Culture Consumption: February 2014

It’s a new year, and a new set of lists! I’m going to continue my monthly culture consumption, and I’m adding a bit of commentary to a few of the categories. Not much, nothing like my old reviews, but they’re better than nothing! If you want me to talk further, or if I don’t talk about something you’re really interested in, just comment and let me know.

CULTURE CONSUMPTION: February 2014

Books

My goal for 2014 is essentially one book a week. I completed 6 books in February, which isn’t too shabby, if I do say so myself.

6) Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias: I received this for my birthday after a friend of mine raved about the book. Personally, I’m always looking for more ways to inject a more emotional experience into my fiction, so I was happy to pick this up and see what I could come up with. I’ll admit: it wasn’t what I was expecting, particularly because it’s aimed at screenwriters, and there’s a lot in here that I felt just wasn’t applicable to me. However, further in the book does provide some excellent advice, so even if you don’t write screenplays, the book is worth the price of admission. (Nonfiction/Writing Literature)

7) Dreams of the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn: I really enjoyed much of what the predecessor, After the Golden Age had to offer. And I’ll admit that I think it was the right choice to set the sequel in the next generation. Yet, this book felt bland to me. There were moments that were unexpected and enjoyable, but I’ve discovered that of late, Vaughn’s work really doesn’t have that emotional punch for me. I enjoy reading it, but it’s easy for me to put it aside. Which is neither praise nor criticism. I think if you’re a fan of After the Golden Age, you’ll enjoy this just fine. Oh, and the cover is PERFECT. (Superhero Fiction)

8) Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch: I’ve been eyeing this book ever since its release, and when I received it via Paperback Swap, I decided that I needed something light and fluffy to entertain me. And entertain me it did. Sure, there’s a lot of places where you pretty much have to roll with the ridiculous, but as long as you go in knowing that, you’ll be just fine. (Humorous Science Fiction Romance)

9) There’s Not Enough Time… And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves by Jill Farmer: I received a free copy of this book after hearing Farmer speak last November on this very topic. I have to say, I liked her a lot, and I tend to be cynical when it comes to motivational speakers. This book followed up nicely on her presentation, and I’ve already bought copies for friends. (Nonfiction/Self Improvement)

10) Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs: another fun, fast read. It’s not an installment that stands out, but it’s also a marked improvement from the slump Briggs found herself in when she was trying to publish two new books per year. (Urban Fantasy)

11) Pronto by Elmore Leonard: finally! I’ve been itching to read Leonard’s Raylan Givens fiction ever since the show Justified premiered and I fell in love with it. I’d been putting it off because I didn’t want the fiction to influence my thinking of the show, but now that the show is in its fifth season, with the upcoming sixth season being the last, I figure I can settle in to read the work that inspired it all. The verdict: fun and fast. The show really knows how to breathe life into the stories and the world. (Crime/Thriller)

Short Fiction

None this month. I know, shame on me….

Comics

Graphic novels first:

100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition: Book II by Brian Azzarello: Not much to say here, except the world is expanding and I’m learning more while also asking new questions. The series definitely has me engaged, but I’m stuck until my husband reads book three and then passes it along.

Individual Issues:

It seems that 2014 is the year I start dipping my toes into Marvel titles. Black Widow is still enjoyable, and I’m really digging the art. Loki: Agent of Asgard and Ms. Marvel were both fun in their own way, and I look forward to the next installments.

Batgirl #27
Batgirl #28
Batwoman #27
Black Widow #3
East of West #9
Harley Quinn #3
Kick-Ass 3 #6
Lazarus #6
Loki: Agent of Asgard #1
Ms. Marvel #1
Rover Red Charlie #3
Saga: Chapter 18
The Unwritten #54
The Walking Dead #121
Thief of Thieves #19
Wonder Woman #27

Movies

In Theaters:

A Winter’s Tale: if there’s one small measure of success in a movie, it’s whether or not it makes you want to read the book it’s based on. In this case, absolutely. I was already intrigued by the premise, and after seeing the movie, which was nice but clearly too rushed, especially at the end, I really want to get my hands on a copy. There’s obviously more to the story than we got, and I feel I may resonate better with the book than I did with the film adaptation.

At home:

Still in a documentary mood, it appears. Dallas Buyer’s Club (Oscar-nominee, not a documentary) was excellent. I adore Jared Leto (see: Artifact, which was a pretty interesting look into what’s going on in the recording industry).

Artifact
Dallas Buyer’s Club
Drew: The Man Behind the Poster
Somm
The Hunt
Zodiac (re-watch)

Television Shows

Only wrapped up one show in February. Everything else is still on-going….

Maron: Season One: we started this in the spring when it premiered, back when we still had DirecTV. We were over halfway through the season when we decided to cut the chord and go digital, so we were pleased when Netflix made this available. Fans of this comedian’s podcast WTF should enjoy the hell out of this, but even if you don’t know Maron or his podcast, this show’s worth checking out. After all, he loves cats. He’s a curmudgeon. And he’s funny. What else do you need?

That’s it from me! Also, feel free to share whatever 2014 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: February 2014

  1. I have started reading Jack Campbell’s “Lost Fleet” series, on a recommendation from a friend. Read the first four books so far. It’s interesting, but I am not impressed with the depictions of romantic relationships, and the explanations of space battle concepts get repeated over in over in each book, which was probably fine if I was reading the books as they were being published, but does get annoying when I am reading them in a span of a month. Also, the covers have nothing to do with books – all the action is happening inside battle cruisers, not on planets 🙂 Minor nitpick, I know.

    My library bought “Perdition” by Ann Aguirre just for me. I enjoyed it, and look forward to the rest of the trilogy. Finally read “Paper Valentine” by Brenna Yovanoff, too, and enjoyed it, as well.

    On the comics books/graphics novels front, I bought Vol. 6 of “Locke & Key”. It was good, but I did not quite understand how everything worked out at the end. I also read “Mercy Thompson: Homecoming” and was unimpressed.

    I have also started listening to audio books on my way to and from work. Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior” was really good, and resonated with me for many reasons. Marcus Sedgwick’s “Revolver” was good, too. I am almost done with “Daughter of Blood & Bone” audiobook (a CD-and-a-half left), and I am hoping the audio book of “Days of Blood & Starlight” makes it way to my library in the next couple days! I know you did not like “Days of Blood & Starlight”, but I am hoping that since I am forewarned that many people did not like it as much as the first book, I have lowered my expectations sufficiently to avoid any disappointment 😛

    And that was my February. The only thing I watched on TV was the Olympic Games.

    Like

    1. Definitely watched the Olympics!

      I find that the graphic novels based on urban fantasy novels? Not as good. Not sure why, but I haven’t had good luck with those.

      I’m looking forward to the day when I re-read the Locke & Key series. I enjoyed it while it was coming out, but I’m looking forward to reading it all together rather than as it was released.

      Like

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