Culture Consumption: December 2015

Good-bye, 2015, and hello, 2016!!!! While 2015 was a better year than 2014, I’m still glad to have it behind me. I may or may not talk about the reasons why in a later post, but what I will talk about are the goodies that were consumed before the year wrapped up. I may also do a separate post of favorites later, but again, we’ll see if the mood strikes.

So, let’s see how I ended the year, shall we?

61fjh3X4G6L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Books

Well, I utterly failed at novel reading in December. In my defense, the holidays were an absolute bitch, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to focus on reading. It’s bad when it takes nearly a full month to read a book by a favorite author (hello, Mira Grant!), especially when it’s not the book’s fault.

Speaking of Chimera: while the Newsflesh universe is my favorite still, Grant wrapped up the trilogy nicely. I love how she develops her heroines: each are unique to their own series, and I never have to worry about thinking I’m reading George’s POV when I’m in Sal’s.

It was a nice ending.

2015 ended with 46 books read, not including novellas, novelettes, and short stories.

46) Chimera by Mira Grant

Short Fiction

No short stories for December, which means I ended the year with 18 pieces of short fiction read. If you total that with my novel count, I ended up reading 64 THINGS, which isn’t bad. It’s no where near the totals I was reading five or so years ago, when I read 100+ novels without blinking, but that’s okay.

Monstress01-Cvr-5713eComics

What a lot of comics read this year! I read a total of 252 individual issues of comics, which was very spread very unevenly through-out the year (some months, I only read four issues!). I’d like to get back into the habit of reading one individual issue per day, which means 366 issues read by the end of 2016, but we’ll see.

In terms of stand-outs, Red Thorn #1 was an interesting start, as was Orphan Black: Helsinki #1, which is getting into the story we haven’t seen in the show. But the absolute stand-out this month was Monstress: the art is beautiful and intricate, and the story is captivating. Issue #3 should be coming out soon, and I can’t wait.

Graphic Novels: no new graphic novels in December, which means I read 3 graphic novels (comics collected and/or published in a single volume instead of individual issues)

Clean Room #2
Descender #7
Jem and the Holograms #9
Jem and the Holograms Holiday Special
Monstress #1
Monstress #2
Ms. Marvel #1
Orphan Black: Helsinki #1
Red Thorn #1
Star Wars: Chewbacca #3
The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey #2
The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey #3
The Twilight Children #2
The Walking Dead #148
Unfollow #2

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterMovies

Movie-wise, we ended the year with 101 movies watched (obviously, a lot of them are repeats, and only 9 were in theaters). December was a fun month, with Christmas movies and a Hobbit re-watch, and of course, the crowning jewel: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’ve only seen it once so far, which makes me feel like a bad fan, but I still plan on seeing it again before it leaves theaters. I love the new characters to pieces. TO PIECES, I TELL YOU.

* = repeat viewing

A Christmas Story*
Home Alone*
Iron Man 2*
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in theaters)
Terminator: Genisys
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)*
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition)*
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Extended Edition)*
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part Two (in theaters)
The LEGO Brickumentary
The Nightmare Before Christmas*
Trainwreck

jessicajonesposterTelevision Shows

Television shows are a trickier beast to count, because often the seasons completed in 2015 started in the previous year. However, I don’t mark shows on a list unless I’ve completed a season, whenever that happens to be. And because shows typically don’t wrap up in December, this month’s list isn’t that big. That said, I completed 53 shows in 2015, and in December, I finally finished Seinfeld, so now I get ALL THE JOKES. I also started watching Cheers on Hulu, which has been surprisingly enjoyable.

Of course, the stand-out for the month was Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Despite it being a Marvel property on Netflix, it’s a very different show from Daredevil, and I don’t recommend watching Jessica Jones before Daredevil, because chronologically, it comes after, and also, the story structures are so very different. Jessica Jones is tight and controlled, with a very specific goal for its first season, and it’s just so very good. Dark and gritty, yes. But so very good.

* = repeat viewing

Seinfield Season 9
Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 1
Cheers Season 1


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!

7 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: December 2015

  1. I’m glad you had a better year this year!

    I had a pretty good year too. As far as reading goals go, I more than met some of my goals, and then did not meet others at all.

    What I read in December:

    New novels:

    1. Men at Arms, by Terry Pratchett. 4 stars. For Mark Reads. Pratchett has grown on me some, but I don’t think he will ever be one of my very favorite authors.
    2. Kill Game, by Dean Wesley Smith. 3 stars. Mystery. A perfectly reasonable mystery, but it did not quite grab me.
    3. Jasmine Nights, by SP Somtow. 4 stars. I bought this on the strength of Jo Walton’s review in What Makes This Book So Great. It is a coming of age story set in Thailand. Justin, the main character, is an upper-class Thai boy who has spent significant time abroad. He befriends a black American boy. Justin is a clueless geeky boy who loves Homer and Shakespeare, but doesn’t have the slightest idea of how sex works or about the realities of racial prejudice. It’s a very funny, sweet book. It reads like general fiction, but if you look for SFF, you can see that when the characters attempt magic, it always seems to work. Mount TBR book #16. It was the last book on my 2014 TBR pile. Woohoo!
    4. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan. 3 stars. For my local book club. The author was a young journalist who came down with an auto-immune encephalitis that caused psychosis and seizures. I’m not generally a fan of this kind of memoir, but I thought this was well done for the kind of book it is. She got the medicine right without making it overwhelming for the non-medical reader, which requires some skill.
    5. Castle Hangnail, by Ursula Vernon. 5 stars. Just delightful.
    6. Strong Arm Tactics, by Jody Lynn Nye. 3 stars. Bought as a part of the Women in Science Fiction Storybundle. Action-oriented military space opera. It was fun, but I am not tempted to go out and buy more.
    7.The Philosopher Kings, by Jo Walton. 4.5 stars. I liked Just City better, but this was still excellent. This is one of those series that will really work well for some people but will probably not work at all for others. You have to enjoy a certain amount of philosophizing and thought experiments about human morality to appreciate these books.
    8. Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks. 4 stars. For my UU book club. Oliver Sacks is a neurologist who writes books for the layperson. This book is an exploration about how neurology and music intersect. I found it pretty interesting. Non-fiction book 13/12.

    New novellas: I set a goal to read a novella a week, and managed to get several read.

    1. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, by Kai Ashante Wilson. 5 stars.
    2. Witches of Lychford, by Paul Cornell. 3.5 or 4 stars
    3. Binti, by Nnedi Okafor. 4 stars
    4. Of Sorrow and Such, by Angela Slatter. 4.5 stars.

    Short fiction:

    1. Near and Far, by Cat Rambo. 4 stars. A collection of short stories from the Women in Science Fiction storybundle.
    2. The Really Big Ka-Boom: A Spade/ Paladin Conundrum, by Kristine Katherine Rusch. 4 stars.
    3. The Early Conundrums: A Spade/ Paladin Collection, by Kristine Katherine Rusch. 4 stars. These are mystery short stories that are centered around science fiction conventions. They are a lot of fun and I wish there were more of these stories out there. KKR is a science fiction insider, and the stories treat Fandom with respect rather than making fun of it, which is always a relief.

    Re-read:
    1. Mountains of Mourning, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 5 stars. Novella. One of my favorite bits of the Vorkosigan series, and since it takes place early on, and is self-contained and short, it is one of the places that I recommend people start the series. It’s also free on-line at Baen’s site. It takes place immediately after Warrior’s Apprentice, which I believe you’ve read, right? 🙂
    2. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. 5 stars. Another favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have read WARRIOR’S APPRENTICE. I may somehow have “Mountains of Mourning” on my Kindle, but I need to check. Thanks for the rec!

      Looks like you had a very productive month! I think I’ve got the Kai Ashante Wilson on my wishlist. 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s