Reading, Watching, Listening

What I'm Reading (Books)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, September.) No spoilers here; I'm not going to say a damn thing about what happens in the book. Instead, I'll merely say that books like this are the reason I fell in love with reading. I stayed up until 5:30am reading it; it was thrilling; it was heartrending; it was wickedly funny; it was important. I care about these characters with all my heart. And, Ms. Collins? I bet you're already getting pressure from readers for the third book. From me, you get no pressure. From me, you get this instead: Take a break to celebrate what you've accomplished. And take as much time as the next book needs. I know it'll be worth waiting for.

What I'm Reading (Blogs)

I mentioned recently that there are only a few blogs I follow. Well, Laura's recent post at Pinot and Prose sums up why her blog is one of them. Laura is a librarian and amateur chef in Queens who blogs about children's literature, food and food ethics, wine, local, sustainable agriculture, and other yummy things. Her posts calm me down and remind me of what's important. ♥

And here's a post from the blog of Sarah Prineas, author of the wonderful The Magic Thief and the just-released The Magic Thief: Lost, in which Sarah talks honestly about the ups and downs of "living the dream" of being a writer. Representative of why her blog is on my reader. ♥

What I'm Watching
Ballykissangel. Do you know this show, created by BBC Northern Ireland? An English priest is transferred to a small Irish town and quiet, funny, sad drama ensues. I'm partway through Season 3 and am enjoying it muchly, despite occasional fury. (After 8 years of Catholic primary school and, more particularly, 4 years of Jesuit high school... well, I'll say this: Ballykissangel is a world I recognize. Which makes it comforting sometimes, and at other times, exceedingly uncomfortable.)

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 5. Now, let me be clear, there are things not to like about SYTYCD. Nigel's homophobic comments (thanks, Amanda, for the link). Mia's woman-hating and general unguarded meanness. But, the dancing in many styles! And, the dancers of many specialties! Poppers forced to dance ballroom! Ballerinas forced to dance hip hop! Oh goodness me, it's so fun. And the host (Cat Deeley) is so much more sincere and lovable than other hosts (*ahem* Ryan Seacrest), and these kids are talented, and the choreographers are so great and.... well, it's just a ton of fun, this show. And if, like me, you don't know a lot about dance, it's a learning experience, too.

What I'm Listening To
I'm in the middle of a Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat fixation. What could be better than a musical in which Joseph (interpreter of dreams) has occasion to say to Pharaoh (who sounds suspiciously like Elvis), "All these things you saw in your pajamas / are a long-range forecast for your farmers"? Plus, this show is a good way to brush up on the twelve tribes of Israel. Ready? Reuben, Simeon, Naphtali, Dan, Asher, Issachar, Levi, Zebulun, Gad, Judah, Benjamin, Joseph!

I'm also listening to a lot of Imogen Heap (the link takes you to a favorite song); and Brahms' Requiem has sneaked its way back into my repertoire. I have to be careful not to listen to it while I'm writing, because then I become convinced that I'm writing beautiful, dramatic, emotional scenes, when really it's just that Brahms' Requiem playing in the background makes anything sound good. Seriously, try it. Click on the link and then go off to read your email. You'll find yourself weeping over a spam letter about how she will no longer need a microscope to see your specimen. Or something.

*coughs discreetly*

Also, I always have at least one audiobook in my iPod for when I'm on airplanes, preferably one that's easy to pick up and put down; right now it's Barack Obama's Dreams from my Father, narrated by the author himself. Yeeks, it is wonderful to have an articulate president who's also a fine writer.

Okay, just for fun, I'll end with a favorite clip from Season 4 of SYTYCD -- hip hop, starring Chelsie (a ballroom dancer) and Mark (a contemporary dancer), choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.

What are you reading, watching, listening to these days?


mysteryflavour said…
Reading the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card – I had to stop for a long time because of intense schoolwork, but it is summer at last! Anyway, these books are fantastic.

Watching The Office (US), the season finale was awesome. Also The Daily Show and old Star Trek movies - I was inspired to do this by the new film. Oh, and saw UP last night, and it's great as well.

Listening to the Coraline soundtrack. Sounds like they're singing in French, but it's actually nonsense. And Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Múm, and many many others.
Jen said…
Reading: Gifted: Out of site Out of mind by Marilyn Kaye. I love it!

Just watched!: EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STOR (Movie) I LOOOOOOOOOVE IT! I'm just like the lead character (female one)

Listening to: Anything on the radio.

Artemis Grey said…
What I'm reading: My own ms. Over and over and over again. *sigh* The good part is that it's getting stronger and tighter with every pass. I've got a stack of 'to read' books that may well topple during the night and crush me to death...

What I'm watching: Not much. I've gone to sleep during the last few shows I was trying to watch on the television. In fact, I've gone to sleep at my computer while editing the last few night, a sure sign that I'm reaching critical mass in the writing stress category... But it's SO important to me that I succeed....

What I'm listening to: Linkin Park, obsessively. Crooked Still, Dead Confederate, Amy McDonald, Danny Schmidt, Adam Lambert, Chris Isaak, Richard Thomson, Cage the Elephant, Europe, Flogging Molly, Daughtry. It's a random batch, but that's how I roll, folk one moment, 80's the next, a little hard rock, some goth/industrial...

At the moment, I'm rather living in a Twilight Zone state, but I'm hoping to find the portal home soon...
pens said…
The best thing about being an author must be access to early editions of books like Catching Fire! I am so looking forward to it and am really glad to hear it is so good :) THC is one of the best things I have read in years.
Pens said…
Reading: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, outstanding.

Watching: Not much TV since BSG ended, but I recently saw the 1975 doc Grey Gardens. Very interesting, those ladies were pretty fierce.

Listening: I;m going old school these days: The Beatles, Van Morrison, etc.
reading: last library book (went monday, have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on my hands) hope its good.
listening: lykke li, flyleaf, anything that fits my mood.
Natasha said…
Ok, so, a) I'm jealous that you have the new Suzanne Collins. I can hardly wait! b) I may actually *want* to watch SYTYCD after watching that clip - it was great!!! c) I'm not a big blog reader (yours is one of the few I read regularly) but I'm very tempted by the Pinot & Prose one - I need to check that out.

As for me, reading comes in 2 second snatches these days. This makes the reading of Wally Lamb's "The Hour I First Believed" an incredibly looooooong read. Nonetheless, his storytelling is astounding to me. His characters have an wonderful depth to them. I'm not particularly liking the two main characters in this story, yet I am compelled to read more, and feel somewhat ashamed for not liking Caelum considering his upbringing.

Watching? Reruns of "America's Funniest Videos," which is my default setting. I like the ones where people are scared. Hee hee.

Listening? I have a mix of tunes I made that I'm enjoying a lot lately: Radiohead, Marvin Gaye, The Shins, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The Who, Fiona Apple... among others.
Anonymous said…
I sang in a concert that included the Brahms Requiem a few weeks ago. The music is so intense that it's hard to perform. I have to distance myself from the music a bit to avoid getting so caught up in it that I can't sing well.

Recently I've been listening to a lot of Neko Case. I read a review of Middle Cyclone, her newest album, and thought it might be music I would like. I bought the CD and listened to it and immediately started wondering how I've failed to hear of her before. It turns out that Middle Cyclone is her fifth album, and she also sings with The New Pornographers.
Robin said…
FYI, Suzanne Collins wrote other series before she started this one: The Underland Chronicles. Very different.

The Hunger Games looks intesting.. just ordered it from interlibrary loan (which is the Best Thing Ever).

reading: Anne of Avonlea. No matter how many times I read the Anne books, I love them every time

watching: nothing,, really. I want to go see the new Star Trek at some point

listening: Katy Perry's CD... great for cleaning up the house to

playing: The Sims 2. Can we say addictive?
Jazz said…
Reading: SIlver Phoenix by CIndy Pon. I'm so excited to read this fantasy novel with an asian setting. The prologue hooked me with a complicated and surprising birth, and so far the first few chapters are typical of a fantasy novel but I think great things are coming.

Watching: About to start watching Season 5 of Weeds!

Listening: "Battle for the Sun" by Placebo. This album goes in a different direction than the band's usual dark music. They keep their originality alternative tone while writing uplifting lyrics about battling through pain and finding your reason to live again.
Nina said…
Reading- Poison Study by Maria Snyder right now. It's not the greatest thing I've ever read, but the plot is totally engrossing. Also, I just finished The Demon in the Freezer, which is about the eradication of smallpox. Woo-hoo!

Watching- the Colbert Report: Operation Iraqi Stephen.

Listening to- Sam Roberts Love at the End of the World. I completely adore him. Also, Kings of Leon... I used to hate them, but they're growing on me.
Dawn said…
GodDAMN I love that routine! And if "Wade Robson jazz routine" are not the four sweetest words in the English language...
SYTYCD is one of my favorite shows, I loved Mark and Chelsea's Dance but my favorites of that season are Twitch and Katie - Mercy and Twitch and Kerrington - Dreaming With a Broken Heart
tinkandalissa said…
This is an awesome post. Thanks Kristin! I am SO jealous that you've read Catching Fire (not to mention met Suzanne Collins!). I absolutely cannot wait!! The first one was so fabulous that I simply could not put it down. I am sure the second is just as fabulous. Of course, I am just as eagerly awaiting Fire!
I am also a big fan of SYTYCD! I watched last year and fell in love. This year is already off to a great start. I am not a dancer, but love to watch others do it. Nigel can be a bit annoying, Mary's laugh makes me want to stab my eardrums, and Mia can be quite a sassy-ass sometimes. No matter. I still friggin love the show! The first dance last night was an amazing hip hop routine! The "old girl" of the group is also great. Those two groups got my vote. Then there is that blonde girl, I forget her name, that can just do ANYTHING! Wow! There are a few of the choreographers that I absolutely love. Cant wait for more!
I cant keep up with all the TV shows that I love. I would recommend Deadwood if you can put up with the language. I can. In fact, I think I might just belong there. Ha! Not really, but I do have a potty mouth. I am also awaiting the new season of Dexter. And if you are a fan of shows that are just plain wrong on many levels, but highly entertaining, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Cracks me up! I am sure there are others I have forgotten.
Music. Hmm. I am all over the place with that one. I just love music. So many kinds. Lately, though, I've been listening to a lot of poppy punk/alternative stuff. Trying to get my brain back to the highschool days of Yore so I can stay inspired for my YA novel.
Most recently I read Need by Carrie Jones. It was good. Also finished up the first two Wake series books by Lisa McMann. Now I am reading the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. So far I love it. The only complaint I have is that there are SO many similarities in her book and the ones I am writing. It's a little disheartening. I should probably finish writing my book first and THEN read hers. But, I can't put hers down. So, maybe that's a good sign. Maybe my books will be just as good!
tinkandalissa said…
PS -
Recently watched The Hangover at the theatre and would recommend it for a good laugh. Pretty damn funny!
A Grey - I LOVE Adam Lambert!! I posted about it after he lost. I am still in denial.
Unknown said…
Reading: Sandman (my library finally got volumes 4-8)

Watching: Doctor Horrible and Monty Python, mostly.

Listening: Lots of folk from varied artists, as well as Maria Callas in various operas. I love her voice.
Erica said…
hiiii!! Today i'm very happy because the school is ended!! so.. i'm reading Horse Boy, it's a new book and it's so sad but also interesting... it talk about a autistic child and of his father that decides to go to mongolia to recover him because he finds only a moment of serenity when Betsy rides, a horse.
instead, at the moment, i listen to a new italian song devoted to the reconstruction of a building of the abruzzo destroyed by the earthquake...
Your italian fan, Erica
Unknown said…
What I'm reading: Artemis Fowl series - how did I miss these books? They have been a wonderful, laugh out loud, quick read - perfect for summer vacation.

Watching: Family Guy and Supernatural - I've saved them all year and plan to catch up with this seasons episodes. Next it'll be Heroes and Sanctuary.

Listening to: Buffy 'Once More with Feeling' soundtrack, Blue October's new CD, and RENT. Also introducing my summer school students to Bob Marley and the Wailers. Give Peace a Chance! :-)
Hilary said…
Reading: "Into the Wild" By Sarah Beth Durst & "Wings" By Aprilynne Pike, I find both absolutely fascinating! These both should be finished by day's end because I'm a serious bibliophile and I need help.

Watched: SYTYCD Season 5 and so far so good! (I agree with the Nigel and Mia comments and I think Cat won me over on the likeability scale when she put Twitches grill in her mouth!) And also I am watching the movie Slumdog Millionaire. It's good but I realize why it is rated R.

Listening: to both Aida and Wicked Broadway musicals over and over and over again. Aida because my high school just preformed the show and Wicked because I (heart) the book & show. I do have my own Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat because my school did that show as well and I think I need to revisit it on my ipod because I've forgotten how much love that music.

Anonymous said…
Reading: well I just finished The Warded Man, which was great, but i havent started a new book yet
Watching: I've started to get into Bones, which is fun, other than that lots of random movies or shows
Listening to: the radio mostly, go country music!!!

Anonymous said…
Hmm, I finally picked up the Mortal Instruments series, that I have been mostly loving. Continuing the Ender's books at a later date.

I have been watching my new puppies mostly. Who are growing like weeds, and are HUGE, though they are still puppies compared to their breeds normal size. Ironically one is named Graceling, of which I bestowed upon her after hearing the original name she had been given.

Other than being this babysitter, I have succumbed to Star Trek after ignoring for 21 years. I blame the Spocks; and I intersperse all of this with forcing every single person I know to Battlestar Galactica marathons.

The only things that have been circulating on my playlists are Beirut, Abney Park, Augustana, and Kings of Leon....and the howls of puppies who are bickering over bones.
maryh said…
Well first of all I'm very envious of you right now because you have access to the two books I am most anxiously awaiting! One is of course your book Fire and the other is Catching Fire

I'm reading Ken Follett's World Without End, it's good, long and so far living up to Pillars of the Earth

I'm watching Gilmore Girls reruns I love this show

I'm not currently listening to anything other than the tv but if I was I would be listening to Mamma Mia because my 2 year old baby cousin called me the other day singing the song it was soo cute and made me want to listen to the song in it's original format!
Kate said…
Hi! First, been following your blog for some time now and I must say I really enjoy it as both a reader and a writer.
I just had to comment when I saw that you mentioned So You Think You Can Dance. I love that show so so so much. As a dancer I love learning from the judges' comments as well as from watching the dances themselves. ^_^
Reading: Wicked Lovely. (Finally...poor thing's been on my shelf for almost a year.) And very jealous that you have Catching Fire. I devoured Hunger Games in a day. I can't wait, and I am pleased to know that it lives up to its predecessor.
Kristin Cashore said…
Well now, if I'd realized there were so many SYTYCD fans reading, I would have cut straight to the chase! I didn't see Season 1, so I can't comment, but in Season 2, Travis was my favorite, and in Season 3, I always voted for Sabra (which ended up working out!), although I also loved Danny and Anya, oh, and Lacee, Lacee was great! Season 4: it was Joshua and Katee all the way. (Am I spelling those names right? Did Lacee and Katee both use 2 e's?) I would have embedded the J&K Bollywood routine if I'd been able to find a video that wasn't completely blurry. Here's a blurry version for anyone who's interested. Honestly, even blurry, it's awesome! Her specialty was contemporary, and wasn't Joshua a breakdancer?

And wasn't last night great? My favorite was Ade and Melissa. When it started, I did NOT think the Richard Marx or the wind machine bode well, but then -- did you see that freaking lift? Here's that one.

Truth is, my favorite choreographer is Mia (here's a favorite routine) even though I hate the way she tears dancers down (especially if they happen to have ovaries instead of testicles). These are kids with enormous talent and with dreams! Don't be mean! Wade Robson is my second favorite, and my favorite routine EVER was his Ramalama zombie routine, which is also hard to find unblurry, but here it is blurry.

Hi. I am googling SYTYCD routines instead of writing my book. *shhh don't tell anyone*

RAM, I have a secret love for Bones. I love the way Bones, who seems so clinical and unemotional all the time, is really chock full of heart. Plus, it's funny :o)
notemily said…
Reading: Luna by Julie Anne Peters. It's the story of a transgendered teenager, Luna (formerly Liam), told by her younger sister. The ways in which the kids' parents force them into traditional gender roles, leading Luna to consider suicide, are just heartbreaking. I'm about a third of the way through and I love it so far.

Watching: The Colbert Report broadcasting from Iraq. Colbert's show just keeps getting better and he's pulled out all the stops for his trip to Iraq. He got THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES to order him to have his head shaved! On camera! *flail*

Listening to: Dar Williams. I'm going to a show of hers in August, thanks to my awesome boyfriend who got me tickets for my birthday. I'm rediscovering her music. She tackles topics from religion to depression to gender roles, sometimes poignantly, sometimes with a sharp sense of humor. I'm excited to see her live.
Sasha said…
Watching: I'm yet another SYTYCD fan. I'm also watching Burn Notice. It's very useful for my imaginary future life as a spy, since it gives out tips. Plus, Michael Westen is hot.

Reading: A Brother Cadfael mystery, a book on academic writing called "How to Write a Lot" which is actually entertaining (for a book on academic writing), some psychology articles on well-being for an article I'm supposed to be writing but am not (obviously I haven't finished the 2nd book yet!), and Anna Karenina, which I've embarrassingly managed somehow not to have read in my 32 years of life.

Listening to the National "Boxer". Great lyrics.

Thanks for the links, Kristin! Now I can watch clips instead of my own writing, as well.
RobinPS said…
The Hunger Games was such a compelling, beautifully written book that I am practically have anxiety attacks waiting for the "average joe's" to get access to Catching Fire.

At present, I am reading nothing. (Insert pouty face.) I just finished Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce, and am considering moving on to Beka Cooper, though the motivation has not yet compelled me to pick it up off the shelf just yet.

I am, however, wickedly and unabashely smitten with SYTYCD. The crash test dummies created by Wade Robson were so fascinating last night.

I did love Joshua and Katee last year - they were so beautiful together.
Ghostie said…
Reading: Cornelia Funke's Inkspell and Claudia Gray's Evernight.

Watching: Mostly just House, MD. Reruns, but I can't wait for the sixth season to start up next week!

Listening to: Lately, a lot of Cinema Bizarre, Marie Digby, and Lafee. All brilliant and very talented artists!

And you're probably not interested in my friend's blogs. But besides those, I read Scott Westerfeld's blog (yes, I love it when my favourite authors keep regularly updated blogs!).
Sarah Prineas said…
Hey there! Thanks for the blog shout-out.

I've never seen an episode of the dance show, so can't comment on that, but here is what I'm reading:

King of the Screwups by K.L. Going, which is making me want to go out and read everything she's written.


The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti, which isn't sure whether it's YA or adult, though was marketed as adult literary fiction.


Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody. Not far enough into yet yet to comment further.


A romance novel, which title eludes me, and which I might not finish, as the heroine is a doofus.

Charly said…
Goosebumps! That video - that dance. I love hip hop. xD

What I'm reading:
No books, currently. I go on these sort of reading binges, where I'll spend a while devouring many books, and then I'll go for a period where I don't read much at all.

What I'm watching:
I've watched quite a few movies recently. I went to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian last weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic. I watched Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London with my little brother a few days ago. I forgot that it was actually kinda good. Next movie was National Treasure, of which I realized I really like the characters and most of the writing. Last night we watched part of The Mummy, and I figure tonight we'll watch the rest during dinner (a common family activity when we don't eat at our dining table - not watching that one specifically, just movies or TV shows in general). (Anyway) I've watched The Mummy over and over and it never gets old. But in addition to watching part of The Mummy last night, after my little bro went to bed, my mom and I watched Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It's got such a stellar cast, and it's really fun.

What I'm listening to:
- Dancing Lasha Tumbai. This won 2nd place in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. You must watch the video, not just listen to it. If you're not at least a little amused by it I'll be very impressed.
- The Delicious Tomato Song. This is in Japanese. It's a character song from a series called Axis Powers Hetalia for the character of South Italy. Translation is in the info on the side. You don't really need it to enjoy the song (which is really addicting btw).
- Don't Stop Believing, sung by the cast of Glee. It's beautiful. *_* I saw the preview episode for this show, and I am looking forward to the fall when the series will be on.
- We Just Touched Awkwardly. Funny and so relatable.
- NPH's Eleven O'Clock Number at the Tony's. He's so good. ♥
Artemis Grey said…
Bones! I have a crush on her I think. Her analytical, clarity is intoxicating, and her struggle to grasp human goofballiness is completely endearing. My dad teases me because once that show came on, I started using clinical words all the time when I knew them. But as Bones says, why call something by a term other than its true name just because it's easier to pronounce? :D
R. said…
I'm struggling to think about anything that is not just how desperately I want a copy of Catching Fire. Were that I were an author/reviewer/librarian/ARC magnet.

Currently, I'm reading about France, the French people, the French language, and food. No one book, just lots and lots of books. I'm also watching French films and (trying to listen to) French music. Three guesses where I'm going this summer.
Emily said…
Reading: How to Buy a Love of Reading, by Tanya Egan Gibson. It's a novel, and not my usual fare, but I'm liking it well enough.

Watching: Too much! I'm loving Burn Notice, Royal Pains, and In Plain Sight on USA Network. And slowly but surely I'm working my way through Stargate:SG1 from the very beginning.

Listening: Harry Connick Jr. I've been listening to the album "We Are In Love" every day for about two weeks now. It's a little odd for me, but I just love it so much!
Unknown said…
wow that SYTYCD vid was surprisingly emotional!

I feel like I'm running out of stuff to read recently but I'm reading Holly Black's series (I really liked book 2) and watching Big Cat diary ^o^
MelissaKeaster said…
What I'm reading . . . When I finished Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier a couple of days ago (which was WONDERFUL by the way), I began The Know It All by A. J. Jacobs. It's a memoir of a man who decided to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica because he was afraid he was losing his intelligence. It is the most hilarious book I've ever read, and I'm only up to letter F! I'm also reading On Becoming Babywise. I'm trying to get my son to stop waking up every hour during the night and start taking longer naps during the day. He needs it. I need it. My novel needs it. My writing is significantly less in quantity and quality when I'm not getting sleep. In the way of blogs, my favorites are yours, 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son, and Moore Blog by my favorite photographer

I'm also watching So You Think You Can Dance. It's probably my favorite show on television. I've been a fan since Season 2. There are also several movies coming out this summer that I have seen or am excited to see soon.

I'm listening to Muse. I'm just not tiring of their albums. My son and I also try to listen to the classical station on the radio or pop in a Mozart or Beethoven collection from time to time.

Let me just say, I am SOOOOO jealous that you are reading Catching Fire. I absolutely cannot WAIT! I loved The Hunger Games so much that I created a mini-following for the book in my little circle of friends. My husband and I will be fighting to read it first!
Anonymous said…
Spoiler Alert re: SYTYCD - they all get run over by a bus.

Oh, wait, maybe that's a different show.

True Spoiler Alert: I'm a rambling lunatic today; normally I write one sentence and that's it, but I turn 33 today so I'm spamming blogs with long comments.

I was happy Sabra won but I still have a crush on Danny; Josh last year seemed like a no-brainer; I missed Vegas week this year so I missed Nigel's (and the other judges') homophobia, so I'm going to throw popcorn at the TV whenever they come on.

I'm truly ambivalent about CATCHING FIRE. The one I really want to read (and no I'm not saying this because it's your blog) is FIRE, and a friend who went to BEA is going to lend me her copy.

Otherwise, I just finished GHOSTGIRL and GHOSTGIRL:HOMECOMING, both for review, and FLOWERS FOR ELVIS, also for review, and I am getting ready to take a review break and read EDEN'S OUTCASTS, about Louisa May Alcott and her father.

I finally (via hulu, the new Tivo) caught up with Fringe and The Legend of the Seeker; music-wise, I'm using the soundtrack from The Dark Crystal as inspiration for my current WIP.

All right, I have to go simultaneously mope and celebrate getting older.
Kristin Cashore said…
Love Dar Williams. Love Brother Cadfael. Love the Glee cast recording of Don't Stop Believing, and NPH's 11pm number. Thanks for the links everyone, I'll check them out when I need some procrastination time!

Rebekah, I'm the furthest thing from an expert on things French, but you reminded me of one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard -- which I was amazed to just find on youtube. My sister came back from Cameroon with a recording of it; it's "C'est la Vie," performed by Cameroonian Henri Dikongue. It's a little scratchy, but give it a listen! (And have a great trip ^_^)

Finally, in my SYTYCD blather yesterday, there's one word I mysteriously forgot to say: PASHA!
Anonymous said…
I am reading GRACELING! I had saved it until I was finished with the second round of revisions on my manuscript. I'm enjoying it immensely. Thank you for creating such an intriguing girl-woman.

Listening: Salome's Dance. Wow.

Watching: back-up of Bones episodes in my DVR. Love the main character's interplay.

BTW - re: amazing music while writing - when I am reading a particularly exciting book, I think that I am writing exhilerating passages myself. I always need to go back and re-read.

- Laura
Melissa Wiley said…
Kristin, thanks for the link to Pinot & Prose. Looks like a great read. We lived in Queens for many years so I enjoyed all the Queens references there. Am loving your blog as well. I especially love to hear about other writers' reading and viewing choices.

Meredith said…
Reading: I just finished Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George and loved it.

Watching: Burn Notice (mmmm...Michael Westen) and SYTYCD. And while I totally agree with your criticisms of the show, I would also add, "Mary! Stop screaming, for the love of all that's good!"

Listening to: Skybreaker, the awesome sequel to the awesome Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. I'm addicted to Full Cast Audio.
Sasha said…
I also just started reading gods behaving badly by Marie Phillips, and it's hilarious. Has anyone else read it?
CL said…
Reading The Mysterious Benedict Society: The Perilous Journey. I love his quirky, brilliant, flawed characters.

Listening to On the Moon, Li'l Mo and the Monicats. Li'l Mo is a friend of mine and an awesome singer/songwriter.

About to watch another Jane Austen movie (Mansfield Park) I even watched Clueless recently, which was kind of fun.
Aria said…
Reading: Pit Dragon trilogy by Jane Yolen. Just finished Max: a Maximum Ride Novel and am frustrated at having to wait 'til 2010 for the next one. Currently scoping out the Tanith Lee Wolf series and Unicorn series for my next books.

Watching: despite working in a movie store I very rarely watch movies. I did recently get my hands on a Don Bluth collection. An American Tail. Balto. Land Before Time. and Thumbelina.

Listening: Pendulum. They're techno! And creepy... and epic!

Playing: (not originally on the list but oh well) Fable II and having loads of fun wasting time in a magical world versus our boring technological world.

And currently hunting for: Lady and the Tramp: a tale of two dogs by Ward Greene
Amanda said…
Reading - The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (for book group - liking it!), Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo (love him) and Revelation by CJ Sansom (great Tudor mystery series).

Watching - Also SYTYCD (I'm glad I'm not the only one who's wary of Mia. The woman can choreograph a mean routine but I also think she may be bi-polar) and I will be indulging in series 2 of True Blood from tomorrow night. And as always, I remain devoted to Mr Stewart and Mr Colbert. *girly sigh*

(Side note - Ballykissangel actually takes place in the south of Ireland; the southwest I believe to be exact. Season 1 is a bit boring but it's all very fun, innocent and twee from then on...)

Listening to - lots of NPR as I'm in the Bay Area looking for a place to live and it's the only station that doesn't do my head in.
Iván said…
I'm Spanish. Today, I'm satarting to reading your book. The front page's back part is fantastic! I congrats you!
Excuse me, one question: The book 'Fire' is the second part of the saga?
For the moment, the first chapter is fantastic too!
I want to you continue writing the books of the saga, if the saga continue, of course.
A lot of kisses from me and Madrid (Spain)!!
Glen Akin said…
Lol I'm actually reading your book, Kristin - Graceling! Saved it for the last! And my oh my am I enjoying every bit of it. Classic stuff.

Watching South Park lol! So funny.

Listening to Eminem's Relapse.
Kristina said…
First time poster here, and I am really glad I stumbled upon your blog!

Currently Reading- Graceling, and Q&A by Vikas Swarup (Slumdog Millionaire is based on it).

Watching- The Tudors

Listening to- Kings of Leon, new Dave Matthews

Also wanted to let you know that I am half way through Graceling right now, and I absolutely love it. You have enraptured not only me, but my husband as well. We both love to read, and we usually do read the same series sometimes, however this is the first time we have read to each other. It sounds strange, but with this book Graceling it just felt right. I started reading to him at night because he has been really sick, but now it is our routine we both look forward to. We are about half way through with Graceling, and we love it. I just wanted to say thank you for writing a book that brought my husband and I even closer. Maybe we will have to do it again when the next one comes out. Keep up the great writing! My husband's favorite part is not only the action, but the wit. Thank you again...

Rhiannon said…
You are so so so lucky to get your hands on Catching Fire :) I am jealous THG were amazing...

Reading: Life of Pi...I am a third through and it is oddly intriguing. It's very original, it is changing my expectations of what to find in a novel. A "must read"

Watching: Up!! (well I'm going to see it tonight.) I'm so excited it looks so good!!

Listening: Adam Lambert...and then more Adam Lambert...and then a bit more :)But I won't get started. Also: Carmina Burana, the Fray (i 3 hundred by the fray), Wicked soundtrack, West Side Story soundtrack etc...random mix of music i like :)
Kristin Cashore said…
Seems like the youtube police caught up with us, people -- sorry all the videos have disappeared!

Amanda, thanks for that correction -- I've fixed it (and am a little embarrassed about it) -- and btw, I also happen to be reading OSCAR WAO at the moment, and loving it!

Thanks for a lot of really nice comments! And to everyone listening to Wicked -- I am, too! Saw the show a few weeks ago, actually, and loved it (although [SPOILER!] I call shenanigans on the ending).
Amanda said…
I've seen Wicked twice, first with Idina Menzel and the second time with her understudy who took over when she left in London (her name escapes me but she was FAB). I knew going into it that the ending wasn't going to be bleak like the book. Come on. It's a musical. That sort of thing isn't allowed. :)

(Don't you love Oscar Wao?? Apparently a stage version (amateur) has already been done - it's called Fukus Americanus.)
Kim A said…
Stayed up till 1:30 last night rereading Graceling for the third time and felt depressed because you only published it last year so how could you possibly have written a new book yet. And now I find out Fire is coming out this fall!! I'm so excited!

I'm just coming off a huge book binge, and I thought maybe I could get back to real life, but now I have to go find The Hunger Game, and Wake, and The Silver Phoenix and I didn't know there was a sequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society . . . (somebody stop me, please!)

I just finished Mortal Instruments, and Warrior Heir and Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (and now that I'm looking up authors online I've discovered there's a third book: Dragon Heir), and The Black Tatoo, by Sam Enthoven (which was funnier than I expected). I liked Droughtlanders by Carrie Mac (she's a fellow Canadian), and am waiting for the next one to be returned to the library.

Watching: I finally saw all four new seasons of Doctor Who (I'm in love with David Tennant). Loved the new Star Trek, and the new Terminator was pretty good (if you're in the mood for watching things get blown up). While I'm waiting for the next Doctor Who special, I'll probably re-watch Firefly. Oh, oh, and you all must go find Black Books (it's on You Tube). Twisted British humour (or Irish, I suppose). If nothing else you must find the episode where they try to write a children's book!

Now I _must_ go clean my kitchen (while I listen to Carmina Burana, which I just saw live--awesome!)
hhhh said…
Reading: the Mortal Instruments trilogy (why in the world did it take me this long?)

Watching: SYTYCD!!!! (over and over on my DVR, I love rewatching my favorite dances)

Listening: the National and Muse interspersed with some Coeur de Pirate.

p.s. Mark and Chelsie are my absolute favorite dancers ever to grace SYTYCD. The "wedding dress" dance, aaaaaaaaaaaa!
Andrea said…
Hey, I just finished Graceling (loved) and found your blog.
I'm reading The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King now.

I also wanted to say that I love Ballykissangel. One of the best shows although after the original priest leaves it wasn't the same.
Maria said…
Just finshed reading "Austenland" by Shannon Hale, a fun book, especially of you are an Austen fan. Now, that the title of Megan Whalen Turner's next book has been released, I plan on rereading her Attolia books.

Watching: Gilmore Girls reruns, The Tudors and True Blood on DVD

Listening to: The Spamalot soundtrack, very good background music for cleaning, new Dave Matthews, Muse, Katy Perry, and Kings of Leon.

Anonymous said…
Late listening update: "Craigslist" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It's a fantastic parody of The Doors. Also, Spinal Tap released a new album today and I don't really know how to react to that.
Anonymous said…
So I LOOOOVED Hunger Games and I'm definitely buying Catching Fire as soon as it comes out. It was such a cliffhanger ending! I'm absolutely dying to hear about Katniss and Peeta and Gale.

And SYTYCD is amazing. Tabitha and Napoleon are dance geniuses and I loove their choreography. Just thought I'd share my intense love for them with everyone!

Heidi A Wilde said…
I've been sitting in the shadows following your blog once I finished Graceling a few months ago. I enjoyed it immensely which led me to this cyber stalking :P I'm working on my own book and have found your posts very helpful and encouraging. Thank you!

Reading: Finished Bird by Bird, thank you for recommending it and I pass on the recommendation to any who haven't read it. Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy (The Magician's Guild, The Novice, and The High Lord). LOVED them. I'm still carrying around a lingering sadness from the last book (in a GOOD way!)

Listening: At work I have Pandora select my music from Moby's Porcelain and have been quite pleased. I've been a little obsessed with Basshunter (Jonas Altberg) as well. It's happy-making music and he's such a cutie lol Otherwise I keep my iPod on shuffle and let the good times roll.

Watching: If my TV is on it's usually to facilitate my movie watching. I have no idea when any TV shows air anymore. I work nights and haven't invested in TiVo, so I'm completely out of the loop!
Erika said…
sytycd completes my life. but i'm sorry, how can you STAND Cat?! She annoys me so much; I seriously want to punch her in the face. I absolutely agree about Mia, though; can't stand her. And I'm still upset Alex Wong didn't make it through because of his stupid contract with the Miami ballet. But how much do you love Tabitha and Napoleon?! Me: A lot. Best people on the show.
AND Joseph completes my life (also).
Cat said…
I have just finished your book after two days of obsession over finishing it. Unfortunately I had my last dance recital yesterday which explains why it took me so long to finish. I'm still totally speechless about the book. I don't often find myself that intensely enveloped in stories but occasionally i'll be lucky enough to pick one up.
The main reason I actually ended up posting this comment was because I am reading dreams from my father as well. I read Graceling as a reward for getting through four chapters. As much as I find the book interesting, I find myself angry after reading each chapter because of one thing or another. I feel as though the chapters move slowly and I was wondering what quality was the audio. I figure that it might be easier that way considering I have to read the book for my college orientation.
But thank you so much for Graceling I think it has moved to the very top of my favorite books list.
What am I reading? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Sadly I don't get SYTYCD here in Cyprus.DH has found a way of downloading files to disc from the Internet, so he is going to put one together for me :)
I enjoyed my visit, thanks. Glynis
lau said…
Well, I'm reading graceling as crazy, just stopped because I had to eat something or die hahaha
I don't want to finish the book, but I just can't wait to continue reading it!!!

Watching: LOST, but lately I've dreamed about airplanes falling from the sky :S

Listening: japanese music that reminds me when I was there visiting my friends :D and Mamma mia's soundtrack

-Laura, from Mexico ;)
Eleni said…
i loved that dance too!
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heidi A Wilde said…
Dear A Women Desperately Needing Your Help,

(First let me say to Ms. Cashore if this comment displeases you, please delete it.)

I just have a couple of quick things to say to the women who left you this plead for help. #1 Read the Rules of Posting, specifically (R2).

#2 and most importantly, it is not Kristin Cashore's job to teach your daughter the difference between reality and fantasy. That would be yours, as a parent. Life has happiness, great happiness, but it also has terribly sadness. There is a point to it - it makes us identify and appreciate the good things.

You are not doing your daughter any favors by screening her books so she only reads happy things. A good book has tragedy and sadness in it which underlines and highlights the triumphs and joy. How could there be triumphs and joy without the tragedy and obstacles?

If this was actually a serious comment, I feel very sorry for your daughter. If you don't teach her how to work through sadness in a book, how will she deal with everything life will throw at her later?

I apologize if it was out of line for me to respond.
Kristin Cashore said…
Thank you very much, Through a Glass Darkly. Your comment was lovely.

And I apologize for removing the comment with spoilers. Please don't take it personally. I always remove comments that contain major plot spoilers.

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