Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday's bits and pieces

Some good news today: the campus email/web shutdown was postponed, so I won't have to spend today (one of my 2 summer weekend days to work the ref desk) helping patrons use the print journal indexes (which they hate) and trying to keep myself occupied with non-Internet pursuits for eight hours. Also, the 90+ degree (and 80%+ humidity) heat wave of the past week finally broke, which is a big relief, because the heat just exhausts me. On the other hand, today I'm expecting a couple patrons in the library whose problems really require the help of either a personal counselor or attorney, neither of which I am, am qualified to act as, or have any desire to be. So today shall be, I expect, "interesting" if not challenging.

Some bits and pieces of historical novel fare.

It's finally been revealed who will be playing Mary Boleyn (opposite Natalie Portman as Anne, and Eric Bana as Henry VIII) in the upcoming film version of The Other Boleyn Girl. I think Scarlett Johansson's a decent choice; what think you? But I'm puzzled by the choice of Rue McClanahan to play Lady Jane Rochford... that'll make for quite an age difference between Anne and her sister-in-law, who were relatively of the same age in "real life," and it makes me wonder what other changes will be made to Gregory's novel for the film (and to history, for that matter).

A link to this story has been passed around the web so many times over the past several days that nearly everyone's probably seen it, but what the heck: here's USA Today's profile of Kathleen McGowan, in which she reveals she's the descendant of a secret marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the subject of her upcoming novel The Expected One. I read it a few months ago in ARC, and while it's a creatively told story overall, it does take quite a while to hit its stride, and I don't think critical reception will be favorable. On the other hand, with a backstory like this, people will be talking about it widely anyway, if not reading it. The author photo in the article isn't flattering at all, incidentally. She signed my ARC at BEA in June, and she's more attractive than the photo makes her out to look.

And in her online newsletter, Jennifer Donnelly writes about her upcoming novel The Winter Rose, sequel to The Tea Rose (an Irish-American romantic saga that came out 2 or so years ago, and which I really enjoyed). Looking forward to the new one. I found it listed on Amazon UK, with a November 2006 publication date, and Donnelly mentions that it'll be appearing from Hyperion in the US next spring.


  1. I think Scarlett J. might be good as Mary, but Rue McClanahan as Jane? That's bizarre! She's in her 70's! I guess that will explain why George doesn't spend much time in bed with her.

    Oh well, if she does good in this one, maybe she can play Mary Magdalene when they make a movie out of the Kathleen McGowan book.

    Shaking my head on a Saturday morning . . .

  2. I'm feebly hoping that maybe the press releases got it confused and Rue McClanahan is playing Anne's mother . . .

  3. Yes, it is totally bizarre. Maybe they're rewriting Jane's role somehow... the press releases just say she's "a member of the Boleyn family."

  4. That is a very odd casting decision if Rue McClanahan is Jane!

    And in relation to Jennifer Donnelly, The Winter Rose is already out here, and I have it in my TBR pile! Looking forward to it immensely!

  5. It's really weird the way things work sometimes, for an American author's novel to appear first in Australia, then in Britain, and last in the US... she has a different publisher than last time, though, so that could explain some of it.

    Enjoy, and please report back!

  6. There are a few authors we get early! and then there are the ones we don't get at all! C'est la vie!