I’ve been posting these media consumption updates at least once every couple of weeks for more than a year now. It’s almost a feature. I’m possibly more pleased about that level of consistency than I should be, but pleased I am, all the same. Here’s the latest.
Silence Fallen Patricia Briggs. Many books into the series, I’m still enjoying it. Even switching from first to third person between chapters was tolerable, made fun by chatty explanatory blurbs from the main character. True confession: I cheered when a new POV character showed up 3/4 of the way into the book. I do that even though writing guides all say it’s a huge no-no, but guess what? It works great.
Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins Of the American Republic Matthew Stewart. I may be gnawing on this one for a while. 450 dense pages with another 125 pages of footnotes. Super fascinating “things that get glossed over in American History Class” stuff. I read a certain page count per day like homework, but I always go over my quota because it’s hard to stop once started.
Spoiler alert: digging into the writings & the formative readings of the Founding Fathers reveals they were mostly not big fans of Christianity. To paraphrase a couple of paragraphs (the prose is super dense) The American ideal freedom of religion traces back to the Founding Fathers’ desire for freedom from religion, specifically from Christianity. Amazing stuff. Packed with enough citations to give me lots of further reading too.
fantasy Victorian-era romance fluff to balance out the Tome Of Learning: So You Want To Start A Scandal, Tessa Dare. Phenomenal dialogue and pacing.
Deepwater Horizon. LOTS better than I expected, especially after the disappointment of Sully. It stuck to the event, not the aftermath. They took a tremendously complicated scientific & engineering situation and explained it well, portrayed people present for the crisis as flawed but sometimes also heroic, and then skipped out before the backstabbing and finger-pointing started.. Could it have been a huge screed against corporate greed and a saga of ecological disaster? Surrrrrrre, but Humanity vs Nature made a much better movie.
Captain Fantastic. I have no idea why I reserved this one. Oh, wait. Viggo Mortenson. Right. I won’t analyze its premise or message. It wouldn’t stand up well to analysis. I enjoyed it all the same. I can enjoy problematic things. The casting director is brilliant for finding six kids of varying ages who could all hold their own on-screen with Viggo. Names to watch.
Hell & High Water. It was…well done. Not my kind of story for fun, but holy catkins, Chris Pine is not just chiseled and pretty, he can act. That’s a thing I know for sure now. He more than held his own with Jeff Bridges. Bridges & Gil Birmingham were an epic cop buddy pair. And that is all I will say.
Grand Tour. Spouseman and I have embarked on a new “watch TV together” series. Car fun. Vrrrroom. GT is the new Amazon-Prime version of BBC Top Gear with the original hosts, who got fired/resigned (it was a Big Thing, google it) Unlike American Top Gear, which I found unwatchably dull, this show keeps the lighthearted spirit of the original with a fun twist of changing locations every week. I think the title acronym being GT is no accident since it’s a car nerd reference, a nod to the world-traveling aspect, AND the initials for Top Gear backwards.
I hope they lose the NASCAR driver replacement for the Stig, not because he’s bad, but because he’s obviously Jeremy Clarkson’s running stupid-Muricans joke and it was grating on my nerves after one episode. Clarkson’s bullying obnoxiousness gives me heebie-jeebies in general, but he’s hiding the meanness a little better in this incarnation than in later seasons of TG. So far.
Feud. I didn’t turn off the TV fast enough after watching some recorded show and got sucked into this mini-series. I regret nothing. It’s delicious. Bette Davis & Joan Crawford and the production of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Period costumes, dramatic spats, and tons of scenery-chewing = great goodness.
Series of Unfortunate Events. Hee. I don’t care if it’s targeted at children. It has Patrick Warburton as a narrator, and a fabulous parade of talent hamming it up in heavy makeup and wild costumes. Then there the storyline wreathed in glittery vocabulary words, Dahl-esque social commentary, and pointed lessons about human frailty. Best of all, it never assumes its audience is stupid, which is one of the things I loved best about the books.
And that’s a wrap on my creative-things intake summary. Of course there’s creative output too. All this inspiration has to be exhaled. I put it in books mostly. You can order my published work on Amazon and at all the other usual online retailers, or take free peeks at all of it under the blog menu mysteriously labeled Books.
SF thrillers, SF romance, and straight science fantasy, full length novel or shorter, so many choices…