8.22.2016

What I Read Since the Last Time I Posted About What I've Read Which Was When, June?



   I'm never going to stop using that gif. 

   Life has been full, but that hasn't stopped me from doing some reading, thank goodness. I've also finally joined the masses and started playing Pokemon Go, and oh boy, have I walked a great deal. If I hadn't found The Adventure Zone and started binge-listening I would have been listening to audiobooks while going for pokeymans and this reading list would be more impressive, but I did find The Adventure Zone and I can't stop won't stop and now I want to play D&D and it is very possible that I have reached Peak Nerd. 

   On to the reading list. 
  • The Woods, Vol. 1 : The Arrow / James Tynion IV (yes, that IS his real name); Michael Dialynas - I had almost forgotten that I read this, which is a real shame, since it was quite good. A school full o' teens and teachers gets transferred onto another planet. The planet is hostile! The school quickly devolves into some Orwellian situations! The art is very colourful! I'm gonna get the second volume of this from the library as soon as I finish this post!
  • Year of Yes / Shonda Rhimes - I listened to this, and Shonda Rhimes herself reads it, and I loved it. I finished it and was like "I need to say yes to more things". I have so much respect for Shonda Rhimes, and was truly inspired by this book. And when she's like "I'll say yes to scary things, but I'll do it on my own terms"? Uh, I concur. Please everyone read this book if you have not already. 
  • Something New / Lucy Knisley - this was charming and good! Luck Knisley talks about planning her wedding, and how crazy the wedding business is, and how she and her now-husband worked to subvert some things and embrace other things and make their wedding reflect their values. She also talks about things like where wedding traditions come from and guess what! A lot of them are pretty gross! This book is about wedding planning and meaning-making and fostering community and includes a recipe. Recommend. 
  • Maisie Dobbs / Jacqueline Winspear - This was a fun mystery which not only included unexpected twists and turns, but also had several female characters who displayed competence and individuality. I think I shall return to Maise Dobbs next time I require some mysterious reading. 
  • The Selection / Kiera Cass - this book is the first in a trilogy and oh boy can you ever tell. It was satisfactory and fulfilled my reading needs at the time; I don't see myself going back for part two in the near future, but I don't mean that as a disparagement. What a thoroughly lukewarm review. 
  • Wolf Winter / Cecilia Ekback - picture here the astonished emoji, the one with the partially-blue face, who is making a face like the one in that painting, which I think is called The Scream but don't feel like googling to make sure. That emoji is how I feel about this book, in the best possible way. I was describing it to a friend and called it a murder mystery/small town dark secrets/ghost story/survival story/historical fiction. It's also set far enough north that it is always dark in the winter and AGH JUST READ IT, OKAY? I am definitely going to read more of Cecilia Ekback's work. (I include here a content warning for sexual violence that is talked about but not described). 
  • The Illumination / Kevin Brockmeier - a pal told me about a book by ol' Kev that is sort of about purgatory, where dead people go and stay until no one alive remembers them and I was like "MUST READ", but it was unavailable at the library. Fortunately this book was and I read it and now his other books have been bumped up my TBR list. In this one pain becomes visible in the form of light, and then each chapter follows a different person as they navigate through the world where pain is now visible, and that sometimes changes and sometimes doesn't change things. There's a journal which serves as a unifying element, and I don't think I'm describing it well but it's an all-around A+ read. (Another content warning for self-harm). 
  • Room / Emma Donoghue - hey guess what! Everything you've heard about this book is true, it really is a beautiful gem! And the movie is an exemplary adaptation that does everything you'd want an adaptation to do. Lauren Wilford wrote a really good essay about the film which I can't find, but I am still linking to this article that she wrote about Noah (and Mad Max: Fury Road) which is excellent, please read it. And please read Room if you, like me, put it off for far too long. (Obviously: more content warnings. But this book protects you, because Ma protects Jack, and it's told from Jack's perspective. It's quite beautiful, really.)
  • Everland / Rebecca Hunt - I was given this book for Christmas and BOY HOWDY, was it ever a good gift. I love Antarctica. I don't see myself ever getting sick of learning/reading about it. This novel is set in Antarctica and is about two expeditions separated by a hundred years to the same place that go badly in eerily similar ways and I am So Here For That. Here are two stories about me reading this book: 1) I was at a music festival with a friend and we were taking a reading break in the shade. She was like "let's go" and I was like "hold on a sec, gonna finish this chapter" because I couldn't tear myself away from it because they were describing GLACIERS and I LOVE TO READ ABOUT ICE. 2) I read a heap of it on a plane on the way back to Canada from Colorado and lo and behold, I actually forgot it was summer because I was so immersed in the freezing cold land of the story. 
   Other things I have done lately include, but are not limited to: deciding that Colorado is pretty choice, moving to a new city, playing so much Pokemon Go, and incessantly referring to Pokemon as pokeymans. It's been a wild ride. 

6.22.2016

"Freshly opened tennis balls"


   Some of these movies I watched quite awhile ago, like, March. March! And then school hit me in the face and then school was all I did for some time and now HERE WE ARE (still talking about school, for some reason).

   THE MOVIES from the last post ARE:

  • Flight of the Navigator (86)
  • Huntsman: Winter's War (16)
  • Mockingjay Part Two (15)
  • Somm: Into the Bottle (15)
  • Somm (12)
   I cannot give a high enough recommendation for finding a waffle place in your town or city that shows movies every Monday and then going to said waffle place to eat waffles and watch childhood favourites. And big news, I was somewhat concerned that seeing Flight of the Navigator as an adult would diminish it in my eyes/memories, but GUESS WHAT: it is fine. It is a fun movie. Fun fact: rewatching/changing/rebooting movies from your childhood will not, in fact, ruin your childhood. I know, it's a revelation. I too was surprised (I was not). 

   I have two problems with Huntsman: Winter's War and they are these: a) not enough Charlize Theron, and b) why call it Huntsman when CLEARLY the Huntsman himself is a secondary character? Riddle me that. Other than those complaints: this movie was everything I wanted it to be and more. Amazing costumes, ridiculous dialogue, many ladies, genuinely creepy bits, very fairy-tale-y fairy tale telling. A+. More Charlize Theron in everything. 

   My boyfriend and I watched Mockingjay Part Two in a couple of stages, one of which was while sitting on a couch in a hostel in the middle of Manitoba where we were the only guests after driving for ten hours to get there. Admittedly, I was in a bit of a daze. I was once again upset about how some things were dealt with, BUT, all in all: a satisfactory flick. The pacing was weird. 

   My parents took me for delicious curry dinner after I finished my school, and afterwards we bought some wine and watched two documentaries about wine back to back. Somm is about people getting ready to take the Master Sommelier (a word I can never pronounce properly) exam, which is an insane three-day exam that only takes place once a year and to which these peeps dedicate their LIVES. It is nuts. Somm: Into the Bottle is less about people and more about wine itself, and features people opening bottles of wine that are so old and rare, and then being absolutely giddy over them. It also talks about everything from fungus to WWII to earthquakes to family drama sparked by barrels. I live tweeted these, so if you follow me on the twitter you were absolutely inundated with wine tweets. I'm not sorry. I recommend watching wine documentaries while drinking wine, it's a recipe for enjoyment. 

6.15.2016

It's Summer and I'm Barely Reading

   I still haven't finished a book since Yes Please, but I have a few on the go. I've been having some trouble paying attention to books this month, which I think is due to the amount of reading and writing I did with school, and the "now the pressure is off" feeling of being done. Hand in hand with my non-reading energy is a lack of writing energy AND SO, a list of the books I am reading:

  • Wish Her Safe At Home / Stephen Benatar - I may or may not finish this one. It is good, and the writing is good, and it is also highly uncomfortable (in the "this unreliable narrator does NOT realize what is actually going on" way). It is also due back at the library and I've reached my renewal limit, perhaps I will return it and come back to it at a later date. 
  • Year of Yes / Shonda Rhimes - I have like 40 minutes left in this audiobook, I will finish it very soon. Also: this book is as good as everyone says it is, which is to say: it's excellent. 
  • The Witches : Salem, 1962 / Stacy Schiff - this book is SO VERY LONG, but I am enjoying it. Learning heaps. 
  • Wolf Winter / Cecilia Ekback - tense! Spooky! Well-written! So good! QUITE happy with this pick, tbh.
  • A small selection of comics, including The Woods , Lumberjanes, and Y: The Last Man
   Since starting to write this post I've read the first volume of The Woods, and it was quite good. I immediately borrowed volume two (praise the Lord for my local library).