What I read, watched, and listened to in October, 2013… [Better late than never!]

On my bookshelf…

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Talking Taboo - Edited by Erin Lane & Enuma Okoro - I’m not even going to pretend to be neutral about this book.  I contributed an essay and this past week I joined the book’s editors for a reading at our local bookstore, The Regulator. It’s a project I’m proud to be apart of and as I read the essays this month I loved it all over again. There is something powerful about giving words to the things often labeled as unspeakable. So go read it and start having conversations!

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The Herald -Sun | Bernard Thomas

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Outliers by Max Gladwell  - I thought I’d like this book more. I’m always on the look out for great non-fiction and generally I really like Gladwell’s work. But after the first few chapters this book got repetitive. Tangent: Gladwell recently gave an interview about experiencing renewal in his faith.

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth – I was a big fan of the first two books in the series – Divergent and Insurgent - so I was really excited to read the conclusion, but I did not like this book. I hate to say that because I wanted to like this book so much. I won’t spoil anything, but the execution was lacking here. I know I wasn’t the only one cause friends and I exchanged a rapid round of emails about our mixed feelings toward this book. May you’ll have more luck with it.

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater –  Now this sequel to a YA series I did like. It’s not perfect, but it’s solid and Stiefvater succeeds at executing the fantastical elements of her novel without sacrificing characterization.

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Reading Like a Writer - Francine Prose  - I reread this book this month because I checked it out from the library on a whim. I read it back in college and it was the first place I encountered the very simple idea of close reading — reading for language, for ideas, and themes rather than just the “story” or “lesson.” To me it’s a classic and so of course I loved rereading it.

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Consider the Birds - by Debbie Blue –  Absolutely not what I thought it would be. Even if the topic seems obscure this book is just beautifully written. It draws excellent Biblical exegesis with wit and wisdom. *This* is what Christian spiritual writing should look like.

On my television…

I was probably more excited about the fall season than I should have been (I really like television), but I’ve been surprised by how many shows have lost my interest this fall. Even if I didn’t love a show I used to still looked forward to watching it each week. Now I just have too much going on to automatically turn on the TV each night and am more selective. Of course there are still shows that I adore and so far this fall that has been:

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A mockumentry style sitcom, a legal procedural, a comic-book adaptation, and a soapy melodrama – it’s an eclectic bunch. Subsequently I can’t recommend any one thing to everyone. I like all of them for different reasons and you may as well (or not at all). But the one thing each of these shows is doing is they have characters I care about and I think that’s what keeps me coming back.

On my ipod…

[song] ”Say Something” – Christina Auguilera and A Great Big World – It’s hauntingly beautiful and I just keep listening to it over and over and over.

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[podcast] The Nerdist Writer’s Panel is an informal podcast of conversations with writers in television, film, comic books, music, and novels. What I love is that they interview people who are currently working and usually up-and-coming. Their perspective is fresher than a lot of the advice or observations I’ve come across from well established writers. And as their tag says – it’s writers talking about writing, what could be more exciting?

On Youtube…

The Idea Channel is a PBS production and I just really love it. Each week they consider a new question – drawing from the world of pop culture and media. But the question sprawls into other topics in the humanities and sciences – philosophy, math, and social theory – that’s just fun. Plus they make great use of GIFS.

On the Internet…

 

 

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