out quite a lot, because the character in the
books actually is much taller than me. You can’t
make me taller, but you can make me bigger
this way. So I wear lots of layers of clothing.
Now, in the winter, that’s great, because I’m the
only warm person on set; but in the summer,
it’s a bit of a challenge because I am so, so hot.
And I say, “I’m going to have to take this coat
off in a minute.” But it’s so inappropriate to do
so, so I suffer for my art [laughs].
CC: How would you describe Vera’s character
arc over the five seasons?
BB: In the early episodes people thought,
“Well, I don’t know if I like this woman or
not.” But they could see that her sidekick, Joe,
did like her. And I think they found a way to
like her through him. Because they adored
him, they must think, “Well, there must be
something about this woman. Let’s give her
the benefit of the doubt.” And then, of course,
people did come to know her. How often in
life does that happen when you don’t like
somebody, you get to know them and you
would say, “Actually, they’re all right.” Vera—I
think she is pretty constant; we get to know
her a bit better and like her a little bit more.
CC: Why do you think this show succeeds
where other detective shows fail?
BB: The central character in Vera is an ordinary
person, and anyone can relate to her. Women
like her because she’s a woman without the aid
of lipstick or hasn’t walked off a catwalk that can
control a group of men and they respect her.
That’s a bonus for women watching. And I
think they enjoy the husbands watching
because they’re not lusting after [laughter] this
woman in her brown brogue shoes and her
CC: How long do you see the series going?
BB: Oh, they’re going to have to pension me
off soon [laughs]. It’s been recommissioned
for another series, so we’ll see how that goes.
We’ve already made 24, and they’re all feature-length films, which is quite something
that I’m very, very proud of. The stories are all
good. And the production values are excellent, which I appreciate enormously. C
BLETHYN IN DISGUISE
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 127
Brenda Blethyn, as Vera Stanhope, arrives
at the scene of the crime with Kenny
Doughty as Aiden Healy.
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, by
Christopher Scotton. After seeing the death
of his younger brother, 14-year-old Kevin and
his grieving mother are sent to live with
Kevin’s grandfather in Medgar, Kentucky, for
the summer. There, Kevin befriends a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink. When
Buzzy witnesses a brutal hate crime, a
sequence is set in play that tests Buzzy and
Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains. If
your New Year’s resolutions include reading
more in 2016, this is a perfect place to start.
(Item #1031747, 1/5)—Shana Stowers
A Passion for Leadership, by Robert M.
Gates. Why not start the new year with advice
from a man who knows how to implement
change? In this book, which is filled with
nuanced advice on tailoring reform, effecting
change within committees, engaging the
power of compromise and more, the former
head of the CIA brings the full weight of his
wisdom, candor and devotion to civic duty to
inspire others to lead desperately needed
change. (Item #1031719, 1/19)—Brian Hovis
Tiny and Full, by Jorge Cruise. As
more and more people tout the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, many more
feel that it’s just too hard to maintain.
In his latest book, Cruise addresses
why you only need to have a vegan
breakfast to look and feel great. Lunch
and dinner can include foods with healthy
animal proteins, such as chicken, Greek
yogurt and white fish. Cruise explains the
science, includes meal plans and recipes for
breakfast and much more. Find out more
about Cruise’s latest book at tinyandfull.com.
(Item #1031749, 12/29)—Ty Damon
Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a
Financial Number, by Chris Hogan. So often
New Year’s resolutions focus on physical
health, but what about financial health?
Whether you’re new to the workforce or your
career clock is winding down, it’s never too
early or too late to plan for the future. In this
book, Hogan shows how retirement is less
about an age and more about the amount of
money you need to live out retirement com-
fortably and as you envisioned. He also
teaches skills to empower you to make your
own investing decisions and set reasonable
expectations for your spouse and family. This
is an excellent book to have when setting out
on the path to the retirement of your dreams.
(Item #1034422, 1/4)—Alex Kanenwisher
National Geographic Superfoods. Discover
the best foods to boost your immune system,
heal your ailments and extend your life span.
With the latest in healthy diets, home remedies and best food practices, this magazine
provides science-based guidance to achieve
optimal health. Research from around the
world also informs the quick tips, recipes and
handy references. It’s a must-read for making
smart food choices in the new year. (Item
#912596, 1/8)—Lindsay Bubitz
Staff book picks
arts & entertainment
feel that it’s just too hard to maintain.
COSTCO PHOTO STUDIO