Month in Review: December 2018

Favorite Media

Botched is one of the few shows I can stand to watch with commercials, but for some reason, I also thought it ended in 2015?? Idk. E! broadcast all of the previous episodes in preparation for season five, and I was in a happy couch-watching state for the better part of two weeks catching up on the two seasons I’d missed.

Even though I’ve never read the books (nor want to) AND watched the show since it first premiered, none of the previous Outlander seasons have been must-see TV before now. I honestly don’t know what it is that makes me choose it over other shows, but I watch enthralled for a full hour and then practically salivate until Sundays.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

I have no idea where I first heard about Anjali Sachdeva’s All the Names They Used for God, but the stories within sound just slightly off that I think I’ll dig ’em. (It also has over four stars???)

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung is getting All. The. Hype. and I am Here. For. It.

Joyce Carol Oates’ latest, Hazards of Time Travel, doesn’t have the greatest reviews, but I enjoy her writing and it’s also about time travel so…. 🤷‍♀️

I feel like How to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson just kind of like speaks to me on a spiritual level because sometimes men are just so UGH that I can’t even deal with their bullshit. But then they’re like OMG YES and I can.

Sometimes I just want to forget that the 2016 election happened and, instead, be lulled to sleep by a 500-page oral history on the eight years Obama spent in the White House. (Brian Abrams coming in for the clutch!)

On a Sunbeam initially debuted as a webcomic, but Tillie Walden heard our prayers and let me lounge and read without having to deal with WiFi or scrolling or clicking.

Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick: And Other Essays is a (yet another) book that lulled me in by its cover, but I’m also pretty sure the poignant take on race and pop culture will keep me deliciously full.

On My Radar

  • The final season of Game of Thrones drops in April, and I low-key kind of want to rewatch seasons one through seven to like mentally prepare myself for the end. (But will this also make me more emotional???) I really only bring this up because if I want to do it, I need to start real soon and I am not at all ready.
  • I am trying to read for ~30 minutes per day (see my 2019 goals!), but the amount of good shows coming back in January is going to seriously test my ability to pay attention to anything textual: True DetectiveThe Magicians!! Brooklyn Nine-Nine!! UGH NOT FAIR

What were YOU up to in December? Let me know!

Top Ten: Bingeworthy TV Series

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was bingeworthy TV series to watch when you just don’t feel like reading.

Binge Away!

12 Monkeys // Battlestar Galactica // Broadchurch // Orphan Black // Red Dwarf

Anthologies!!

American Horror Story // Black Mirror

Still Going!!!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine // Game of Thrones // The Magicians // Outlander  // Stranger Things

New to the Queue #2

Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner started this and I love it so I’m (politely) stealing it!

I add a lot of stuff to my TBR list, my Netflix queue, and my library holds list. Here’s stuff I want to actually seek out and consume right now.

Stuff I Want to Read

NttQ2_TBR

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Time Travel by James Gleick

Stuff I Want to Watch

NttQ2_TBW

The Boss

Drunk History

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

Stranger Things

Undrafted

Stuff I Want to Can’t Stop Listening To

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake

“Dancing in the Dark” ft. Von Smith by Postmodern Jukebox

“Light of the Seven” by Ramin Djawadi

“Pillowtalk” by Zayn

“Work from Home” ft. Ty Dolla $ign by Fifth Harmony

What did YOU add to your queue?? Let me know!

Mini-review: A Song of Ice and Fire series

ADanceWithDragonsFor the last six months, I’ve been trying really hard to send into the world a video review of my latest read – and I’ve been more or less successful. (Except editing… ugh.) My most current read, however, was A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin – the fifth and latest novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. And, even though I liked the book, it’s hard for me to review something singularly when it’s also a part of something much, much larger. (Like, 4,500 pages larger.)

So I decided not to make a video this month. There’s just too much immense character development and world building that, when I thought about what I might say in my review, I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t at least reference (if not outright speak of) Martin’s previous four novels. And what fun is a review when the viewer must also have read the series? (Answer: not very much.) The fun is learning about a new book when you know almost nothing about it. How does one even start to explain A Dance with Dragons outside of the context of A Song of Ice and Fire? (I don’t know. Do you?)

But I will say the following:

  1. A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantastic high-fantasy read. Are you interested in fantasy, even remotely? I suggest you at least try A Game of Thrones. Maybe you won’t like it – and that’s okay. But what turns you off from the HBO adaptation does not necessarily happen in the novels. (Like, at all.)
  2. Yes, the books take place in a place (and time) which feels very much like 13th and 14th century Europe (or maybe 14th and 15th? this is how much I know about history) – but once you get past the culture shock, you’re immediately immersed in the incredible world-building that Martin has accomplished. Don’t go into this series with high expectations, though – you’ll invariably dislike characters or plots or descriptions. There’s a reason these books are hella long. (It takes me about 2.5 months to finish one.) But maybe you love (and even seek out) long novels (like me). I think these books are worth the investment. (I also don’t like anything related to medieval Europe – well, except Monty Python’s Holy Grail – so the lack of plumbing and running water was decidedly not one of the reasons I picked up the series.)
  3. Game of Thrones is not A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s based on A Song of Ice and Fire – and the longer the show goes on, the more it dovetails from Martin’s source material. If you enjoy the show, you’ll most likely enjoy the novels. If you haven’t seen the show but you do like fantasy, you should look into the books. But don’t compare the two. (It’s unfair to both of them.) From my own experience, I was kind of bored while reading A Game of ThronesA Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords because I’d already watched seasons one through three of the show and knew what was going to happen. But as soon as I got to the part where season three ended? And I was enjoying Martin’s storytelling for the first time? OH MY GOD. It was intense and amazing and I got so excited for season four of Game of Thrones – only to be disappointed when I realized the show wasn’t adapting the books word for word. (See? I told you not to have high expectations.) It took me a couple of episodes (and a Game of Thrones re-watch) to remember that each book and each season is its own separate beast – and I shouldn’t dislike them because they’re not the same; I should instead adore them separately.

So… yeah. Those are my thoughts and I’m stickin’ to them.