Friday Favorites

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2007 by Travis Cody in

Yesterday, Jam asked me about my favorite authors.

My absolute favorites are David and Leigh Eddings. The Belgariad and The Mallorean are 10 books packed full of charming characters and exciting fantasy. I've read both series many times, and they never get old for me.

Another favorite is W.E.B. Griffin. His Brotherhood of War and The Corps series celebrate the honor of service. His writing is some of the most realistic military fiction I've ever read. I haven't read a book of Griffin's that I haven't enjoyed.

No favorite author list is complete without J.R.R. Tolkien. I read Lord of the Rings every year.

I enjoy good fantasy. I appreciate a story that incorporates magic and makes it seem natural. A favorite fantasy author who achieves this for me is Katherine Kurtz. Her Deryni series is based on elements of Celtic and medieval mythologies. She makes you care about her characters and feel what they feel.

For a little light mystery fun, I enjoy Lillian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who books.

OK, so I didn't bore you with a review of all 10 performances from last night's So You Think You Can Dance. But you didn't think I'd leave you with absolutely no opinion????

We don't know yet who will be America's favorite dancer. But we do know that it won't be Ashley or Ricky. I'm surprised that they are keeping two break dancers and sending Ricky home. He is such an intriguing lyrical dancer. I don't think Ashley got a real chance to show what her strengths are, and her solo just didn't impress. The pair were victims of an unfortunate style that they were required to dance last night, and they didn't take advantage of it to show versatility.

But this show is about all around dance and embracing the opportunity to shine in whatever type of dance you are given.

Here's an example of the difference. In the first clip, Jimmy and Shawna are lyrical contemporary dancers who embrace Tyce Diorio's broadway choreography and dance outside of their classical training. It's engaging and charming and outstanding.

By contrast, Ricky and Ashley are also both contemporary dancers. They were given passionate choreography from Alex DeSilva, yet they managed to suck all the fire out of their Argentine Tango. Part of it was costuming and staging that accentuated the difference in their height. But to advance in this competition you have to overcome those hurdles and use the choreography to your advantage. They missed, and two otherwise brilliant dancers are off the show on the first night.


  1. I like The Cat Who books as well. Have you read any of Martha Grimes' Inspector Jury books? Good stuff.

  1. Steven says:

    Hmmm...I'll have to check some of these books out. Always looking to expand my library (which is currently still packed up in a warehouse somewhere in New York).

    By the way, I've become totally addicted to "So You Think You Can Dance." Besides some of the cheesy elements of the show, I LOVE the dancing through different genres. I love ballroom, but I also love seeing these incredible dancers work through other styles. Damn, they're good!

  1. Matt-Man says:

    Good choices Trav...I do however love William Faulkner, but actually I'm more of a non-fiction guy..Cheers my friend and have a great weekend.

  1. julie says:

    Well my favorite authors are...**scans through blogger bookmarks** Yeah I know...kinda lame huh?

    Thanks for the dance clips that I slept through...


  1. Jay says:

    Almost everyone has a favourite author, but to have favourite authorS, I think, is a sign of intelligence.

  1. Meribah says:

    Ooo! I luv the Cat Who books! Siamese cats are my absolute fav breed of cat, and I luv the ones in these books. I also luv J.R.R Tolkien books. In my opinion, the man was a genius.

  1. TopChamp says:

    Is that Cat Deeley on the dancing show? Love your clips so I'm quite glad you've got another show to tell us about.

    I am going to have to get a copy of The Cat Who.... I thought it was The Cat Who Books, but I now see it is actually the Cat Who books. I think.

  1. Boy, you are one dedicated blogging machine!
    Love your list of authors. I just read one by Deborah Crombie, the stories of Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James. Pretty good - makes me want to read more.
    I need to go back and read the classics. It's been over 40 years for most of them.

  1. Travis says:

    Jeff: I haven't read Martha Grimes. I'll make a note to check it out. Thanks!

    Steven: This is the most talent they've had in both seasons. There have been individual outstanding dancers in the past two seasons, but from 1 through 20 this current group is excellent.

    Matt: I also enjoy military history. I guess I should have included Stephen Ambrose in my list of favorites.

    Julie: You're welcome. And it's not always about who you long as you read!

    Jay: Why thank you Ma'am.

    Meri: No slobbering on the kitties now! I've discovered that I may be missing a few Cat Who's. I'll have to fix that soon.

    TC: Yes it is Cat Deeley. She has very long legs and I love her accent. She's definitely THUMPALISHUS! You do have it right about The Cat Who - like The Cat Who Could Read Backwards and such.

    Gracie: I've had a lot to say this week! I'll make a note about Deborah Crombie too.

  1. I actually own a "The Cat Who" book, but I've never read it. Ever. And I've owned it for years. I may have to give it a try since you recommend them.

  1. You read Lord Of The Rings every year? The whole set?

    That's simply amazing!

  1. Gail says:

    These are great recommendations...Trav, you should join the site. I think you'd love it there!

    I actually have "So You Think You Can Dance" recorded on my DVR every week...but I have no time to watch them (imagine that!)...

  1. Skittles says:

    I haven't watched the dance show. I thought it would be... lame. But then I used to think that about Dancing With The Stars, too! After this I may start :)

    I LOVE books. I read at least one a week. And not just reading them.. I love the smell and feel of them too. Ok, I'm weird. LOL

  1. Travis says:

    Songbird: You should read it! It's a nice light mystery with colorful eccentric characters and a couple really smart cats.

    Terra: Yup. Every year.

    Gail: I joined the site today. Now that you have Dance on DVR, take your time and watch.

    Skittles: Oh these are talented and in some cases professional dancers. Really good stuff.

  1. wolfbaby says:

    sometimes when your talkin bout your book collection it's like your holding up a mirror to mine...

    you have such great taste