Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wolitzer's The Interestings

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
(Dreamscape Audio, 2013)
Format: audio CD via library (narrated by Jen Tullock)

From Goodreads: The creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel one through life at age thirty, and in adulthood not everyone can sustain what seemed to be their adolescent specialness. Jules Handler, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. But her two best friends, now married to each other, become shockingly successful - true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure, but Jules begins to harbor a suppressed envy that grows year after year, causing her great shame. How can she be envious of the people she loves most in life - the people who have always loved her, too?"

A bunch of privileged artsy white kids who escape the doldrums of life in Manhattan for a few weeks of summer camp, where they can put on plays and live in “teepees” and self-express to their little hearts’ content? Yay. I mean, they christen themselves “The Interestings,” and no matter how ironically they phrase it, you know they actually believe it, right?

So indeed, let’s follow them as they become successful (or sometimes not) adults and constantly hearken back to the good old days in the dining halls and re-enact their teenage passions.

No. I mean it. Let’s do. These people will get under your skin so immediately, and stick with you long after you reach ‘the end.’ Ash and her brother will enrage but engage you, and Jonas will break your heart, and Ethan will call to your soul, while Jules is the magnetic north of them all, the point to which they all unknowingly gravitate. Wolitzer pulls the threads together, teases them apart, and ties them into knots as the campers head off into the tragedies and triumphs of their adult lives. Unexpected connections that unexpectedly feel right, small moments that lodge like the tiniest, sharpest of pebbles in your shoe, until they grow to be giant irritants. She’s a master of deliberate construction.

Tullock captured Jules’s uncertain teen voice and let it subtly grow to an adult version, better at hiding insecurity and understanding the patterns of the world around her. I’ve not heard her narration before, but enjoyed her immersion in the text and ability to differentiate many characters and emotions. I’d definitely enjoy more audio titles from her. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shhh! Leave Me Alone!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
(Random House Audio, 2012)
Format: audio download via library (narrated by Kathe Mazur)

From Goodreads: "At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves."

So, remember how June is Audiobook Month? And there's this awesome Going Public... In Shorts! project I got to participate in when I interviewed narrator Kaleo Griffith? Well, other bloggers are doing interviews all month, too, of course, and through one of those - Jen at Devourer of Books's interview with narrator Cassandra Campbell - I heard about Cain's Quiet, and Mazur's graceful, friendly narration thereof. 
Does this make your mouth water?
Like, a whole lot?
You might be an introvert!

I am an introvert. (<--- understatement.) So it's pretty cool to listen to a book where I can compare myself to Rosa Parks and Dr. Seuss and Einstein and think, 'hey, yeah, I get that!' Beyond that, I just enjoyed Cain's presentation of her material. It progresses nicely and I kept making notes for myself along the lines of "look up that lemon test!" and "monitor less / achieve more." It's not that the essential qualities of introversion were a surprise to me, but Cain adjusts the kaleidoscope on all those qualities, giving me a different perspective on them. It's thought-provoking (hey, introverts like that!) and action-making stuff. 

It's interesting to see the ways in which some of the 'closet' introverts she interviews manage their higher profile lives / careers, and to think about the ways in which introvert-extrovert collaborations can be stronger than the same tasks with all the same personality types. (Not too surprisingly, introvert-extrovert marriages are pretty common. I have one. My parents do, too. And my brother. Lots of people I know.) (Mine's the best.) (Hi, honey.) 

So, next time you see me reading (ie, next time you see me), you'll know that it's because I'm biologically destined to hole up in my cave thinking rather than doing. And next time you see me laughing madly around a dinner table with friends (which I was doing just this evening), believe me when I tell you I'm just highly adaptive. (Or don't believe me. Being highly adaptive also means I'm a great liar.) (Apparently. I'll never tell!)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
(Putnam, 2013)
Format: audio download via Audiobook Jukebox (narrated by Kathleen McInerney for Penguin Audio)

From Goodreads: "Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. 

That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie insinuates herself back into Lily's friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction...and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations. 

Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever."

There are times, you know, when I can become convinced that the audiobook narrator is actually the narrator of the story, telling me the whole thing as it happens. It helps, of course, when the story is full of immediacy and passion and intensity. It took about two minutes into McInerney's reading of Williams's new novel for me to link her inextricably with Lily Dane. And oh, Lily Dane! What a character. I find it hard not to refer to her as a person, instead of remembering that she's a fiction. She's complete and complex and compelling indeed. 

I enjoyed Williams's debut, Overseas, but wasn't as excited by it as the buzz had led me to believe I would be. Well, never mind. She more than made up for it here. She has a cunning and expert knack at layering together Lily's past and present, building tension and intrigue and surprising me over and over with the unexpected. And still letting me stay a step or two ahead of Lily, without diminishing her in any way - often Lily's blind spots are also her strengths. And she calls upon each of those strengths as the hundred year storm blows in to Seaview, turning the emotional threats to her and all she loves into a physical one, as well. 

It's just so perfectly constructed. The novel is thoroughly populated, and inhabits its times and places fully. I want Lily Dane to live happily ever after, and in my mind, that's exactly what she's doing.

Friday, June 21, 2013


'Member way back in April, when I told my son a story about the vendor who charged me for 12 pieces of glass even though we only got 11? 

You do, right? Edge of your seat stuff.

ANYWAY, you will be delighted to hear that - at last, after weeks & weeks & calls & calls - I have received not only the credit for that missing piece of glass, but also two other credits from other invoices that were overcharged. 



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Going Public Project - Kaleo Griffith & Twain's Celebrated Frog

I'm terribly excited to be a part of an audio story-sharing project in celebration of all the loveliest things: audiobooks, writing, free stuff, literacy. Here's the basics:

June is Audiobook month (JIAM 2013). The audiobook community is giving back by teaming with the Going Public Project by offering a serialized audio story collection. All proceeds will go to Reach Out and Read literacy advocacy organization. Throughout June, 1-2 stories will be released each day on the Going Public blog and on author/book blogs. The story will be free (online only – no downloads) for one week. In collaboration with Blackstone Audio, all the stories will be available for download via Downpour. The full compilation will be ready June 30th.
The full schedule of the story release dates and narrators are at Going Public. Engineering and Mastering are provided by Jeffrey Kafer and SpringBrook Audio. Graphic design provided by f power design and published by Blackstone Audio. Project coordination and executive production by Xe Sands.

Yesterday was Hilary Huber reading Guy du Maupassant at AudioGals and tomorrow is Adam Verner reading Jack London at Anita Loves Books but today (Happy Father's Day!), I'm delighted to present Kaleo Griffith's reading of Mark Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

Listen to (and buy if you like) the Jumping Frogs! (And check out Kaleo's post over at Going Public.)

Kaleo was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me, which will give you a taste of his talents and enthusiasm for narration. I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know him as much as I did: 

The big thing everyone always asks, I’m sure: how did you get into audiobook narration? Share a bit about your background and journey with us.
Sure. Well, first off, thank you for hosting me today! It's a pleasure to be with you! 

So I got into narration sort of accidentally. A couple of years ago I was at a commercial voice over audition in Los Angeles and Audie Winner Rosalyn Landor heard me in the halls. I didn't know who she was at the time.  Well, she walked up to me and said, "Do you do audiobooks?" I said, "No." And she said, "Well, you should!"  She proceeded to sit me down, find out more about me - then told me exactly who to call, what to do, and I was off. And that was my introduction. Thanks Roz! She's a dear friend now. My first book was Arrows of the Night at Random House - written by five time Emmy Award winner & producer of 60 Minutes: Richard Bonin. No pressure. Ha! Actually, I'm still very proud of that first book. It's an incredible piece of history.  Well, I'm very grateful to Rosalyn, Bob and Debra Deyan, and Random House who started me on this most auspicious journey! As far as my background - I've always been an actor. I've been doing that since I was about 13. I took an acting class, found the theatre and was hooked. Growing up in Hawaii with a large extended family can be fantastic and sometimes maddening as a kid. I could disappear on the stage, put my attention on all of those other folks in the page. It was exhilarating! Eventually I found my way to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in California, then Franklin Pierce University in N.H., London to study classics through Roger Williams Drama Program, then on to Rutgers where I earned my Masters. Yes, a lot of training! - I have my parents to thank for that one. Without them, none of it would be possible. Or, perhaps, it would be different and I still would have found my way! - But, they knew that I was serious and I wanted to know EVERYTHING! haha! Of course, in the beginning I did know everything. Now, I know nothing. (laughing)
I know the feeling - I used to know everything, too! 

Your actor’s training and stage and screen work give you, I’m sure, a lot of your skill with dramatic and emotionally complex narration. What new skills or demands on you has your work with audiobooks brought to the fore? 

Well, yes, there are innumerable skills that  transfer: simple things like being real,  not a "caricature" of a character but a real human being; responding in the moment, as if it's the first time - things like that. That being said recording audiobooks is not for everyone. It is very demanding and intricate. The simple act of  recording a book for 6 or 7 straight hours - sometimes longer - is in itself a major difference and can be very taxing. And I can't remember the last film I did where I played 30 characters. And that's on the low end. Many of you know Jim Dale, an incredible pro with over 100 characters in the incredible Harry Potter Series. So,  dealing with many different personalities & people speaking right after another can be a challenge for any narrator-all the while maintaining an even narrator tone - it can sometimes be a whirlwind! These are skills I wasn't originally trained for but became friends with very quickly! Not the least of which - you are alone. There may be a director in another room, maybe not. It can be lonely. So I decide who I want to read to that day, dramatize it accordingly, and go for it. Sometimes the genre of the book will tell me who I need to tell this story to. But there's always a need.  

What do you read on your own time? What else do you do for fun? (See how I just assume you read for fun? Because reading is fun!)
Well, right now I'm reading about cloth diapers vs disposable diapers. Yup, my wife is giving birth in three months to our first and poop seems fairly interesting at the moment. I go one way, then the other. I'm stumped. We're looking for the light-bulb moment. If any of you have grand ideas, we're happy to hear it! As far as other reading goes, I like a lot of diversity. However, I'm a kid in a candy store with a great adventure novel. When I have free time my wife and love to explore - go see new music, some art, a new show, or get outside. 
Congratulations on your baby! (We used cloth for about 4 months with our first boy, then switched to disposable. It was long enough to justify our investment in the diaper covers and all. For the second, the diaper service only lasted about 2 months before he outgrew our stash of diaper covers and we gave up. But it was nice to have in those early days of constant diaper usage.

I have always been a big fan of Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” My high schooler recently wrote an essay about it going into the Easterner-Westerner juxtaposition, allegory, targeted use of humor, and so forth. Personally, I just think it’s hilarious. What led you to choose the Twain story for your Going Public… In Shorts! selection?
So great to hear that!  It's great isn't it? Well, it's simple. In my mind (and many others) Twain is simply the greatest American writer that's ever lived! And who wouldn't wanna hear a story about a "celebrated jumping frog" for God's sake?! I mean come on! I would pay to see that!  I read this story and thought-"Now this will be fun!" I just felt like I knew who these guys were. I understood the place, the time, I could see the bar, everything. It's quirky, fun, and I felt like I could hit those rhythms. This story has everything. It's Twain at his best. And lots of fun! 

Are you the kind of narrator who creates flowcharts on the characters before starting a project? What do you do to prepare for a new book?
I don't know if it's a flowchart per se but I do write down all of the characters on a spreadsheet with notes and directions. I will typically read the entire book, then go back and make notes. The most important thing is my first impression. I write that down. I'll ask myself, "What is the author's intent?" "The tone of the book?"  I'll try to answer that one as best as possible. This influences every part of the story including my reading of the 'narrator.' Sometimes I'll contact the author. So far that has been very helpful. Then I'll write down all of the characters and any pronunciations I may need help with. I'll study these people and find out why they're in this story, what makes them tick, what they want. Ultimately, (as the character) it's important to react fresh, in the moment, as if for the first time. And perhaps, surprise myself with my reaction. After all, in life, that's how we do it. We have no clue most of the time what we're going to say next - or how we say it.  Then I'll do any and all necessary research on pronunciations, places, things and anything else that may be technical. Ultimately, I liken the process to peeling back layers of a beautiful peach. It may seem a bit fuzzy to start, but as you move onward you are rewarded with a striking, intricate core.    
You certainly do it well! I was impressed with your immediacy and freshness in this story. (Y'all, if you haven't listened yet, get on it - seriously, such fun.)

Do you have any favorites among the works you’ve narrated? Has anything been particularly meaningful or fun for you?
I find joy in every title that I do because I find a way to make it personal to me. My first book as I mentioned earlier is a favorite of mine - simply because it's the first and it happens to be an incredible story of how this country got into the Iraq War. I'm also pretty excited about the EARPHONE awards I've received with Vampires In The Lemon Grove by Pulitzer Prize Nominee Karen Russell, and Extreme Exposure by Best Selling author Pamela Clare. And speaking of Pamela Clare, the relationship that I've built with her has been particularly special. 
I saw that your reading of her Extreme Exposure was chosen as Best Romance Audiobook of 2012 over at Audiogals! Superb.  

You’ve accumulated, I think, some very avid fans of your narration, in addition to professional awards and recognition. Is the audiobook community what you expected when you started recording? 
No, it's not what I expected. It's much better! I wasn't expecting anything bad. I just had no expectations because I didn't know the industry. i.e. other narrators, producers, fans, etc. All I can say is I've met some of the nicest people I've ever met in the last year and a half. And the fans - wow! They are some of the  smartest, most savvy, avid, and passionate in the entertainment community. In a world where apathy is a going trend who doesn't love that? I'm very grateful to them. Without them, none of this would be possible. 
Oh, we're just the best. :) And we do love our narrators to distraction. I'm glad you're one of them now.

Tell me about your recent and/or upcoming releases. What’s on the audio horizon?
I just finished work on Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fairy Tales. It's a wild and raucous fantasy ride for young adults & adults alike. Currently, I'm in the middle of working on the terrific  Gamble Brothers Series by J Lynn - just finishing up the second of the series with that. I'm also starting work on Pamela Clare's Rita nominated historical: The MacKinnon's Rangers TrilogyIt's a lush historical romance which takes place in 1750s New York during the French and Indian War. All very exciting! 

Happy Father’s Day! Any plans for celebrating?
Thank you! You too! Yes, I'm going to celebrate with my father-in-law. Maybe go for some oysters!   Thanks so much for having me here. It was a real pleasure to do this with you. The last thing I'd like to say is Happy Father's Day to all of you Dad's out there! I hope listeners enjoy this story. I hope it brightens your day! I'm really proud to be a part of this "Reach Out & Read" program. All the best.

Thank you, Kaleo - it has been quite wonderful to have you here, and to listen to your engaging narration of "Jumping Frog." I'm really looking forward to getting my ears on more of your projects!

A little more about Kaleo:
Kaleo Griffith is a classically trained, multiple award-winning actor and voice artist living in Los Angeles. He has been called "Powerful, with the presence of a young Timothy Dalton" by The Hollywood Reporter. Griffith graduated cum laude from Franklin Pierce University with a B.A. in Theatre,  an M.F.A. in Acting from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has also lived and trained classically in the UK through Roger Williams University.  Film & TV credits include: Oliver Stone's Talk Radio; Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, Diagnosis X, a "Host" on HGTV, and several soaps. Griffith has performed in over 50 professional theatrical productions across the country-- such as Pasadena Playhouse and South Coast Repertory Theatre-- working with veterans like Richard Chamberlain, Jessica Walter & Lois Nettleton. His voice work encompasses many commercial campaigns and audiobooks. Griffith recently won two AudioFile Earphones Awards for his narration work on Pamela Clare's Extreme Exposure and Karen Russell's (Pulitzer Prize finalist) Vampires In The Lemon Grove. Griffith is currently shooting the feature/western Six Gun Savior-with Eric Roberts and enjoying narrating  many wonderful audiobooks. You can reach him at

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 
(Bloomsbury, 1996) 
Format: ebook via library 

From Goodreads: "In 1843, a 16-year-old Canadian housemaid named Grace Marks was tried for the murder of her employer and his mistress. The sensationalistic trial made headlines throughout the world, and the jury delivered a guilty verdict. Yet opinion remained fiercely divided about Marks--was she a spurned woman who had taken out her rage on two innocent victims, or was she an unwilling victim herself, caught up in a crime she was too young to understand? Such doubts persuaded the judges to commute her sentence to life imprisonment, and Marks spent the next 30 years in an assortment of jails and asylums, where she was often exhibited as a star attraction. In Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood reconstructs Marks's story in fictional form. Her portraits of 19th-century prison and asylum life are chilling in their detail. The author also introduces Dr. Simon Jordan, who listens to the prisoner's tale with a mixture of sympathy and disbelief. In his effort to uncover the truth, Jordan uses the tools of the then rudimentary science of psychology. But the last word belongs to the book's narrator--Grace herself."

I read this for one of my Goodreads groups (The Rooster! - feel free to join us, I totally have the power to approve member requests, because I am THAT COOL.) It's been ages since I read Atwood, I don't know why. Blame the kids. Or something. 

Here's the thing: "When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else."

I MEAN, RIGHT? Because Grace has told and retold her story - to herself, to the police, the lawyers, doctors, the constant barrage of voyeurs who want to be able to say they saw the celebrated murderess in person. And her story is contradicted by the witnesses and the man who shot their boss and journalists who want their stories to be as lurid and sensational as possible. And everyone who asks for her story has a different agenda. The question is this: does Grace tailor each retelling of the events of that day to manipulate her listener for her own purposes, or is she as simple and innocent as some claim? Or is she guilty, conniving, a mastermind? Personally, I think the years and years of being watched through a cage turned her into the woman who sat so cooly through the interviews with Dr. Jordan, unfurling her story in a way calculated to keep him engaged. And in the end - well, I can't tell you, but brace yourself, because just as you think you have a handle on her, Grace will deliver a one-two punch to your gut. The dark roaring continues.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
(Random House, 2013)
Format: Audio CDs via library (narrated by Cassandra Campbell)

From Goodreads: "Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever."

Oh, those Burgess boys. Love to like one, love to dislike the other, and love to love the book containing them both. There's so much here, from the superbly-observant Strout, that will turn Bob and Jim and Susan into people you've known forever, those notable siblings from your small town whose lives you've observed since they were kids and whose tragedies and triumphs you've seen up close. And there are all the others, too, the refugee and the minister and the ex-wife and the cop - everyone a part of this community, whether they'd like to be or not, whether they've fled Shirley Falls or not. I just can't get over how intimately Strout draws her characters. I can't explain why I'd want to root for Jim even when he's being a blowhard, or why the way hard, cold Susan interacts with her dog breaks my heart. And Bob. Good old Bob, who could have led so much bigger a life, but then again, has led a life despite his tragedy, and would we want him to have ended up more like Jim, anyway? No, we wouldn't. 

I'm not explaining myself well because: emotions. They defy words sometimes. 

Campbell's narration was tides rolling over me, calm and strong and surging through the story. Her accents - even, though my ear is unfamiliar, the apparently tough Maine one! - were intent and right, and she perfectly captured Strout's mood of the near-present past tense.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's June! That Means it's Audiobook Month!

Hey, did you guys know I like audiobooks?

It's true. I do not lie. I speak with a certain amount of veracity here.

So, JIAM is upon us - June is Audiobook Month. What that means is that you should totally get yourself some audiobooks for your road trip, your commute, your listening as you clean out those closets you never get to. (I have a lot of closets that need cleaning. Just FYI.)

And one very cool way to celebrate JIAM is to visit the Going Public... In Shorts! site / blog hop every day, because each day you can hear a different short story read by a different (awesome) audiobook narrator, for free. Yep: FREE. And all the stories will be available for purchase as a compilation after June is over, with proceeds going to the literacy group Reach Out and Read

So I encourage you to do this, and especially to watch this space for when I'm a participant in the blog hop, and enjoy the superb world of narration out there.

Here's the Going Public... In Shorts! site for more info & all the stories, which will be available free for a week or thereabouts each.
Also today's blog hop spot is Publisher's Weekly's news blog - you can listen to a great interview between the editor and the narrators. And the stories (by Joe Archibald and Washington Irving) are linked there, too. (And they drop a little inadvertent hint about what you'll see here later on....)

I'm not going to put the daily links up every day of the month, but I encourage you to check it out today and throughout the month.

P.S.! Since I entertained you all earlier this year with my Armchair Audies posts, I just had to let you know: I was TOTALLY RIGHT because I'm SECRETLY THE ACTUAL PERSON WHO JUDGES THE AUDIES FOR THE WHOLE INDUSTRY. (I speak with a little less veracity there.) 

The Audies were awarded on Thursday, and all 4 of my official Armchair Audies category predictions were correct: Simon Vance narrating Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies won for Literary Fiction, Ralph Cosham narrating Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery won for Mystery, Kate Rudd reading John Green's The Fault in Our Stars won for Teen, and Edoardo Ballerini narrating Jess Walters's Beautiful Ruins won for Solo Narration - Male. (I got my unofficial category wrong, but, hey, Katherine Kellgren is too amazing for it to bug me.)