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Thursday
October 17th, 2019

the simpsons spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

When I was young, one of the things I looked forward to most about the Halloween season was seeing the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes of “The Simpsons” on TV. Not only were there some legitimate scares for my young self, but there were also a lot of laughs. So for this week I decided to indulge in a little nostalgia and talk about some of my favorite “Treehouse of Horror” episodes.  Enjoy!

 

The Thing and I (Treehouse Of Horror 7)

This segment, all the way from Treehouse of Horror 7, focuses on the revelation that Bart has an evil twin, Hugo, who lives in the Simpsons’ attic and has done so since birth. I love this one because when I was young, not only did the idea of having an evil twin absolutely terrify me, but the voicework throughout the episode is great and there are also several laughs. My favorite part is at the end when it’s revealed Bart is the evil twin and the deadpan way in which he says “Oh, don’t be so shocked” had me rolling in hysterics and continues to do so. 

 

Wiz Kids (Treehouse Of Horror 12)

This segment is a favorite of mine and I’ve loved it since the premiere. I love it because of how it parodies the “Harry Potter” series, which I’ve loved since elementary school. The Simpsons and the various side characters are perfectly cast in their respective roles in the Potterverse and I love the show’s take on the famous series. There are plenty of laughs throughout this segment for everyone and I would say my favorite part of the episode is near the end when Bart’s spell actually turns on him. 

edgar allan poe collage spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

October is here, which means many people will soon be gearing up for Halloween night at the end of the month here and are looking for spooky activities and other things to occupy the time until then. One of the ways I like to get into a bit of the spirit is picking up some spooky books by some of my favorite authors, and I’ve definitely read some good ones. 

One author in particular I enjoy reading, and have since my high school days, is Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve been fascinated by his life story and his fiction stories since that particular unit in Mrs. Martin’s English class my junior year and his stories are the perfect way to get into that spooky spirit. So I thought for this week, I’d talk about some of my favorites in Poe’s bibliography. 

 

The Raven

This poem centers on a lonely widower whose life gets upended one night when a large raven suddenly enters his chambers and perches there for the night and rather tortures the narrator. This was one of the first Poe works we read in English and I absolutely loved it because not only do you see inside the narrator’s mind as he descends into madness but the symbolism and other supernatural elements make this the perfect poem to read in the dark with maybe only a candle or two lit. There are several great dramatic readings of the poem on YouTube, as well as the adaptation done by “The Simpsons” in one of the show’s early “Treehouse of Horror” specials. 

where the crawdads sing spotlight pageELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Last Friday I made a stop at the library before going home for the night after work for some entertainment that would suffice for me during the weekend. Among the books I checked out was one I’ve been seeing on the bestselling books list on this page for quite some time now – Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing.” 

It seems like every other visit to the library, this particular book was checked out, so I hadn’t yet gotten the chance to read it. When I finally saw it on the shelves Friday night, I said to myself “OK, I’ve been seeing this book title on my page for the past several weeks now, let’s see what the talk is all about.”

And ultimately, I’m very glad I picked it up. 

The novel follows two separate yet intertwined stories – the first timeline describes the life of Kya, who has been dubbed “The Marsh Girl” by the citizens of nearby Barkley Cove, as she grows up isolated in the marsh of North Carolina after being abandoned by her family. The second timeline follows the murder investigation (during which Kya becomes the prime suspect and eventually goes on trial for) of Chase Andrews, a prominent citizen of Barkley Cove.

The first thing I have to commend about this book is Kya’s character, because she is written VERY well. Abandoned by her family at a far too young age and dubbed an outcast by the members of the nearby community, Owens could have gone for the cliché of having Kya become embittered at the world and cast aside all human connection, but she doesn’t. Instead, Kya is a strong, educated woman who actually does make a few true connections in her life – ultimately, her attitude is one akin to the “Do what you gotta do” saying, and I really liked that. After her trial for Chase’s murder, Kya even makes it a point to tell her brother, Jodie (who she reunites with later in the novel) something along the lines of even though she was the one who was laughed at and ostracized and had to deal with everything in her life on her own, she never felt hatred toward anyone in the community or even toward her family members for leaving. It’s very refreshing for that type of characterization to happen and I’m really glad that’s how Owens wrote the character. 

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