Let’s Rewind: June 2021

We’re already halfway through the year. I won’t express surprise at how quickly time is passing since it insists on maintaining a galloping pace when I’m not paying attention. It’s a tricksy thing, time. It loves to sneak past us, faster than light, and leave us bewildered about where it’s going and what we’ll be doing when we get there.

Let’s Rewind is 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.


June. It was fun. I did things, saw people, and felt exhausted by the end of it. There was lots to celebrate since it was Pride month and Juneteenth became a federal holiday, but… I don’t know. I guess I was exhausted or something because I only celebrated these things in very minor ways.

A break was needed, so I was happy for the few outings I went on — visiting a different town with friends to hang out and shop books and visiting Las Vegas with family to… basically look around, walk until tired, and then give in to the time difference and sleep.

Awesome things I did this month that I’ll cherish is 1) FINALLY seeing what dry land looks like and experiencing dry heat because flying out to the west was a real eye-opener for me. I’m used to tropical climes so such an environment was a surprise. Number 2) is seeing the dance crew Jabbawockeez perform. I’ve been a fan of them for a LONG time, so I was over-the-moon excited to attend their performance. Since I spent such a short time in Las Vegas, I intend to return and see the Jabbawockeez perform again (and do a bunch of stuff I wanted to do but didn’t have the time for or was turned off by the heat).


I didn’t expect this, but I managed to complete my typical 5 books this month.

The first was Conspiracy of Ravens by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illus. by Sally Jane Thompson. It’s YA fantasy about a girl attending a boarding school in the U.K. who inherits supernatural abilities after her aunt dies. It was a pretty good read, but I think it wraps up too quickly. I liked the illustrations.

I also reread Eragon by Christopher Paolini on audio because I wanted something to listen to and would like to continue my reread of this series. It was narrated by Gerard Doyle, who did a great job. I liked it, but the more I reread this book, the more I dislike how Saphira the dragon is portrayed. She says the most obvious things and I wish she was more prideful. Basically, Robin Hobb’s dragons spoiled all dragons for me, lol. Although Hobb’s dragons annoyed me, I love how prideful, boastful, and possessive they are. Also, Eragon is SO dramatic. OH my gawd!

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers was next. I read it for my book club and I kind of struggled with it because it bored me 90% of the time. It’s YA fantasy about a girl who joins a nunnery for the daughters of death who are trained to be assassins. The story was too focused on political intrigue that I didn’t care for, and I didn’t like the protagonist.

I buddy-read Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself with Emily from Embuhleeliest, my buddy-reader in all things Hobb, as we try to find another series to sink into. This one seems promising. It’s a fantasy novel but, although I liked it, I have no idea what it’s about, really. All I know is war is brewing (probably everywhere) and a bunch of interesting characters were introduced.

Thanks to Lashaan’s review of one of the other volumes, I bought and read DCeased by Tom Taylor, illus. by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, and many others because it’s about zombie superheroes AND I’M SO HAPPY THAT I DID!! This was SO cool!! I love zombie stories and zombie superheroes was the story I didn’t know I needed until I got it. I just hope they do a movie. Oh man! I need a movie.


What’s in a Genre Name? The Trouble With ‘Asian Fantasy’ (npr.org)

— Various Asian authors weigh in on the term “Asian fantasy”

“I think the term ‘Asian fantasy’ makes about as much sense as the term ‘Asian food’ in that it’s useful insofar as it delineates a broad category of things that you could define as being different from the Western normative. But also, isn’t particularly helpful because it doesn’t tell you anything about whether you’re eating sushi or samosas.”

Fonda Lee

Around the blog-o-verse

[2021] Mid-Year Podcast Update (eustaciatan.com)

— Eustacia shares some of the podcasts she’s been listening to. I’d like to check out a few when I inevitably go back to working in the office (😩 not looking forward to returning to the office).

Some stuff I pubbed

“The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris

— A review of a currently popular book

Comics Roundup #55: 1602 — Angela and Marvel

— One of a few comic book reviews I did in June


N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Broken Earth’ Trilogy Lands a Seven-Figure Deal With Sony Pictures (ebony.com)

— Which means I need to get started on her books before the films roll out

Harry Potter Flagship Store Opens in NYC (shelf-awareness.com)

— Huge Harry Potter fan here, so I’m looking forward to visiting this store.

5 Black Women on Embracing Cottagecore as an Act of Rebellion (glamour.com)

— I really like this since Black folks hardly ever pop up in such stuff.


Daredevil

— I completed season 2 in May but didn’t mention it in my Rewind post because I’ve been in a funky mood lately and have either not been doing posts or have been half-assing some of them. Anyway, season 2 was good, but I much preferred season 1. I think the reason why I didn’t like season 2 much is because Daredevil pulled away from Foggy (and I really like Foggy). Also, I didn’t get his romance with Karen Page. They didn’t connect to me. And I liked Elektra but didn’t see why she had to be a crazy ex-girlfriend. (Btw, I’ve never read the comics, so I have no idea if these romantic entanglements are carried over from there.) Otherwise, I enjoyed the fighting and that the Punisher is in it and all that it hints at to come later.

Punisher

— I rewatched season 1 after watching Daredevil season 2, and I’m SO happy I did. It filled in some holes and answered questions I had. I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I watched it just a month or two ago, lol! The Punisher is my favorite character. Such a badass. And I’m also digging Ben Barnes’s character. He’s such a smooth-talking, twisted killer dude with a pretty face. I’ll start on season 2 as soon as I get over my zombie crave that was brought on by DCeased.

Shadow and Bone

— Umm… it was okay. I wasn’t expecting anything from it because I’ve only read the first book, Shadow and Bone. As with the book (well, so it seems in my memory), I didn’t care for Alina’s story and thought she was a little too naïve about certain things. I haven’t yet read the books where the heist crew pops up, but they were A LOT more interesting than Alina in the show. Kind of wish they were the focus with Alina as the side story. Jesper is my favorite and that cutie Ben Barnes is in too as the villain.

Black Summer

— I love this show! 😱🤣 It’s a zombie show. Season 2 recently came out. Of course, I rewatched season 1! Now I’m almost done with season 2. I like it. I like it a lot. Fast zombies. Lots of them. And people behaving badly and selfishly. Lots of them.

Big Sky

— I think I wrapped up Big Sky in May. I think the show is on break now before its next season rolls around. I was surprised at the ending at how certain characters turned out to be and that the bad dude is still getting away with stuff. I was expecting him to be caught by now.


Well, that was how June went down.

It was a pretty good month.

But how about you? What did you get up to?

23 thoughts on “Let’s Rewind: June 2021

  1. I like assassin-school stories. Hmmm. That’s a strange thing to say! Hah. And Black Summer sounds like fun! I finally finished Lovecraft Country. It takes me longer to watch the series that I don’t multitask while watching (where I don’t want to miss a single detail). June was a packed reading month for me and July is off to a great start with Clint Smith’s How the Word is Passed (very good). Hope you’ve got some new faves ahead of you in July too!

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    1. Lol! That’s okay. I love stories about assassins too, but Grave Mercy didn’t focus much on the assassin school or the assassin-y parts of the story.
      I’d like to watch Lovecraft Country as well. I heard it wasn’t renewed for a second season though.
      And that Clint Smith book seems like it’s an interesting read.
      Thanks and same to you 🙂

      Like

      1. And apparently because some of the storyline was determined to be too controversial? I mean, the story arc is complete, and it sounds like the second season would have been a whole ‘nother “us VS them” kinda fight entirely, but I still wanted more. Love it when horror is a social commentary So that we are entertained and thinking at the same time. I’m nearly done the Clint Smith now and I think it’ll be on my list of favourite reads for the year.

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  2. Black Summer and Big Sky sound like shows I’d enjoy too. Definitely will check them out. Happy to hear that you had a nice break in June. May July be good to you ❤

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  3. Thanks for linking to my post! I hope you end up liking at least one of the podcasts haha

    I liked the discussion of Asian-fantasy cause I’ve always seen it as fantasy that is inspired by Asian cultures. But I have realised that the word ‘Asian’ can point to different countries? According to a friend from the UK, the word “Asian” tends to refer to South Asian there but other countries might think of East Asia when they hear the word “Asian”?

    And although I do tag books as Asian fantasy, I’m now wondering if it’s useful to do that and thereby imply that the normal type of fantasy is inspired by Western culture…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad the article interested you. I’m of two opinions on such labeling because I’ve had a similar discussion before about when bookstores would have an African American/Black books section. I think it can be helpful, and I think this more so these days after working in a bookstore and having people from those groups come in searching for/hoping for a Black book section so they can easily locate the type of books they want. However, I also think such labelling can be othering and unhelpful because such categories are quite broad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking that this is where the difference between categories/genre and tags might be useful. Genres are broad by nature (even subgenres can be broad) but tags can be used to highlight certain aspects? This would be hard to implement in a physical space though!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree on that — on what tags can be used for. However, I think people associate different meanings to words and phrases, esp when categorizing things, so there will always be some confusion.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Really glad about that trip you went on. It sounds like so much fun and something we probably all miss so much because of the pandemic! I look forward to the day I finally get on a plane for a real vacation myself. Also really happy that DCeased turned out so good for you! I knew you’d have such a delighted reaction towards it! 😀 Stay safe, Zezee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many people travelling now. I think many peeps are making up for missing out on travel last year. Hopefully things will take a turn for the better and you’ll be able to travel soon.
      Yep! 🙂 I plan to collect all the zombie/undead ones.
      Thanks! You too.

      Like

  5. OH the jubjub birds absurd
    I threw 2 stones
    there was no third
    Missed thrice did i and did again
    With icey dice
    We lol’ed in Fame.

    Snuckling through the wuggly tug
    Aglugg, a-sword
    A vorpal-rex A risen-rugg
    A shaggpile-vex.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you had the chance to experience dry heat. I’ve lived out west in Arizona and New Mexico and the heat out there is very different from the east coast. In most cases I’d take the dry heat any day of the week, I just hate the heavy feeling of very humid heat. However, once the temperature gets up into the 100’s it often feels too hot, humidity or not. But I do miss that area. Never been to Vegas, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I passed through Arizona on my way to Vegas. I had a layover there. I’d love to return. I forgot the name of the city, but the layout was very interesting. And I prefer the dry heat too. The humidity in DC & MD is too oppressive sometimes.

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  7. I was really amazed by one item in your post: where you mentioned the opening of the Harry Potter Flagship Store. I had no idea that a bestseller could generate such a level of merchandizing. Sometimes I have the feeling that I must be living on another planet.

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  8. As an author of mainstream fiction, I was struck by your general negative review of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Political intrigue forms the backdrop for my soon-to-be published novel about two nuns, Guyanese and American, ensnared in a twisted circle of deceit. I hope that readers will be able to connect with and care for the young local Guyanese protagonist.

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    1. I hope that readers will be able to connect with your characters too. Several things contributed to make Grave Mercy a dull read for me. One of the big ones was that it wasn’t what I excitedly expected it to be, which was a huge letdown for me.

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