February has come and gone, and frankly, I keep looking at the calendar and finding myself in denial. February wasn’t quite the knock-out in terms of entertainment, but that being said, there were plenty of good books, comics, movies, and tv to watch. So without further adieu, here’s my February 2016 culture consumption.
Culture Consumption: January 2016
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!
A Few of My Favorite Things: Books 2015
I think there’s always a part of me that will miss having a book blog. After putting together December’s Culture Consumption, I started wondering… what WERE my favorite books of 2015? To figure that out, I pulled up my Library Thing account and started sorting by date finished, and then I started looking at the ratings. Anything four stars or higher got written down on the appropriate list: a full five stars are listed as favorites, and four and four-and-a-half stars were honorable mentions.
Why Library Thing instead of Goodreads? Because LT allows for half stars, which means when I’m rating on Goodreads, I might round up or down depending on how I want the rating to look on that site. LT is a more accurate reflection of my thoughts.
I also did not include a few of the fun, children’s type books on the list. I’m a sucker for Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader series, and Simon Tofield’s Simon’s Cat books are adorable. So they didn’t get counted.
Before I review my favorites and honorable mentions, I did want to make a few points:
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?
Culture Consumption: November 2015
December is here, and with it comes holiday madness and the end of the year. It’s hard to believe we’re at the end already, that Thanksgiving is over. I can’t say there’s anything exciting on the horizon for this month, after all: it’s the holiday season. That being said, it’s no excuse not to share what goodies have helped time fly by so quickly, so without further adieu, here is November!
Culture Consumption: October 2015
Hello, November. I should celebrate the month, as it brings good food, the transition from fall to winter and an excuse to start digging sweaters out of my closet, but it’s also adding a lot of stress for my brain to marinate in, so boo! No, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year (last year gave me a week-long migraine for my trouble), so I guess I’ll have to spend the time reading. But first, let’s see how October turned out on the entertainment front.
Culture Consumption: September 2015
Happy October! The year may be flying by, but really, October is my favorite month. Fall arrives, Halloween, and my birthday, all in one month! But before I get too carried away with October, let’s look back and see what kind of goodies I consumed in September, which, for the record, wasn’t a bad month at all! So without further adieu, here is the Culture Consumption for September (spoiler alert: I read lots of books!).
I’ve surprised myself.
When Disney first acquired Star Wars, when they announced the new trilogy, I was excited to the point of giddy. I was flabbergasted. Gobsmacked. Because I am, first and foremost, a Star Wars fangirl, and Star Wars will forever be my first fandom. Oh, I loved plenty of things before Star Wars: My Little Pony, Jem and the Holograms, MacGyver… but Star Wars was something different, something that continued, something I wouldn’t outgrow. To this day, watching the original trilogy is like snuggling up with a favorite blanket.
So it should come as no surprise that I’m taking December 18th off from work to see The Force Awakens. It should come as no surprise that I pre-ordered Chuck Wendig’s tie-in novel: Aftermath, which is part of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” I’d assumed that I would read this before the movie was released, and that was the plan.
I’ve been talking with a few friends, and I’ve come away with the conclusion that actually, I’m not going to read Wendig’s novel, not yet. Oh, it’s here, don’t get me wrong: that sucker arrived on Force Friday, and after the package was opened I admit I petted the cover, just a little.
But I’ve learned something in the recent years, and that’s the joy of ignorance. It used to be, if there was a movie coming out based on a book I wanted to read, I’d read the BOOK before I saw the movie, assuming, of course, that the book would be better and I didn’t want to take any wind out of my sails by seeing the movie first.
What happened, instead, was a certain sense of boredom while watching the movie (or television show, as adaptations to television are QUITE popular these days). Sure, it’s fun to see how everything is adapted to the screen, but it’s not the same.
Now, I know Aftermath is not being adapted to the big screen. But I realized I just don’t want any insider knowledge. I’ll take what the posters give me, what pictures give me, but that’s it. I want to experience the movie as fresh as possible, and then, when the movie is over, I want to go home and consume all the stuff I’ve put on hold because I want the movie to tell the story on its own terms, and that’s how I want to follow it. I can fill in the blanks later.
So Force Friday came and went for me. Wendig’s book arrived, but that’s it. I expected more fanfare out of the day, more websites showing galleries of toys and the like, but I suppose I just wasn’t looking in the right places. And even if were, it’s hard to get excited over merchandise. After all, I haven’t seen the movie yet. I don’t know who my new favorite characters will be, which will heavily influence what I want to buy.
Except for BB-8. Have you all SEEN Sphero’s replica? Holy shit, I want this so bad I might fight a small child to get one. You can check out the full review here at Gizmodo, but if you just want the rundown, here’s the video:
Culture Consumption: August 2015
September is here. I’m in denial. Not just because the year is passing faster than my poor little human brain can comprehend, but because the end of August brought the end of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, and I’m so full of FEELS that I can’t focus on much anything else. My brain is happily writing blog posts in honor of the show, to talk about it, the ending, what it means, what the show compares to, and SO MANY THINGS. Whether those posts find life outside of my brain is another story, so in the meantime, here is the Culture Consumption for August.
Wolves Without Teeth: Thoughts on the 2015 Hugo Winners and the Nominees that Might Have Been
So. The 2015 Hugo Awards were announced last night. I forgot all about it, because I was remembering why I never wanted to work in the food industry again while volunteering at a concession stand at a baseball game to raise money for charity. This morning, I woke up to a thunderstorm, a playful cat, a husband playing Bloodborne, and the Hugo Results.
I have a few links I want to share before I talk about the winners (or lack thereof):
1) Tor.com: Announcing the 2015 Hugo Award Winners: Winners, winners! Read all about it!
2) Tobias S. Buckell: What the alternate Hugo Ballot would likely have been: Toby uses the 2015 Hugo Award Statistics, crosses off all puppy nominees, in order to figure out what the fiction categories MIGHT have looked like without slates informing the ballot. He also has some great thoughts about those nominees, as well as the nominees who were on the puppy ballots and withdrew their nominations.
3) 2015 Hugo Award Statistics: I love looking at this every year, but this year is particularly fascinating. The “what-if” nature of the ballot is endlessly fascinating for me. I would’ve been SO MUCH MORE ENGAGED in this year’s awards if the ballot hadn’t been hijacked by the puppies.
4) Wired.com: Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters: A really great piece that talks about the controversy, the awards ceremony, and what happened after. Kudos to George R.R. Martin for his Hugo Loser’s party.
And now, for my thoughts on some of the winners: