Culture Consumption: November 2015

December is here, and with it comes holiday madness and the end of the year. It’s hard to believe we’re at the end already, that Thanksgiving is over. I can’t say there’s anything exciting on the horizon for this month, after all: it’s the holiday season. That being said, it’s no excuse not to share what goodies have helped time fly by so quickly, so without further adieu, here is November!

Books

Uprooted-by-Naomi-NovikNovel-wise, it feels like a lackluster month. I decided that I’ve basically lost interest in Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, which is no fault of the author: the first three books are great. I just took too long a break, and book four wasn’t enough to bring me back into the fold. Again, it’s not the author’s fault.

However, I did thoroughly enjoy Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novel, which is set pre- and post-original trilogy, featuring new characters, cameos of those we know and love, and some hints as to what comes after Endor.

The star this month was Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, a stand-alone fantasy novel that’s marketed YA but I sure wouldn’t let my almost 13 year-old niece read it yet! It’s a fantastic tale, and the first I’ve read from Novik. Well worth the read.

43) Windfall by Rachel Caine (DNF)
44) Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
45) Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Short Fiction

4107lZPweuL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Look at me reading lots of short fiction! There was a method to my madness, as I was waiting on Mira Grant’s Chimera to come out and didn’t want to start a BOOK, so I read a lot of short pieces! The McCray was recommended by a fellow Odyssey graduate (in fact, I think McCray is ALSO a fellow Odyssey graduate), and the rest of the short fiction came from authors I already know and love.

Featured here is The Anderson Project, where the Ken Liu, Judith Moffatt, and Kathleen Ann Goonan each wrote a unique story based on the same piece of artwork, which is the cover used here to the side. I originally bought the collection because of Goonan’s story, as I’ve enjoyed her work in the past. It was a delight to realize that Liu was also involved, because while I hadn’t read him at the time of buying this collection, I’ve become very familiar with his work since then, and he’s a must-read for me now.

11) The Immense Melancholy of the Saltville Mammoths by Brigitte McCray
12) The Way Home by Seanan McGuire
13) El Hildago de la Noche by Carrie Vaughn
14) Shades in Shadow by N.K. Jemisin
15) Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
16) The Anderson Project: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? by Kathleen Ann Goonan
17) The Anderson Project: Space Ballet by Judith Moffatt
18) The Anderson Project: Reborn by Ken Liu

Comics

3020269-slide-sandman2coverb-mckeanAn interesting month for comics. Featured, of course, is Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Overture, because THUD. It is… amazing. And it’s not for audiences who haven’t yet read the main series. This six-issue series is epic in the fullest sense of the word, and J.H. Williams III’s artwork is the epitome of what the art of Sandman should ever look like. Featured here is one of my favorite covers, albeit the variant by Dave McKean.

But also this month had some Vertigo #1s that my hubby and I sampled. Worth pursuing so far: Clean Room #1, Unfollow #1, and The Twilight Children #1.

The James Bond comic? Not for me. It seemed to amplify everything I can’t stand about what Bond is traditionally, and since the artist rendition of Bond looked nothing like Daniel Craig, I can pass.

Graphic Novels: Once Upon A Time: Out of the Past By Kalinda Vazquez and Corinna Bechko

Art Ops #1
Batgirl #45
Clean Room #1
James Bond 007 Vargr #1
Jem and the Holograms #8
Ms. Marvel #19
Sex Criminals #13
Star Wars #11
Star Wars: Chewbacca #1
Star Wars: Chewbacca #2
Star Wars: Darth Vader #10
Star Wars: Darth Vader #11
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3
Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4
The Sandman Overture #1
The Sandman Overture #2
The Sandman Overture #3
The Sandman Overture #4
The Sandman Overture #5
The Sandman Overture #6
The Twilight Children #1
The Walking Dead #147
Unfollow #1

Movies

the-gymnast-movie-poster-2006-1020429139I can’t say much about the movies watched this month. The hubby and I are back on the Marvel marathon, except we thought that Iron Man 2 was after Avengers, and so we skipped right over it. Which is okay… I still consider it one of the weakest Marvel movies, so we’ll get to that later.

We’re making Planes, Trains, and Automobiles our Thanksgiving tradition, just as A Christmas Story is our Christmas tradition. This is a good thing.

But the featured film this month is The Gymnast, a love story about a former gymnast who find a new way to love her sport, and a new partner to love it with.

Also, continuing on last month’s cats in movies theme? Home. A cute movie, very much geared for a YOUNGER audience, but the cat is so my favorite character.

* = repeat viewing

Captain America: The First Avenger*
Home
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Planes, Trains and Automobiles*
The Gymnast
Thor*


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!

2 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: November 2015

  1. Of your short fiction, I’ve read the Bujold and the Jemisin. I thought the Bujold was nice, comfortable Bujold, but that it did not reach the level of excellence she is capable of attaining.

    I’m starting to feel the crunch of Hugo nominating season. I’ve been keeping up, more or less, with novels that I think I might want to nominate, but not so much with the shorter fiction. I just bought a bunch of novellas, and my current plan is to try and read a novella a week from now until Hugo nominations in March. We’ll see how that goes. So far the only 2015 novellas I’ve read are “Penric’s Demon,” by Bujold, and “Speak Easy,” by Cat Valente.

    So what have I read this month?

    New Books:

    1.The Diving Bundle: Six Diving Universe Novellas, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 4 stars
    2.Diving Into the Wreck, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 4 stars
    3.City of Ruins, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 4 stars
    4.Boneyards, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 4 stars.
    5.Skirmishes, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 4 stars
    6. Recovering Apollo 8, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 3 stars. Novella.
    I bought a ten-book Storybundle offering, which included the Diving Bundle and Recovering Apollo 8. The novellas made me want to read the Diving Series, so I bought and whizzed through the rest of the novels. Really excellent, thoughtful space opera.
    7. Chrisitanity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, by Diana Butler Bass. 4 stars I’m not a Christian, but I found this really interesting from a sociological perspective. Her thesis is that the Millennial generation and some Gen Xers have been turned off of church in the US by the rise of the Christian right, the opposition to LGBT folks, the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic church and the negative example of radical Islam. She says that is the past in US history, when so many people have been disaffected by religion, it led to the Great Awakenings, causing the entire structure of Christianity in the US to be restructured in new ways. She thinks we’re heading toward one of those again. Non-fiction book 12/12.
    8. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik. 5 stars I agree it was an excellent book. For me, it suffered a bit from the large amount of hype. It does remain on my long list for the Hugos, though it is not in my top three (The Fifth Season, bu Jemisin; Radiance, by Valente; Ancillary Marcy, by Leckie.)
    9. The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard. 5 stars. A really excellent book. It is also on my long list for Hugo nominations.
    10. A Man Without Words, by Susan Schaller. 4 stars. A woman teaches sign language and the entire concept of language to a 27 year old man from rural Mexico who was deaf and never was exposed to ASL, leaving him with no concept of language. Non-fiction book 13/12.
    11. Updraft, by Fran Wilde. 4 stars. This was a fun book. I really enjoyed the world-building. If she is eligible, I would absolutely nominate her for a Campbell. I know she’s been publishing short stories though, so she may not be eligible.

    Books re-read:

    1. Starfarers, by Vonda McIntyre. 3.5 stars. This was also in the Storybundle I bought. I had half-forgotten that I had read this until I started it.

    Liked by 1 person

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