Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading update and PBS Videos

The Sunday Salon.com

It's Memorial Day Weekend here in the US, a three-day weekend, so that means a barbecue, an extra day of kid duty, and if you're lucky, an extra day for reading. I'm trying to catch up on reviews, but I keep getting distracted by my reading...

Last week I finished Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan, and we discussed it at my book group. It was a great discussion, as usual. It was also probably more personal than usual as the book is about women's issues: duty to one's self vs. duty to one's marriage and children, infidelity, a woman who leaves her children in order to follow the man she loves. Heavy stuff, and we probably could have discussed for hours more...

Now I'm reading David Ebershoff's novel The 19th Wife, which contains some twists on some of the same themes; it concerns early Mormon polygamy, and modern polygamy, and it's proving a very interesting read. I'm hosting a TLC book tour for this book on June 17th, so come back by for a review and more.

My husband is a member of the Television Academy, so we get "screeners" every year of almost all of the TV shows out there. Usually there are two or three episodes of the current season of a show on the DVD, and I almost never watch them unless there is something I've heard great things about. For someone whose husband works in television, I watch very little of it.

But last year we got the screener of Cranford, with Judi Dench in it, and I was thrilled. It was really good!

But this year I was extremely happy to receive the PBS/Masterpiece screener, because it not only has Little Dorrit on it, it also has the Kenneth Branagh Masterpiece Mystery series Wallander. I've heard such good things about both programs, I can't wait to watch!

So I'm hoping I'll be able to make some time to watch these today. Maybe tonight, after the kids go to bed...

Has anyone seen Little Dorrit? Is it a good adaptation?

How about Wallander? I keep hearing it's very good, and they may make it into a series. Or maybe they already have...

17 comments:

liliannattel said...

Little Dorrit was screening on TVO but I didn't watch it--not my favourite of Dickens' books. The 19th Wife sounds interesting. I'll come back to catch your review.

Literary Feline said...

Loving Frank is a book I've been wanting to read. It sounds like a great discussion book. I look forward to reading your thoughts on The 19th Wife. I had the chance to read that last year.

I am not familiar with Little Dorrit or Wallander. I hope you enjoy them! Have a great rest of the weekend and week!

Gentle Reader said...

lillian--Not my favorite of Dickens' books either, though people say the adaptation is good. I really enjoyed the TV version of Our Mutual Friend, and that is one of my favorites of Dickens'. The 19th Wife is definitely thought-provoking!

literary feline--Loving Frank is definitely a great discussion book, also thought-provoking. I hope you have a great rest of the weekend, too--thanks!

Ti said...

It sounds as if you are having a lovely afternoon. It's just nice having the extra day isn't it?

I think it's cool that you get to screen stuff too. I've not seen any of the titles you mentioned but they do sound good.

Gentle Reader said...

Ti--it has been a lovely afternoon, and the best thing is, there's another day left in the weekend! Hope you have a good one, and you feel better, too!

I'll let you know if any of these programs is worth programming the tivo for :)

Bybee said...

Stephen King recommended Little Dorrit as a summer read in his EW column.

I'm getting more and more interested in Loving Frank.

Gentle Reader said...

Bybee--well, it might be shallow of me, but it's kind of nice to have a good movie version of a classic novel available to watch after you read the book--maybe I'll follow Stephen King's advice and read Little Dorrit, then watch...

And Loving Frank is definitely worth reading, though at times the main character made me angry!

verbivore said...

Your comment about Loving Frank and the book group reminded me that our book group ended up having a very personal discussion after that book - it definitely opened up much talk about relationships and fidelity. We were a bit split on how we felt about Mamie in the end, however, whether she should have left her children that way...but that dispute also fed our discussion.

Frances said...

Oooo, I envy you your Wallander. And agree completely about the conversation about Loving Frank turns personal. So many women wonder why so much of themselves need be sacrificed to motherhood when the same levels of personal sacrifice is not usually demanded of fathers. Keep trying to get to The Women in a similar vein of reading. Happy reading!

litlove said...

I'm really looking forward to Loving Frank, which I possess. And you know I'm very interested in your thoughts on The 19th Wife. Nice to get screening DVDs - the menfolk around here would be green with jealousy!

Gentle Reader said...

verbivore--sounds like your discussion of Loving Frank was similar to ours. There was definitely much discussion about how she could have left her children, and what she owed to whom. Also, we talked about the differences between then and now, and how the times shaped her decisions and her fate...anyway, even though I didn't love the book, I enjoyed the discussion immensely!

Frances--I think I could probably watch Kenneth Branagh brush his teeth for two hours and call it entertainment :) And we also talked about women and motherhood vs. men and fatherhood, and the differences between then and now...it was all very interesting, and I really enjoyed how everyone's personal biases came out in the discussion! Thanks for stopping by, by the way--and I visited your blog, and really love it!

litlove--the boys in my house enjoy the DVDs much more than I do, that's for sure! I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Loving Frank, as I think there's some great stuff about motherhood for you to chew on...

J.S. Peyton said...

I haven't seen Little Dorrit, but I've seen the PBS commercials! For some reason, I'm never near a television when it airs.

I hope you continue to enjoy The 19th Wife. It really made think about polygamy in ways I never had before.

Matt said...

I just returned from Southern California for Memorial Day weekend, Santa Barbara more precisely! I finished Half of a Yellow Sun over there, and am catching up reading blogs. I have enjoyed the twist of The 19th Wife so much and am looking forward to reading your thoughts! :)

Gentle Reader said...

J.S.--I'll let you know if Little Dorrit is worth the time. Also have been thinking about polygamy in ways I never had before. Also makes me wonder if I should have been watching Big Love all this time!

Matt--I hope you enjoyed Santa Barbara. I find it a very relaxing place. I really liked Half of a Yellow Sun--looking forward to your thoughts on that--and looking forward to sharing with you about The 19th Wife, too!

Jaimie said...

Another blogger mentioned Branagh's new Wallander series but had not watched it yet. I have been meaning to read The 19th wife and look forward to your review. Hope you had a great weekend!

Jess said...

I watched Little Dorrit last weekend -- it was fantastic!

Gentle Reader said...

jaimie--The 19th Wife was really interesting, and I'm still processing what I learned from it...

Jess--still haven't watched these videos. I'm so glad Little Dorrit was good, can't wait to watch. Maybe this weekend!