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bookgazing ([personal profile] bookgazing) wrote2019-02-02 11:25 am

Shitposting February Commences!

See, the last post was not just a one off! Onwards into shitposting February! Here's a bit of what I've been up to media wise.

Reading

I'm currently reading a ton of 2018 SFF so I can nominate for the Hugo awards, and right now I'm paying particular attention to the YA category (the Lodestar Award). So, I finished The Belles by Dhionelle Clayton, which wasn't so much my cup of tea. I just have to remember that I'm not a huge fan of concept SFF. Also, this book really was weird about lesbian relationships as [twitter.com profile] willowcabins mentioned. The most prominent lesbian character dies horribly, and Amber and Camelia should obviously have been together. I know they call each other Sisters but they're not, as far as I can see, actually blood related...

I also finished Dread Nation by Justina Ireland which was way more my thing; African American women trained to fight zombies in an America where slavery has been outlawed but similar systems are still kept in place. I'd just watched Lucy Worsley's new three part series America's Greatest Fibs so I had a reasonable handle on the American history that Ireland was working with, which added to the book's interest for me. I really recommend this one; Jane's voice is just the kind of practical snark I enjoy, and I loved seeing the enemies to friends story line between her and Kate develop. Sidenote - Kate, it transpires, is asexual, and Jane is bisexual.

Right now I'm close to the end of A Blade so Black by L. L. McKinley, which is an urban fantasy YA adventure set in a re-imagined Wonderland. I'm enjoying lots of things about it, but I also keep getting distracted. I can't decide if it's because the book is so full of action and my mind glosses over action scenes, or if it's because my brain is just running a little distracted at the moment. *shrugs* Anyway it's worth picking up, and I'll have more to say about it when I finish up.


Watching

I finally started watching Friends From College, which is about Ethan and Lisa; a couple moving back to New York to start a family, who spend perhaps too much time reconnecting with their college friend group. Keegan Michael-Kay plays Ethan, a literary writer reluctantly moving into the YA world in order to sell his next book. I love how fast his character goes from 'YA is trash, and I will game this genre to make money' to 'Oh yeah, Bella and Edward! YA is the most exciting thing in literature right now,' although I really wish the series had some more up to date YA references >.> Ethan is also in the middle of a 20 year long-distance affair with Sam, one of the couple's "close" married friends (played by Annie Parisee) and it is not going to end well because they are both disaster human beings. Cobie Smulders plays Ethan's wife, and is obvs brilliant, particularly in the episode Mission Impossible where she deals with taking on IVF with a partner who seems less than enthusiastic. I also love seeing grown up Fred Savage in this, especially as the actor playing his partner is Billy Eichner (who played Craig in Parks and Rec) and I like when TV shows collide. My fav episodes so far have been All-Nighter, Mission Impossible and Party Bus, and I can't wait for the emotional pay off at the end of the series when surely the affair will be revealed to all?!

This is the first comedy I've watched since I started Love, and it kind of reminded me why I found that show so dissatisfying. I just like jokes, OK? I need to stop forgetting that when I'm picking out comedies to watch.

I'm also SO CLOSE to the end of the new Les Miserables TV drama - just one ep moooooorrrre. Urgh, idk, there is nothing really wrong with this series. In fact, its expansion of Fantine's back story was much appreciated. Dominic West makes a perfectly good Jean Valjean, and the same goes for David Oyelowo's Javert. It's just this adaptation feels very by the numbers with little stylistic innovation. I guess the team thought just making it not a musical, and adding in some of stuff from the book that the musical skates over, would be enough, but it's kind of... flat?

The same can be said for the film adaptation of The Little Stranger which I watched last week. I always knew a film would struggle to translate the book's class politics, and deliberately obscured ideas about what caused the happenings at Hundreds, to the screen without picking a more definite line about what actually happened. And, yeah, everyone in the film is good, and the atmosphere is spot on, but a lot of the book's brilliance lies in unsettling the reader with uncertainty whereas the film spells out what's happened. Also, the film lets Dr Faraday off the hook somewhat, which I should really be in favour of as I felt Waters almost linked the emerging middle class with malicious destruction in the book, but in the end I wasn't so much a fan of the treatment he got in the film.

What media has anyone else been getting into?

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