Still plugging away at my goodreads challenge, though the last few weeks I've shoved books aside for beading. I may have to give up and switch to audiobooks if this keeps up. Or take more bus trips. I can't bead in a moving vehicle. Well, at least not one that isn't reasonably stable. I could probably manage it on a train. But I digress. Books.
43. Grave Mercy
(His Fair Assassin, #1) (LaFevers, R.L.)
45. The Winter Sea
46. How to Be Black
(Thurston, Baratunde R.)
47. River God
(Ancient Egypt, #1) (Smith, Wilbur A.)
48. Ready Player One
(Incarceron, #1) (Fisher, Catherine)
50. Summon the Keeper
(Keeper's Chronicles, #1) (Huff, Tanya)
51. The Forest of Hands and Teeth
(The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1) (Ryan, Carrie)
52. Shadow and Bone
(The Grisha, #1) (Bardugo, Leigh)
53. Beauty Queens
54. The Gray Wolf Throne
(Seven Realms, #3) (Chima, Cinda Williams)
55. Going Solo
56. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
(Larson, Hope based on the work by L'Engle)
57. Are You My Mother?
59. The Oracle's Queen
(The Tamír Triad, #3) (Flewelling, Lynn)
(Unwind, #1) (Shusterman, Neal)
61. Lion's Blood
(Lion's Blood, #1) (Barnes, Steven)
62. The Lies of Locke Lamora
(Gentleman Bastard, #1) (Lynch, Scott)
Goodreads likes to inform me that I'm 5 whole books behind right now, but this can be easily remedied by shotgunning through a few kids books next time I'm at the Jones. There are a few AG series I haven't read, for example, and they're very short.
Of the above list, all were pretty good to excellent. Of particular note, How To Be Black
had me in stitches while skewering some painful racial truths, The Forest of Hands and Teeth
was surprisingly terrifying for a zombie novel aimed at tweenagers, and Unwind
was... HIGHLY DISTURBING to the point of giving me very bad dreams for a couple of days after I finished, but a good read none the less. The last two books on the list perhaps suffer from a little bias since I read them recently, but both Lion's Blood
(an alternate history novel dissecting the American slave trade if Northern Africa had become the dominant culture instead of Europe) and The Lies of Locke Lamora
(a heist/caper/revenge story set in a Renaissancey fantasy city) both came HIGHLY recommended and did not disappoint. My only criticisms of the above books would be that Beauty Queens
, while damn funny at points, was sledgehammer heavy handed with its point, A Wrinkle in Time
, while beautifully drawn, did not really bring anything new to the familiar story, and Home
, while pretty good as a novel on its own merits, seems like a lazy forgettable effort on Toni Morrison's part; she can do so much better.
Also I just got wind that there is a new Vorkosigan book out! MUST. READ. I don't care that it's more Ivan Vorpatril than Miles. I like the dumb fuck, a him-centric book should be entertaining.TV:NBC
: Jesus fuck, NBC what the HELL are you doing to your Thursday lineup? That said, the only show that seems to be maintaining its quirky excellence would be Parks and Recreation
, which has not disappointed. It remains hysterical while both maintaining its political commentary and allowing for the growth of its ensemble. Well, except maybe for Jerry. Poor, poor Jerry. Also ( spoiler )
by contrast, is definitely slipping and I'm rather glad it's ending this season, before it entirely jumps the shark. While it still once in a while gets a WTF laugh out of me ("I ordered a Black Coffee - by that I mean a Sunkist!") it's clearly past its sell-by date.
Don't get me started about the delay of Community
Oh it HAS been a while since I made a TV post, huh? Yes, we did see the most recent half season of Doctor Who
. Overall? Ehhhh. I did NOT like the finale, honestly. I loved the concept of it - New York City has enough creepy gothic statuary around that a Weeping Angel story set in the city should have been terrifying, but instead it just seemed kinda goofy in an old horror movie sort of way. "Asylum of the Daleks," by contrast, was suitably Dalek-y and the plot twists well done. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" was a fantastic bit of fun (Can I have me a Nefertiti?), and aspects of "The Power of Three" were good, namely the various talents of the Cubes and the way the month names were embedded into the scenery - a nice carryover from Sherlock
, I thought. But overall... ish. The second half of series seven hopefully will be better.
The third season of Downton Abbey
was a little bit less of a hot mess than the second. The series does seem to be at its best when upstairs is fretting about money and downstairs, namely Mr. Carson, is fretting about the placement of plates at dinner. I like that Edith seems to finally be getting some development besides plain, bitchy sister, someone needs to severely beat Robert about the head and shoulders with something heavy and I continue to want to nibble on a scantily clad Michelle Dockery while wanting to be the Dowager Contess when I grow up. Oh Maggie Smith, how I love you.Other TV: cell23
has finally managed to get me to sit down and watch through Adventure Time
with him, and holy shit, this cartoon and its incredibly adorable surface masking a deeply disturbing, nightmarish reality. Not quite caught up to air yet - still have to watch season 4. But those of you who know? THE STAG HOOVES. DYEEEEAHHHGH! That's all. Also I kinda want to weight train so I can cosplay Susan Strong. Is that weird?
The most recent addition to my TV watching list is American Horror Story
, which cell23
marathoned a bit over Thanksgiving and which I caught up to over the past couple of days. Man, what. This show. We're only seven eps into season one, so no spoiling, but... yeah, there be some fucked up shit up in that show. But I'm surprised to find myself enjoying it. It seems to combine all the things I liked about Beetlejuice, The Ring, Twin Peaks, The Sixth Sense
and American Gothic
, which I realize is an odd amalgam of work but trust me, watch it and you'll see what I mean.
Still haven't caught up on either Mad Men or Sons of Anarchy - I may fix the latter over the next couple of days as I look for beading background noise.
Seeing as renegadethumper
gave us the blu-ray collection of Rome
for a wedding present, we're throwing a viewing party on Sunday for the first two episodes and recurring it until we get to the all too soon end of the series. It will be my fifth go through of watching it, but I love the series THAT MUCH okay. Still mad HBO cancelled it, but Game of Thrones
is making up for a lot of that. Speaking of which:
Haven't been doing much of these owing to time and money, which sucks because there is actually stuff out already and coming out that I REALLY want to see. Wreck it Ralph. Rise of the Guardians. Life of Pi. Skyfall. The Hobbit. Les Miz. On The Road. Django Unchained.
ARRRRGH. Cannot wait for this job to start so I can do at least the $5 tuesday shows again, man.
I did manage to see Lincoln
, as I mentioned in my big long thanksgiving weekend post. It was an excellent bit of movie; I thought Daniel Day Lewis did a great job in making this often weirdly imposing historical figure human and relatable. However the movie, in my opinion, was completely stolen out from under him by Tommy Lee Jones, whose forceful and wickedly funny Thaddeus Stevens was a performance. I mean, Lewis made the most out of a mostly quiet and nuanced character, but I think it does get overshadowed by Jones' likeable gruff blowhard. Really, if there were more instances of calling Representatives on opposite party lines slow-witted nincompoops, I'd voluntarily watch C-SPAN.
I did come into the movie with a fair amount of bias, actually - I wasn't initially intending to see it in theaters, mostly due to various columns I had read due to its opening basically condemning the film and its subject matter as a lot of white people patting themselves on the back for abolition. Well, that's an oversimplification, but once pointed out, it is rather impossible to not see how narrow the focus is on this film and how by focusing so tightly on lincoln and several key politicians during the passage of the 13th amendment, you completely omit the contributions of others who helped get that passed, leaving the only role for black people in the movie open is that of the freed people staring adoringly up (or down, depending on shot and location) at their white saviors when in truth, black people were doing a HELL of a lot of work towards their own emancipation, thank you. It is hard to put that glaring omission aside in the course of the movie and one could argue that it shouldn't be put aside at all. At any rate, it did leave me with some conflicts regarding my own enjoyment of the film, ones that are probably important ones to have. There are other columns that have expressed this far more eloquently than I have, I direct you to Kate Masur's piece in the NY Times
and Corey Robin's blog post about it
I've been listening a LOT to boston.com's fairly new online radio station, Radio BDC. It is a good station overall, plays a lot of slightly off the beaten path alternative and generally runs screaming away from the autotune abuse that is the current pop scene. On the bad side, it does tend to shove quite a bit of Mumford and Sons down your throat. Successfully so, as I have managed to take a begrudging liking to "I Will Wait" just by dint of it getting LODGED in my head for hours on end. On the other hand other bands that tend to get heavily played over there are Metric, The Cure, New Order and Muse. Yeah, not going to protest too heavily about that.
I find myself trying to find heavy female vocal-centered groups to listen to to counteract the fact that Florence + the Machine have grown on me like a fungus. I like her stuff, but I've seen the vids for "Dog Days Are Over" and "No Light, No Light" and they plus the entirity of her new song "Kiss with a Fist" make me headsmash in the same sort of way that the multitudinous Amanda Palmer clusterfucks do. Art is seriously no excuse to not think about the imagery you're playing with, folks, fucking seriously. People have suggested Bat for Lashes to me and I've liked what I've read and heard of her so far. I also quite by accident picked up an unholy addiction to playing Grimes' Visions
on loop, with special emphasis placed on "Genesis" which is a creepily catchy electronica track. I also keep meaning to check out Kimbra, as I love her vocal in "Somebody I Used to Know" (gods, is that song a personal kick to the feels), but more cause I'm curious as to if she does the weird hand dancing on everything she does. It sort of reminds me of the people that would stand in the corners of the dance floor at Haven and do flowy goth para-para instead of, well, dancing
Also it's after thanksgiving. BRING ON THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC, BITCHES. I have a feeling I'm going to be playing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" a bit this year, seeing as it's one of the few songs comfortably in cell23
's actual range and he brings the full on baritone realness to it and I turn into a small puddle. Who'da thunk I'd find lines such as "Your hearts a dead tomato squashed with moldy purple spots," so sexy... I mean, I also kinda want to jump him when he's singing the Trololololo song too. I like low ranged men, okay? sheesh. Allow me my strange twitterpations. Could be worse, I could be reading 50 Shades with no irony whatsoever. Oh, maybe I should shotgun through those too. For the lulz, of course.