Misc. Monday Reads

I’ve spent the morning searching through a lot of things and finally decided to give in to my inner child.  There are many exciting things afoot that will feed my need to escape and dream.  These are times that require much escape.  These are times that require us to dream.

First, I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for a very long time. Tom Baker was my first doctor and will likely have that space in my heart relegated to sparking my imagination of time travel beyond a book.  I may have to make a huge amount of room for the new Dr Who, Jodie Whittaker. Not only is she a Whittaker with two ‘ts’ but she’s a she. That apparently is a bit too much for some men who can’t imagine the Doctor with a bevy of cute young male sidekicks.

Few TV casting announcements can have been as long awaited as the name of Doctor Who’s 13th Time Lord and when the revelation finally came it sent social media into a frenzy.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world joined the debate about the news that Jodie Whittaker is to star as the first female Doctor.

While some people talked about the great role model the new Doctor would be for girls and women, others wondered why it had taken so long and some were firmly in the camp that the Doctor was only ever meant to be male.

People with young girls in their families appeared to be delighted at the announcement including David Owens who wrote: “My 8-year-old daughter pumped her fist and shouted “yes!” when the new @bbcdoctorwho was revealed. Think that tells you all you need to know.”

David Owens' tweetImage copyright DAVID OWENS

Simon Tucker responded saying: It’s great mate. My nieces can grow up in a world with a good Wonder Woman, a female Jedi, female ghostbusters & a female Dr Who.”

And @BlackRyu82 wrote: “My youngest daughter loves new Ghostbusters. We watched it together almost daily at one point. Super excited to watch Dr Who with her!”

Jodie Whittaker

One user applauded the move saying: “The lack of women, and lead women, in sci fi is embarrassing. Doctor Who just made a step in the right direction”.

And the casting milestone made some people feel quite emotional like Carla Joanne who tweeted: “Wow. I don’t even watch #DrWho & this made me choke up a little. I will def be tuning in”.

Be sure to check out All the Doctors, from Hartnell to Whittaker.

The 13th Doctor will make her debut on the sci-fi show when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas special.  It is sweet that many former Doctors are speaking up for the 13th Doctor.

Colin Baker, the former Doctor Who actor, has hit out at the “very sad” reaction from some fans to the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the lead character in the new series.

Baker, 74, who held the role between 1984 and 1986, endorsed Whittaker as the first actress to play the part. He wrote on Twitter that he was surprised by fans who opposed the casting of Whittaker, 35, because she was a woman.

“Cannot deny that I am amazed by the ‘never watch it again’ reaction by some viewers (I hesitate to call them ‘fans’),” he wrote. “Very sad. To those making ‘parking the Tardis’ jokes — name me one male Doctor that was unfailingly good at that!”

One of the first books I shared with Doctor Daughter was A Wrinkle in Time. This wonderful book is a science fantasy novel written by American writer Madeleine L’Engle. It was first published in 1963. I jumped on it immediately as an 8 year old with an avid reading appetite. I think it was on my Scholastic Book Club order in 3rd grade and I was always allowed to order one each month.  It’s now coming out as a movie and I may have to make a trip to Seattle just so we can see it together.

Young actress Storm Reid stars as Meg Murry, with an all-star cast of adult actors backing her up, including the cosmic trio of Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine play Meg’s parents, Dr. Kate Murry and the mysteriously-missing Dr. Alex Murry. Newcomer Deric McCabe plays Meg’s gifted little brother, Charles Wallace.

We’re so excited for this movie, we’re gonna overlook the fact that the trailer contains yet another use of an edgy remake of a familiar pop song as its background music. A Wrinkle in Time will be out March 9, 2018.

And if course, folks can’t just let little girls and every one else enjoy that either without having issues with its young black star 13 year old Storm Reid but fuck them all.

Women are still badasses in the 7th season of Game of Thrones which debuted last night.  I had never been so thrilled to hear a song for opening credits in my life.  Several young women make the old men look like total piles of wimp.

Game of Thrones likes to keep viewers on their toes. Ever since Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) head went rolling at the end of the first season, we knew that none of our favorite characters were safe. And with scenes like Red Wedding [shivers] or Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and the entire Sept going up into green flames, many of us accepted that if we wanted to feel good at the conclusion of a show, we should look elsewhere. But every once in awhile, the series comes through, like with the Purple Wedding, where Joffrey met his doom. And in the season seven premiere, the show catered to the demands of viewers in a really important way. If the opener was any indication, the seventh season of Game of Thrones is all about women as important, powerful players in the fight for the Seven Kingdoms.

The cold open sees Arya (Maisie Williams), with her new face-swapping skills, parading as the deceased Walder Frey (David Bradley) and murdering all of his men with a batch of poisoned wine. This is just another item crossed off of her to-do list, which is primarily made up of killing all of her enemies. Arya has been elevated to the status of an assassin hell-bent on revenge, yet we’re still rooting for her. This falls in line with the treatment of male characters that are driven to the point of no return and start killing everyone in sight — their murderous mission becomes an epic saga. I’m glad Arya’s is given the same respect.

Here’s my favorite young woman of the North.

… fierce Lady Mormont Bella Ramsey), the youngest in the bunch, would hear no objections to girls and women also training for combat. I don’t blame her. The white walkers don’t discriminate based on gender, nor should the living.

I’m thrilled to have my weekly visit to Westeros where all the men are tormented and all the women can swing a sword with the best of them.  Plus, DRAGONS!

There’s just something about Jane Austin that’s worth celebrating even after 200 years.  I spent many a night with a flashlight, an Austin book, and a blanket fort discovering her world and characters.

Australian politics is full of well known figures that resemble characters from Jane Austen novels, notes Paul Brunton, emeritus curator of the State Library of NSW.

Be they the “pompous, the stupid, the self-serving, the snobbish, the superficial and less often the sensible and altruistic”.

It is Austen’s ability to create characters recognisable in contemporary society – to “dissect human nature with the skill of a surgeon” – that marks her genius, says Brunton, and one reason among many to observe the 200th anniversary of the author’s death this Tuesday.

While the cause of Austen’s untimely death in Winchester, July 18, 1817, is disputed, a series of public events have been planned to celebrate the life and works of the novelist who wrote three classics of English literature before the age of 25.

Austen is as beloved as her fictional heroines.

Two-hundred years ago, on July 18, 1817, Jane Austen slipped away from the world, taken by a mysterious illness when she was just 41 years old.

But could anyone be more alive?

Two centuries after her death, the beloved British novelist who gave us Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy — the timeless, feisty, perfectly mismatched lovers of Pride and Prejudice — is as vital as any author who ever lived.

Rather than fade away like some antique English rose turned to dust, Austen remains robust, revered, widely read, celebrated and reinvented by contemporary novelists, a darling of Hollywood and the BBC. You could even say she’s a global brand.

The “spinster” author who spun literary gold out of marriage, money, society, love and the foibles of human nature in a mere handful of Regency novels (including EmmaSense and Sensibility and Persuasion), is up there with Shakespeare at the top of the pantheon, says Paula Byrne, British author of the newly updated The Genius of Jane Austen: Her Love of Theatre and Why She Works in Hollywood.

The Handmaid’s Tale (HULU version) has been nominated for 13 Emmies.  Samira Wiley is a shining star among the dynamic cast.

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” racked up 13 Emmy nominations after its first season. The show, based on Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is set in a dystopian society called Gilead, where handmaids are tasked with producing children for Commanders and their wives.

There has been a lot of buzz around the show, causing people to reflect on the state of our society in the current political climate. On Friday, NBC News caught up with Samira Wiley, who plays Moira, in the series, to celebrate her Emmy nomination for “Best Supporting Actress,” and to hear her thoughts on diversity, identity and the impact of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Image: Samira Wiley
Moira, played by Samira Wiley, is Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) best friend from college, her fellow handmaid-in-training at the Red Center, and a connection to life before Gilead. Jill Greenberg / Hulu.

 

So, it’s hard being a woman in the Gilead version of the USA as well as the Trump Version of the USA. This is another book that I read the minute it came out.  Disturbing yet a vision of a woman who can fight through anything.  It’s a good thing we have some sheros who can help us escape. In some ways, reading so many good books was my first act of Resistance. I can only image that most of these writers hoped to influence a few folks with some very radical notions.

I hope you enjoyed a trip into fantasy and fiction for Monday.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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11 Comments on “Misc. Monday Reads”

  1. Enheduanna says:

    Wonderful read Dak! Thank you for a well-crafted diversion from the White House Horror Show.

    I have never really tried watching Dr. Who but I would like to play a little catch-up after reading this, and give the new season a go. I also have Handmaid’s Tale on my list. Wrinkle in Time looks great as well! Always a big Austen fan and GoT was awesome last night! Arya rocks!

    I went to the latest Planet of the Apes movie last night. It is OK as far as summer popcorn movies go. I have a soft spot for the franchise based on the iconic original.

    • dakinikat says:

      I have developed an appreciation for Sansa now. She’s really turned into a brilliant strategist and plotter. Probably because she’s been around the Lannisters for so long

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Nice post. It’s nice not to have to read about you know who for a change.

  3. Enheduanna says:

    A couple more suggestions…

    PBS Masterpiece Theater has a new Prime Suspect (Tennison) series and of course the new BBC Broadchurch season has begun for fans of the detective show genre.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      On what night is Prime Suspect aired?

      • Enheduanna says:

        Sweet Sue – I’m afraid I’m not completely sure…I think it is Monday or Tuesday nights. Whenever Masterpiece Theater is on. I record these shows or I’m sure to miss it. They do repeat them often.

        This is a prequel where Jane Tennison is just starting out. It’s set in the 1970s and the soundtrack is awesome of course.

  4. teele says:

    I am also a Whovian who started with Doctor #4, who still ranks as the best for me (although David Tennant gives him a run for the money). I hope Jodi Whittaker has as much grit as River Song and Donna Noble; if so, she could be a fine Doctor. However, I have to say that I think Peter Capaldi is a good actor, and could have been one of the great doctors, but the writing of late has been terrible, and this is what will make or break Ms. Whittaker’s run. Hope she meets up with River, and also, of course, Missy (for those “fans” whinging about the Doctor’s “regenderation”, who obviously haven’t actually seen the show). And I won’t be disappointed if we get some eye candy in the way of male companions.

    I liked your whole post today, since I am a long time lover of Jane Austen (read Pride and Prejudice in high school, and have re-read it at least every two years since, and have found new delights in the characters as I have aged). I have read all of her works, but Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite book, because she nails personality traits still found in people today. Mr. Collins is a perfect description of too many middle managers. By the way, have you watched “Lost in Austen”? It is light entertainment, but Alex Kingston (River Song) does a very nice Mrs. Bennet.

    I don’t have regular TV anymore (and never could afford HBO), so haven’t seen The Handmaid’s Tale, but I did read it when it came out. I found it terrifying then, and am not sure I could subject myself to reading it again especially since I feel that we are living the lead-up to the story. I did see the first three seasons of GoT at a friend’s home, but have to keep up on that via fansite reviews on the internet. I am so glad to know that my go-to place for political commentary also shares other interests with me!

    • dakinikat says:

      I had a lot of hope for Capaldi. I think you’re right about the writing. It’s not been as inventive as usual. There’s a lot of possibility for Whittaker. Hopefully, they’ll put the time into the writing and rethinking a lot! You can borrow some one’s HBO Go account or try the trial and just binge GOT! You’d have to wait a bit so you could get a lot out of 7. I think you can get HBO Go cheaper than you probably can get the channel. You may wanna check that out!!!

  5. quixote says:

    Whittaker has the right expression for a Time Lord. Tom Baker *was* the Doctor as far as I’m concerned. The third one (white-haired fellow, forget his name) and the second one (Patrick Troughton) were also great in their own ways. I hope they write real Who stories for her, and drop the edgy BS crap.