Culture Consumption: April 2016

Happy May! Good lord, I don’t know where April went. Actually, I kind of do: training to walk (not run) my very first 5k, and then prepping for a Regional Meeting that I was basically hosting. LOTS of stuff on my plate in April, so in some ways, I’m glad it’s over so I can unwind. I did, however, manage to squeeze SOME fun things in, so without further adieu, here’s the Culture Consumption for April!


April was another quiet reading month. While working on a SEKRIT project, I got inspired to pick up Maria Snyder’s latest, and then I curled up to read Ken Liu’s amazing short fiction collection, and I have to say: re-reading some of the pieces I’d read previously was a marvelous experience, especially the title story, which hits me in the FEELS every time. Reading-wise, it was a great month!

11) Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
12) The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Did Not Finish:

Nothing negative to say here: Fischer’s book just wasn’t holding my attention in a way that made me want to pick it back up after setting it down. It’s not to say the world-building wasn’t interesting, and while the story started off action-heavy right away, it just wasn’t what I was wanting to read right now.

3) The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fischer


A fun movie month: Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, so we watched it as soon as we could download it. Then, a week later, we watched again: this time with our Sphero BB-8 watching with us! It was fun.

Re-watches included Black Swan, which I hadn’t seen since it came out in theaters, and The Orphanage, one of my favorite horror movies.

We rented Macbeth and The Invitation: Macbeth was beautiful to watch with an engaging score, but …. boring as hell. I think I would’ve enjoyed it far more had I been able to watch it back when I was actually studying the play back in high school (not that this version was available at the time). The Invitation was far more interesting, the kind of movie I thought could go either way with the psychological mind-fuckery, and it really made me watch to want Hulu’s new series, The Path.

* = repeat viewing

Black Swan*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens* (2)
The Invitation
The Orphanage*

MV5BODA4MDE5MTk4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzA2MTk5NzE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Television Shows

We are now in the time of year where television seasons are wrapping up on the networks, so there’s going to be more finales the next few months. 11.22.63 was an engaging mini-series: I’ve not read the book, and while there were elements to the show that had me going, “Why doesn’t he do X?” I enjoyed it quite a lot. Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues to be one of my favorite comedies, and Lucifer, while utterly different than the comics, was a delight, mostly because Tom Ellis’ portrayal of the lead was fabulous in his narcissism. Also, him singing and playing piano? Yeah, that was kind of amazing.

The big downers/disappointments of the month were The Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow. The former because that kind of cliff-hanger is a cheat: it reminded me of when Steve Carell left The Office and the show spent nearly the entire back-half of the season going through the interviewing process to find Michael Scott’s replacement. The finale ended with them not making a decision at all, and The Walking Dead’s season 6 finale was very much the same: it really wasn’t earned, and I would’ve rather known who “it” landed on and have the episode end like the last page of the comic’s version of the same storyline: by making the reader/viewer wonder if “it” would be saved when the comic/show returned.

But kudos to Jeffery Dean Morgan. In the comics, Negan’s introduction felt like The Governor 2.0; the show, however, made Negan’s character and introduction really come alive, though it helps that the Governor, in the show, was introduced quite differently.

Oh, but Sleepy Hollow. What the FUCKING FUCK was that? I could write an ENTIRE BLOG POST on this shit, but I’ll say instead: Sleepy Hollow used to be the kind of gonzo show that was easy to recommend; now, despite the first season still being a helluva fun ride, I can’t recommend the show, based on how they ended season three. That was AWFUL. From a story perspective, sure, it’d be interesting to see where it goes from there, but put it in comics, because I don’t want to see the show itself continue after that shit. Which is a shame: that show had a lot of talent (and a lot of talent remaining: I adore Tom Mison), but here’s to the cast finding other, more deserving projects.

* = repeat viewing

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 3
Lucifer Season 1
Sleepy Hollow Season 3
The Walking Dead Season 6

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!


5 thoughts on “Culture Consumption: April 2016

  1. So what did I read this month? I did a lot of catching up on books I am reading for various book clubs, but which had been delayed because of Hugo nomination reading.

    New books read:

    1. Her Every Wish, by Courtney Milan. 4 stars. Novella. Romance.
    2. Bryony and Roses, by T. Kingfisher (AKA Ursula Vernon), 4 stars. A re-telling of Beauty and the Beast.
    3. Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire. 4 stars. Novella.
    4. Stars: Stories Based on Songs by Janis Ian. Edited by Janis Ian and Mike Resnick. 4 stars. Janis Ian is a songwriter and an SFF fan, who got a bunch of people to write SFF stories based on lyrics from her songs. This was in the Women in Science Fiction Storybundle that I got last fall, though the authors were split pretty evenly between men and women. I’m assuming it was in the Storybundle because of Janis Ian.
    5. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzi. 4 stars. Read for my local book club. Non-fiction book 5/12 for the year.
    6. Deep Wizardry, by Diane Duane. 4 stars. For Mark Reads.
    7. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. 4 stars. Read for my local book club. This is an account of a soldier’s experiences in Vietnam. It really blurs the line between memoir and fiction. the books consists of several interlinked essays/ short stories. Very well done.
    8. Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett. 2 stars. Read for Mark Reads. Definitely one of the weaker Pratchett books.
    9. Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley. 4 stars. Another re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. This has probably been on my TBR pile for 20 years, and reading Bryony and Roses finally inspired me to pick it up and read it. Book 2/24 from mount TBR.
    10. The Builders, by Daniel Polansky. 3 stars. Novella. On the Hugo ballot.

    Short Fiction:

    1. The Quidnunx, by Catherynne M. Valente. 3.5 stars. Novelette, published in Apex Magazine.

    Reread books:

    1. Barrayar, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 5 stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been a while since I’ve read Valente…. but I keep buying her books!

      I’ve read the title story of Tim O’Brien’s. It was fantastic. I had the book at one time, but I’m not sure if I still do or not.


  2. I need to read The Paper Menagerie. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

    All of my reading in April was poetry because of National Poetry Month. My favorite of the set, by far, was Southern Cryptozoology by Allie Marini.

    In movies, watched Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein for the first time and loved them. Although I would love to see someone remake Bride with her being the primary focus, because she’s too cool to be in the movie for only a minute.

    Since I’m here, I wanted to ask if I could use the “Culture Consumption” idea for summarizing this kind of stuff on my blog. I always compile my book reading and movie watching in two separate posts, but I’d love to include podcasts and other stuff as well and this is such a clean way to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Liu collection is wonderful. And yes, the title story? GO GOOD.

      And please, feel free! Maybe it’ll become a popular tag and link all of our blogs together! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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