Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rainy Day Reading

Vampires, werewolves, and... Edinburgh dinner parties? Yes, since the mid-semester break offered me the opportunity to dig deep into the local library shelves, I've been such a frequent visitor during the rainy months that I'm pretty sure the librarians will start inviting me round for tea at their houses pretty soon.

No, it's not beyond the point of exaggeration; I'm reading a bizarre assortment of titles. For one, I've re-established my love for Alexander McCall Smith, finally finding time to catch up with the Isabel Dalhousie series (there's nothing like McCall Smith's Edinburgh stories to dispel the gloom of the winter months) and the 44 Scotland Street stories. It's funny how some books can be seasonal; more enjoyable to read in winter than in summer. Perhaps it's because I can sit down and enjoy a cup of tea while reading the Isabel Dalhousie novels (the story of a forty-something Edinburgh philosopher who uncannily seems to find herself drawn to mysteries in the city and the past) but I couldn't really imagine reading McCall Smith's most famous series, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, in any other setting other than beside the pool or on the beach at the close of a scorching hot day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Tough on Those Offspring...

Every once in a while there'll be a slump in the television shows on. You know what it's like; every time you switch on the television there's some stupid reality show about cops training dogs to sniff people's luggage at airports, or aspiring chefs trying to impress a panel of fat, overpaid foodies with their ridiculously sculpted creations not nourishing enough to keep even a small child from starvation. (Don't get me wrong. Masterchef is a lot better than many of the television shows out there, and at least it's creative and constructive, but ten minutes of it makes me want to go to sleep. Although I suppose it's better than making me want to stuff my face...) Naturally, you find yourself going back to more old-fashioned forms of entertainment; for me, that's often reading book after book inbetween schoolwork. Making a serious dent in your To-Read list is great, but there are times when television is indispensable as a way of just unwinding.

That's where Offspring comes in. Last night, here in Australia, a new drama series aired on Channel 10 which I think has a lot of potential. After a myriad of fairly average grunge-city cop shows and the gritty Underbelly, it's a relief to finally see a more down-to-earth drama series produced in Australia....