Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reminder: I love Finland. (And SYTYCD, too!)

It's been a while since I've shown you a brand new cover for Graceling. Behold!


This is the Finnish cover. What do you think? I love it to pieces, and nothing you say will stop me from loving it to pieces, so do your worst. In particular, I love finally seeing a short-haired Katsa, and -- the mountains and castles in the background -- *flops* -- ! Maria Lyytinen, who is the translator, tells me that the back cover shows a scene of mountains at sunset/sunrise. She also explained that the word "Syntymälahja" encapsulates the idea of a gift received at birth.

Reminder: I love Finland. Dear sister, secret codename: Apocalyptica the Flimflammer: I cannot wait to give you a copy of Syntymälahja!

In other news... who saw this week's So You Think You Can Dance? How about that Bollywood number? I almost cried at the end when Mollee gives Nathan back his sword. My favorite was the Stacey Tookey "fear" dance with Kathryn and Legacy. I also enjoyed the Wade Robson Van Gogh thing. (And didn't really understand why the judges thought it was controversial. Can anyone enlighten me? Did they mean it was tacky because of Van Gogh's history of mental illness?) Cat's "I'm crying but I'm going to smile anyway" expression is so endearing. The choreographed kisses between Jakob and Ashleigh were, IMO, Fox's deliberate and stoopid attempt to create drama, since Ashleigh is married to Ryan, another contestant. Fox, stop being stoopid! Finally, could you BELIEVE it when Ellenore danced practically that entire Argentine tango with her heel stuck in the hem of her dress? Wowza. She deserved that standing O from the judges!

One more thing: thank you, choreographers, for fewer "woman=victim/loser/nutcase" dances so far this season. (It doesn't usually bother me when I look at particular cases. Dancing mirrors life; bad crap happens in life; and a beautiful dance is a beautiful dance. The creepy addict dance last season, for example, was powerful and gorgeous. But... I've said before that when I look at SYTYCD as a whole, I feel like it's uneven sometimes. And when every dance is danced by one man and one woman, and when most of the dances are about the way the man and the woman relate, there have to be just as many representations of other situations, too, including the opposing situation [in which the man plays the part of the victim/loser/nutcase], or the show starts to put out an icky message. Ya know? Hey everyone, man=strong and woman=weak. Which is a message that does NOT mirror real life -- it distorts it. Anyway. *steps off soapbox* The dances this week made me happy. ^_^)

For a taste of Stacey Tookey's choreography, check out the video she posted on her facebook of Karla and Jonathan's beautiful dance last season. (The dance starts at 2:15.)

22 comments:

A. Grey said...

I LOVE that cover! I think of all the covers that one is the best representation of Katsa in her environs. It captures her world the way it's always manifested in my mind.

You know what else I love? Finnish! And even more ardently, Icelandic! Those sorts of languages make my insides go funny when I listen to them being spoken. It's like hearing sound from a thousand years ago. And while they're categorized uniquely depending on location (Finno-Ugric for Finnish and North Germanic for Iceland) They have a similar feel and sense about them. * sigh* Syntymalahja It's a beautiful word!

Anyone who like Finland ought to check out Varttina. They're and awesome Finnish folk-type band.

Brooke Reviews said...

Hiya! I love SYTYCD too!

I think when they said controversial they meant people will either love it or hate it. Which is usually the case with Wade. I thought the outfits were cute, but I didn't think the choreography was anything special. :)

I liked Tookey's routine, Bollywood, and the argentine tango. I'm so bad with names I just like the dances haha.

Beth said...

Finland love. I just don't love Finland in mid-winter when you get all fo 4 hrs of sunlight. I've told my best Finnish friend to buy the book when it comes out. We have similar taste in books.

Andrea Cremer said...

That is a gorgeous cover - I also love seeing short-haired Katsa. Go Finland!

MelissaKeaster said...

Awesome cover! I am glued this season to SYTYCD. They have some FANTASTIC dancers this time around (as always, but there seems to be more of them). I love that you called Fox out on the kiss thing. Very rarely are real kisses choreographed into dances. Most Latin dances end with an "almost kiss." But in this dance, they could have left out the kiss altogether and it still would have been clearly understood.

Also!!! This is my favorite dance ever on SYTYCD by my favorite choreographer. Sonya is AWESOME. I love her quirky, kind of strange, out there style, and I love, love, love her tendency to have strong female characters in her dance. You may remember this one from Season 4. Have I mentioned that it's my FAV?!?!?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgpNQcQxiqs

suzie townsend said...

I love SYTYCD!!!! The Fear dance and the Bollywood number were my favorites this week too.

Gorgeous cover. Yay for Finland!

tinkandalissa said...

I absolutely LOVE SYTYCD!! I missed Tuesday's episode in order to see a good band (which doesnt happen all that often in Asheville for the type of music I like). But YAY for the internet because I was able to google it and watch last night! I already have favorites. I agree pretty much with all of your comments. Nathan is so cute with his little rosey cheeks. I'm not a huge fan of Bollywood style, but I did like that dance and the beginning and ending were great! I pretty much love anything Wade does, so I liked the Van Gogh dance. Not my favorite of his, but good. But, by far, my favorite was the fear dance. Legacy! He just rocks. I can't remember his partner's name, but I think she is my favorite girl so far.
I don't understand the big deal about the kiss. I think part of dancing is acting the part. That's all that was. On a side note, Ashleigh kind of gets on my nerves, but she's growing on me.

JillinPC said...

I love the Finnish cover. I always wondered what Katsa would look like with short hair.

I don't watch much T.V. because kids + writing = very little time for T.V. but I know what you mean about the message it sends. It always makes me sad when I hear the ultimate insult lobbed at a boy, "You do _____ like a girl." Meaning if you do it like a boy, its good but if you do it like a girl, you are pathetic. As a mother of both a young boy and a girl, I already hear coaches/others saying this. I always think why is this still okay? We would never tolerate insulting ethnic groups in this manner. Why is it still okay for women?

I'll step off the soap box now too and follow the link to watch the dance and calm down.

p.s. I finished Fire, Beautiful!

Mel said...

I got Fire for myself! ...Even though I've already borrowed it from the library and loved it. My mom only agreed to by it for me because I'm going to the Librarian Conference thing, and there's apparently a book signing scheduled. That means that I'll get to meet you next Friday :)
I can't wait! :)

Debby said...

I just wanted to say Congrats! on Graceling's fourth week on the New York Times Best Sellers list AND Fire's third week on the list! Hooray!

Laura Lutz said...

Not surprisingly, I agree with you almost completely about SYTYCD. Legacy & Kathryn just slayed me - especially that STUNNING moment when Legacy jumped onto Kathryn. Incredible.

Wade Robson is a love-it-hate-it choreographer for me. But I always appreciate him pushing the envelope. I really loved the Van Gogh number.

Agreed with the Ashleigh/Jakob kisses. Superfluous. It *looked* forced - they looked uncomfortable.

Okay, so here's the thing: LOVED the Bollywood number. They killed it. BUT...Mollee is like nails. on. a. chalkboard with me. I want to switch her out and put a grown woman in the role, not some barely-adult gal that acts like she's 13. I'm not a fan. But I've been turned around before and I can be turned around again. The Bollywood number helped.

So far, I'm liking this season MUCH better than last!

Elyse said...

I love that cover!! I think it represents the book and Katsa very well!

kristin cashore said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for sharing the Finland love (and the cover love) (and the SYTYCD love)!

Melissa, thanks for linking to that dance. I'd forgotten about that one, and I completely agree, I LOVE Sonya. These days, I'm having a hard time picking a favorite choreographer, but I think it's either Sonya or Stacey. Except that I always love Nakul Dev Mahajan's Bollywood numbers, too, and I almost always love Wade Robson, and I often love Tabitha and Napoleon.... sigh...

JillinPC -- why is it still okay for women -- I ask myself that so often, too. It's so ingrained into society in a particular way that people don't see the problem! AARGHH!

Thanks for the bestseller congrats, Debby! And I just learned yesterday that they did it again last week. Graceling is at five weeks now and Fire at four. I can't believe it.

Laura, I agree the kissing seemed awkward, and the whole concept just seemed so forced to me -- like we were all supposed to be thinking, ooooo, is Ryan watching? Stupid. I call shenanigans on the kissing during dances, actually -- it seemed to appear last season, and it always feels forced to me. My attitude is that if you can't show the sexual tension with the choreography, it's just pathetic to try to force it with a kiss.

(Also, you're not the first person who's said that about Mollee ^_^. I didn't watch all the audition stuff, so I haven't really gotten to see her talk -- I'll keep my eye out.)

Karen BeautyDreams said...

Wow, what an amazing cover. This is the closest depiction of Katsa that I've seen. Love the short hair, but foremost, adore the backdrop with the mountains. This is definitely what I imagined this world to look like.

Laura Lutz said...

Absolutely. Those forced kisses just reek of desperation. A failure as a choreographer? I think one could argue that for sure.

So you missed that Mollee montage? Where it waxed not-so-poetic about how, during the audition process, Mollee and Noelle became BFFs FOREVAH?! They heart each other, apparently. It in no way appeared to be a friendship based in adulthood but rather in adolescence. Cringe-worthy, to say the least.

Now I fear I'm being too mean. Let's keep it positive and gush all over Legacy and Kathryn some more. 8-)

Also, I'm surprised the judges took it so easy on Channing. They really heaped the blame on Phillip for their botched number. Rightfully so, but still...

Anonymous said...

Jillin,

That is my peevy-est pet peeve -- using girls and women as an insult!

One of my son's friends was talking in the car about a boy who called him a girl and I said that I didn't like it when "girl" was used as an insult. The friend paused, because he had obviously never thought of it from that angle, and then he said, "Well then we both don't like him."

It drives me crazy when my kids and I watching a movie and they do that out of the blue, which has happened a couple of times.

Thanks for letting me vent.
Tabatha

Anonymous said...

Appropos of some of your Dancing comments, have you seen/heard Isabel Allende on TED?
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/lang/spa/isabel_allende_tells_tales_of_passion.html
She is fabulous! I think you will enjoy and appreciate it.
Libby (s. FL)

Jen said...

Hey Kristin,
Sweet Cover. Listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSh8t3EolNs.

Ugh. I've been waiting for Fire to be released here. I call this book store everyday. Now they have it but are waiting for it to be accepted by the Government.

They said it'll be allowed to be sold by next week.

-Jen
P.S. Read Julia Quinn books. Amazing.

books_and_coffee101 said...

That is a pretty cool cover. I love looking at book's covers from different countries. Like the Harry Potter books from Japan looks so different from ours! I just started reading Graceling and i CAN'T. PUT. IT. DOWN. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Hi kristin! Just wanted to drop a line here to say that I finished Fire a while ago and LOVED it! It was a beautiful book, inside and out ( the cover, which I absolutely adore)! It was as good as Graceling which was one my favorite books of all time! Thanks again and Happy Writing:)

Michelle said...

Thanks for this great post! I'm such a SYTYCD addict and love watching my fav numbers over and over again. I agree with the dumbness that is Fox with the whole Ashleigh thing - frankly she annoys me and it would be just better if she went home. Okay, I'm done.

BTW - love the finland cover too.

thr33things said...

No kidding, I think that cover is a The Sims character.

Either way, I don't like it.