Happy Birthday, Margaret Atwood!

None of her books are on our official reading list, but we love Margaret Atwood and are pretty sure that Daria would, too! (How could sheΒ not love dystopian speculative fiction?) Today is Atwood’s 75th birthday, so to celebrate, here is a photo of her sporting a mustache in honor of former Canadian astronaut and author Chris Hadfield at the Toronto International Book Fair.

We highly recommend everything she has ever written. Also, check out this list from BookRiot with 75 Reasons Why Margaret Atwood is Awesome, her recent interview with Goodreads, her Reddit AMA from last year, and read her new book Stone Mattress.

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Ultimate Daria Playlist

If you were lucky enough to watch Daria when it originally aired on MTV, you were able to enjoy the awesome 90s soundtrack that came with it.

If you are lucky enough to own the entire series on DVD, you are unable to enjoy those awesome 90s tracks, because the series didn’t have the rights to include the songs and had to replace them.

😦

I know, it’s a travesty.

But good news! I was poking around on Spotify the other day and found myself browsing the Pop Culture category where, lo and behold, someone has created a playlist of songs from Daria!

daria playlist

I don’t know how accurate it is, but it includes everything from Portishead to will.i.am so it can’t be too far off. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, or maybe a little sarcastic, listen to the Spotify playlist and imagine all your favorite Daria episodes in their full 90s glory.

Literary Podcasts

Obviously, we love books and reading! That is the whole reason we started this blog in the first place πŸ™‚ With the use of the internet, there are many, many ways that you can access knowledge about writers and works of literature. I love podcasts! We have mentioned literary podcast on the blog before, namely Literary Disco. However, I wanted to give you a list of noteworthy podcasts that I have come across in recent weeks.

This is the podcast from the creator The Nervous breakdown. The host, Brad Listi, talks to authors and other literary people about their lives and writing experiences. Listi has an amazingly dry sense of humor and talks to a great variety of people.

Selected Shorts is the Public Radio International program that plays performances of short stories by Broadway and other performers. It gives you the feeling of being at a reading without going to the city. This one can get a little pretentious at times, but the performances are really well done.

Like I’ve said before, we have mentioned this one in previously blog posts. It is a favorite here at SSBC! The hosts talk about a selected book every episode and pepper in fun literary based games and discussions.

Those are just a few of my favorites. I hope you check them out! Are there any that you like to listen to that are not on the list? Give us a shout and share the knowledge!

An Announcement

Dear SSBC Friends,

We started this blog nearly eight months ago to create a unique online book club that would get us reading great books that wouldn’t normally be on our radar. We (we being the two people who write all of the content) enjoy reading through the Daria book list and revisiting the show, but have found that updating twice a week takes up a lot of time an effort. As much as we love the conceit of the Sick Sad Book Club, it has gotten to be a big time investment for a group with minimal participation.

So, that being said, we have decided to change the schedule and format of the readings. Instead of weekly discussions and assignments as well as blog posts, we will only be introducing the book and author, and following up with a discussion at the end of the book. Blog favorites such as Book Reviews, gift guides, and Daria throwbacks will still show up once in a while, but not weekly.

The SSBC is not ending or going away, just lessening! We will still be reading, and hope you will continue to do so, too. Your new reading assignment will be posted on Tuesday, as usual. πŸ™‚

– Your Hostesses

Literary Cookie Cutters

So, I’m leaving for a short beach vacation the day that this posts, and am behind on my reading due to packing (don’t tell Ashley! πŸ™‚ ), so I thought I’d share with you some awesome cookie cutters I spotted the other day on Book Riot. Seriously, what goes better with a good book than a really awesome sugar cookie and your hot beverage of choice (You can be #TeamTea or #TeamCoffee or both, we don’t judge)? Read the entire post for lots of great cookie shapes and links to buy them. These are my favorites!

 

Pride and Prejudice cameo cookies!

Pride and Prejudice cameo cookies!

 

Shakespeare sporting an epic moustache

Shakespeare sporting an epic mustache

 

Spider-Man comic books - these are intense!

Spider-Man comic books – these are intense!

 

Clifford - how cute are these??

Clifford – how cute are these??

Monasteries in Russia

A good portion of this book, especially this past reading assignment, takes place within the local monastery. Based on the scene descriptions, I have been picturing the place as a simple church surrounded by some rough-hewn and old living quarters spread out on a beautiful garden campus. I visited some Spanish missions in California when I was a kid, where monks had previously lived in small minimalistic cells around a central garden full of yucca plants, so maybe I was just picturing that in Russia.

I did some quick research and discovered that the monastery in The Brothers Karamazov was inspired by the Optina Monastery, which Dostoyevsky visited after the death of his son. In the 1800s, when this book was written, the monastery looked like this:

Optina_Pustynia_and_Zhizdra_River's_flood

That is not at all how I pictured it! Granted, I am not very familiar with Russian architecture, but this looks much more grandiose than the worn paths and dilapidated furniture described in the book.

How the monastery looks today:

1024px-Optina_khramy_goriz_copy

Doesn’t it look lovely? I really like the pale green of the bell tower there on the left.

Optina Pustynia has an interesting history, and a nice website, although it is all in Russian so I couldn’t make heads or tails of it (the monks look really nice, though!). I did manage to find that you can take an awesome 3D tour, Google Streetview-style – click the sun icon to move through to different areas.

optina screenshot

I think this is where they eat? It looks so fancy!

This gives me a whole new perspective of the monastery where Alyosha is studying. How did you imagine the hermitage to look?

Random Daria News

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about our favorite animated leading lady, so it’s time for some Daria news updates! We never claimed that this blog would be timely, did we?

Wax Nostalgic

Image

Artist Hoang Tran makes awesome pop-culture sculptures from crayons, including Daria, whose signature color is plain old green, apparently.

23 Signs You Are Actually Daria Morgendorffer

Because they are all true, and you cannot deny having a crush on Trent Lane even if he was both animated and fictional. With animated GIFs!

17 Times Quinn Morgendorffer Was the Smartest Person on “Daria”

Sometimes, little sisters say insightful things, even if they don’t realize it and/or completely butcher well-known sayings.

Where Are the Darias?

This article from the Paris Review wonders where all the snarky teen girls have gone. Tumblr, maybe?

[Sorry for the delayed blog post! Next I’ll be back to talking about Russian literature, I promise πŸ™‚ ]