Culture Consumption: June 2015

I’m officially lodging a protest to how quickly this year is passing. July, folks. July. Sheesh. At any rate, feel free to peruse my list of entertainment consumed, and tell me what you consumed yourself. Got any recommendations? Lay them on me!

17408897Books

Reading wise, it feels like an unproductive month. I took my time getting through the Bacigalupi because I’m in the process of clearing out my library, and I’m picking up titles I haven’t read yet to decide whether or not I still want to read them. The next month or so may be full of such older titles that I’ve gotten from Paperback Swap. That being said, I couldn’t resist my new releases, and I absolutely loved Cherie Priest’s YA debut, I Am Princess X.

22) I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
23) The Patriot Witch by C.C. Finlay
24) The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
25) How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier (DNF)

Short Fiction

None

Comics

I finally got around to getting ONE hardcover off of my pile: Earth One: Teen Titans: Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire. It wasn’t a title I was particularly interested in, as I’ve got no real allegiance to the Teen Titans, but the Earth One titles have been interesting so I gave it a shot. It’s good, though I think my husband liked it better.

As far as individual issues go, I finished up Vertigo’s iZombie series! Not much else on the list, as we’re 1) starting to have our comics shipped to us every other week and 2) I’m letting them stack up again. 🙂

Graphic Novels: Earth One: Teen Titans: Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire

Annihilator #5
iZombie #24
iZombie #25
iZombie #26
iZombie #27
iZombie #28
Mad Max: Fury Road: Nux and Immortan Joe #1
Millennium #5
Sleepy Hollow Origins #1
Star Wars #6
Star Wars: Darth Vader #6

Movies

Not much to write home about movie-wise. Of course I went and saw Jurassic World, because Jurassic Park is one of my favoritest movies ever, and of course I’ll always hope against hope that a sequel will rise above the dreck. Jurassic World had some problems, many of which have been analyzed by far more articulate minds than mine, but I still enjoyed it. Raptors are, and remain, my favorite.

Aside from my obvious love of SF and space opera, I should note: Locke is a fascinating film that takes place entirely in a car using cell phone conversations. Really cool. Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman is not my thing: my husband watched it with a friend of his, and both of them are super into cars and racing. If you are, you’ll love it. If you aren’t, it’s a good documentary and you might learn something. 🙂

* = repeat viewing

Jurassic World (in theaters)
Locke
Star Trek: Into Darkness*
Star Trek*
Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith*
Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope*
Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman

Television Shows

June brought more finales and my first-ever-in-a-long-time rewatch. Some commentary: Community gave us a surprisingly good series finale. It was never advertised as such, but the writing is on the wall and the show clearly knew it.

Let’s see…. much as been said of this past season of Game of Thrones and to those people who’ve finally had enough (not just with the rape, but also the violence), I don’t blame them for deciding to stop watching. I haven’t decided yet myself: a lot will depend on whether or not Winds of Winter has been released before Season 6.

I loved the way Orphan Black tied everything together by the end of Season 3, and I look forward to the next.

I decided to rewatch Hannibal from the start after Season 3 premiered. Hannibal, which is one of my most favorite shows, is one that I’ve been wanting to rewatch for a while, and it turns out, going back to the start while watching the new has been excellently beneficial in terms of both themes, imagery, and so much more. Yes, I know the show got canned. But hope springs eternal, and even if Season 3 is it, the cancellation doesn’t erase the fact that Fuller’s adaptation is one of the best television shows I’ve seen in a very long time.

* = repeat viewing

Bullshit! Season 8
Community Season 6
Game of Thrones Season 5
Hannibal Season 1*
House of Cards Season 3
iZombie Season 1
Louie Season 5
Maron Season 2
Orphan Black Season 3


That’s it from me! Also, feel free to share whatever 2015 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!

Cheers!

13 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: June 2015

  1. June Reading:
    1. The Likeness by Tana French
    2. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
    3. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
    4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    5. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
    6. Hate List by Jennifer Brown

    A God in Ruins was good, but not as good as its companion piece, Life After Life. I thought that Americanah was seriously overrated. Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is enjoyable, in a popcorn movie sort of way. Dreams of Gods and Monsters was better than the second book, but I was really disappointed in this series, especially since for about 150 pages into the first book, I thought it was going to be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I loved IN THE WOODS, but I found THE LIKENESS to be even more compelling. Then again, I was rather enamored of the premise. I haven’t read THE SECRET PLACE yet.

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    1. Kelly, I just finished listening to “A Good in Ruins” audiobook. Here’s my LibraryThing review:

      I loved “Life After Life”, and was very excited to hear that Teddy’s story would be published. And for the most part, I loved “A God in Ruins”, too.

      My grandfather was a pilot in World War II, and the descriptions of Teddy’s war made me think of him, and what he must have gone through. To me, the war parts of the book were the best (and that includes Izzy’s experiences in World War I).

      On the peace front, I hated hated hated Viola, was so glad to “see” Hugh and Ursula and Lucky again, felt sad and horrified for Sunny, thankful for Bertie, and disappointed in Nancy.

      I am still not sure how I feel about the ending, though, which is why I am rating this book only 4.5 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear you did not like How to Ditch Your Fairy, but I agree that it is a very different book than Justine Larbalestier’s other books. I saw a comment from her once that she wished she had put it out under a pen name a la Seanan McGuire/ Mira Grant so that people’s expectations of what they were getting would be met. I am currently reading Razorhurst, and it is much closer in tone to her other books than HTDYF is.

    I had abdominal surgery on May 29th and found myself utterly unable to read fiction for a few days, though I was still able to read non-fiction and got a bunch of it done. It was really weird. I continue with my Hugo reading.

    New books this month:

    1. Machiavelli: A Portrait, by Christopher Celenza. 4 stars. Non-fiction book 6/6 for the year.
    2. The Kindness Diaries: One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World, by Leon Logothetis. 3 stars. Read for my UU book club. A man travels around the world on a motorcycle with no money, relying entirely on the generosity of others for food, housing and gas. Non-fiction book 7/6.
    3. Exit, Pursued by a Bear, by Greer Gilman. Novella. No rating. This is written in Greer Gilman’s approximation of Elizabethan English. I read the whole novella and realized at the end that I had absorbed nothing and had no idea what happened in the book. I need to try again when I have more brain and energy. I loved the first novella she wrote in this setting and I am sure I will enjoy this too when I re-read it.
    4. The Chocolate Thief, by Laura Florand. DNF. It’s a cute, well-written book and I am sure many people would love this to pieces, but I have issues with people being put in embarrassing situations, which this book is full of. I just could not get through it. Mount TBR 7/12 for the year.
    5. The Dark Between the Stars, by Kevin J Anderson. 3 stars. Part of my Hugo reading. I think this would drive you nuts, Calico. I tried counting the number of POV characters twice and lost count both times. It’s somewhere around thirty. There are around 130 very short chapters, and each chapter switches to a different POV character and a different story. The stories do converge in the end, but I spent the first half of the book constantly re-orienting myself as we switched characters.
    6. Hild, by Nicola Griffith. 4 stars. Mount TBR 8/12
    7. Skin Game, by Jim Butcher. 3 stars. Also for my Hugo reading. This is of course is book #15 in the series, but I had no problems following the plot. My main issue with it was that it relied overmuch on set action pieces and not enough on character development. I felt that the characters in the book had certain characteristics and responses that had been established in previous books and were on display in this book, but that nobody’s default state got changed over the course of the book.
    8. Gut: the Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, by Giulia Enders. 4 stars. Originally published in German as Darm mit Charme (Intestines with Charm). Giulia Enders is a German medical student who wrote this quirky, informative book about the intestines. It became a surprise bestseller in Germany. My father, who reads German, has been hearing about this book for over a year now. He read it in German and has been talking it up to me for several months. He had me watch a youtube video of her giving a presentation, which I could tell was funny and wonderful from the audience response, but my German was not good enough to follow more than about half of it. I did enjoy the book. I was glad to finally get it in English. I’m a family physician, so some of the information was not new, but some of it was. I enjoyed the humor. Her sister drew illustrations that were both funny and informative. Non-fiction book 8/6.

    Graphic Novels:

    1. Sex Criminals, Vol 1: One Weird Trick, by Matt Fraction. 4 stars
    2. Rat Queens, Vol 1: Sass and Sorcery, by Kurtis Wiebe. 4 stars
    3. Saga, Vol 1, by Brian Vaughn. 4 stars. Re-read.

    Re-read books:

    Shatterglass, by Tamora Pierce. 4 stars. For Mark Reads.

    For the halfway mark for the year, I am at 51 new books total, including novellas and graphic novels. I am going to increase by non-fiction goal from 6 to 12, seeing as I have already read 8.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A pen name for this one would’ve been a good idea. It was just so…. DIFFERENT, and I’m a fan of hers. It was one of those cases where I was painfully aware that I was NOT the target age group for this, and all the slang constantly threw me out of the book. Alas….

      Abdominal surgery? YIKES! I hope you’re recovering well!

      I sampled the Anderson, and the Butcher. Neither grabbed me, but I don’t list them as DNFs …. I view sampling as very different. 🙂

      Way to go with your numbers! I’m on target for my 50 books a year goal, so that’s something. It’s hard to believe I used to get through 100+ titles in a year!

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  3. Hey Shara,

    This year is just flying by, isn’t it? My poor RSS feed has been neglected for months 😦

    I have been listening to a lot of audio books lately – they are perfect for when I am goofing off playing games on my phone or doing puzzles on Jigidi.com 🙂

    This June, I listened to “Dark Places” and “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn, both of which were much better than “Gone Girl”, in my opinion.

    I also listened to two audio books from NPR’s Driveway Moments series, “Cat Tales” and “Animal Stories”. Both had “Ms. Pudding: A Feline Farewell” – and I cried both times I heard it.

    Finally listened to “Team Human”, too, and liked it a lot.

    I read “The Black Knight Chronicles” by John Hartness when I was in Russia. It was an enjoyable “popcorn” read about vampire detectives.

    Read “Death of an Expert Witness” by P.D. James on the flight back to the US, which started me on a P.D. James listening binge 🙂

    “Eyes on You” by Kate White and “Miss Whittier Makes a List” by Carla Kelly were both disappointing, Kate White especially.

    Oh, and I DNF’ed “How to Ditch Your Fairy” a few years back, too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got DARK PLACES on my Kindle, and I look forward to reading it. Once I get that under my belt, I’ll probably tackle SHARP OBJECTS.

      Now you make me want to hear or read this “Ms. Pudding: A Feline Farewell.” How can I make this happen?

      Good to know about TEAM HUMAN, though I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who couldn’t make it through HOW TO DITCH YOUR FAIRY.

      Like

      1. Forgot to add: I would suggest listening to the story (vs reading). And I cried AGAIN just skimming the transcript. Apparently, Ms. Pudding is my cryptonite…

        Liked by 1 person

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