Movies and Books: 2016

This was in some ways a very good year; I saw more movies and read many more books than last year! It also seems to be the year I’ve more or less given up the ghost on tracking any serialized comics in Goodreads (which is how I keep up with what I’ve read each year), as well as tracking zines and such. I’ve also read a lot less serials now that I’m writing far fewer articles about them, which is certainly part of it. A few got added into the list, but the attempt to do so slacked off tremendously the further into 2016 I went.

Anyway, a nice tally of films and books, if nothing else, and I’m hoping to continue that progress into 2017.

Movies:

  1. Carol
  2. Brooklyn
  3. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Live Action
  4. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Animated
  5. Hail, Caesar!
  6. Max Max: Fury Road
  7. Zootopia
  8. Marguerite
  9. Hello, My Name is Doris
  10. Midnight Special
  11. Captain America: Civil War
  12. Love & Friendship
  13. The Lobster
  14. The Lovers and the Despot
  15. Obit
  16. AFI Docs Shorts Program: No Borders
  17. Under the Sun
  18. Looking: The Movie
  19. Finding Dory
  20. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
  21. Star Trek Beyond
  22. Kubo and the Two Strings
  23. Hell or High Water
  24. Captain Fantastic
  25. Steel Magnolias
  26. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  27. Moonlight
  28. The Handmaiden [아가씨 Agassi]
  29. Being 17 [Quand on a 17 ans]
  30. Manchester by the Sea
  31. Mother [Ema]
  32. Frantz
  33. Arrival

Plays/Performances:

  1. Bianca del Rio’s Not Today, Satan
  2. Carousel

Books:

  1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  2. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.
  3. The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon
  4. When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
  5. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  6. Tropic of Sunshine by Patrick Youngblood
  7. Drag Teen by Jeffrey Self
  8. Lady Susan by Jane Austen
  9. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  10. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
  11. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  12. The Evening and the Morning and the Night by Octavia E. Butler
  13. The Black Archive: Ghost Light by Jonathan Dennis
  14. What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew
  15. The Mystical Beast by Alison Farthing
  16. Naming The Flowers by Kate Wilhelm
  17. Look Away by George Alec Effinger
  18. Thebes of the Hundred Gates by Robert Silverberg
  19. Superman: The Unauthorized Biography by Glen Weldon
  20. Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
  21. All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay D.C. by Craig Seymour
  22. Arabian Wine by Gregory Feeley
  23. This Census-Taker by China Mieville
  24. Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link
  25. The Black Archive: Image of the Fendahl by Simon Bucher-Jones
  26. Lion Time in Timbuctoo by Robert Silverberg
  27. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  28. Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
  29. Three Moments of an Explosion by China Meville
  30. Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin
  31. Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
  32. More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin
  33. Stoner by John Williams

Graphic Novels:

  1. Killing and Dying: Stories by Adrian Tomine
  2. Wizzywig: Portrait of a Serial Hacker by Ed Piskor
  3. Scheherazade: Comics About Love, Treachery, Mothers, and Monsters edited by Megan Kelso
  4. Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague by Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli
  5. The Best American Comics 2009 edited by Charles Burns, Jessica Abel, and Matt Madden
  6. The Best American Comics 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman, Jessica Abel, and Matt Madden
  7. Emma Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori
  8. The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen and assorted artists
  9. Doctor Fate Vol. 1: The Blood Price by Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew
  10. Curiosities: An Illustrated History of Ancestral Oddity by Mike Yamada, Victoria Ying, and Jonathan Ying
  11. You Don’t Say by Nate Powell
  12. Black River by Josh Simmons
  13. Our Expanding Universe by Alex Robinson
  14. Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 2: Feasts of Fury by Eric Colossal
  15. What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 10 by Fumi Yoshinaga
  16. East of West Vol. 5: All These Secrets by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta
  17. Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton
  18. Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
  19. Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
  20. Trash Market by Tadao Tsuge
  21. How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman, Fabio Moon, and Gabriel Ba
  22. Snow Angel by David Chelsea
  23. SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
  24. Yotsuba&! Vol. 13 by Kiyohiko Azuma
  25. Nemo: River of Ghosts by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
  26. Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon by Mohammad al-Mohamed Muhammad
  27. Mae Vol. 1 by Gene Ha
  28. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain and Langdon Foss
  29. Elfquest: Wolfrider Vol. 1 by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini
  30. Elfquest: Wolfrider Vol. 2 by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini
  31. Elfquest: The Discovery by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini
  32. Elfquest: Dreamtime by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini
  33. Elfquest: The Searcher and the Sword by Wendy Pini and Richard Pini
  34. Elfquest: In All But Blood by Wendy Pini, Richard Pini, and company
  35. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  36. Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet
  37. What’s Your Sign, Girl? edited by Robert Kirby
  38. Emma Vol. 2 by Kaoru Mori
  39. To Terra… Vol. 1 by Keiko Takemiya
  40. Guardians of the Louvre by Jiro Taniguchi
  41. Alphabet edited by Jon Macy and Tara Avery
  42. The Omega Men: The End is Here by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda
  43. Hilda and the Stone Forest by Luke Pearson
  44. Emma Vol. 3 by Kaoru Mori
  45. Angel Catbird Vol. 1 by Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas
  46. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  47. The Best American Comics 2014 edited by Scott McCloud and Bill Kartalopoulos
  48. Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart
  49. Bread and Wine by Samuel R. Delany and Mia Wolff
  50. What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 11 by Fumi Yoshinaga

Previous Years’ Tallies:

My Favorite Moment of Comics Journalism

In the early ’90s, I was a freelancer for a magazine about comic books called Wizard. For a couple of years I would regularly get assignments from my editor (Patrick Daniel O’Neill, who had great patience) to interview people. I got to interview Wendy and Richard Pini, whose series Elfquest got me into comics back in 1980. Alan Davis, whose drew Excalibur when it was my gateway into superhero comics. Joe Quesada early in his career, and so on, and so on. They eventually took all of the interviews in-house, and while I wrote some small news articles for a few more years, it eventually dried up. But there was one interview that was quite possibly my favorite one, which never saw print.

Image Comics logoIn 1993, Wizard published a special all about the X-Men family of comics (Wizard: X-Men Turn Thirty), which sold well enough that some other special one-shots were planned. The next one was to be a special all about Image Comics, which in the early ’90s was a relatively new company with a lot of creators who had defected from the larger publishers to write and draw their own titles. I was asked to interview a group of the “second wave” creators; not any of the original founders, but some of the writers/artists who had started comics at the company when the doors had opened up a bit. The special was eventually cancelled, and it was just as well because one of the creators in question was not returning phone calls and I’d been told his presence was a must. (This creator also had some serious problems with getting his comic out the door and I suspect he was afraid to be called out on that.) But for the interviews I did, there was one that still makes me laugh my head off. We’ll call this creator John.

I was a huge fan of John’s comic (we’ll call it Doe), one of the best of the “second wave” of titles at Image. And long before Doe, he’d done a lot of other noteworthy comics; he wasn’t a flash in the pan. So I was pretty psyched to interview him. I’d read all of his series at Image, and even some ancillary material that also existed. Big fan. I’d talked with him briefly to set up a time, and late one evening I called him back up at the appointed hour.

At first I was simply happy with how well the interview was going. He was relaxed and chatty; I’d interviewed people before who were very guarded and gave one-word answers to questions. (On the bright side, those early experiences taught me how to both ask questions that couldn’t be answered so briefly, and also how to draw out additional statements from them when confronted with such.) But as the talk progressed, I noticed that he was… really relaxed. And getting even more chatty. Around the halfway point I started to ask myself, “Is John stoned?”

A few minutes later, I responded to something he said with a reference to the ancillary material that I’d read, and he said, “Wow, you really do like this comic. Do you want to write an issue?” I laughed in response. “No, really,” he said, and I could almost imagine John leaning towards me as if he was in the room. “You should write an issue. I want you to write an issue. It would be amazing.” Well, yes. It would be amazing. I laughed a little nervously and said that I’d love to do so, and the interview continued as his behavior got a little more erratic, but hey, he was still answering questions and giving overall rational responses.

The next day, John called me. This was the first time that had ever happened. “So, Greg…” he slowly said. “Um… what did I say to you last night?”

“Well John,” I said with an unseen smile on my face, “you said I could write an issue of Doe.”

There was an uncomfortable-for-John silence, which I finally broke with a laugh and, “But I won’t hold you to that, of course.”

I could almost hear his shoulders sag in relief. “Oh good,” he finally said. We talked for a few more minutes, I mentioned the high points of the interview, and he seemed pretty pleased with it. He even gave me advice on how to try and get ahold of the incommunicado artist (“Pretend you’re from a record label, he really wants to be a musician!”) and by the time we ended the conversation he seemed really happy.

As I said, the interview never ran because the special was cancelled, and it’s a real shame because I had enough from John alone that it could have been a great solo interview. But today an art book by John that I’d ordered ages ago and forgotten about suddenly showed up in the mail, and I had to start laughing at the memory of it all. Because for a brief 14 hours, I had an offer to write an issue of his comic. And while there was no way to have ever worked that into the interview, it was and still is the most unexpected moment I’ve ever had in all of my years of comics journalism.

Movies and Books: 2015

Another year gone by, another tracking of books and movies and such for the year. I know I missed a lot of graphic novels when you count the collected editions (since I read a fair number for review purposes in serialized formats), as well as for the various zines I’ve read. I’d said that in 2014 that it was a hectic year in terms of school and tracking fell to the wayside a bit. That was not only true for 2015, but also for reading and seeing films in general. Ah well! Hopefully 2016 will be more productive.

Movies:

  1. The Imitation Game
  2. Mr. Turner
  3. Early Summer [麦秋 Bakushū]
  4. The Housemaid [하녀 Hanyeo] (1960 version)
  5. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  6. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Live Action
  7. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Animated
  8. Bigger than Life
  9. Saint Laurent
  10. Inside Out
  11. Tangerine
  12. Grandma
  13. Big Business
  14. Black Widow
  15. The Grifters
  16. Room
  17. A Royal Night Out
  18. The Wait [L’Atessa]
  19. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  20. The Danish Girl

Plays/Performances:

  1. Quiz-O-Tron
  2. Welcome to Night Vale: The Investigators
  3. Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate

Books:

  1. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  2. Blindness by Jose Saramago
  3. How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Friendship, Theft & Musical Theatre by Marc Acito
  4. Tiny Deaths by Robert Shearman
  5. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  6. The Reference Interview Today: Negotiating and Answering Questions Face to Face, on the Phone, and Virtually by Dave Harmeyer
  7. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
  8. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
  9. Information Technology Project Management by Kathy Schwalbe
  10. City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
  11. The World of Ice & Fire by George R.R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia Jr., and Linda Antonsson
  12. Basic Research Methods for Librarians by Ronald R. Powell
  13. Collection Management Basics by G. Edward Evans
  14. Remembrance of Things I Forgot by Bob Smith
  15. The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson
  16. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Fiction Magazines, Chapbooks, and Zines:

  1. Kinfolk Vol. 14
  2. Kinfolk Vol. 13
  3. Lucky Peach #16

Graphic Novels: Continue reading Movies and Books: 2015

Movies and Books: 2014

Once again, an attempt to keep track of films seen and books read… I know I missed a lot of graphic novels when you count the collected editions (since I read a fair number for review purposes in serialized formats), as well as for the various zines I’ve read. This was a hectic year in terms of school and this fell to the wayside a bit. I added a bunch in at the end of the year but still, I’m sure there were some big holes. Unsurprisingly, the numbers went down because of graduate school.

Movies:

  1. The Wolf of Wall Street
  2. Philomena
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  4. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Live Action
  5. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Animated
  6. The Lego Movie
  7. Stranger by the Lake
  8. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  9. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  11. Under the Skin
  12. Late Spring [晩春 Banshun]
  13. The Immigrant
  14. 112 Weddings
  15. 1971
  16. Deor and I
  17. Art and Craft
  18. Snowpiercer
  19. Obvious Child
  20. Magic in the Moonlight
  21. Boyhood
  22. To Be Takei
  23. Guardians of the Galaxy
  24. The Skeleton Twins
  25. Gone Girl
  26. Nightcrawler
  27. Foxcatcher
  28. Human Capital [Il capitale umano]
  29. Two Days, One Night [Deux jours, une nuit]
  30. Falling Star [Stella cadente]

Plays/Performances:

  1. Richard III
  2. Welcome to Night Vale: The Librarian
  3. The Importance of Being Earnest
  4. Henry IV Part 1
  5. Wicked
  6. La bohème
  7. NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour Live Show: December 2014

Books:

  1. The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan
  2. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  4. This is Oakland: A Guide to the City’s Most Interesting Places by Melissa Davis
  5. Organizing Knowledge: An Introduction to Managing Access to Information by J.E. Rowley
  6. The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  7. Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi
  8. The Process of Legal Research by Christina L. Kunz
  9. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  10. Management Basics for Information Professionals by G. Edward Evans
  11. Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler
  12. The Old Funny Stuff (Author’s Choice Monthly #1) by George Alec Effinger
  13. Emphatically Not SF, Almost (Author’s Choice Monthly #15) by Michael Bishop
  14. True Minds (Author’s Choice Monthly #12) by Spider Robinson
  15. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
  16. Understories by Tim Horvath
  17. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  18. Who’s 50: 50 Doctor Who Stories To Watch Before You Die – An Unofficial Companion by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith?
  19. The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
  20. Digital Curation by Ross Harvey
  21. Miguel Covarrubias Caricatures by Beverley J. Cox
  22. Metadata for Digital Collections: A How-To-Do-It Manual by Steven J. Miller
  23. Cruddy by Lynda Barry

Fiction Magazines, Chapbooks, and Zines:

  1. Kinfolk Vol. 10
  2. Lucky Peach Vol. 6
  3. Kinfolk Vol. 11
  4. Lucky Peach Vol. 12
  5. Kinfolk Vol. 12

Graphic Novels: Continue reading Movies and Books: 2014

Vivat Grendel! Vivat Grendel!

You may already know that in addition to being a big comic book fan, I own a fair amount of original art from comics. And if you know me really well, you may know that I am a huge fan of Grendel, Matt Wagner’s signature series that my friend Dave Gross turned me onto in college. I already own some Grendel art that I adore; a Pander Brothers piece as well as a solo Arnold Pander piece, Jay Geldhof’s painting for Grendel Cycle, a J.K. Snyder III pin-up… well, now I have two more pieces that are both heading my way even as I type this, both in the hands of various shipping companies.

The first is a page from Grendel Tales: Devils and Deaths by the late, great Edvin Biukovic. Biukovic was an artist who had a short career in comics; he made his big North American debut through Grendel Tales and quickly became in-demand for his clean art style. Sadly his career ended at the age of 30 from a brain tumor, just as his career was getting huge. Earlier this month, his family released a limited number of his original art pages for sale, something that almost never happens. I ended up purchasing this beauty; I was a huge fan of Biukovic the second I bought Grendel Tales: Devils and Deaths #1, and he was a talent that was silenced far too soon.

Biukovic Grendel 04 Pg 18

The second is a page from this year’s Grendel vs. The Shadow, drawn by Matt Wagner himself. I never thought I’d own a Wagner Grendel page, and having the opportunity made my head explode. And if that’s not enough… just look at the detail and the graceful shading here. The art dealer whom I talked to about it said that it looks even more gorgeous in person. I cannot wait.

Grendel vs. Shadow 1 pg 10

Once I get them framed sometime in the new year, I’ll probably swap out some pieces either at home or in my office (or both?) with these. I love the art I have hanging right now. But I really, really love these. And it’ll be nice to see something new on the walls.

Movies and Books: 2013

Another year of keeping track of films and books read… I suspect that I missed a few graphic novels when you count the collected editions (since I read a lot of them for review purposes in serialized formats), ah well. Definitely a big uptick on movies for 2013.

Movies:

  1. Django Unchained
  2. Zero Dark Thirty
  3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  4. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013: Live Action
  5. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013: Animated
  6. Silver Linings Playbook
  7. Amour
  8. Side Effects
  9. Party Girl
  10. The Company You Keep
  11. The Great Gatsby
  12. In the House (Dans la Maison)
  13. Stories We Tell
  14. Star Trek Into Darkness
  15. Iron Man 3
  16. Mud
  17. Frances Ha
  18. Behind the Candelabra
  19. The Painting (Le Tableau)
  20. Rent a Family Inc.
  21. AFI Docs Shorts Program Two: Life and Death
  22. Approved for Adoption (Couleur de Peau: Miel)
  23. The Bling Ring
  24. Much Ado About Nothing
  25. The Way, Way Back
  26. The Heat
  27. I’m So Excited (Los amantes pasajeros)
  28. Blue Jasmine
  29. The Wolverine
  30. The Spectacular Now
  31. Word Wars
  32. Gravity
  33. 12 Years a Slave
  34. The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green
  35. Frozen
  36. The Deflowering of Eva Van End (De Ontmaagding van Eva van End)
  37. Our Heroes Died Tonight (Nos héros sont morts ce soir)
  38. Tiny Furniture
  39. Dallas Buyers Club
  40. American Hustle
  41. Her

Books:

  1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. Blue Heaven by Joe Keenan
  4. Black Blade Blues by J.A. Pitts
  5. Among Others by Jo Walton
  6. Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky
  7. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
  8. The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher
  9. The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski
  10. Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover’s Courtship by Amanda Hesser
  11. Redshirts by John Scalzi
  12. Fair Play by Tove Jansson
  13. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  14. The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth by Ursula K. Le Guin
  15. The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  16. The Virtual Reference Handbook: Interview and Information Delivery Techniques for the Chat and E-mail Environments by Diane K. Kovacs
  17. Men and Cartoons: Stories by Jonathan Lethem
  18. Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman
  19. The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt
  20. The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts edited by Ken Haycock and Brooke E. Sheldon
  21. Reference and Information Services: An Introduction by Richard E. Bopp and Linda C. Smith
  22. Doctor Who: A Big Hand For The Doctor by Eoin Colfer
  23. Doctor Who: The Nameless City by Michael Scott
  24. Doctor Who: The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick
  25. Doctor Who: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve
  26. Doctor Who: Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness
  27. Doctor Who: Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead
  28. Doctor Who: The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman
  29. Doctor Who: Spore by Alex Scarrow
  30. Doctor Who: The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson
  31. Doctor Who: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy
  32. Doctor Who: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman

Fiction Magazines, Chapbooks, and Zines:

  1. Lightspeed Magazine March 2012
  2. Granta 114: Aliens
  3. Lightspeed Magazine April 2012
  4. Lightspeed Magazine May 2012
  5. Lightspeed Magazine June 2012
  6. Kinfolk Vol. 3
  7. Lightspeed Magazine July 2012
  8. Lucky Peach Vol. 7
  9. Lucky Peach Vol. 8
  10. Kinfolk Vol. 9

Continue reading Movies and Books: 2013

Movies and Books: 2012

Yet again, I got a little obsessive and tracked the number of books and movies I’ve consumed in the past year. Why? Well, if nothing else it’s an easy way to remember what I’ve seen when asked, “What was the best book/movie you’ve seen/read this year?” Also, it amuses me. This year showed a slight increase in all categories… And now, on to 2013!

Movies:

  1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  2. The Artist
  3. Albert Nobbs
  4. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: Animated
  5. The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: Live Action
  6. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  7. Bully
  8. Mirror, Mirror
  9. The Avengers
  10. Headhunters
  11. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  12. The Hunger Games
  13. Moonrise Kingdom
  14. Prometheus
  15. Safety Not Guaranteed
  16. Beauty is Embarrassing
  17. To Rome With Love
  18. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923 film)
  19. Brave
  20. Magic Mike
  21. The Amazing Spider-Man
  22. The Queen of Versailles
  23. The Dark Knight Rises
  24. The Imposter
  25. Cosmopolis
  26. Sleepwalk With Me
  27. The Master
  28. Argo
  29. Cloud Atlas
  30. Wreck-It Ralph
  31. Holy Motors
  32. Skyfall
  33. Hitchcock
  34. Travels With My Aunt
  35. Les Misérables

Books:

  1. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  2. The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
  3. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
  5. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
  6. Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman
  7. Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman
  8. Glasshouse by Charles Stross
  9. Embassytown by China Miéville
  10. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  11. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  12. Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater by Frank Bruni
  13. After the Apocalypse: Stories by Maureen F. McHugh
  14. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  15. Welcome to Bordertown edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner
  16. Bumbling into Body Hair: A Transsexual’s Memoir by Everett Maroon
  17. Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
  18. Moominpappa’s Memoirs by Tove Jansson
  19. American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama
  20. God’s War by Kameron Hurley
  21. Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson
  22. Howards End by E.M. Forster
  23. The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia by Paul Theroux
  24. Who Is The Doctor: The Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who: The New Series by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith?
  25. The Ninnies by Paul Magrs
  26. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  27. Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction edited by Brit Mandelo
  28. All About Emily by Connie Willis
  29. Hav by Jan Morris
  30. A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files

Fiction Magazines, Chapbooks, and Zines:

  1. James Patrick Kelly’s Strangeways #1
  2. Fantasy Magazine July 2011
  3. Fantasy Magazine August 2011
  4. Fantasy Magazine September 2011
  5. Fantasy Magazine October 2011
  6. Fantasy Magazine November 2011
  7. Fantasy Magazine December 2011
  8. Chelsea Station Issue 1
  9. Lightspeed Magazine July 2011
  10. Lightspeed Magazine August 2011
  11. Lightspeed Magazine September 2011
  12. Lightspeed Magazine October 2011
  13. Lucky Peach Issue 2
  14. Lightspeed Magazine November 2011
  15. Lightspeed Magazine December 2011
  16. Fireside Magazine Spring 2012
  17. Lightspeed Magazine January 2012
  18. Lightspeed Magazine February 2012

Continue reading Movies and Books: 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy (part 16)

Back to Swimming
Despite swimming being “highly recommended” as exercise while recovering from my stress fracture, the last time I’d actually gone to the pool was back in January. Happily, Charlie gave me the nudge that I needed to finally start moving forward again, and we’ve been hitting the pool 2-3 times a week before work. My overall speed isn’t where it should be, but that’s what happens when you take six months off, right? All in all, though, it’s felt great to finally get back to the pool and start swimming some laps. My mile time might need some improvement, but I’m also glad that I can swim a mile without stopping again.

Ceiling Fan
There are a lot of things that I love about our condo, but one of the few things that has driven me crazy since day one was that there’s no air-return on the upper level (where the living room/kitchen area is located). With an 11-foot ceiling, that’s meant that hot air easily travels up there and then just stays put. We’d bought a fan to turn on when it gets too warm as an emergency measure, but this month we finally sprung to have a ceiling fan installed. I’m not going to lie, the installation was problematic and actually took two appointments with an electrician (plus someone to then repair drywall and re-paint) but now that it’s done? It’s fantastic. It’s been a transformative shift to our upstairs. Just having the air moving has made all the difference, and the fan itself looks great to boot. (Amusingly, when I first turned it on, for about five minutes it blasted hot air down at me, to the point that I almost started to majorly freak out. Later it hit me that it was finally getting all that trapped heat out of the top of the room that a fan on the floor would never touch.)

The End of Physical Therapy
I actually really enjoyed my PT sessions, which I often joked stood for “personal trainer” rather than “physical therapy.” Jackie definitely worked me over good each week, and she’s pretty great to boot. But I won’t deny that I’m glad it’s over, because it means that the long saga of the stress fracture appears to be finally over. I got a six-mile run under my belt towards the end of July, and finishing it with no problems was a huge relief. Of course, in an effort to remind me not to be too cocky, I then went and broke my little toe at the end of the month by stubbing it on a chaise lounge, so I’m back off running for the month of August. Ah well!

Rediscovering Debbie Dreschler
Debbie Dreschler’s two graphic novels from back in the day—Daddy’s Girl and Summer of Love—were hard to read. Not because they were badly created (they weren’t) but because the subject matter was rather disturbing and emotionally raw in places. Since Summer of Love Dreschler more or less vanished off of the comic book scene, so I was pleased as punch to recently discover her website and her blog. Her website shows the professional illustration work she’s been producing since then, and it looks great. Even better, she’s also got some adorable greeting cards for sale. (I might have bought a set.) Her blog has been serving up some sketchbook drawings of hers involving local wildlife, and all I can say is that she just gets better and better with time. (Debbie Dreschler: a fine wine of cartooning.)

Much-Needed Vacation
We went on a short vacation near the end of the month to Lost River, West Virginia, where we did… absolutely nothing. It was marvelous. Lots of sitting by the pool reading books (E.M Forster’s Howards End and the amusingly-named Showcase Presents: Showcase Vol. 1 were both read, plus another large chunk of Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar), some swimming, a massage, and eating all sorts of foods that are perhaps not great for me. But it was vacation, we got to relax, and the only schedule we had to worry about was when we’d scheduled our massages and what time our dinner reservation one night was set for. (And when I say “worry” I mean “we didn’t worry one iota.”) Any trip where you can accidentally break a toe and still think, “What a great time” is a good one.