Five pop culture items we missed

Jane Lynch hawks her memoir, vampire fans flock to the Pacific Northwest (again), and Gadhafi takes another hit

By Emma Mustich

Published August 23, 2011 9:24PM (EDT)

Jane Lynch.
Jane Lynch.

1. Jane Lynch goes on a bookselling rampage: It's hard not to be reminded of Lynch's "Glee" character, Sue Sylvester, while watching this promotional video for the actress' memoir.

2. In relationship and parenting news, George Michael and Kenny Goss split two years ago (but Michael only mentioned it on Monday); Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are expecting a third child; Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have denied rumors of their split; the boy who played Betty Draper's son on "Mad Men" says January Jones is "not as approachable" as other members of the show's cast; and Kate Winslet rescued Richard Branson's mother from a burning mansion.

3. There's something about vampires and the Pacific Northwest. The New York Observer directs our attention to a press release for an Alaskan "vampire cruise," complete with "Scareoke Party" and guest presenter Dacre Stoker -- who's either "Dracula author Bram Stoker's great grand-nephew" or Bram Stoker himself, back from the dead.

4. What book review terms really mean: Are you sick of seeing blurbs that gush about the latest "absorbing," "visionary," "stunning" and "epic" books? Do you think these words have lost their meaning through overuse? Here's an entertaining guide to cynical readings of these terms, by "industry veterans." (One of our favorites: "acclaimed" = "poorly selling.")

5. Moammar Gadhafi likely has more on his mind this week than bad literary reviews, but the Guardian's Daniel Kalder is taking aim nonetheless. Evidently the colonel's "Escape to Hell" -- "marketed in the U.K. as a single collection of short stories and essays" -- leaves much to be desired. Kalder writes: "[W]hile 'Escape to Hell' is undeniably awful, it is not uniformly so. Gaddafi has a real gift for invective: he can spew with the best of them."

Emma Mustich

Emma Mustich is a Salon contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @emustich.

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