🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Cabin Pressure (Series 2)

- kudos:

My journey through Cabin Pressure continues! I can’t remember how much of this series I’ve previously listened to—definitely not the Christmas special, but probably the rest of it. At any rate, it continues to have exceptional writing and lovely acting. Radio is underrated, and John Finnemore is perhaps the best example of that.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Cabin Pressure (Series 1)

- kudos:

It’s been ages since I’ve listened to this, though I’ve listened to some of John Finnemore’s other work in the meantime. It’s such an excellent show: brilliantly written, well acted, and a real joy to listen to. I’m confident I haven’t listened to all four series, though I can’t remember which bits I’ve missed. Looking forward to finding out!

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Primary Phase)

- kudos:

I first picked this up through an Audible deal several years ago, with the idea that it would help with the move from Michigan to Kentucky (I can’t remember if I wasn’t yet anti-Audible or if it was just a good deal that I couldn’t pass up with the whole family living off my grad school fellowship). Anyway, the U-Haul didn’t have an aux jack or Bluetooth, so my brother-in-law and I cranked my phone as loud as it would go and tried to make out the jokes over the highway noise.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

- kudos:

I’ve read this a couple of times in the past, but I wanted to give it another read specifically as anarchist fiction. I’ve enjoyed other books with anarchist themes, so I wondered how this would read through that lens. I can see why this book is considered a classic, but it just doesn’t really resonate with me. The art isn’t my favorite, and while some of the ideas are interesting, the execution sometimes feels clunky.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Borgen (Season 1)

- kudos:

I struggled with what to rate this series. It’s great in a lot of ways, and it’s fun to watch a political show that is based in a country I don’t know very well (plus, explaining parliamentary coalitions and other election systems to my spouse made me feel smart). That said, it’s also not as tight and polished as something like The West Wing, and while it might not be fair to compare the two, it’s inevitable.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Nancy Wins at Friendship: A Nancy Comic Collection, by Olivia Jaimes

- kudos:

This time, kiddo checked this out on hoopla, and I decided to read it, too. As I’ve said before, gag-a-day comics aren’t really my thing, and as delightful as Nancy is, I still can’t say that it’s my favorite.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart

- kudos:

This probably deserves a higher score: I don’t know that the New Testament is best read “cover to cover” (it’s not that kind of book), and I was listening to it via audiobook, which is even less ideal. I really appreciate what Hart is up to, but I don’t feel like I got it reading it in this way. I’m sure I’ll come back to this translation when considering specific passages, though!

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for For the Win, by Cory Doctorow

- kudos:

I was living outside the country and in my own little religious world when the 2008 financial crisis hit, and so my understanding of that moment in history has always been kind of flimsy. Despite being a weird near-future MMO-centric book, I kind of feel like reading this helped? I read on Wikipedia that some criticis weren’t a fan of the economics tangents, but I like Doctorow when he’s didactic, so even though I didn’t follow all the details, I enjoyed what he was going for (I just don’t have a head for economics or finance).

🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Dune Part Two

- kudos:

The Dune universe is super weird, and I don’t know that it’s my favorite, but this is a really well done movie.

🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Dune

- kudos:

This movie looks great and was a lot of fun to watch. I have very vague movies of the book but liked this a lot better.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow

- kudos:

This is a fun book in many ways—Doctorow is great at super weird science fiction. However, there’s just not enough in there of what else makes Doctorow good. I’m glad I reread this, but it’s probably my least favorite of all the Doctorow novels I’ve tackled.

🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Marvels

- kudos:

I came for the Ms. Marvel, and this delivered! She’s a great character, and it was fun to see her in this movie. There were also lots of weird-but-fun bits that I enjoyed. There are plenty of things about the movie that didn’t work for me, but it’s no less dumb than most Marvel movies, and I have no interest in feeding what I understand is a bunch of hating on the movie.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy, by Megan Bannen

- kudos:

Romance is not my usual genre, but this came recommended by my spouse, who rightly guessed I would enjoy just how bonkers weird this story gets. It was a fun read!

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Queen & Country Definitive Edition, Volume 04, by Greg Rucka

- kudos:

I recently came into some Amazon gift cards, so I bought this volume to complete my collection of Queen & Country. I think this is the first time I’ve owned an entire comics series? At least, one of this length. I’m glad I own the whole series, but like the show its based on, I feel like it gets less interesting the longer it goes on. It’s fun to get some peeks into the backstories of the characters who come up in the first two volumes, but it’s just not as interesting as the early stories.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Doctor Who (2023 specials)

- kudos:

I got really into Doctor Who for the better part of a decade, I have really fond memories of the many seasons I watched, and there are episodes I would gladly return to. I petered out after Jodie Whitaker’s first season, though, and watching these specials showed me I’m still not ready to come back. I don’t know what has changed, but I feel less patient with the show’s goofiness. If it’s going to keep coming to Disney+, I’ll try to keep an eye on it, but hard to say if I’ll ever really reinvest.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Bezzle (A Martin Hench Novel), by Cory Doctorow

- kudos:

I feel like I say this whenever I talk about Doctorow, but I love that his fiction reads like an op-ed. While waiting for this book to come out, I’ve been slowly reading his co-authored book Chokepoint Capitalism, and I feel like The Bezzle is all his (and Rebecca’s) critiques about large and greedy companies wrapped up in a fun, action-driven narrative. Here’s the thing about me: I’m an academic, and I respect facts, reason, and citations.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J. Shermin

- kudos:

I enjoyed Nolan’s movie so much that I thought I ought to eventually read the book—yet, I couldn’t imagine that it coule live up to the film adaptation (especially after hearing the audiobook narrator’s awful attempts at any language other than English). Yet, this ended up being amazing—perhaps better than the movie. Funnily enough, I felt that the best parts weren’t about the man himself. Rather, his life provides fascinating insight into the existential horrors of nuclear weapons, the authoritarian impulses of McCarthy-era conservatism, and lots more besides.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, by Nadia Bolz-Weber

- kudos:

I bought this book with a gift card and to thumb my nose at an obnoxious visiting authority at a Latter-day Saint stake conference from over four years ago. This guy spent the Saturday evening session of the conference complaining about young adults who supported gay marriage and parents who pushed back against school discipline instead of giving their kids a whuppin’ (his words, not mine) and then still had the gall to talk about how great Mormonism is because it doesn’t believe in a fire and brimstone angry God.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Mirage, by Matt Ruff

- kudos:

I first read this book a few years ago, making my way through Ruff’s books after enjoying Lovecraft Country. I might like this one just as much—it’s bizarre to the point of absurdity but in a way that gets you to think. This reread was inspired by picking up a copy of my own from the clearance section of my favorite independent bookstore, and I’m really glad I own it.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for For All Mankind (Season 4)

- kudos:

I love this show, and this season was a delight to watch. There were bumps along the way, some characters were done dirty, and I don’t know that I like the characters that the finale wants to be in the right (or that the characters I like weren’t in the wrong), but it was a wonderful piece of television.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Practical Anarchism: A Guide for Daily Life, by Scott Branson

- kudos:

I defined myself for a long time as a moderate or centrist, and despite my leftward march in recent years, it still feels weird to be aspirationally reading a book on anarchism. As Branson points out early in this book, there are plenty of people who would never identify with the word but agree with anarchist ideas in science fiction, and I guess that’s how I got here. Twice in 2023, I read Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway, and on the second read, I realized that there were some strong anarchist themes in that book.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Curveball: When Your Faith Takes Turns You Never Saw Coming, by Peter Enns

- kudos:

I owe Pete Enns a lot. Reading his books in the years before I hit a faith crisis helped that experience go a lot more smoothly, as did continuing to read his stuff and listen to his podcasts during the process of faith transition. Around the time this book was coming out, though, I needed a break. I felt like I knew most of his stuff, his media efforts felt like they were getting bigger and more corporate, and as much as I owed him, I wasn’t feeling it anymore.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?, by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith

- kudos:

This is a fascinating book written by two authors who began the project wanting to write about how cool it would be to settle space… but after consulting all the evidence, concluded that it might not be a great idea. It’s kind of a downer book in a way—I’ve always been excited about space, and it’s a bummer to think of it as an awful place where we might not have a future.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

- kudos:

I was recently complaining about religious books that I felt were below where I am in my thinking, so this was a slice of humble pie. I don’t do great with dense philosophical or theological works, and my rating is more a reflection of that than anything else. I made it through with an audiobook, but I don’t know how much I’ll retain. Tillich came highly recommended by other authors, but I think that most of what I wanted to get out of it was concentrated in the final chapter of the book.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, by Bart Ehrman

- kudos:

Kind of like the Spong book I recently finished, I enjoyed this book, but I think I would have gotten about as much from a condensed version. I’ve gotten to a point after nearly a decade of this kind of reading that I don’t need to be eased into a lot of these arguments and just want the crux of them. I think the academic in me (though this is certainly not my area of training) also wants more sources and footnotes.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Slow Horses (Season 3)

- kudos:

What an excellent series this is. The finale was more violent than I’m comfortable with, but I appreciated that it never glorified the violence; rather, it fit in nicely with the series’s habit of showing that as screwed up as the Slow Horses are, it’s the dignified leadership of this fictional MI5 who are the real monsters. Power corrupts, and all that. I’m wondering how next series will go—I have only vague recollections of the book, and what I do remember is that it’s one of the weirder ones.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Standing By the Wall: The Collected Slough House Novellas, by Mick Herron

- kudos:

I’d been meaning to read these for a while and was happy to find them collected in a single (Libby) volume. Herron is great at adding a lot to his universe full of terrible people, and I wish I recognized all the cameos and continuity nods from the main series. I did appreciate Herron’s lampshading of his characters’ not aging despite a decade of publication history—it was clever without feeling out of place.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️🖤🖤🖤 for The Life and Mysterious Death of Ian Mackintosh: The Inside Story of The Sandbaggers and Television's Top Spy, by Robert G. Folsom

- kudos:

I’ve been hungering to read this book for months! I watched all three series of The Sandbaggers early in 2023 and have been trying to read and watch everything I can on the series. This includes a couple of YouTube video essays, most of Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country, and whatever else I could find. A relative gifted me this book for Christmas, and I was very excited! I’d known about it for a while but couldn’t find it through public or academic libraries.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Jesus for the Non-Religious, by John Shelby Spong

- kudos:

I have a lot of small irritations with this book: I feel like Spong takes too long deconstructing before reconstructing (though that may reflect my own personal stage of faith), like his arguments are sometimes sloppy, and like he can be awkward (but clearly sincere) to modern eyes in his commitment to non-discrimination. He also seems more sure than I am that this is the obvious and only way to read Jesus; I agree with his reading, but I’m not sure it’s as straightforward as he makes it.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron

- kudos:

I enjoyed this semi-prequel to the Slow Horses series. I’d forgotten some series details along the way and wish there were a series wiki out there to help me catch up. Nonetheless, I remembered enough to enjoy the connections and figure most bits out.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Bookshops & Bonedust, by Travis Baldree

- kudos:

I don’t think this prequel is quite as good as the original Legends & Lattes, but it is clearly cut from the same cloth. It’s a fun mix of D&D tropes and general coziness and made for a nice way to spend some of my winter break.

🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

- kudos:

Kicked off the family holiday gathering by watching this with my dad last night. This was a good Indiana Jones movie, I (mostly) had fun watching it, and I’m probably being a little harsh in my rating of it. However, for all we live in an era where punching Nazis is shorthand for some very necessary resistance to some very dangerous far-right action, I’ve been reading about non-violence lately, and that makes it hard to enjoy media like this.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Nancy: A Comic Collection, by Olivia Jaimes

- kudos:

I don’t really like gag-a-day strips (or many comic strips at all), but Jaimes’s run on Nancy speaks to me in a way I can’t explain. I checked this out from the library for kiddo but ended up reading it myself.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Loki (Season 2)

- kudos:

I enjoyed watching this show, and I really like the aesthetic it’s been rocking for its two seasons. I was inclined to give it a higher rating than this because of those factors and because I don’t really have anything bad to say about it—however, I’m hard pressed to come up with any praise more substantive than “I had a fun time,” so I’m going to knock off a heart for that.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Saga Volume 11, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan

- kudos:

I had to refresh myself on the last few volumes before tackling this latest one, and there are still lots of details I can’t remember. This series is gory, crude, and profane in ways that ought to turn me away from it, but it’s just so compelling. Great art, powerful characters, and good story. Maybe I should actually subscribe to issues as they come out? I’ve never read comics in a monthly format before, but I don’t know if I want to wait as long as I had to for this next TPB.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 4, Death of Spider-Man, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley

- kudos:

I’ve complained a lot about superhero comics nonsense throughout this series, but it’s still depressing to finally show that a 16-year-old wouldn’t survive all of these fights. It’s an interesting wrap up for this character, and I ought to find and read the Miles Morales series, but after 26 TPBs in a couple of months, I think I need a break from Spider-Man. There are other books I ought to read, and on the comics landscape, I hear there’s a new Saga TPB to get caught up on.