The Crown, Season 1

The Crown

If you have a Netflix account, it is probably old news that the streaming service’s original series The Crown, about the early reign of the United Kingdom’s Elizabeth II, is superb. But if you don’t have a Netflix account, you had no way to watch it until quite recently, when it was released on DVD.

English royalty has always been a popular subject for entertainment and has been the focus of several recently acclaimed shows, including Wolf Hall and Victoria. Though I have enjoyed the other shows mentioned, I’m not sure any other television show I have watched has delved into the complexities of imperial protocol and how one’s royal persona must overshadow any personal one quite like The Crown does.

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Old Favorites: Sylvia Plath

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

I’ve been a Sylvia Plath fan since I was a teenager. The first poem of hers that I ever read was “Daddy,” and it was so powerful, so unsettling, so very different from anything else that I had ever read, that it always stayed with me. Later, I read her novel The Bell Jar and her other poems, and they all had a similar effect on me.

Sadly, this month marks the 55th anniversary of Plath’s suicide, but there are numerous ways to remember Plath, including revisiting her work.

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David Carlson’s The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry

The Hunting Accident

Charlie Rizzo has spent his life thinking his father was blinded in a hunting accident as a child. Not that it has stopped his dad from living his life or enjoying one of his greatest hobbies — studying poetic masterpieces of world literature. It’s an unusual hobby to have in their 1960s working-class Chicago neighborhood, but Charlie never suspects anything out-of-the-ordinary with his dad. That is, until Charlie finds himself in trouble with the law. He then learns that his mild-mannered father was blinded in a botched robbery and did time for it in the Illinois State Penitentiary, where he was cellmates with Nathan Leopold. As in, Nathan Leopold of Leopold and Loeb thrill-killing infamy.

I had this book (a nonfiction graphic novel that combines true crime and poetry appreciation) recommended to me recently by one of my undergraduate English professors. I always enjoyed the books I read in her classes, so her suggestions are ones I always try to follow up on. And I was not disappointed. Thanks so much for the great suggestion, Leslie!

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Books Abuzz: Family Secrets, Aging Nomads, and Amish Firefighter Romances

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For February, we’re looking at a tense suburban family drama, an investigative nonfiction book about modern American nomads, and a contemporary Amish romance.

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