Bits and Bobs: Friday, May 10th, 2019

I don’t know about y’all, but it feels like this week has been approximately 1 million years long. I am so beyond glad that it is finally Friday! Only two more days until the next installment of Game of Thrones, and only one more day until I can finally hit my favorite springtime hangout - the farmers’ market! It’s been open for several weekends, but as is always the case with life, I’m just now getting the chance to go. Hopefully the weather this weekend allows you to do your favorite not-inside thing, and that your Friday wraps up quickly. To aid in that effort, here are some of the most fun, interesting, thought-provoking, or downright bonkers things I found on the internet this week!

“Arise, A Knight: Why We Need Brienne’s Unique Journey on Game of Thrones” by Amy Imhoff at tor.com is a really nice, focused look at both Brienne of Tarth and the actress who plays her, Gwendolyn Christie. Imhoff does a fantastic job of weaving together the importance of Brienne’s physicality, her heighth especially, with the revolutionary aspects of the role. As someone who has stanned from Brienne from moment one, I really loved reading Imhoff’s take on her best scene to date.

“Behold, the Cover for André Aciman’s Sequel to Call Me By Your Name by Emily Temple at LitHub. This link is taking home the award for ‘link I didn’t actually want to click on’ this week, because man I wish I did not care about this follow-up novel. The plot sounds branching enough that I don’t want to risk it, and I’m pretty firmly camp This Book Doesn’t Need a Sequel, and yet here we are. The cover is definitely evocative of the tone Aciman has said he’s going for, and I’m intrigued to start hearing from the first round of reviews.

“What Rachel Held Evans Means to Christians” by Emma Green at the Atlantic was a hard piece to read this week, but ultimately a satisfyingly joyful one. Evans is one of my hands-down favorite contemporary Christian writers and hearing news of her passing at 37 earlier this week was quite the saddening moment. But, as is frequently the case, her passing has brought out an outpouring of love, support, and beautiful grief of the lessons she taught and the life she lived. I highly recommend first this piece, and then her entire backlist.

“Unpopular Opinion: Tagging Authors in Negative Reviews” by Abby Hargreaves at Book Riot. If you’re involved in bookish Twitter at all, you’ve seen this article making the rounds already. And while tagging authors in negative reviews (or just positive ones, or not at all) is a subject of fairly regular discussion, Hargreaves’ assertion that tagging the authors increases reader discoverability is messy, convoluted, and falls a bit flat. The general authorial consensus is that no one wants to be tagged into negativity, and that if reviews don’t exist for authors anyway, there’s not much reason to tag them into explicitly negative ones.

“Watch the First Trailer for IT: Chapter Two by Stubby the Rocket at tor.com. Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD. I am incapable of producing anything but high-pitched squealing noises at how excited/terrified I am for this movie! I loved the first installment, and while I am always wary of if or how they’ll do That Scene from IT, I could not be more excited for this casting, the music cuts, literally every part of this trailer!

“The Pond Gets Loud: 8 Book Bloggers Share Their Cost of Book Blogging, Part 1” by CW at The Quiet Pond is the first installment in a lengthy blog discussion about the costs - hidden and not - of this hobby and creative outlet so many have come to love. As a book blogger myself, it’s both reassuring and a bit of a slap to realize just how much time, effort, and sunk cost goes into spreading the love for the books we read. And on a side note, I could not more highly recommend the blogging work being done over at TQP!

“The Friend Zone: Emotional Intimacy Between Men in Romance” by Kate Clayborn at Frolic was absolute cat-nip for me this week. As someone who has long been obsessed with the way our culture shapes and influences masculinity and homosocial behavior, and is also a romance reader and writer, it was fantastic to read this piece calling us to examine the way we write, read, and interact with male friendships in romance novels. Clayborn brings up several examples of friendships done well, as well as the myriad of ways in which authors could be doing better by their heroes and, by extension, their heroines.