In Kevin Kwan’s China Rich Girlfriend, the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, lifestyle consultant Corinna Ko-Tung takes on the daunting task of transforming the scandalous former soap-opera star Kitty Pong into a high society darling. She doles out hilarious and scarily comprehensive advice for the social climbing Kitty, including which car she can drive, which church she should attend, what cosmetic procedures she’s allowed to have and how she must change everything about her wardrobe (“I know the average outfit in your wardrobe costs more than a semester of tuition at Princeton, but it makes you look like a community college during summertime: NO CLASS.”).
In the middle of her “Social Impact Assessment”, however, there’s a fun little Easter Egg: Corinna prepares a reading list for Kitty, telling her:
“In order to distinguish yourself, you must either have one
hell of a good stock tip or learn to become a scintillating conversationalist.
Beauty fades, but wit will keep you on the invitation lists to all the most
That’s sensible advice - however, if you’ve read enough interviews with Mr. Kwan, you may realize that Corinna’s reading list is also the list of authors and works that inspired and influenced the Crazy Rich Asians series. Not only is this a lovely treat for fans, it would probably make a really fun reading challenge (which I fully intend to do btw - I’m calling it the Kitty Pong reading challenge). I mean, is there a single book in this list that doesn’t sound completely awesome? Corinna even sets out the rules: you have to complete one book per fortnight, with the exception of Trollope, where you are allowed three weeks per book. The books are to be read in the following order:
Snobs, by Julian Fellowes
The Piano Teacher, by Janice Y. K. Lee
People Like Us, by Dominick Dunne
The Power of Style, by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins*
Pride and Avarice, by Nicholas Coleridge
The Soong Dynasty, by Sterling Seagrave
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen [SIC]
D.V., by Diana Vreeland
A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur,
by Gayatri Devi
Jane Austen – complete Works beginning with Pride and
Edith Wharton – The Custom of the Country, The Age of
Innocence, The Buccaneers, The House of Mirth (must be read in strict order –
you will understand why when you finish the last one)
Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Anthony Trollope – all the books in the Palliser series,
beginning with Can You Forgive Her?
* The Power of Style is indeed out of print, just like Corinna says, but isn’t hard to find in second hand bookshops and websites like Abebooks. (I just ordered a copy from a second hand bookshop in São Paulo).
The Magicians has been renewed for a third season by Syfy, the cable network announced Wednesday.
The network has picked up the drama series for another 13-episode season to follow the currently airing second season. Season 3 will premiere in 2018.
A Universal Cable Productions series, The Magicians centers on Quentin (Jason Ralph), a brilliant grad student chosen to attend Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic.
Quentin and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real when they unwittingly invite a malevolent entity from the other side into their world. Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta and Summer Bishil also star.
The Magicians is based on Lev Grossman’s series of bestselling novels. John McNamara, Sera Gamble, Chris Fisher serve as executive producers alongside Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams.
The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy, with the season finale to air on April 19.
“We feel when people see the film it will speak for itself,” HBO Films President Len Amato says of the drama exploring the 1991 Anita Hill confirmation hearings
HBO’s “Confirmation” is already coming under fire from D.C. lawmakers who allege there are “grave inaccuracies” in the docu-drama chronicling the Anita Hill hearings.
Former senators Alan Simpson of Wyoming and John Danforth of Missouri are among those speaking against their portrayals in the film starring Kerry Washington, reports Politico.
Simpson is even threatening legal action. “I don’t know what I’ll do but it won’t be fun and games,” he told Politico. “I won’t just sit still. I’ll have a response, I always have. An attack unanswered is an attack believed.”
Hill was called to testify at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Senate confirmation hearing when it was revealed she had accused him of sexual harassment while he was her supervisor years earlier. The film will focus on the confirmation hearings and the effect they had on Hill and the country at large.
“Obviously, they were going to go forward with [the film], and obviously there are going to be some repercussions because they’ve opened a hornet’s nest,” he said.
Simpson objected to particular scenes, including one in which a staffer chases a man through the woods in order to serve him with a subpoena.
Susannah Grant wrote the screenplay and serves as executive producer along with Washington, Michael London and Janice Williams for HBO Films in association with ABC Signature, and with London and Williams’ A Groundswell Production. Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope”) directed.
HBO is standing by the film and the research the filmmakers did.
“‘Confirmation’ has gone through a thorough research and vetting process not any different than our past award-winning films, which have stood the test of time,” HBO Films’ President Len Amato said in a statement. “Basically, our process is to be as transparent as possible and to talk to as many people connected to the story as possible. We look at all the literature that’s been published, sometimes we option books, we consult with respected journalists who covered the event at the time and really listen to what people have to say. The goal is to find significant stories to tell and get them right. ‘Confirmation’ does just that. We feel when people see the film it will speak for itself.”