2016 is here, and more to the point, it’s already February. Time flies when you’re having fun, and in my case, that fun is books, movies, television, and comics! Here’s what I managed to consume in January.
When it came to novels, I started 2016 with a bang! January brought some great reading, and some not so great. I’ve committed to being more discerning when I’m reading books, which means if a book isn’t grabbing me early on, then it goes to the DNF pile. In January, I had two DNFs, and I would’ve had three, because the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was terrible. I finished it because I’m a glutton for punishment, and because I’m a Star Wars fan. The two books I actually didn’t finish? Were far better written than Foster’s adaptation, but sadly the texts simply did not engage me.
In the win column, Newman’s Planetfall, Bow’s The Scorpion Rules, and Kornher-Stace’s Archivist Wasp were all compelling reads, as was Duncan’s The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, a book I’m still having trouble believing was written by a guy, given how convincing the heroine’s POV was.
January, in short, was a great reading month.
1) Planetfall by Emma Newman
2) Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
3) Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
4) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
5) The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan
Did Not Finish:
1) The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins
2) Phoenix Island by John Dixon
I hadn’t planned on any short fiction in January, but Lee Robins posted a link to a short story of hers published at Daily Science Fiction, and I had to give it a gander. A great read, and I adored the format.
1) “Tin and Mercury, Gilt and Glass” by Lane Robins
I have a goal of reading one comic book a day in 2016. Now, that’s not always going to work out: I’ll run out of individual issues, or I’ll get sucked into a graphic novel and read more than one chapter, but that’s the goal. January worked out great, as I not only met my goal (for a total of 31 issues), but I read a hardcover collection in addition (Lumberjanes, what an adorable and fun comic!) as well as a giant, over-sized issue collecting Jem and the Holograms covers for the series so far. Well, read is an exaggeration: there was nothing to read there: just lots of pretty covers to look at!
1) Lumberjanes: To the Max Edition: Volume 1 by Shannon Watters
Clean Room #3
Jem and the Holograms #10
Jem and the Holograms Covers Treasury Edition
Ms. Marvel #2
Orphan Black: Helsinki #2
Red Thorn #2
Sleepy Hollow: Providence #1
Sleepy Hollow: Providence #2
Sleepy Hollow: Providence #3
Sleepy Hollow: Providence #4
Star Wars #12
Star Wars #13
Star Wars #14
Star Wars Annual #1
Star Wars: Chewbacca #4
Star Wars: Chewbacca #5
Star Wars: Darth Vader #12
Star Wars: Darth Vader #13
Star Wars: Darth Vader #14
Star Wars: Darth Vader Annual #1
Star Wars: Death Vader #15
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #1
Star Wars: Vader Down #1
The Sheriff of Babylon #1
The Twilight Children #3
The Walking Dead #149
The Walking Dead #150
Why yes, I did go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters. Again. I’ve officially seen it twice, which is a woefully small number, but maybe I can correct that before it finishes its theatrical run.
In other news, I finally got to watch Inside Out, which was ADORABLE. The Visit was a nice return to form for M. Night Shyamalan, and the end of Bone Tomahawk freaked me the hell out.
* = repeat viewing
A Perfect Ending
Cabin in the Woods*
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Star Wars: The Force Awakens* (in theaters)
What We Do In the Shadows*
I’m addicted to Cheers, to the point I’m letting on-going comedies like The Big Bang Theory and New Girl simply fall by the wayside. It’s a great show. American Horror Story: Hotel wrapped up, and while there were storylines/characters I liked, I still find that American Horror Story: Asylum is the best. But the most fun to be had in January was the second season of Galavant. It delivered on season one’s cliff-hanger and ended in a wonderful way that allows the story to continue if it gets renewed, but is utterly satisfying if it doesn’t. And the songs…. oh, the songs…..
* = repeat viewing
American Horror Story: Hotel
Cheers Season 2
Cheers Season 3
Galavant Season 2
That’s it from me! Also, feel free to share whatever 2016 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!
3 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: January 2016”
Oooooh! I read “Lumberjanes” vol. 1 a few months ago, and thought it was cute 🙂 Saw “Inside Out” when it was in theatres, and cried though a lot of it. My spawnlets were like, “WTF, Mom?” My girlfriend and her girls were like, “sniff… sniff… cry…” Hoping I can see “Star Wars” in the theatre for the second time, too. So many feels! Amusingly, I was actually looking at the “Gallavant” Facebook page today, and thinking that I should watch that show 🙂
I listened to or read 13 books in January.
5 stars: “Saga: Volume 5” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
4 stars: “Indexing: Reflections” by Seanan McGuire, “Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith, “Death in Holy Orders” by P.D. James, “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008” by Paul Krugman, “David & Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell.
3 stars: “The Marriage Contract” by Katee, “Self-Defense” by Jonathan Kellerman, “The Murder Room by P.D. James, “Mated to the Meercat” by Lia Silver (which I totally confess I bought because of the title).
2 stars: “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedaris.
DNF: “The Intern’s Handbook” by Shane Kuhn, “Vanished” by Kendra Elliot.
[It took me three hours to write this. Hitting “post comment” before I get distracted again!]
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I watched Inside Out this month too and also thought it was delightful.
New books read:
1. Reflections (Indexing 2), by Seanan McGuire. 4 stars.
2. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 5 stars. My favorite thing about Bujold is her quiet character moments and this had that in spades. It was not a high-action book though, which I think puts off some people.
3. The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, by Catherynne M Valente. 4 stars. Read just in time to beat the 5th book in the series coming out. 🙂
4. Invisible 2: Personal Essays on Representation in SFF. Edited by Jim Hines. 3.5 stars. Read to get a start on candidates for the Best Related Work category for the Hugos.
1. Quarter Days, by Iona Sharma. 4 stars Gigantosaurus
2. The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, by Aliette de Bodard. 4 stars. Asimov’s Science Fiction
3. Entrepreneurs, by Robert Grossbach. 3.5 stars Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
1. Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds, by Rose Lemberg. 4 stars. Beneath Ceaseless Skies
2. Ballroom Blitz, by Veronica Shanoes. 4 stars. Tor.com
3. Geometries of Belonging, by Rose Lemberg. 4 stars. Beneath ceaseless Skies.
4. The Animal Women, by Alix Harrow. 4 stars. Strange Horizons
1. The Shape of My Name, by Nino Cipri. 4 stars. Tor.com
2. Cat Pictures, Please, by Naomi Kritzer. 4 stars. Clarkesworld.
3. Monkey King, Faerie Queen, by Zen Cho. 4 stars. Kaleidotrope
4. Points of Origin, by Marissa Lingen. 4 stars. Tor.com
5. Even the Mountains are not Forever, by Laurie Tom. 4 stars. Strange Horizons.
6. Forest Spirit, Forest Spirit, by Bogi Takacs. 3.5 stars. Clarkesworld.
7. When We Die on Mars, by Cassandra Khaw. 4 stars. Clarkesworld.
8. It Brought Us All Together, by Marissa Lingen. 4.5 stars. Strange Horizons.
9. Let’s Have a Talk, by Xia Jia. 3.5 stars. Nature.
10. The Crane Wife, by A.C Wise. 4.5 stars. Lakeside Circus.
As you can see, I am in full-blown nominating for Hugo awards in the short fiction categories mode. I’ve been using a couple of rec lists to find interesting stories, but my main resource is going to the the Locus Recommended Reading List, and that is not reflected above since the list did not come out until February 1st. I’m hoping to read all of its recommended short fiction and maybe some of the non-fiction, but we’ll have to see how that goes.
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I have “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen” waiting for me at home! Now if only stupid real life would stop interfering with what I really want to do – read!
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