Let’s Rewind: September 2021

After such a good August, I spiraled into September. It was such a bumpy month filled with emotional highs and lows. I’m glad October is here.

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.


End of August and the entire month of September was an emotional wild ride, one I haven’t experienced in some time and never want to experience again. The great parts of the month were wonderful. Friends and family celebrated birthdays, I attended a Caribbean music festival with a friend and went to another where I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in years. I ran back to NYC again for a bit because I love traveling on trains and to spend time with family there again (I really missed them through the shut down last year) and meet up with more friends for a little party. I also spent time hanging out with bookish friends and shopping.

I attended two very interesting bookish and artsy events that were the highlights of my month. The first was the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, which is an immersive digital experience of Van Gogh’s paintings. The exhibit is showing in several locations around the U.S., and I think in the U.K. and Paris too. I believe it was first presented in Paris; I first saw it in the Netflix show Emily in Paris. It was a wonderful experience and certainly a new way of engaging with art. My favorite parts were being in the large room where I was surrounded by digital projections of Van Gogh’s work on the walls and even the floor. I felt like I was part of it. I liked seeing subjects in the pieces move and loved how the movements were paired with the music. I also loved the virtual reality part because I felt as if I was inside the painting walking around. I’ve always wanted to experience something like that but never knew it was possible, so I’m glad I managed to cross something off on my imaginary bucket list.

I also attended a discussion of Shadow & Bone TV show and books with the author Leigh Bardugo, which was wonderful as well. She talked about the process to get the show going and about her work. Listening to her talk made me want to go read all her books, lol.

Despite the wonderful time I had in the month, there were some low moments that were a struggle to get through. Much as I love fall, it tends to always be a difficult time of year for me. I’m usually struggling with something (finances, emotions, etc.) around this time. It’s as if fate waits until fall to dump everything on me. This time, everything is fine financially but my emotions decided to take a plunge. However, it’s slowly lightening up.


I participated in the first part of the Magical Readathon this month — the Novice Path — which I’ll wrap up in a separate post. Since the majority of books I read was for the readathon, I have only one that I read outside it to mention here.

I a strong interest in fantasy books about gods and religion, so I quickly downloaded and started to read The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder Hanrahan soon after it came to my attention. It’s grimdark fantasy about a young woman who realizes she’s a saint for some old gods. The story was interesting and I’m curious about the world, but I’m not a fan of Hanrahan’s writing, unfortunately. It didn’t connect with me.


How Hollywood Sold Out to China (theatlantic.com)

— About Hollywood pandering to China

“Today, China’s box office doesn’t just represent opportunity for Hollywood; it can mean the difference between a studio’s success and failure. This has resulted in “anticipatory self-censorship” by the American film industry, says James Tager, the research director at PEN America, a nonprofit that promotes free expression, and the lead author of the organization’s exhaustive 2020 censorship report. Besides casting mainland-Chinese actors and shooting on location in China, the study says, studios even have regulators visit their sets—as was reportedly the case for Iron Man 3.”

 Why Translators Should Be Named on Book Covers (theguardian.com)

— I agree that it’s a lack of transparency to not include translators’ names on the cover. I think they should get credit too for the work they’ve done. Oftentimes, I have to dig to find the translator’s name (not that I’ve read that many translated work but I have several on my shelves and note everything when I log the books in my Book Collectors database).

“Often enough, translators receive no royalties… and a surprising number of publishers do not credit translators on the covers of their books.”

Tens of Thousands of Black Women Vanish Each Year. This Website Tells Their Stories (npr.org)

— About a website that tells the stories of Black women and girls who go missing or are found dead under mysterious circumstances.

“The media ignores missing Black and Indigenous women… To be clear, Rivers explains, it’s not about asking for more attention or being in ‘competition’ with white people — it’s about other groups getting the same attention as white victims and having their lives honored in the same ways.”

★ For $84,000, an Artist Returned Two Blank Canvasses Titled ‘Take the Money and Run’ (npr.org)

— News stories have been so bleak that I was happy for this one. I couldn’t help laughing. I hope the museum doesn’t penalize the artist though.

“The artist, Jens Haaning, says the blank canvases make up a new work of art — titled ‘Take the Money and Run’ — that he calls a commentary on poor wages. One thing it’s not, he says, is a theft.”


AROUND THE BLOG-O-VERSE

Pages Unbound Reviews (pagesunbound.wordpress.com)

— In September, I found two VERY helpful posts on this blog. The first presented 12 Things You Didn’t Know the Library Could Assist You With, which is an apt title because I wasn’t aware of a few of things, like providing study assistance for the citizenship test or lending things other than books. The second was A Parent’s and Educator’s Guide to Children’s Literature, which in addition to describing types of children literature also broke down the age range for them, which is something I needed when I was working in the bookstore.

One More (onemore.org)

Several upcoming reading events:

Spooktastic Reads: a chilling, dark-side reading event over the 13 days leading up to Halloween, October 19-31. It’s a causal event hosted by the Wyrd & Wonder crew where participants read whatever thrilling or scary books they desire.

SciFiMonth: Also hosted by W&W crew, SciFiMonth is a monthlong celebration of all things scifi. Participants can celebrate in whatever way they like. There’s a sign-up sheet and a readalong for the event.

SOME STUFF I PUBBED

A Review

Three Illustrated Books by Akiko Miyakoshi

Any Reading Events?

Magical Readathon | 2021 — The Novice Path

What a Surprise! A Bookish List

Best Books So Far in 2021

Here’s a Book Tag

Horrible Histories Book Tag

Of Course, a Book Haul

Book Haul #77: Something to Cheer Me Up


Video break

This is so cool. It’s an animated commercial produced by Japan’s Studio 4°C for the re-release of Aaliyah’s album.


Podcasts

It seems that I’m back to listening to podcasts now, so I’ll include them in this section. Recently, I’ve been listening to

Marlon and Jake Read Dead People

It’s a bookish podcast hosted by one my favorite authors, Marlon James, and his editor, Jake Morrissey, who’s executive editor at Riverhead Books. They discuss the classics and take about books and writing in general. They don’t discuss recent work I guess to avoid lawsuits or starting any drama, but the discussions are great and they often go off topic, which I think makes it even more entertaining.

Movies & Shows

I had no idea I watched this much stuff in September. Obviously, I was going through some shit. 

(This gets long, so… tuck in if you want to, or skip around to what interests you, or totally bypass it. Whatever you fancy. This goes for the entire post but my mind is evil and remembered to make this note close to the end.)

The Perfect Date

One of those teenage romance movies. It was sweet and felt like it could have continued from the To All the Boys I Loved Before movies. (Actually, I did think it was a continuation at first because two of the same actors where in it.)

Nobody’s Fool

The only movie I watched on the TV and boy did I regret it. I enjoyed the movie. It was funny but weird sometimes because of that one catfish guy, but Tiffany Haddish had me cracking up, and I like the twist of having Danica sing Boyz II Men in the rain to get her dude back, lol!

The part I regretted was watching this on TV because they killed me with commercials. Oh my gawd!! It used to be just 5 minutes or so of commercials but now it’s like 3-5 minutes of movie and 10 MINUTES OF COMMERCIALS!! GAHH!!! Is this how TV is these days or was it just BET Her being weird?

Rush

I’ve seen this movie once before and I forgot how much I loved it. I had a great time rewatching it. It was just as exhilarating as the first time and I was still caught up in the excitement and drama of the races. I totally forgot Chris Hemsworth was in it.

Sleepy Hollow

It’s a supernatural/horror TV show that aired on Fox from 2013-2017. I remember being excited for it but was so scared after the first episode that I never returned and had to keep the lights on for a few nights after. Well, 2021 Zezee is new and improved and not so easily scared, so I’ve returned to it and for now am enjoying it and am just a teensy, weensy scared.

Supernatural

I’m back on my Supernatural kick, y’all! I intend to ride it out to the end, since I’ve never done that before. I’m now working my way through season 11 in which the Winchester Bros fuck up the world again and go off to play with Lucifer. Btw, why Cass? Why?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I almost forgot that I saw this in September because the beginning of the month seems so far away from now. I really enjoyed this movie. It was funny and light-hearted in certain moments and had LOTS of fights, which I love, AND a flipping dragon! Wooo!! I’m glad all the characters received ample development because I really thought Awkwafina’s character would only pop up for comic relief and be static, but I like what becomes of her character by the end. Same too with Xialing. I thought the focus would only be on Shang-Chi and not much would occur for her, but I’m glad I was wrong. I love Michelle Yeoh in everything I see her in, the Mandarin dude was great, and I’m always surprised when I see Ronny Chieng in a movie because I’m so used to seeing him on the Daily Show With Trevor Noah.

The Punisher

I finally finished season 2 and… wow! I wasn’t expecting that turn in Russo. Both him and the Punisher are my favorite characters in the show. But… I wonder if he’s really gone. I mean the dude is like a cockroach, hard to kill and keeps coming back. Btw, even scarred and all Ben Barnes still looks gorgeous. I’ve never read the comics, but I have seen some illustrations of Jigsaw, so I was expecting the scarring to worse.

And shouldn’t Frank Castle be dead by now? The dude takes so many hits and is often injured but somehow keeps going like a damn Terminator or something. I missed Lieberman (Microchip) in this season. I really liked his character in the first one and prefer how he and Frank played off each other rather than the Frank and Amy pair up. I also liked the new character, the John Pilgrim dude, or maybe I just like Josh Stewart’s acting in that role. I think I prefer Stewart as a bad guy. The lack of expression on his face sometimes was unsettling. And Dinah was wonderful as ever but spiraling a little. I really think she should talk to someone. I liked the acting of the psychiatrist lady (forgot her name) but she annoyed me. I guess she couldn’t resist Russo’s sexiness.

Candyman (1992, 1995, 1999, 2021)

Last, but not least, are all the Candyman movies I watched, which is making me think this should have been a separate post but… oh well.

Y’all! I watched ALL the Candyman movies in September. All! Back to back to back. It made me realize that I’d only ever watched the first one, which aired back in 1992. I really liked that one and have watched it several times over the years of my 30+ life. But working my way through all the movies — Candyman (1992), Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995), Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999), Candyman (2021) — was not only a wonderful study in how movies and jump scares have changed and/or remained the same over the years, or how much CGI tech has developed, or how crappy and bungled the Candyman story seems to get with each sequel (the 1995 and 1999 ones), but also how the roles Black actors receive have changed and/or stayed the same over the years.

I won’t make this into a long-ass essay since this should be quick thoughts on my reaction to what I watched, but I must say watching these movies back to back was a great experience, and I think there’s quite a bit to discuss and learn from watching a sequel of movies that were released over a number of years.

Anyway, although I had issues with all the movies, I enjoyed them all. These are slasher films, so they aren’t scary. I still like the first Candyman but not to the level that I did in years past. The second and third Candyman movies (1995 and 1999, respectively) were okay but the weakest of the four. I enjoyed the new Candyman (released in 2021) and loved that the creators changed the story from being so White centric to being centered in and a lore and an urban legend for the Black community. I also like how they included current social issues in the movie without forcing messages on the audience, and I can’t help but love that the main cast is mostly Black. It’s something that annoyed me about the previous Candyman movies, especially the 1995 and 1999 ones that dig into Candyman’s background and family. Everybody is White.

I also love how the 2021 movie mixes in the Candyman lore AND fills in what I thought was a plot hole in the first movie BECAUSE >>spoiler>> Candyman dribbled blood (his blood, I think) in the baby’s mouth <<spoiler<< and nothing came of that. I watched the 1995 and 1999 sequels hoping to see what developed from it, but nothing; so I’m happy the 2021 sequel picked up on that.

As for the actors who portrayed Candyman, I have a soft spot for Tony Todd’s Candyman (1992, 1995, 1999 movies) because he’s the OG and is more sinister to me. The Candyman who haunts Anthony early in the 2021 movie was not sinister or scary in appearance in any way, so I wasn’t impressed, but the violence he commits and hauntings were gory and unsettling. The new Candyman at the end, though, was chilling with the bees and all his history and all that. I think it ended well.

(Btw, the Candyman movies are based on a short story by Clive Barker titled “The Forgotten.” I’ll read it for Halloween, if I can find it.)


Okay, that was September.

If you read all that, thank you for sticking around. It was a long read and I really didn’t expect anyone to work their way through it but you did and so you are AWESOME!!

Hope October is crisp, colorful, & chilling in all the good ways for you!

21 thoughts on “Let’s Rewind: September 2021

  1. Very glad to hear about some of your great experiences, and I hope you can go forward with a few less of the more difficult experiences. That Van Gogh exhibit sounds fascinating, I’d love to see something like that. I remember seeing the headlines for Take the Money and Run and that made me laugh, too. Reminded me of an exhibit I saw in one of the Smithsonian museums. It was a completely black canvas with a single small white circle in the center of it, exhibited in a very dark room, depicting a moonrise. And you watched ALL the Candyman movies?!?! Wow! I do remember enjoying the first, and I was intrigued by the previews of the latest. I didn’t realize they were inspired by a Clive Barker story. I’ll have to look that up, see if maybe I have a copy or can find it. I hope you have some more great times going forward!

    Like

    1. Thanks! 🙂
      The Van Gogh exhibit was great. They have one in the DC area and several places around the country, if you want to check it out. I suggest going in the morning or so in the middle of the week or on a Monday. Less people.
      Lol I would have liked to see that exhibit with the little white circle.
      If you do find a copy of that Clive Barker story, could you please let me know what collection it appears in? I haven’t started my search yet, but I intend to by next week.
      Hope you have a great month too.

      Like

      1. Regarding the Clive Barker story, The Forbidden, what I’ve been able to find so far is it can be found in the 5th volume of his Books of Blood anthology series. It appears there are 6 published volumes, and also some omnibus editions with volumes 1-3 in one and 4-6 in another. I’ve not been able to discover yet if the story might have ever appeared in any other mixed horror/author anthologies. I’ll let you know if I stumble across it anywhere else.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m thinking of doing a complete Supernatural rewatch after I finish Angel. I haven’t even seen the last five or so seasons! And I’ve seen photos of the Van Gogh exhibit, it looks amazing!

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    1. Yes!! It’s worth it watching through all the Supernatural episodes! 😀 (But I’m biased because I’m a huge fan but still… totally worth it.)
      Oh the Van Gogh exhibit was great. Definitely a new way to engage with art.

      Like

  3. I’m super looking forward to the new Candyman! And I am so excited that you’re listening to Marlon and Jake: I love that podcast! I especially like how often they disagree and it’s no reflection on the other’s opinion–just all good books and one of them likes a specific one more the other likes it…and then they move on to the next book to discuss. In a world in which so many people have forgotten how to disagree, it’s a refreshing change! Hope your spirits continue to life…Candyman surely helped with that? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣🤣 Yup! Candyman helped.
      And I agree about Marlon & Jake podcast. People have forgotten that it’s okay to disagree and I love it when Marlon & Jake do. I also like that their taste in reading are so different. I think that also adds some spice to the podcast. I’m actually catching up on episodes. The most recent on I listened to was Good Books by Terrible People, which I really enjoyed listening to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I like that they even debate what ‘terrible is’. I binged at first, too, but now I’m all caught up, so I had to listen to the most recent one twice. *snorty laugh* (Also love how freely they discuss their different reading experiences as young readers and how that shapes their choices/preferences today. Which is a nice way of saying that I love how much “trash” MJ has read and loved, over the course of his lifetime. Me too. LOL)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yo!!! Me too on all the stuff Marlon read when he was younger! 🤣🤣 Dude cracks me up and he’s so fiesty too.
          But same on their discussion on what “terrible” is and that everyone has to make the decision for themselves on who they will or will not read.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll always get through your posts however long, you know how much I love them. I hope October turns out to be kind to you after the whirlwind of the last month and that things continue to look brighter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope things even out for you in October. We had the Van Gogh exhibition here in Birmingham, UK, but I didn’t get to see it. Everyone I know who’s seen it LOVED it, though! Such a brilliant idea. We’ve been all about Ted Lasso in my house (and now, Strictly Come Dancing).

    Like

    1. Thank you 🙂
      Oh yes! It was a really good exhibit. I keep telling everyone to go lol.
      I’ve heard about Ted Lasso before somewhere but forgot where.

      Like

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