📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The Gospel in Brief: The Life of Jesus, by Leo Tolstoy

- kudos:

I don’t remember when I learned that Leo Tolstoy had written his own, Thomas Jefferson-style miracle-free New Testament mashup, but I do know I immediately wanted to read it. Then, I spotted a copy at my local indie bookstore while looking for things to spend a gift card on, and that’s how I picked up a copy. Like The Kingdom of God is Within You, I like some of Tolstoy’s ideas, but getting through them can be a drag.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Up Here We Can Be Garbage (An Eighth Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

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In some ways, I can’t at all relate to Dumbing of Age because my college experience was so wildly different. Yet, it’s funny how I can relate so much to parts of it now, well after my college years. I don’t know that I would have wanted to have this freshman year (especially not the melodramatic bits or superhero fights), but I do wish I could have learned some of the lessons in the story earlier in life.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Boys Weekend, by Mattie Lubchansky

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There’s a certain flavor of bizarre that makes for great fiction, and this comic is that. It’s a story about gender transition and transphobia, a critique of tech bros and libertarian business types, and… a science fiction story featuring a Cthulhuesque cult? There’s a bit more gore than I normally tolerate in comics, and the art style isn’t what I’d identify as my go-to preference, but everything fits together in a surreal but profound way.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Just Put Down the Ukulele Only Then Can the Healing Begin (A Seventh Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

- kudos:

This continues to be good, the bonus material keeps getting better, and even though I can’t be bothered to write thorough reviews for these volumes (still 6 to go!), I’m really glad I own them.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Machinations of my Revenge Will Be Cold, Swift, and Absolutely Ridiculous (A Sixth Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

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The lines between books continue to blur, and as much as I like Becky’s growing importance, I’m not always a huge fan of Amazi-Girl scenes. This continues to be a good comic, though, and I’m enjoying the reread.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Hey, Guess What, I'm a Lesbian! (A Fifth Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

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Lots of plot developments that will go on to define the comic here, and I enjoyed revisiting them. The bonus material is also really starting to pick up here with the inclusion of Patreon strips, so that’s fun, too.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Amazi-Girl is Always Prepared for Anything (A Fourth Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

- kudos:

To be honest, the collections are starting to blur together some, so I don’t exactly remember where the dividing line is between this one and the last. The series continues to be good and fun, though, so it gets this rating nonetheless! I think one reason I like DoA so much is because it’s so different than my own college freshman experience. Some of that is clearly because it’s a work of fiction, but it’s also because BYU is a very different place than other universities, so it’s still interesting to consider different experiences.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Your Stupid Overconfidence is Nostalgic (A Third Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

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DoA can get kind of melodramatic sometimes, and there’s plenty of that in this book. Sometimes it strains credulity, but it doesn’t get in the way of a fantastic webcomic.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for I Beg You, Don't Cast Your Body Into the Cragged Shame Pits of the Lustwolves (A Second Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

- kudos:

Like the first volume, this was familiar (since I’d just read these comics a few months ago) but worth rereading—both because the comic is good and because the bonus materials are interesting.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for This Campus is a Friggin' Escher Print (The First Dumbing of Age Collection), by David Willis

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It was just earlier this year that I archive binged this comic, but I recently bought PDFs of the collections through a Kickstarter and decided to reread it with the commentary and bonus material. I can see the rough spots that have been improved in over a decade of webcomic history (in art and choice of language, for example), but this still makes for an excellent introduction to the universe, and I feel such a connection with Joyce that it’s interesting to meet her again in her original characterization.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

- kudos:

If I understand correctly, this book was recommended in the curriculum for Community of Christ Reunion camps this year; at least, I listened to it because it was recommended for the Reunion that I attended last weekend. I actually finished it on Monday, but it’s been a busy week, and so it’s taken me a while to write this review. While I am an aspirational environmentalist, I’m not very in tune with nature, so I wasn’t sure how I’d like the book.

🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Inside Out 2

- kudos:

There’s lots to like about this movie: a good message, some good jokes, and some animation gags that I really liked. It’s hard to live up to the original film, though, and this just didn’t feel as tight. Parts of the plot felt rushed, the internal logic of the first film wasn’t as present, and it felt repetitive with some of the plot beats. I’m glad I saw it, but I think the first captures most of the magic that’s here—and more besides.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Terraformers, by Annalee Newitz

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I heard this book reviewed on The Incomparable, and it sounded up my alley despite mixed reviews on the podcast, so I gave it a try! This feels like a Cory Doctorow book in all the right ways: It has super weird ideas in it, and it’s sometimes more about worldbuilding and a pretty clear “moral of the story” than specific plot beats or characterization. The morals of the story are good ones, though, and having a viewpoint character who’s a sentient train is right up my alley.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Party Discipline, by Cory Doctorow

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This tiny little book is a great addition to the worldbuilding of Walkaway, and I love it for that.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ pour La réinvention du nom de Dieu, par Gérard Siegwalt

- kudos:

J’ai parfois du mal à suivre ce texte, même en relecture, mais j’en apprends beaucoup et je suis sûr que j’y reviendrai encore dans les années à venir.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Pushing Daisies (Season 2)

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This season isn’t as strong as the first; I’m glad I watched it (for the first time!), but I feel like it got too tangled in storied and then trying to wrap things up for the end.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The High Crusade, by Poul Anderson

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The book has a fun premise for science fiction: An alien craft lands in medieval England, a series of forced worldbuilding details makes the English knights stronger than the aliens, and before you know it, they’ve gone to space and conquered themselves an empire. The book also has the benefit of being written in a way that anything that hasn’t aged well can be attributed to the fictional characters narrating the story.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Nineteen Eighty-Four

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I had started listening to the recent Audible adaptation, believing that it was a BBC adaptation, but between not loving Audible and it feeling overdone, I ditched it pretty quickly and found this actual BBC adaptation instead. For bonus points, Christopher Eccleston is in the lead role! I feel like it’s the kind of adaptation that you have to know the original to really appreciate, but that doesn’t make it bad.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou Deluxe Edition (Volume 1), by Hitoshi Ashinano

- kudos:

Manga is one comics tradition I’ve never really gotten into, but I was impressed by someone else’s description of this series on Micro.blog and decided to give it a try. There are some manga conventions I’m still getting used to, and I don’t know that I fully “get it” yet, but it’s fun! The “cozy apocalypse” vibe it gives off is nice, and I’m looking forward to reading the next volume.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Social Fiction, by Chantal Montellier

- kudos:

I’m glad that so many French comics are now available in American libraries, and it’s a pleasure to read something that came from the influential Métal Hurlant. This is one of those reads, though, where I understand why the work is important, but it just didn’t land with me.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Man Born to Be King

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I discovered this cycle of 12 radio plays that adapted the four gospels for the BBC on the Internet Archive and decided to give it a try! From a hermeneutical and theological perspective, I have some complaints. For one thing, even though it’s a radio play, it still manages to make clear that its Jesus is blond (and, by extension, white) through repeated references to golden hair, so that got under my nerves.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, by John Dorhauer

- kudos:

The book seems to be beloved in Community of Christ: I’ve heard a member of the First Presidency recommend it on a podcast, I’ve seen an emeritus senior president of seventy recommend it in the Herald, and this copy was given to me by an apostle. I can see why! It’s interesting, full of important observations, and I think Community of Christ will need to adopt some of these ideas to survive in the decades to come (at least in the Global North).

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow

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After my last read was such a guilty pleasure (still not sure if I’ll bring myself to read the next Honor Harrington or if it’s just not worth it), I decided I needed some Doctorow so I could read something fun and meaningful. This isn’t my favorite of Doctorow’s, but it’s good! The more I read of his, the more I see the cross-cutting themes, the elements that get recycled from book to book, the earlier versions of plots that I’ve read in his more recent stuff.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for A Gentleman in Moscow

- kudos:

My spouse has been trying to get me to read the book for years, so we had to watch the show! It’s an interesting premise with compelling characters (who are well cast and well acted), and I enjoyed the whole thing. My biggest irritation with it is how the main character’s nobility is seemingly celebrated. I’m no Soviet apologist—it was a repressive country that committed unjustifiable wrongs—but I would have preferred to see the Count reflect on the unmerited wealth and power he held as a member of the Russian nobility rather than be a simple victim of Marxist zeal.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for On Basilisk Station, by David Weber

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I have really mixed feelings about this book! I’ve read it at least twice before, and after looking at the series on TVTropes, I decided to give it another go. I understand that the series is done now, so I thought I might try reading the whole thing. It’s an interesting premise, with detailed worldbuilding, a compelling narrative, and characters that are fun to follow. I enjoyed reading the book, and I can see myself enjoying the rest of the series, too.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Apostle of the Poor: The Life and Work of Missionary and Humanitarian Charles D. Neff, by Matthew Bolton

- kudos:

Neff is one of the most influential figures in the recent history of Community of Christ. On my second read of this biography, I’m less comfortable with some of the imperial and colonial aspects of RLDS expansion in the late 1960s, but for all Neff’s complicity in those attitudes, he also worked hard to shed his own (and his church’s) ethnocentrism and exclusivity, and I appreciate that. I’ve joked about this before, but it’s wild that he was a contemporary of Ezra Taft Benson.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for XPD

- kudos:

There’s an interesting premise behind this spy thriller adaptation, and some of the radio work is pretty good, but I felt like there wasn’t enough connective tissue to keep it together. I don’t know how much of the weakness was in the original novel versus introduced in the adaptation—the rushed pacing makes me suspect the latter—but while I don’t regret finishing it, I can’t say I was impressed.

📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Pushing Daisies (Season 1)

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This show is the very definition of weird-but-delightful. I watched (some of) it with my now-spouse right around when we first started dating, and it’s fun to revisit. The aesthetic is very specific, the vibe is dark-but-cute, and the dialogue is snappy if strange. Looking forward to Season 2!

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (Series 8)

- kudos:

This series wasn’t bad—it’s just that maybe I shouldn’t be binging them series after series, because despite some clever moments, I just felt like there wasn’t much new about this material.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for A Way of Life: Understanding Our Christian Faith, by Tony Chvala-Smith

- kudos:

This rating isn’t fair! I’ve praised this book in the past, and it really is an excellent introduction to modern Community of Christ theology. I just happened to reread it at a time where I’m hungering for something different in terms of theological writing, so this rating reflects what I got out of the book in this moment, not all that the book actually has to offer.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (Series 7)

- kudos:

I didn’t listen to the finale all in one chunk, so I didn’t appreciate it as much as I could have, but the excellent use of callbacks and flashbacks in that episode was enough to bump up my rating. I think this is also the first series I hadn’t heard before, so it was nice to hear some new content.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (Series 5)

- kudos:

I really enjoy metahumor, and Finnemore’s talent for it is on full display in this series—even to the extent of calling himself out on overreliance on it. Doesn’t bother me, though!

🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for If You Were the Only

- kudos:

I have a bunch of small complaints about this movie, but I came away from it generally feeling like it was well done, so I’m erring on the side of a more positive rating. I don’t know if that makes me an uncritical movie watcher, but whatever. For the most part, I liked the aesthetic choices! It bugged me that the spaceship was modeled after a space shuttle, because that doesn’t make a ton of sense, but I did appreciate that the film went with shorthand in terms of set design instead of trying to make it realistic or whatever.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (Series 4)

- kudos:

I’ve been tempering my praise of this series through this relisten, but the time travel sketch in the finale is excellent, and there are other top notch examples of Finnemore’s humor scattered throughout. What’s more, the recordings of this series on the Internet Archive are actual recordings and have bits of continuity announcer on either end of the episodes. I just love that, for reasons I can’t fully articulate, and I wish all the series were like that.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (Series 3)

- kudos:

I miss the traditional “storyteller” sketches at the end of every episode, but I know they’ll be back in future series, and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments in this one.