November was all work and hardly any play, so I’m glad it’s December; although it seems that December is shaping up to be the same.
Let’s Rewind is my version of a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.
This is what my November felt like:
There was so much to do at all my jobs, plus I was trying to participate in NaNoWriMo without preparing for it and trying to keep up with my blog. Something had to give and that something became NaNoWriMo. I failed. But I’d like to try again next year better prepared. I also sacrificed some blog time….actually, I’ve been sacrificing blog time since summer or earlier than that. There’s just a lot to do and working 2.5 jobs sometimes make me too tired to even think straight. But this is needed for now. I have a goal and I intend to reach it, so I’ll be busy for a while longer.
I managed to hang out a bit with friends in November, which was needed, and, of course, I had some family time due to Thanksgiving. My family had a great celebration filled with loads of good food and laughter. It also was needed and I enjoyed it. I just wish the holiday lasted longer. Anyway, there’s Christmas to look forward to, and it’s coming soon! 🙂
Despite it being a busy month, I managed to finish five books; but that’s because one’s a novella, one’s a picture book, one’s an audiobook, and two I started before this month. Still, I’m proud of myself because I didn’t think I’d have any reading time.
I’m listening to the Wheel Weaves podcast, and it has convinced me to give Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series another try. I think it will help if I read along with this podcast because it will feel like I’m reading with someone. I’m listening to both the Wheel Weaves and the Dragon Reread podcasts as I make my way through the series. The Eye of the World is the first novel in the series. It’s about farm boys who learn they are essential to saving their world.
After Jordan’s book, I moved on to The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht. It’s hard to describe this one in a sentence. I guess it can be described as dark fantasy or horror and is about a man who cannot die who becomes the servant of a frail man of a formerly wealthy family. Umm… I don’t like this one much. It was an okay read and I like how atmospheric it is, but it didn’t work for me.
The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World is a children’s nonfiction book about color that’s written by Clive Gifford with illustrations by Marc-Étienne Peintre. To me, it’s the kids’ version of Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color, a nonfiction book about color. Both contain similar information about the colors featured, and the illustrations included in The Colors of History help to emphasize the points made. It was a really good read.
Wanting something to listen to at work, I downloaded The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen, narr. by Elizabeth Knowelden. It’s a steampunk, paranormal romance novel that’s inspired by both the classic story Dracula and the fairytale Rapunzel. It’s a about a young woman who learns she’s descended from royalty and has a twin sister she’s never met but must now help save. Lady of the Coppergate Tower is the third novel in the Steampunk Proper Romance series. It’s not as strong as the first novel, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, and has some moments that bored and frustrated me, but it was a decent listen for passing the time at work.
I finished November with The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It’s the second novel in the Strain trilogy, a sci-fi, horror series about a vampire apocalypse that begins in New York City. It was a fun read but this, too, bored and frustrated me in some parts, and I wasn’t a fan of the narration techniques. I much preferred the narration in the first book, The Strain. However, it got more interesting toward the end, and now I’m looking forward to the next and final book.
Those with a star (★) are the ones that stuck with me.
I didn’t read many articles and such this month. Both of these stuck with me.
— An interview featuring both actor Daniel Kaluuya and author Marlon James. They discuss Black identity, social changes, some politics, their work, music, movies, and a whole lot more.
— This was hilarious! It’s a journey down a Twitter wormhole that begins with an incorrect correction of an incorrect definition of the word “hymen.”
NPR Tiny Desk Concert features Burna Boy; accompanied by a short article here.
Around the blog-o-verse
How Objective Are Your Reviews (bookidote.com)
— A discussion post about the types of book reviews bloggers post
Stuff I pubbed
— A review of a nonfiction book about the history of colors
— I’m really excited for this because I loved Makumbi’s Kintu, so I’d like to try another novel by her.
Other Awesome ‘ish
They Say There are Over 50 Translations of Things Fall Apart. Here are 61. (brittlepaper.com)
— Okay, last thing from Brittle Paper (lol!), but this was so cool, I had to share. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart has over 50 translations. To celebrate what would have been his 89th birthday, the awesome folks over at Brittle Paper compiled 61 covers of the translated versions of Things Fall Apart. (I read it back in college — “borrowed” the book from a friend — and immediately liked it. I need to give it a reread.)
I mentioned these two podcasts above when discussing Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World, but here are the links to them.
— A Wheel of Time podcast hosted by a couple. Dani is reading the books for the first time and her co-host, Brett, is guiding her along. I’ve read up to the fifth book, I believe. I intend to reread those and continue on through the series. So far, Brett has mentioned some stuff about the first book that I didn’t realize the first time I read it and reread it.
— The hosts are all hilarious. They’ve all read all the Wheel of Time books and are rereading them for this podcast, but they do it in a way that allows first-time readers to follow along without being spoiled for other books in the series.
Stuff I watched in November:
Zombieland: Nut Up or Shut Up
I enjoyed it but loved the second one more, probably because I saw the second one first and thought it was funnier. I’m so sold on this franchise, although I get the feeling that it will be the same formula for every movie if they decide to do more. But I’ll enjoy it anyway if it’s funny and has loads of action.
I wanted more zombie shows, so I finally tried Dark, but I didn’t like it. I liked the sinister, atmospheric feel of it, but ugh! I hated the English voice overs. Eventually I turned that off and just listened to the German while reading the English subtitles. It’s much better that way. A coworker told me it includes time travel, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue with it. I’ve only seen one episode. I don’t like time travel.
I love this show! 😀 It’s enjoyable and sweet and funny. I was surprised I liked it because I almost switched to something else when it started, but things start getting interesting once Jesper, the protagonist, gets to the secluded town. I like the animation and love the story for how it presents the Santa Claus myth, and its message that kids don’t have to adopt their parents’ and forebearers’ prejudices.