Around the Common Room: September 21, 2012

Today being the 75th anniversary of the release of The Hobbit, and tomorrow being Hobbit Day, you’ll want to have Second Breakfast–and there’s a site dedicated to helping you do just that at 11 AM today. (Reading this a few hours late? It’s eleven o’clock somewhere. Go for it!)

If you’re hosting, you might want to check out Jana Riess’ delightful piece titled “Everything I Needed to Know about Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley.” The rest of us will want to check it out just because it’s about Molly Weasley; who could stand to miss an article on every wizard and witch’s favorite mum?

Once you’ve read about Mrs. Weasley, if you’re hungry for more posts on Potter, you might try yours truly’s little “Harry Potter and the Writer of Fairy Tales,” guest posted over at the lovely fairy tale blog Spinning Straw into Gold.

And one more for the Harry Potter department: a little Voldy humor.

In other news:

October and Halloween are coming, so it’s time to begin thinking of horror stories. Along those lines, Lingua Franca’s Geoffrey Pullam has a great little piece on H.P. Lovecraft, YA author Libba Bray lists her ten favorite horror movies, an 18-year-old has just signed a six-figure Harper Collins contract for a new vampire series–she wanted something bloodier and edgier than Twilight–and the Pitch Dark blog has a particularly common-sense, useful one: “Ten Surefire Ways to Survive a Teen Horror Novel.” At the moment, I rather wish I hadn’t just read that in a dim little room all by myself.

In various lists, Pajiba picks the best space travel sci-fi novels, L.B. Gale includes a great scene from Deathly Hallows in 10 Great Chase Scenes in Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, and ToplessRobot has Canada’s 10 Greatest Contributions to Nerd-Dom and The 7 Most Useless Star Trek Main Characters.

Sherlock Holmes fans make a pilgrimage to Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland to reenact the final struggle between Holmes and Moriarty, in which both men supposedly took a tumble down the 90-metre drop from a ledge.

George R.R. Martin fans can rejoice: a new Song of Ice and Fire novella is due for release next May.

BookViewCafe has an interesting little post on the social aspect of feminine reading habits.

Scott Westerfeld recently re-posted his BookForum essay on teens and dystopian fiction, which has not ceased to be relevant.

And finally, Buzzfeed’s Anna North asks “Is Young Adult Fiction the New Chick Lit?” but makes her post broader than her title, encompassing many of the reasons YA fiction has become so popular.

That’s it for this week. Happy Hobbit Day!

3 thoughts on “Around the Common Room: September 21, 2012

  1. Jenna, Thanks so much for all of these. I’ve only had the chance to read through a few of the offerings, including yours on fairy tales and Harry Potter, which I enjoyed very much. Also an interesting discussion on “the social aspect of feminine reading habits.”

    The Molly Weasley article was really touching. Most of the time she drives me crazy with her temper and her control issues, but all the good stuff about her caring for strangers and her hospitality was true. And the scene where she killed Bellatrix was really powerful. Every time I saw it in the movie I teared up.

    And, by the way, I can’t WAIT for the Casual Vacancy to come out on Friday!!! :-) I cannot wait! A new JKR book! A true cause for celebration and excitement.

  2. phoenixsong58, you’re welcome, and thanks for your thoughts! I’ll look forward to hearing what you have to say on the new Rowling novel.

    And yeah, the translation of Mrs. Weasley’s great moment to the big screen was pretty fantastic. :)

  3. The article on Molly was fascinating. Molly’s hospitality, despite her flaws, shows in action what Dumbledore is always talking about. It’s the mundane, everyday sorts of love that bind people together and encourage and support even greater virtues.

    From the article: In a fantastic twist of irony, the woman who is best known for welcoming the stranger kills the woman whose very name means “the stranger…”.

    Interesting connection here on how Bellatrix’s last name “Lestrange” is almost the French equivalent of “the stranger.” But I’m not so sure it’s ironic. Bellatrix may in a sense be a stranger but more properly she is one who is estranged. Estranged by her own choices and refusal to accept the help and hospitality of others.

    One of the comments also made a point to ponder, whether or not there’s any connection between the main character in Camus’ “The Stranger” and Bellatrix Lestrange.

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