Culture Consumption: June 2016

Happy July! The year is officially half over! June brought the first month of Calico in Conversation, which was SEKRIT PROJECT #1 and seems to be going well so far. And this time next month, you’ll be introduced to SEKRIT PROJECT #2, so please, stay tuned to the blog for any announcements.

In addition to working on said SEKRIT PROJECTS, June brought a lot of great entertainment, so let’s break it down, shall we?


SO MANY GOOD BOOKS this month! It’s hard to pick a favorite: Rotundo and Gross are friends of mine, and I was reading their work as prep for future Calico in Conversation posts. Hurley’s book made me wish I had all the money in the world, so I could buy a copy for EVERYONE. Baker’s urban fantasy debut was a great spin on what can feel like a tired genre: we have a heroine who is not able-bodied, and who also has a borderline personality disorder. It’s great stuff. Then there was the Jemisin and the Tremblay. Jemisin’s book had me pre-ordering the sequel before I was even a quarter-way through it, and Tremblay’s book was read in less than 12 hours, and I’m not kidding.

16) Petra by Matthew S. Rotundo
17) The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
18) Borderline by Mishell Baker
19) Big Girls Need Love Too by Aubrey Gross
20) The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
21) Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

9780765383891Short Fiction

I finally broke down and downloaded Kowal’s novella because I’ve been in love with that cover ever since I saw it, and every time I visited my wishlist, well, there it was. It was a very interesting piece: a story that takes place in the interstice of environment and science, between nature and technology. Byrne’s story really had me going: truly a relative of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, up until the end, which came just enough out of nowhere that I’m debating a re-read to see if I can’t read between the lines better.

9) Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
10) “Traumphsyik” by Monica Byrne


Jem_15-Cover-SUBSo comics are a weird thing right now: a lot of the mainstay titles I read I’ve decided to wait and read in hardcover collections, which is why you haven’t seen Saga, Lazarus or Sex Criminals on my list lately. But my husband and I are converting to reading individual issues digitally on the iPad (with some exception), which means we’re stopping a lot of titles and downloading on the ones we really, really want to read. All this to say that I’m not as enthused as I used to be about reading whatever ended up in my TBR pile. I’ve still got a lot, but right now I’m debating what I really want to keep going. In the meantime, some mainstays were read in June, and I finally gave the first issue of The Wicked + The Divine a shot, which lead me to ordering the hardcover. Woot!

Individual Issues:

Jem and the Holograms #15
Ms. Marvel #6
Orphan Black: Helsinki #5
Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin #5
The Wicked + The Divine #1


v_for_vendetta_ver3A decent mix this past month of re-watches and new-to-me. No, I’d never seen The Karate Kid. Yes, I enjoyed it. Yes, Finding Dory was adorable. Heartfelt with some really dark moments, and I’m glad I got to see it in theaters. The shining star this month, however, was my re-watch of V for Vendetta. I read it after Emily Asher-Perrin’s moving piece on, but before the Brexit results. It’s amazing how a film that’s over 10 years old still resonated so strongly today, and I’m so glad I watched it when I did.

* = repeat viewing

Finding Dory (in theaters)
The Avengers*
The Karate Kid
V for Vendetta*

Television Shows

What a great freaking month for television. First of all, I’m so glad I continued with Game of Thrones and watched it as it aired: major spoilers were to be had this season, and I knew there was no way I’d be able to avoid them if I preferred to read Martin’s novel first. And can I just say, as jarring as it originally was to hear, that piano solo played at the beginning of the season finale? I’m in love with it. So, so in love with it.

994643_953451734690352_8999141566976899581_nOrphan Black also ended a really strong season, reigning the show back to where it started, and putting the sestras (and the viewers) in a prime (albeit dark) position for the final season next year. I love this show so, so much, but I can’t wait to see where every ends up. Also, can Cal come back for the final season? Please?

The Americans is another favorite show of mine, and this season simply did not disappoint. We also enjoyed the mini-series The Night Manager, which was very Bond-esque down to the opening credits and the score, while also giving me a taste of what a Tom Hiddleston Bond might look like.

Archer and Silicon Valley were fun. The Magicians was interesting: there’s a lot to like (says the viewer who has NOT read the books), but there’s a few areas that make me give the show the side-eye. I think it too early to be too critical, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where the show goes. Whether or not I read the books is still in the air, though I have the first book in my TBR pile.

* = repeat viewing

Archer Season 7
Game of Thrones Season 6
Orphan Black Season 4
Silicon Valley Season 2
The Americans Season 4
The Magicians Season 1
The Night Manager

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: June 2016

  1. Yes, the Jemison was my favorite book in 2015, closely seconded by Ancillary Mercy and Radiance. I’m glad you liked it too!

    I still feel like I have been catching up from the beginning of the year when I was reading for Hugo nominations, which means I was reading books for various book clubs this month. I also read more non-fiction than usual.

    Books read:

    1. The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley. 4.5 stars. I thought this was great too.
    2. Hamilton: the Revolution, Lin Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. 4.5 stars I only recommend this if you are a fan of the musical, but the lyrics from the musical remain wonderful and there were lots of lovely stories about the cast and the production of the musical. There were also explanatory footnotes to the lyrics, which were great.
    3. 33 Artists in 3 Acts, by Sarah Thornton. 3 stars. For my UU bookclub. A non-fiction book about the modern art world, giving mini-biographies about 33 artists and showing how they connect to each other. This is a book I would never have picked up on my own, and reinforces my opinion that while there are things of interest in Modern Art, it is really not my cup of tea. However, the book was good despite my disinterest in the subject.
    4. Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett. 4 stars. Read for Mark Reads. I continue to enjoy Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg.
    5. High Wizardry, by Dianne Duanne. 4 stars. Read for Mark Reads. I’m glad Mark Reads is getting me to read this series.
    6. The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, by Neil Gaiman. 4.5 stars. I really love Neil Gaiman’s nonfiction commentary. He has insight and humor, and I just enjoy spending time with him.
    7. Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett. 4 stars. Read for Mark Reads.
    8. The Liminal War, by Jama Everett Ayize. 4 stars. This was on the Locus Recommended List, initially as a novella, and then reassigned correctly to the novel category. I bought all of the listed novellas on the Locus List and got this book when it was still listed as a novella. The author is of African descent, I believe, and most of the characters are POC. The main character’s daughter is kidnapped by an old enemy, and the fight to get her back involves time travel, Bob Marley and ancient gods.
    9. The Boatman’s Cure, by Sonya Taaffe. 4 stars. This is another novella I meant to read in the Hugo Nomination period and did not get to. It’s found in the book Ghost Signs, which besides this novella, consists of poetry. The language in the novella is very lush and poetic, though I may need to re-read it at some point. The heroine visits the underworld to find tools to set her twin sister’s ghost to rest. The novella and poetry are both engaging with Greek mythology and, specifically, the story of Orpheus visiting the underworld.

    Liked by 1 person

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