The movies from the last post:

  • The Emperor's New Groove (00)
  • Galaxy Quest (99)
  • Love & Friendship (16)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (16)
  • True Lies (94)
   I don't think I need to tell you how good The Emperor's New Groove is. Pure gold. 

   Here is a video talking about how Galaxy Quest ought to be considered a comedy classic, and I am in agreement. What a gem of a film. I loled aplenty, as well as feeling genuine emotional attachment to the characters. 

   Love & Friendship easily earned a place in my top-five movies of the year, and I saw it twice in theaters. It is witty and hilarious. Kate Beckinsale plays a woman who is 40 times smarter than anyone else around her and absolutely runs circles around them. She essentially manipulates everyone into doing what she wants and it's amazing. And then! Other women in the movie learn to play the game and it is like this giant battle of wits with a polite veneer on it, it's so good. Here's the trailer. Highly recommended for anyone who likes jokes, banter, or good movies. Watched it twice in theatres. 

   I saw Zootopia earlier this year, and was so thoroughly impressed by it, and I think it may have heightened my expectations for The Secret Life of Pets. Pets was disappointing, racially problematic, and fairly boring. I thought it was going to be fun, and it wasn't. I thought that it would maybe have the same kind of thoughtful commentary that Zootopia did, and it didn't. It had one good joke near the end. Skip this one. 

   A few years back my brother and I spent a great deal of time watching Arnold movies, but somehow skipped watching True Lies. Imagine my glee when I was hanging with some pals and their cat, and we discovered that we were all in the mood for some Arnold time. True Lies  not only includes SEVERAL hilarious lines, it ALSO features and outdoor-to-indoor motorcycle chase when instead of being on a motorcycle, Arnold is RIDING A HORSE, and the horse TAKES THE ELEVATOR, and it is AMAZING.

   Movies! I love them. 


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.