Too Much Coffee & Lots of Books: Missing the Gilmore Girls

The Fall 2008 TV season has begun, and while there are many new and returning shows that look interesting, all I can think of is how much I miss The Gilmore Girls.

Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show centered around the mother-daughter duo of Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and her namesake daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel) in the fictitious Stars Hollow, Connecticut, and ran for seven seasons (2000-2007).  The writing was witty and densely packed with one-liners and countless pop culture and literary references.  Stars Hollow was an idyllic hamlet filled with off-beat, quirky characters that could be charming and exasperating in equal measure. The dialogue was quick and, at times, as biting and razor-sharp as the old screwball comedies of the ’30s.  But the heart of The Gilmore Girls was the relationship between Lorelai, a stylish and scrappy single-mom, and her brainy, bookish daughter, Rory. Much depth and angst was provided by the true Gilmore matriarch, Lorelei’s wealthy, imperial mother, Emily (Kelly Bishop). The acting of Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop was also consistently overlooked (Entertainment Weekly often said they were outright snubbed) when the Golden Globes came around, which is Continue reading “Too Much Coffee & Lots of Books: Missing the Gilmore Girls”

Julia Glass: Book Group Darling

When Julia Glass’ first book, Three Junes, came out in 2002 and won the National Book Award, it became a book group trailblazer. Book groups everywhere rejoiced in a new author of contemporary fiction whose writing was fresh and confident and featured complex, memorable characters. You’d think that would be easy to do, but it isn’t. There is a reason that books like Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake become bestsellers—because readers hunger for the kind of books that sweep them in and give them something to think and talk about.

Julia Glass’s second novel, The Whole World Over, also became a book group staple. Set in New York, it features Greenie, a baker and chef who moves to New Mexico with her son, to cook for a Republican governor; Alan, the psychologist husband Greenie leaves behind; Walter, the gay owner of Continue reading “Julia Glass: Book Group Darling”

Boxed Sets: Finding a Playlist in a Box

While I have an extensive CD library, and spend a fair amount of time and money on music, I generally don’t shell out the cash to buy box sets. But I stop by my local indie music store, Easy Street, fairly often to peruse their shelves to see what’s new.

Not familiar with box sets? They are usually collections of an artist, an era, a genre or of a label’s recordings. They are a great way to revisit or familiarize yourself with bands, musicians or music styles. The box set anthologies out there are like your favorite mix tape (or CD or Playlist, as the case may be)–an assembly of hits and hidden gems that will keep you humming or even singing along American Idol-style in your car or living room.Two of my favorite box sets of late have been Left of the Dial and The Brit Box.

Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80’s Underground is a collection of indie college radio hits. It takes me back to my high school years when The Cure, The Smiths and Depeche Mode were always on in heavy rotation. It was a time when I stayed up late to watch 120 Minutes on MTV to see videos from Robyn Hitchock to Julian Cope to New Order. I can relive these days Continue reading “Boxed Sets: Finding a Playlist in a Box”