books and reading · pop culture

July 2017 Recap

This is how the month of July shaped up for me in terms of reading books and watching movies (okay, a lot of TV).

Books:

Total:  51
Picture Books: 33
Middle Grade: 1
YA: 5
Adult: 12
Fiction: 46
Non-Fiction: 5
Audiobooks: 2
Total Pages Read: 5568

Favorite Reads in July:

 

32195204The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter: I’ve already extolled the virtues of this one, but it’s still a stand-out read for the month. I think it would make a great movie, too.

This House, Once by Deborah Freeman: A great picture 30312840book with sparse text and gorgeous illustrations. There was something so beautiful and simple about this one. I just loved it.

Perennials by Mandy Berman: I think this was a 32148219really strong debut, and Berman will be an author to watch. There’s a lot of good stuff here, and the characters have stayed with me long after I finished the book.

 

 

 

Viewing

Total Movies: 4
New: 4
Re-Watch: 0

Favorite Movies in July: okja
Okja: My mom emailed me after watching this late once night and told me I had to watch it immediately; then she called me that night to talk about it some more. So, I watched it. And I loved it. It’s sad and beautiful and weird and sneaky and wonderful. It’s definitely worth your 2 hours.

Other Things I’ve Been Watching:

I’ve been slowly slogging my way through ER Season 2, and that’s been an experience. Everyone looks so young, and every episode feels so long!

Because I’m a masochist, I’ve been rewatching Dawson’s Creek, mostly as background noise while I do other things. It’s still terrible, and every character is total garbage except for Pacey, and yet somehow I can’t quit it.

 

 

 

books and reading · pop culture

February 2017 Recap

This is how the month of February shook out for me. These are the things I watched and read:

Books:

Total:  39
Picture Books: 35
Middle Grade: 0
YA: 2
Adult: 2
Fiction: 37
Non-Fiction: 2
Audiobooks: 0
Total Pages Read: 2848

Favorite Reads in February:

23613983Run by Kody Keplinger: A lovely story about two best friends on a journey of self-discovery, this novel treated a slew of difficult topics with respect and care. Disabilities, GLBTQ issues, and socioeconomics are all explored in this novel, and Keplinger continues to grow as a writer. I really enjoyed this one.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems: A 490867lovely, funny, too-true story about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit. This one was a total hit at storytime, and I loved reading it on my own, too.

28818921Difficult Women by Roxane Gay: This short story collection, like virtually all short story collections, has some knock-out chapters and some forgettable ones, but on the whole it’s a captivating look at a bunch of deeply flawed, deeply human women. Not every story here works, and there are times when virtually all of the men in all of the stories are completely one-dimensional monsters, but on the whole it’s compelling stuff.

 

Movies:

Total: 5
New: 5
Re-Watch: 0

Favorite Movies in February: 
lion_ver5Lion: I ugly cried through most of this one, but on the whole I also loved it. Sunny Pawar is great as the young child in the first half of the film, and Dev Patel is great as the older version. There’s some gorgeous shots of scenery throughout the film, and the narrative is compelling enough that I placed a hold on the memoir that the film is based on.

My reading and watching of new movies was way down in February, which is disheartening. I can blame stress and life changes, but it’s also just laziness. I’m hoping that March is a better month for the consumption of new media, but since I’m also packing and planning a move for April 1, I’m not…optimistic.

Uncategorized

Reading Goals for 2017

Last year, I read over a hundred books, but it was a slog. I stopped blogging, changed jobs, and found myself in a public library gig where reading diversely and outside of my comfort zone is essential to performing my job as best as I can.  This year, I hope to read more diversely than ever before, selecting titles from a ton of genres, including ones that generally don’t even interest me. I want to read books for all ages, including board books, early readers, middle grade titles, teen, and adult offerings.

I’d like to start blogging again, and reviewing what I read, because it makes me a better reader and it also helps me help patrons find what they’re looking for.  So here’s to 2017, and to reading widely and bravely.

 

books and reading · pop culture

October 2015 Recap

Reading:

Best Book of the Month:  Infandous by Elana K. Arnold

Books Read: 21
Adult: 0
MG: 0
YA: 21
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 21
Non-fiction/Memoir: 0
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 5343

Thoughts on October’s Reading: 

I read a lot of books but still feel like I could have read more.  I love reading for the Cybils, but work has gotten unexpectedly busy and life is getting in the way consistently.  I’m hoping to at least match the number of titles read for November, but we’ll see.

October was a bad month for watching stuff.  I watched a few movies and marathoned The Good Wife, but nothing to really report on here, which is embarrassing.

Goals for November:

  • At least 20 more books read for the Cybils.
  • At least 10 movies that are new to me.  I need to get out of the habit of re-watching shows/movies I’ve already seen.  It’s easy to do when you’re a distracted viewer and like to multi-task, but it’s wreaking havoc on my pop culture goals.

 

books and reading · pop culture

September 2015 Recap

Reading:

Best Book of the Month:  Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Books Read: 14
Adult: 8
MG: 0
YA: 6
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 12
Non-fiction/Memoir: 2
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 5,022

Thoughts on September’s  Reading:

  • I read a fair amount in September, and I read fairly evenly between adult/YA titles.  I read a lot of stuff that was merely okay, and a few knockout titles.
  • I’m participating in the Cybils again this year, which means an increase in reading volume for October-December, but it will all be YA fiction, so I should probably kiss goodbye the adult titles I still have sitting on my nightstand from the library.

Watching:

TV:

  • I’ve mostly been re-watching shows I love, like Parks & Rec, The Office, and Buffy, so I haven’t marathoned anything new this month.
  • Fall TV is here, and I’m really into Fear the Walking Dead, Switched at Birth, and am enjoying Blindspot and Quantico.

meearlMovies:

Best Movie in September: Me & Earl & the Dying Girl
Total Movies Watched: 12
Theater Trips: 0
Re-Watch: 1

Thoughts on Movies: 

  • I’m doing an unofficial fall movie challenge, so my movie watching is up this month.  I watched a fair amount of stuff, but the best things I watched included Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (SO GOOD) and Belle.
  • I also watched Welcome to Me, which I liked a lot, and The One I Love, which was weird and sort of wonderful.

 Goals for October:

  • Watch at least 15 new movies
  • Read, read, read.  It’s Cybils time, so this is pretty much a given.
books and reading · pop culture

August 2015 Recap

Reading:

Best Book of the Month:  From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Books Read: 8
Adult: 4
MG: 0
YA: 4
Children’s: 0
Fiction: 6
Non-fiction/Memoir: 2
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 2641

Thoughts on August’s Reading:

  • Way down on reading this month, for some reason.  I have a ton to read and very little motivation to do so.
  • I’ve read considerably more YA this month, which is good.  I still have a lot to catch up on.

Watching:

TV:

  • Still chugging away at Beverly Hills, currently stuck in the 8th season.  Don’t get me wrong: this has never been a good show, but we’re well past jump-the-shark territory, and now it’s kind of boring.
  • Definitely ready for fall TV.

Movies:

rickiBest Movie in August: Ricki and the Flash
Total Movies Watched: 1?
Theater Trips: 1
Re-Watch: 0

Thoughts on Movies: 

  • Embarrassingly, I didn’t track movies watched in August, but I’m not sure I watched any with the exception of Ricki & the Flash.
  • I have goals for September, but I’m still hammering out the details.  Obviously more movies and less TV (it’s just so easy to marathon Royal Pains).

 

 Goals for September:

  • Watch 5-10 movies.  Seriously.
  • Read at least 10 books.
  • Keep up with keeping track.
books and reading · pop culture

July 2015 Recap

Summer is hard, guys.  I don’t read as much as I think I will and a lot of my movie-watching ends up being half-hardheartedly watching TV while doing other activities.

Reading:

Best Book of the Month: Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz

Books Read: 12
Adult: 9
MG: 0
YA: 2
Children’s: 1
Fiction: 5
Non-fiction/Memoir: 7
Graphic Novel: 0
# of Pages Read: 3544

Thoughts on July’s Reading:

  • A bizarrely large amount of non-fiction this month, due in part to the fact that I’ve been reading a lot about weight-lifting.  We all need hobbies, guys.
  • Much of the non-fiction I read was great, and some was just sort of forgettable.  But I’m glad to be branching out.

Watching:

TV:

  • I’ve been watching Everwood from start to finish, which has been interesting.  It’s not a show that has aged well, and it’s also not as compelling as it thinks it is.  It lacks many of the things that a show that relies on a slow-burn needs to be really compelling: strong writing, actor chemistry, etc.  But I keep watching.
  • Still chugging away at Beverly Hills, currently enmeshed in the 6th season.  It’s just all so ridiculous.  I love it.
  • Every once in a while, I dip into an episode of Pretty Little Liars, but the show seems to be giving viewers the exact same story every week.  It’s a mystery that people keep tuning in (this applies to me, too).
  • Definitely ready for fall TV.

Movies:

infinitelypolarBest Movie in July: Infinitely Polar Bear
Total Movies Watched: 11
Theater Trips: 3
Re-Watch: 8

Thoughts on Movies: 

  • Three theater trips in July, and all three were solid choices.
  • I rewatched Beyond the Lights (it’s on Netflix and you should go watch it) and still love it.  I watched a couple documentaries near the start of the month, including Blackfish and Hot Girls Wanted.

 

 Goals for August:

  • Watch 5-10 movies.  Seriously.
  • Read at least 10 books.
  • Keep up with keeping track.