Culture Consumption: December 2013

As always, I’m happy to jabber about anything that’s on the following lists. If you want my opinion about something, just comment and ask.

And here are my December tallies! I likely won’t do a cumulative 2013 reading/entertainment post, because that would be a mile long and evil to scroll through. But I do intend to keep trying to do these monthly posts, so in the future, knowing what I consumed in any given year will be just a click away, right? So here’s how December shook out:

CULTURE CONSUMPTION: December 2013

Books

I feel really good about December’s reading. I thought I’d lost interest in the Aguirre trilogy, but reading the final installment, Horde, was a really fun, engaging read. I was delighted to complete the Divergent trilogy, because while some people were unhappy with its ending, it was exactly what I was looking for on a host of levels. Maybe not perfect, but super-satisfying. The Bender book is a title I’ve been dying to read since it came out, so when it arrived via Paperback Swap, I had to read it ASAP. The Rothfuss was cute, and the Ryan, well, that IS a trilogy I’d completely lost interest in, and reading 190 pages out of 376 did nothing to engage my interest. So that’s that.

Overall for 2013, I read 86 actual books (anything longer than a novella, though children’s books and graphic novels count in this total). I had 6 DNF’s for the year.

Horde by Ann Aguirre
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan (DNF)

Short Fiction

Yeah, I went a little crazy this month with short fiction, but really, it was just what my brain needed. I loved, loved, loved the Laini Taylor piece (not recommended unless you’ve read the first two novels) and the McGuire stories set in the InCryptid universe were just a delightful read (I need a colony of Aeslin mice). The Stars Change is a novella I highly recommend for SF fans who wants social and soft SF shading their stories, fans who don’t mind when personal relationships and the physical manifestation of them take the forefront. Clear as mud? Good. I’d also like to see more SF from Lane Robins, because “A Case in Perspective” was quite interesting indeed.

Overall, I read 43 pieces of short fiction. That includes everything from short stories to outright novellas, and that’s the best I’ve done in a very long time. I think a pat on the back is deserved here…..

Endurance by Ann Aguirre
Foundation by Ann Aguirre
Curran POV Collection by Gordon Andrews
One Hell of a Ride by Seanan McGuire
No Place Like Home by Seanan McGuire
Married in Green by Seanan McGuire
Sweet Poison Wine by Seanan McGuire
The First Fall by Seanan McGuire
Loch & Key by Seanan McGuire
We Both Go Down Together by Seanan McGuire
The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
A Case in Perspective by Lane Robins
Brewing Poison, Brewing Peace by Lane Robins
A Soul Like Salt by Lane Robins
Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Comics

Whew, what a month. First of all, the original Unwritten hardcover was amazing. Story and art alike. Fans of this series SHOULD NOT miss this book. Volume #2 of Morning Glories was an even bigger mindfuck than volume #1, so I’m REALLY glad I re-read #1 when I did. I don’t know how I’m going to keep up with the series when it takes so long for the issues to come out, let alone the hardcover collections.

Comic-wise, I read 601 individual issues in 2013. Mind = blown! Sure, half of that was the Hellblazer series, but still!

Oh, and Locke & Key is finally over!!!! SOB! I can’t wait to re-read this series all at once. πŸ™‚ Favorite series for the year? Lazarus, Saga, and Sex Criminals.

Graphic novels first:

The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice by Mike Carey
Morning Glories: Deluxe Hardcover: Volume 2 by Nick Spencer

Batgirl #26
Batman #26
Batman Black and White #3
Batman Black and White #4
Collider/FBP #5
Collider/FBP #6
East of West #8
Fairest #21
Fatale #18
Harley Quinn #1
Hinterkind #3
Jupiter’s Legacy #1
Jupiter’s Legacy #2
Jupiter’s Legacy #3
Kick-Ass 3 #5
Lazarus #5
Locke & Key: Alpha #2
Rover Red Charlie #1
Saga Chapter 16
Saga Chapter 17
Sex Criminals #3
Star Wars: Legacy #9
The Massive #16
The Walking Dead #117
The Walking Dead #118
Thief of Thieves #18
Trillium #5
Wonder Woman #26

Movies

Overall, I saw 12 movies in theaters, which is about right. We watch far more at home, which totaled up to 67 movies/documentaries for 2013.

Regarding my December viewings, I keep meaning to put up a post dedicated to The Hobbit, so I’ll save my thoughts for that. At home, I watched some great stuff. Robot & Frank is a must-watch, and if you have Netflix streaming, go forth and watch it now! I finally watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time all the way through (I’d seen WAY less of that movie than I realized), and I finally got to see Don Jon (very good) and Monsters University (cute and fun!). Love, however, was freaking frustrating. Trying way too hard to be 2001 Space Odyssey and Moon and god only knows what else (I’d add Gravity to that list, but Love predates it.).

In Theaters:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

At home:

Batman: Year One
A Christmas Story
Don Jon
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Extended Edition
It’s a Wonderful Life
Love
Love Actually
Monsters University
Notting Hill
Robot & Frank

Television Shows

Nothing new completed. But I did watch a minimum of 24 separate seasons of television shows during 2013 ( I say minimum because I wasn’t tracking ALL of the shows that are currently on the air), which is both epic and yet another sign I spend way too much time in front of the television. πŸ™‚

And that’s it! What did you watch and/or read? What did you love, what did you hate? As always, please refrain from spoilers, as I’m obviously catching up on some shows rather late and don’t want to be spoiled.

Also, feel free to share whatever 2013 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: December 2013

  1. My December reading was sort of a weird mish-mash of things:

    New books:

    1. Untold, by Sarah Rees Brennan. 3 stars. For Mark Reads. I’m finding this series OK, but for whatever reason, it is just not pushing my buttons.
    2. The Life of Samuel Johnson, volume 1, by James Boswell. 2 stars. Biography and off my TBR pile. This was interesting from a historical perspective, but is not something I would generally recommend. Do you know who Samuel Johnson was? He lived in 18th century London. He produced the first English-language dictionary and was a literary critic. Boswell was a younger friend/ admirer of his who was so taken with Johnson’s wit and erudition that he took to transcribing his conversations. After Johnson’s death, Boswell used those transcripts to write this book.
    3. Death by Silver, by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold. 4 stars. Sherlock Holmes with the serial numbers filed off in a world with magic. Melissa Scott remains a favorite author of mine and I was excited to see her bring out a new novel.
    4. The Deep End of the Ocean, by Jacquelyn Mitchard, 1 star. Read for my local book club. Just not my cup of tea at all. I disliked Beth Capadora, the main character. It takes an awful lot for a book to overcome me not liking the characters and this was not that book.
    5. Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel. 5 stars. From my TBR pile. This is the sequel to Wolf Hall. It continues the POV of Thomas Cromwell, one of the most powerful advisers to King Henry VIII. This book largely deals with the downfall of Anne Boleyn. It’s an awesome book. I particularly love Mantel’s use of language, which makes the book literary and beautiful without taking away from the inherent drama of the court of Henry VIII. Both this book and Wolf Hall won the Man Booker prize. Recommended to readers of SFF for the wonderful world-building.
    6. Shadows, by Robin McKinley. 4 stars. A solidly enjoyable book, if not one of my favorites of hers.

    Rereads:

    1. Legacy, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 4 stars. Book 2 of the Sharing Knife quartet.
    2. Passage, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 4 stars. Book 3 of the Sharing Knife quartet. These aren’t my favorite Bujold books, but I still enjoy them.

    For 2013 overall, I had a pretty good year. I read 100 new books and reread 39. The new book number does include 16 or 17 novellas and a couple of graphic novels. It also includes 12 works of non-fiction, 3 anthologies and 1 book of poetry. It does not include the 8 individual novelettes and short stories I read, which were mostly for the Hugos. My big project book for the year was Middlemarch, by George Elliot, which I had tried and failed to read two times previously. It took me about 6 months to get through it this time, but I did get through it.

    I read 25 books off my TBR pile. For new books bought in 2013, I read all but 5 novels and 2 non-fiction history books. So I’m pleased.

    Like

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