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:

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Culture Consumption: January 2015

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Before the day gets super-crazy with our upcoming annual Super Bowl Party, I thought I’d go ahead and post my January stats for 2015. As always, if you want to discuss any of these, just say so in the comments.

Books

1) Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
3) Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
4) My Real Children by Jo Walton

Short Fiction

None in January

Comics

25 individual issues read in January, but the TBR pile for comics is HUGE. There’s a lot I need to catch up on.

Annihilator #1
Annihilator #2
Annihilator #3
Annihilator #4
Coffin Hill #12
Coffin Hill #13
Coffin Hill #14
Copperhead #4
Gotham By Midnight #1
Lazarus #13
Low #3
Low #4
Low #5
Ody-C #1
Operation S.I.N. #1
Shadow Show #1
Sleepy Hollow #3
Supreme Blue Rose #4
Supreme Blue Rose #5
The Massive #30
The Walking Dead #135
Wolf Moon #1
Wytches #1
Wytches #2
Wytches #3

Movies

* = repeat viewing

Batman Begins*
Divergent
Draft Day
Into The Woods (In theaters)
The Dark Knight*
The Dark Knight Rises*

Television Shows

A note with television: these are the shows I completed in the month of January, not a list of everything on-going that I’m still watching.

American Horror Story: Freak Show
Boardwalk Empire, Season 5
Galavant, Season 1
Homeland, Season 4
Penny Dreadful, Season 1


That’s it from me! Also, feel free to share whatever 2015 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!

Cheers!

It’s Been A While…

I haven’t posted in nearly a week. I apologize. It’s funny to watch how my site’s stats go downhill when there isn’t regular content, but my brain has been so full of stuff that posting in the blog has been the last thing on my mind.

So to catch-up:

1) The husband and I marathoned the fourth and most recent season of Homeland. This last week was the 10 year anniversary of the pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica, and one of the articles I read discussed how the last ten years of television has failed the expectations set up by the show. Mostly, it discusses how science fiction and fantasy has failed, and it makes some interesting points. It also talks about how the successors of the show aren’t actually science fiction or fantasy at all, and after watching this fourth season of Homeland, I think you can make a case that this show could indeed be a successor. No, it’s not science fiction or fantasy. But you want to take some (not all) of the really hard questions BSG asks, the moral ambiguity it puts its characters in and find a current show doing the same thing? Take a good look at Homeland, especially this last season. Damn, it was good.

2) I’ve been reading both published and unpublished work. The latter has taken up most of my time, but I also sank my teeth into Jo Walton’s My Real Children and found myself completely absorbed. The structure is such that once you get to a certain point, you’re compelled to read two chapters at a time, due to the parallel structure. And I’ll give Walton credit where credit is due: at first, I feared she was making a case for one obviously good life and one obviously bad one, and yet it slowly became obvious that wasn’t the case. A clear picture is painted in the last chapter, and the reader is always asking oneself, which life would YOU choose? The ending doesn’t provide a clear answer, but it definitely provides food for thought, especially in light of both realities being alternate universes to ours. A fascinating read, and one I could read again.

3) I’ve changed up my elliptical schedule. Since 2013, I’ve been getting up early to put in my thirty minutes on every work day, but the end of 2014 had me cutting that out completely, and while in 2015 I’ve gotten back on the saddle, I’m looking at a serious change to my work schedule which, in order to keep working out in the mornings, means I’d have to get up an hour earlier, and I’m not sure my body will tolerate that. So, before the work schedule changes, I’m retraining myself to work out in the evenings. The pros: I can do the full 30 minutes without feeling rushed, and I’m fed with plenty of calories, so I don’t get tired. The cons: it takes an hour when it’s all said and done, and I have to take a second shower that day.

4) Nothing of note to report on the writing front. That being said, I’m starting to make plans. I have three projects that I want to reach a certain state, and I making plans to ask myself the following: 1) what is my goal for this project? 2) when do I plan to accomplish this goal? It’s a good start, considering I’m notoriously bad at PLANNING things when it comes to writing, unless it’s something simple, like a word count per day. But what I’m embarking on is a level up, maybe two levels up. We’ll see how it goes.

5) That’s it for now. My brain is still kind of fuzzy and fill, so I’ll leave you with this song that I pulled the headline from: “It’s Been a While,” from Staind’s Breaking the Cycle. You can hear it here.