Culture Consumption: March 2016

Yes, yes, I know I’m hideously late, but April is a busy month, and my brain didn’t want to compose a blog entry. So it’s well past time, once again, to look at all of the culture I’ve been consuming from the month before. Quite a fun month, I must say, so feel free to join me to look at all the books, comics, movies, and television I finally got under my belt in March!

81a8XqPnu4LBooks

March wasn’t really an epic reading month, considering the first book on the list I started back in February, and the second book on the list was able to be read in one sitting. That being said, everything was enjoyable: Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky was a quirky blend of SF and fantasy, one that did drag in the middle and end a wee bit abruptly, but was enjoyable all the same. I’ve only recently discovered Sarah’s Scribbles, but the comic strips are such a delight I had no trouble plunking down cash for the book and laughing my ass off while reading (the uterus as a super-villain? YES). And of course, I ended the month with a favorite: the latest installment of Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series, which was fun to read. I adore this series, and always want more.

8) All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
9) Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen
10) Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire

51YX4jC4jPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Short Fiction

So I got a bug, and that bug was to read one short story per day. Obviously, I didn’t do this EVERY day in March, but there’s something comforting about reading a complete work in a single day, and oh, what great stories I read. I should note that Timons Esaias was my mentor when I was in the Seton Hill Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, so I’m maybe a little biased, but that was a wonderfully clever read. I adored Carrie Vaughn’s “The Game We Played During the War,” and Angela Slatter’s “Finnegan’s Field” just gave me chills, it was so awesome. I seriously need to go read ALL of her work now. Wrapped up my short story bingeing with Seanan McGuire’s free fiction from her website, which is what got me pumped for the aforementioned Chaos Choreography.

Best of all: ALL of this fiction is FREE online. The McGuire can be found on her website, the Vaughn and Slatter can be found on Tor.com, and the Esaias piece is at Lightspeed.

2) The Mars Convention by Timons Esaias
3) The Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn
4) Finnegan’s Field by Angela Slatter
5) Heaps of Pearl by Seanan McGuire
6) Snake in the Grass by Seanan McGuire
7) Swamp Bromeliad by Seanan McGuire

Unfollow-4-1Comics

I didn’t do so well this month. I got caught up, but then it was easy to let things pile up again, so eh. I’m totally bombing my one issue per day thing, but that’s okay. I don’t know either if any issue was a real “stand-out” to me or not, although Unfollow has been fascinating to watch unfold.

Individual Issues:

Batgirl #48
Jem and the Holograms #12
Orphan Black: Helsinki #4
Snow Fall #1
Star Wars #16
Star Wars: Darth Vader #16
The Walking Dead #151
Unfollow #4

240506Movies

An odd viewing month with very different films. Crimson Peak was fun, Steve Jobs was very well done, and The Duke of Burgundy’s title made NO BLOOMING SENSE to me.

* = repeat viewing

Crimson Peak
Steve Jobs
The Duke of Burgundy

Television Shows

March was an embarrassment of riches in terms of TV, because everything was SO GOOD. How do I pick my favorite of the bunch? There’s the rollicking fun of Agent Carter, the amazingly constructed/acted/etc of Better Call Saul (which I FINALLY got to watch S1 of!), the general fun of Cheers, the binge-worthy Daredevil, and last but not least, the bubble-gum pop fun of The Shannara Chronicles, which — once I got over the sheer YOUTH of the main trio — I enjoyed a whole hell of a lot. Also, Allanon was surprisingly hot.

* = repeat viewing

Agent Carter Season 2
Better Call Saul Season 1
Cheers Season 6
Daredevil Season 2
The Shannara Chronicles Season 1


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!

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: March 2016

  1. I never commented on last month’s post, largely because I was reading lots of short fiction in preparation for nominating for the Hugos and got overwhelmed by the idea of listing everything I was reading. I think the solution is to list my books read as usual but just give a summary of the short fiction.

    February new books read:

    1. The Scent of Rain and Lightening, by Nancy Pickard. 4 stars. Read for my local book club.
    2. Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett. 4 stars. Read for Mark Reads.
    3. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), by Felicia Day. 4 stars. I enjoyed this and nominated it for Best Related Work, but decided it did not count toward goal of reading 12 books of substantive non-fiction this year. What counts toward that goal seems to be very subjective. 🙂
    4. The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert. 4.5 stars. A non-fiction book read for my UU book club. The basic premise is that in evolutionary history, there have been five previous times of mass extinction of species. We are in the middle of the sixth one right now. An important book, but sometimes difficult to read. Non-fiction book 1 of 12.
    5. Letters to Tiptree, by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein. 4 stars. The first half of the book consisted of letters to James Tiptree, Jr/ Alice Sheldon from modern-day authors, written recently, long after her death. The letters were lovely, but I could only read a few at a time, or it started to feel repetitive. My favorite part though, was actual letters written to and from Ursula LeGuin and Johanna Russ. Tiptree/ Sheldon was friends and pen pals with both before it was revealed that she was a woman. The letters are her telling them about her real gender before the news became widespread and their reactions to the news. Non-fiction book 2 of 12. I nominated this for Best Related Work as well.
    6. Brooklyn, by Colm Toiban. 2 stars. Read for my local book club. My biggest complaint was that the heroine was utterly passive, which made for a weird reading experience.
    7. Lois McMaster Bujold, by Edward James. 4 stars. I was less interested in the first few chapters, which gave a basic biography and then plot summaries of all her books. However, I found the last chapters significantly more interesting as James explored themes that Bujold has used: disability, military and the use of power, the role of women. Non-fiction book 3 of 12. Nominated for BRW.
    8. Conversations with Michael Chabon, edited by Brannon Costello. 4 stars. Non-fiction book 4 of 12.
    9. Some of the Best from Tor.com. 4 stars.

    February books re-read:

    1.Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 4.5 stars.

    March new books read:

    1. Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase. 4 stars. Romance.
    2. Kingfisher, by Patricia McKillip. 4 stars. I did not fall in love with this book as I have done with some of her others, but it is still an excellent book.
    3. Unveiled, by Courtney Milan. 4 stars.
    4. Unlocked, by Courtney Milan. 4 stars. Novella.
    5. Unclaimed, by Courtney Milan. 4 stars.
    6. Unraveled, by Courtney Milan. 4 stars.
    7. Once Upon a Marquess., by Courtney Milan. 4 stars.
    8. Chaos Choreography, by Seanan McGuire. 4 stars. It was great to be back with Verity and the ballroom dancing.

    March book re-read:

    1. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 5 stars. Re-read for my UU bookclub.

    Short fiction:

    In February and March, I was working on reading the short fiction from the Locus Recommended List. I ended up reading 15/18 of the novellas, and approximately 20/32 novelettes and 25/66 short stories, only a few of which I had read before the list came out on Feb. 1st.

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