It was a big and busy month and I did a lot of stuff. I read a lot. I worked a lot. I listened to some great new poems and I heard some great new music. Here are some things that got under my skin and woke up my heart this month, I hope you’ll enjoy them and check a few of them out.
I had the sincere pleasure of reading 4 amazing books this month. I got back on track for my goodreads challenge. I got some excellent stories into my brain. I am so pleased at how much I got back into reading this month. Self care 101: Read books.
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman’s short stories never cease to blow me away, to this day my favorite thing he’s ever done is an eight page short story titled “Other People”. I love that story so much I have some of it’s words tattooed on me. I was really looking forward to this volume and I wasn’t disappointed. While I didn’t find anything that replaces Other People I didn’t really expect to and I was still delighted with the stories within. I thought their arrangement was particularly clever and the new Shadow short was amazing as always. Favorite of the bunch was “Feminine Endings”
The Bees by Laline Paull: “A DYSTOPIA ABOUT BEES YES PLEASE!”- Me when I saw the description on amazon and hurriedly added it to my cart. “A dystopia about bees. yessssssssss.”- My reaction after reading this book. This book was so clever you guys. So so clever. If you know anything about bees or the way a hive works, even if it’s just the episode of Magic Schoolbus from your youth, you should read this. Very well done.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: I’m just going to say you should go read my goodreads review (and be my friend on goodreads) otherwise i’ll spend the next two hours typing up a passionate defense of fanfiction and it’s importance as a social justice medium that addresses problems in popular fiction and validates it’s readers. Just read this book. But please don’t complain about it if you weren’t about that fanfic life as a young teen. This isn’t for you.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: A triumphant return to the grishaverse. A fun story with a great heist plot and wonderful new characters. I can’t wait to continue this series because it was seriously so great.
Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue Deconnick: This was so beautiful. The art was beautiful. The story was beautiful. The story telling was beautiful. Oh my god I loved this so much. Such a rich mythos it left me wanting so much more. I want to read textbooks about this world they’ve built. It is so good.
Take it as a Compliment by Maria Stoian: This collection about sexual abuse and harassment told from collected stories by both men and women was heart breaking and incredibly well done. The collection has an incredibly impact and Stoian’s art adds beautifully to a difficult topic. The word/art balance was spot on. Definitely recommended.
Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman: *Insert a million bubble tear emojis* crying forever. can’t deal with life. it was so good. just read it. and buy it for me for Christmas.
Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue Deconnick: YYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Children of the Comet by Donald Moffitt: I didn’t want to include this in the lump sum because I think I only read 50% of it even though I ‘finished’ the book. I didn’t count it towards my book goals for the year because I don’t consider it read. This was not my cup of tea and I found the alternating narrative to be half bad. One story line was interesting and fun (the people who lived on the comet) the other was boring and dull and way too technical for anyone to enjoy (the people on the ship). The ship narrative killed it. Killed it dead. I didn’t even care about the comet people by the time I got to the end because they intersected with the ship people eventually (I would say spoiler alert but that is what the book is about sooooo it’s not.) I just wasn’t into it. If you like overly technical sci-fi and or don’t mind it, give it a go because the premise is interesting. I just thought the execution killed it.
Lore– Great spooky ‘non-fiction’ exploration of urban legend and lore. The narrators voice sometimes gets a little droning and the background music is too much for me sometimes but the content is just so damn good I don’t even care. This is exactly my type of jam and I am all over it.
She Does– Successful women in creative and business fields talking about their success and how they got there. How emphatically can I say Hell Yes to this?! It is so so so great and these women come from such diverse backgrounds and work in such diverse fields it is so great to hear them talk about their various paths to success and is incredibly inspiring. Great information and super entertaining.
I Was Just Saying That- Michelle Pimm is hilarious. She interviews her friends who are generally creative entrepreneurs in the Austin area and they drink wine and talk shop. But because of the wine this isn’t your typical business life podcast. It’s part friendly conversations (like Call Your Girlfriend) and part Business (like She Does) and I LOVE IT. I started listening because Shalyn Nelson was featured and she was my best friend’s wedding photographer and i’ve loved following her internet presence ever since and this show did not disappoint. I am so hooked now and I definitely recommend it to those of you who like both business and friendship. If you’re a burdening creative entrepreneur even better!
The Lively Show– I still can’t decide how down I am with this show. I find it incredibly practical and inspiring but i’m also not too on board with Lively’s personal brand and values. I think they’re admirable and great but i’m not following quite the same path so sometimes that makes me zone out when she gets too into her personal philosophy, but her guests are inspiring and offer great advice. The Elizabeth Gilbert episode in particular had me throwing praise hand emojis out liker there was no tomorrow so i’d definitely recommend giving that one a try.
We did a lot of poem watching in my classes this month and here are a few of my favorites!
An Ode to Whataburger by Amir Safi
Knock Knock by Daniel Beaty:
To This Day by Shane Koyczan
Somewhere in America
Noah Gundersen- Carry the Ghost: We missed seeing him during his show in Houston last week in favor of hanging out with my dad for his birthday. I’m really digging this new album but i’m kind of glad we didn’t go to the show because I hate standing around at concerts when I don’t know all the words yet. True story. But seriously this album gives me crazy feels which is what I expect from Noah always.
Halsey- Badlands: If I like Halsey does this mean i’m still young? Yeah, all the cool youths like her so that must mean I am still young and hip and will live forever! Jk y’all. She makes me feel so old because all the feels she makes me feel are nostalgia feels and a huge part of me is so glad of that. Like so so so glad. I am an old.
Overall it was a great month and I really took my time to enjoy media and books again. I honestly think it’s what has helped me get back on track, just cultivating enjoyable experiences with art.
Until next time,