pantheon Book/Random House, Inc.)
  • Scott C. JohnsonThe Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, Inc. )
  • Wendy LowerHitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • James OakesFreedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865
    (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • George PackerThe Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Alan TaylorThe Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Terry TeachoutDuke: A Life of Duke Ellington (Gotham Books)
  • Lawrence WrightGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, Inc. )

Poetry

Young People

  • Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
  • Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
  • Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots (Philomel, A division of Penguin Group USA)
  • Alaya Dawn JohnsonThe Summer Prince (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
  • Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
  • David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House)
  • Tom McNealFar, Far Away (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House)
  • Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone (Putnam Juvenile, a division of Penguin Group USA)
  • Anne UrsuThe Real Boy (Walden Pond Press/an Imprint HarperCollinsPublishers)
  • Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints (First Second/an imprint of Roaring Brook Press/Holtzbrinck)

Book movies to watch, according to Oprah

Book movies to watch, according to Oprah

I’m so not an Oprah fanatic, but I won’t lie and say I don’t watch her book club website with a kind of morbid fascination.

So I find it amusing interesting when her book club posts stuff like this.

What do you think about the books they chose to cover?

❤ Alissa

The Circus Arrives Without Warning, A Review

the night circus, book cover

I have very few words to explain how I feel about this book. Most of them consist of incoherent  noises and screams and “AMDIOWA;MEIAO” type responses.

The very basis of my existence – being able to read and enjoy the words written on the page and explain why I enjoy them – seems to go away with in seconds of my attempt to explain my love for Erin Morgensern’s debut novel “The Night Circus”.

First, yes, I’m aware its been out since 2011 and that it’s currently 2013. Yes,  I’m aware I’m coming a bit late to the game of reviewing it. I realized that I never actually wrote one in Nov. 2011 when I read the book for the first time, at least, not one I shared on Goodreads.

I recently decided to read it again, which is why I’m posting this now, and the reread solidified my love.

What I think I love most about this book is the prose. It’s just beautiful and truly transports the reader into this world of magic and intrigue. We follow the lives of Celia and Marco as they learn how to use their magic and then how they participate in the game their mentors have created for them.

With out spoiling too much, Le Cirque des Reves is the game and Celia and Marco are both competing and working together to create this circus that appears out of nowhere in the middle of the night and is only open at night. Not to forget that the circus is all in black and white and various shades there of. Very little color exists in the circus until you walk inside one of the many tents that make up the circus.

One of the other things I really loved about this book was at the start of each part, there is a brief clip and a quote. The clips are generally written by a character named Fredrick Thiessen, who is a German clock maker and he created the black and white clock that sits at the front gate of the circus. And the clock deserves a post all its own. But the clips are parts of essays or short briefs that he has written over time as he gets to know the circus better.

But to the story. With Ceila and Marco we have other characters tied to them and the circus. And essentially the book follows their lives as they revolve around Celia and Marco’s competition. Part of the problem for everyone involved is how to keep the circus going once the competition ends – and how they do that would give too many spoilers which I’m simply not going to do because EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK.

Outside of Celia and Marco, my favorite of the cast of characters are the Twins. Both are “cat people” they work with the big cat kittens in the circus and are tied to the circus in a way that they really shouldn’t be. You know. With magic and such, it all relates to when and where they were born, but to explain would again give spoilers I don’t want to give.

It ends with them finding away to keep the circus (not telling you how :P) and an unexpected choice made.

Needless to say, I love this book. I adore it. It’s up there with my favorite books of all time. I desperately want Morgenstern to write a new book so I can find new ways to love her.

Rating: 5 of 5

❤ Alissa

The Man Booker Short List 2013

First, we’d like to congratulate all the people whose books made the long list. But here is the short list that was announced on Tuesday:

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that we’ve not actually read any of these. But we’re always interested in what books get short listed for stuff like this. Mostly because its fascinating to see where the critics heads are at.

Here is what the Man Booker prize has to say about their short list selection this year:

The six books on the list could not be more diverse. There are examples from novelists from New Zealand, England, Canada, Ireland and Zimbabwe – each with its own highly distinctive taste. They range in size from the 832 pages of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries to the 104-page The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín. The times represented stretch from the biblical Middle East (Tóibín) to contemporary Zimbabwe (NoViolet Bulawayo) by way of 19th-century New Zealand (Catton), 1960s India (Jumpha Lahiri), 18th-century rural England (Crace) and modern Tokyo (Ruth Ozeki). The oldest author on the list, Jim Crace, is 67, the youngest (indeed the youngest ever shortlistee), Eleanor Catton, is 28. Colm Tóibín has written more than 15 books, The Luminaries is only Catton’s second.

We don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see who takes home this year’s prize.

J.D. Salinger is an asshole

It was announced late month in the lead up to a new biography ‘Salinger‘, that J.D. Salinger, in his brilliance wrote at least four BRAND NEW NOVELS and several short stories before he died in 2010. God rest his soul.

And I’m thrilled, I really am. I adore ‘Franny and Zooey’ not to mention ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and to be able to get more out of the Glass family will be so amusing.

Except, according to a USA Today article, he’d been hoarding them and determined not to have them published until after he was dead. Hence – J.D. Salinger is an asshole.

An EW story says that the supposed new books from Salinger will be

  • an anthology, The Family Glass, which will include the existing Glass family stories along with five new ones as well as a Glass family geneaology.
  • a World War II novel inspired by Salinger’s enormously complicated relationship with his first wife, Sylvia, who may have been a Gestapo informant.
  • a manual of the Hindu Vedanta religion, which Salinger followed for the last 50 years of his life.
  • a novella based on Salinger’s own experiences that, according to the authors, “takes the form of a counterintelligence agent’s diary entries during World War II.”
  • “a complete retooling” of Salinger’s unpublished Holden Caulfield story “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” which will be packaged with the existing Caulfield stories as well as new stories and The Catcher in the Rye, “creating a complete history of the Caulfield family.”

I’d be thrilled with any and all of these, but if what the USA Today story says is true, we won’t get any of them until 2015.

The question here is now, no longer “Did Salinger write anything in the 50 years between the publication of his story ‘Hapworth 16, 1924‘ and his death?” but “How much did Salinger write?”

I for one am immensely interested in why he chose not to publish anything over the rest of his life if he kept writing. He must have known how popular he was at that time, which I suppose is one reason he became a recluse.

Only, I keep thinking that he did it on purpose. Which is silly, because I didn’t know him and I’ve only ever read his books and stories.

Well, apparently with the new biography comes documentary of the same name that comes out today, and maybe that will help us to understand who the guy really was.

But until then, I’m going to go on safe in the knowledge that the tree in the endzone Holden Caufield describes is based on the tree that sits in the endzone of my college football field. And that Salinger refused to allow us to name a scholarship after him. So we have the “Not Salinger Scholarship for Creative Writing” instead.

So there you have it. J.D. Salinger: asshole or serious recluse? You decide.

Also, will you read any of his new books?

Something to think on,

❤ Alissa