TBIF: Thank blog it’s Friday 10/24

Tuesday Thingers (hosted by The Boston Bibliophile)

Today’s question: Series. Do you collect any series? Do you read series books? Fantasy? Mystery? Science fiction? Religious? Other genre? Do you use the series feature in LT to help you find new books or figure out what you might be missing from a series?

First off, did you know that LibraryThing HAS a “series” feature? One reason I enjoy doing Tuesday Thingers is that I learn about so many new-to-me features of LibraryThing. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s how to find it:

  • Click the “statistics” link on your LT personal home page or profile page
  • Click the “series coverage” link in Statistics

I guess the fact that I didn’t discover it until this topic came up answers the question of whether or not I’ve used it before – but I might use it in the future. However, I’m not sure I agree with everything that LT classifies as “series coverage” in my own collection; for example, while Barbara Kingsolver did write two novels featuring Taylor Greer and Turtle, I personally wouldn’t define The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven as a series.

But in connection with that, I wouldn’t say I seek out series per se; however, I do tend to be a completist when it comes to authors I especially like, and that sometimes leads to series reading. The first series I became addicted to as an adult (meaning post-Nancy Drew and other youthful attractions) was Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, but my all-time favorite series is probably Harry Potter, which makes me not the slightest bit unique, I’m sure. (Yes, I realize HP is officially children’s/YA literature, but most of the major fans that I know are well over the age of 12.) I’m also glad that Jasper Fforde has extended the Thursday Next series to a fifth volume, which I’m hoping to read very soon – my husband really enjoyed it.

Are you a serial reader? Which series are your favorites?

Teaser Tuesday (hosted at Should Be Reading)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given! Please avoid spoilers!

Since I’m supposed to be packing up books for our upcoming move (November 3!), I’m trying not to add very many new ones right now. However, a couple did turn up this week, and I’ll have to find space in the boxes for them. One was sent to me for an upcoming TLC Book Tour, and the other came back with me from – just imagine! – a weekend visit to Borders. (It’s not like I ever go there…)

It is only a matter of time before a man betrays his wife. This is what Maggie Heath’s mother had told her when she was just a girl. (page 185)
Somebody Else’s Daughter, by Elizabeth Brundage

Elizabeth David. Always the writer Peter turned to when he was troubled or his hands needed employment. (page 44)
The Delivery Room: A Novel, by Sylvia Brownrigg

Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

Monica suggested this one:
Got this idea from Literary Feline during her recent contest:

“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I didn’t participate in my friend Wendy‘s anniversary book giveaway (the contest that inspired this week’s BTT question) because – well, I don’t really have a favorite literary couple. I think that may be partly because so many of the best-known literary romances are so troubled and tragic, and I tend to prefer relationships that, while they may not always run smoothly, have snappy dialogue as opposed to swooning. It’s entirely possible I just haven’t read enough books that feature couples like that. But if pressed, I would most likely choose Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.

Feeling a bit stuck, I decided to see if I could find some inspiration among the blog posts in my Google Reader that answered this query:

Tuesday in Silhouette had two other couples from the Potterverse on her list, Molly and Arthur Weasley (sure, OK), and Petunia and Vernon Dursley (huh?).

Gautami of Reading Room did mention one of my favorite couples – my favorite DYSFUNCTIONAL couple, Heathcliff and Catherine of Wuthering Heights. Hers was also the first of many posts I read to mention several standbys: Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester (granted, I only read Jane Eyre once and it was years ago, but I’ve never quite gotten this one); Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler (they did have some snappy dialogue, at least); and Romeo and Juliet (together forever – in death. What’s the point of that?). Susan from West of Mars: The Meet and Greet also cites Scarlett and Rhett, saying they just don’t make couples like them any more (although she’s working on one or two in her own fiction…)

Hermione and Ron made Traci‘s list at Traci’s Book Bag too, along with, among others, a couple my 8-year-old stepson would approve of, Despereaux and Princess Pea from one of his favorite books, The Tale of Despereaux.

The one couple chosen by Jessica of The Bluestocking Society was the ever-popular Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. Again, it’s been a long time since I read it (and I haven’t seen any of the movie versions), but my recollection is that Darcy was kind of a jerk for much of the novel, although I think this couple did score pretty well on the snappy-dialogue scale.

Joanne from Book Zombie named couples from books coming soon to a movie theater near you, Blindness and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Karen Harrington
‘s post on Scobberlotch lists some of the same couples Gautami mentioned, as well as her particular favorite, Katherine and Almasy from The English Patient, noting that apparently she has “a thing for the literary tortured love affair.”

And while Shana at Literarily also mentioned Elizabeth and Darcy, her favorite couple is their modern counterparts, Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy. (That Darcy is kind of a jerk for much of the novel too – am I mixing him up with the original? I do like Bridget, though, in all her exasperating glory.)

Which literary love affairs are your favorites?

Friday Fill-ins #95

1. Right now, I’m feeling ready for the weekend – it’s the last one with the kids in our current residence!
2. Moved into our new home is where I want to be.
3. How does one make the time for everything one wants to do?
4. Being accountable to someone else keeps me on track.
5. Please don’t make me have to tell you that AGAIN.
6. A cool, clear early morning fills me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to catching up on watching The Amazing Race, tomorrow my plans include some writing, some reading, and probably some more packing,  and Sunday, I want to celebrate my husband’s birthday! (I also want to make some new iTunes playlists this weekend, and sit down with my vote-by-mail ballot and VOTE!)

So, what have you got going on this weekend?

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  1. I had the same thing about the couples…I was thinking actually most of my favorite fictional couples are on tv!

    Harry Potter is my favorite series, too!

  2. My book's out in the car, so I can't play today, so sad 🙁

    How about Sam & Rosie, from LOTR?

    Thanks for playing, have fun this weekend 🙂

  3. Amy – That was true for me too; I could definitely think of more TV couples than anything else. Maybe it’s because I don’t read a lot of series, and I get to know characters better over a longer period of time on TV?

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – No problem! I thought I might not be the only one who didn’t know where the series feature was :-).

    Janet – Aw, I hate when you leave your book in the car :-)!

    Since I like the LOtR movies better than the books, I tend to forget they were books first. I did think of Eowyn and Faramir, actually, but I think I like your suggestion of Sam and Rosie better.

  4. Reading the types of books I do, I’ve read quite a few series. I’m not sure which is my favorite. I really liked the ‘Taken’ series from Alan Dean Foster.

    Did you buy something nice got your husband’s birthday? Have a good weekend, i’m working so mine will be exciting. 🙂

  5. I’m supposed to be editing until my toddler is out of school, but I’m living up to my Scobberlotching self by blog hopping…and hoped over here to get some inspiration. (This writin’ stuff is tough, Elmer.)

  6. Mike – Since you do read a lot of SF and such, I’m not surprised you’ve read a lot of series, but I would be surprised if I’ve heard of most of them :-).

    We’re going to P.F. Chang’s for Tall Paul’s birthday dinner tomorrow night, and I’m baking his favorite cake (German chocolate) – but I can’t tell you anything else just in case he reads this!

    Karen H – I totally understand that impulse to scobberlotch when there’s work to be done :-D! Hope you found some of that inspiration, and good luck with the editing!

    Joanne (Book Zombie) – According to a “Harry Potter personality type” quiz I took last year, I’m Hermione, and in real life, I tend to gravitate toward the Rons myself :-).

  7. But with the Dursleys, right, how much more dysfunctional a couple can you get? 🙂

    Maybe I have a thing for people who are dysfunctional as human beings – Daisy and Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby are also on my list.

  8. You’re right, we did say practically the same thing for #3. If you figure it out, do let me know!
    Hope your husband has a good birthday and you all have a great weekend.

  9. Thanks for mentioning few of us on your post. But the point is:

    Who are YOUR favourite couples?

    Who ever said that the favourite couples have to be devoted to each other or simpering idiots for each other? Why do we even need to question the other’s choices?

    If we only needed to answer the couples who can’t live withou each other, then I think taking any names from the mills and boons or harleqiuns or any such books would have suffixed.

  10. Tanabata – If YOU figure it out, let ME know :-)!

    Gautami – I’m sorry if you took some of my comments as criticism – I didn’t intend them that way. I had hoped that other people’s responses to the BTT question would help me remember a great literary couple that might have slipped my mind. I didn’t intend to question anyone’s choices (except perhaps Tuesday’s mention of the Dursleys) – I just found that many of them weren’t mine.

    For me, in life as well as literature, a good couple is good for EACH OTHER – the individuals in it are good on their own, but better together. And perhaps I just don’t relate to the ways 19th-century couples relate to one another.

    I think you and I will just have to agree to disagree about Wuthering Heights, though. As for Romeo and Juliet, I think the idea of living a long life with your loved one appeals to me more than dying young with them.

    Thanks for helping me formulate my thoughts on this. I still don’t really have a “favorite” literary couple, though, so I’ll stick with Hermione and Ron for now.

  11. I hadn’t realized that LT had a series feature either. It must not be that old though because I think I would have found it during my wanderings around the site.

    Your move is just around the corner, isn’t it? I hope the packing is coming along well. I always hate that part of moving the most.

    I wonder if my difficulty in naming a favorite couple is because I don’t really have a favorite either. I can think of several that would be contenders, but none I quite feel willing to name outright.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful week. Happy birthday to your husband!

  12. Wendy (Literary Feline) – So, did you originally ask the “favorite literary couples” question because you were looking for ideas too :-D? It was pretty cool to see it picked up for BTT.

    We are moving next Monday (11/3). This is the last weekend the kids will be here, so we’re focusing on getting them packed up this weekend. Yeah, it’s not fun, but it’s coming along pretty well.

    Have a great week!