What I Read and Watched in October

Books:

Movies: 

TV:

Podcasts:

Thoughts & reflections:

  • Of the six books I finished, I saw two of their authors in person this month. That’s a confusing sentence, sorry. What I mean to say is that I saw Eileen Myles and Charlotte Gordon speak this October (separate occasions). Between the Boston Book Festival, the Ipswich Reads One Book event, and unplugging in a cabin for a week in Westhampton MA, I had a very bookish month.
  • I went to the movie theater, finally! Second time in 2017. Worth it. Blade Runner was awesome. Long, but awesome.
  • No, I’d never seen Hocus Pocus before. Sue me.
  • I’m finally slowing down on podcasts, though I listened to a lot of Philosophize This! in the car this month. Simone De Beauvoir is my new queen, though I need to learn more about her.
  • What better way to learn about a person than to read their private postmortem diaries like a creep, as I did with Susan Sontag. I’m not sure how I feel about reading folks’ real-life journals. It’s like voyeurism.
  • Stranger Things 2 came our on my birthday and I’m so, so pleased! I’m savoring the season. Not quite done yet.

Ideas for next month: 

  • I’m not sure. I’m in a lull. I tore through my to-read and to-finish pile this month, and I need to get to the library. There’s only 1 book I’ve committed to reading for a book club. Otherwise, I think this’ll be a “whim” month. Whatever strikes my fancy.
  • Maybe get back into audiobooks?
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What I Read and Watched In March

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BOOKS:

MOVIES:

TV:

Thoughts & reflections:

  • I finally took the time to dig into some philosophy fundamentals, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. These aren’t breezy reads. I’m also half-way through a Ralph Waldo Emerson collection. I’m taking my time with some of this stuff, taking notes, studying, absorbing. That equals less books finished this month, but I can’t complain.
  • I didn’t watch much this month either, but Tickled was one of the wildest documentaries I’ve ever seen. And Chewing Gum was refreshingly weird.
  • What was the last non-documentary film I’ve watched? It’s been a while.
  • My media success of the month was discovering how to watch live streaming TV without cable. Specifically, how to watch the premier of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. I can stream live from the VH1 website! So excited! I wonder if there are other channels I can do this with?
  • I was sick through some of March, which meant more sleeping and overall less reading, watching, doing, being…

Ideas for next month: 

  • I’m contemplating moving this blog onto another platform, if I can find the time.
  • Often, when I find pockets of time to watch something, I’m struck with decision fatigue, and I just don’t watch anything. I’m thinking on what I can do about this. I was using the National Film Registry as my curated list of films to watch, but it’s become daunting, and many of the movies aren’t available on my streaming services. Hmm.

What I Read and Watched in February

BOOKS:

COMICS/GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV:

Thoughts & reflections:

  • The Stand is such an undertaking, I’m counting Book One as one book. Call me a cheater.
  • How has it taken me this long to read Rebecca Solnit? A new favorite! I can’t wait to read more of her books.
  • What I lack in quantity this month, I make up in quality. Paris is Burning is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen. March is also fantastic, and I’ll definitely be reading Books Two and Three.
  •  I got back into OITNB this month, which makes up for my lack of movie-watching. Having left off on Season 2, I forgot how much I love this show. Every episode is an exercise in empathy.
  • This month, I participated in a book group for the first time ever. I’m usually a lone reader, so it was a good change of pace to read something for discussion, especially in a book in a genre I don’t otherwise read normally. Mixing it up!
  • In February, I also discovered an awesome used bookstore near me! Dangerous, dangerous!

Ideas for next month: 

  • Last month I said I was ankle-deep in a writing endeavor, and now I’m about waist-deep. To keep reading, I’ll have to continue carving sacred pocks of time and defending them. Adjusting my sleep schedule has helped a bit.
  • I have so many books in my backlog, I don’t anticipate being without a good book anytime soon.

What I Read and Watched in January

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BOOKS:

COMICS/GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV:

PODCASTS:

  • TED Radio Hour

Thoughts & reflections:

  • Emily Dickinson and Boogie Nights. Wow, what a weird month. How the hell did this happen?
  • See all those 2016s? I intentionally consumed some contemporary popular media this month. Soon it will be 2017s. I’d like to do a better job at keeping up with current popular fiction, at the very least.
  • I normally only list TV shows if I watch a full season of something, but the San Junipero episode of “Black Mirror” is quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever watched in my life, so I had to include it. I watched it twice this month, in fact. Hit me right in the feels both times. I’ve been hesitant to watch “Black Mirror” because I hear it’s so disturbing and depressing, and after attempting to watch a second traumatic episode, I now understand. This particular episode is a gem though.
  • I didn’t write a post about my 2017 media goals like I had intended, so I’ll just summarize that I’m aiming for an average of 1 movie a week, and at least 5 books a month, including graphic novels and trade paperbacks. I’m cutting back on the book goal from last year because I’m not reading so many comics lately. Who knows, maybe sometimes this year I’ll find a complete series to devour, but for now, I’m not going to pressure myself. So, in sum, I made my goal this month. Hurray!

Ideas for next month: 

  • I’m ankle-deep in a writing endeavor that is already consuming a lot of my time this year. So my goal is to read books that keep me page-turnin’ and to consume compelling stories. I’ve begun scheduling time specifically for reading, and I hope to continue the habit.

What I Read and Watched in November

thereaddunces

BOOKS:

COMICS / GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV:

PODCASTS:

  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • TED Radio Hour

Thoughts & reflections:

  • Moooooovies! I’m watching them again! How, why? Two words: Netflix Originals. Not quite indie, not quite mainstream, Netflix seems to produce some documentaries and dramas that fall in my niche of interest. My Beautiful Broken Brain was especially fascinating.
  • I happened to read family-centered fiction this month. That was an accident. The Jones of White Teeth, the Blochs of Here I Am, and of course Ignatius and his mother. A lot of complex relationships to digest (and laugh about).
  • I read some hefty books this month. Still, I’m reading less than I would like. I’m going to have to go back to carving out and defending reading time.
  • I had no idea Good Will Hunting was set in Boston before watching it. So yes, half the movie I spent going, “Ohhh he’s riding the Red Line!” and such. I should have known — it has Matt Damon in it. Seems like he’s always either in Boston or in outer space.

Ideas for next month: 

  • Just trying to find time for reading/writing during this busy holiday season! Ah!

What I Read and Watched in September

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BOOKS:

COMICS / GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV:

PODCASTS:

  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • TED Radio Hour

Thoughts & reflections:

  • Quality trumps quantity this month. I’m way below my goal on all accounts. But not only were Middlesex and Please Kill Me heavyweights page-wise (nearly 1,000 pages total), they were also intensely awesome. So, two new favorites in one month? When has that ever happened before?
  • Same goes for the movie-watching — or lack thereof. The one movie I did see — Kubo, great film — I saw at the local movie theater, to which I’d never been before. In fact, I think this is actually only the second movie I’ve seen in theaters this entire year. The theater was independent, with a retro vibe but comfy seats. But I still miss AMC. No bother. The movie-going experience makes up for my lack of movie consumption, I’d say.
  • Plus, how would I have time to watch movies with all this Breaking Bad-watching? Yes, I’m aware I’m eight years behind. This show premiered when I graduated high school — high school. But I finally hit the threshold where I couldn’t function like a semi-normal social being without having seen it. So many references are made to this show. Everyone’s seen it, it seems. With good reason — it’s a a great show. I’m getting a little exhausted with the hour-long episodes though. And 5 seasons is intimidating. I’ll probably slow it down and chip away at the remaining episodes as needed
  • This “thoughts and reflections” section is turning into an excuses section.
  • Did I binge-watch Transparent season 3 faster than I care  to admit? You bet I did. No regrets. Okay, maybe a little regret, because now I have to wait indefinitely for the next season!
  • I finally did it. Signed up for my own Netflix account like an independent non-mooching woman. It’s been helpful for watching Breaking Bad. But otherwise, I’m not sure if I’ll keep it past the 30-day free trial yet.
  • I also finally printed out the complete National Film Registry, and checked off what I’ve already seen. I began watching some of the very earliest films too, but they are so brief (and most available for free from the Library of Congress), I don’t bother listing them here. Dream of a Rarebit Fiend was particularly amusing! Such special effects for 1906! I’m looking forward to working my way through the list, though I likely won’t go in a strict order.

Ideas for next month:

  • I never list music in these media logs, because I haven’t been able to wrap my head around what I’d include. Also, I have bizarre music-listening habits. But I’ve started to give it some more thought, especially as I recently set up a “Kendra’s Top 100” playlist on Spotify. It houses my favorite songs, in no particular order. It got me thinking, “When did I start listening to some of these songs? And how and why are they my favorites?” Hmm.
  • I have a backlog of borrowed books I’m looking forward to reading.
  • This election season has opened to my eyes to just how little national and world news I consume. Without cable, I have the luxury of avoiding the nauseating onslaught of political ads. But I just feel so disconnected from all that’s going on. My college media studies left me very disillusioned with the state of news and journalism, and since then, I’ve just sort of tuned out to all the corporatized sensationalism. While I’m not about to watch hours of CNN or Fox, I’d like to tune back in somehow, mindfully and objectively. I just want to learn about what’s happening in the world, without someone telling me what I should think or how I should feel about it. That shouldn’t be nearly as difficult as it is. But it really is.

What I Read and Watched in July

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July, July, it just flew by!

BOOKS:

COMICS / GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV:

PODCASTS:

  • Invisibilia
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour

Thoughts & reflections:

  • Yes, I’m aware I’m 2 books short my monthly quota. No, I don’t feel bad about it. I had a good, busy month. And One Hundred Years of Solitude (OHYoS?) was an undertaking. I had to re-read some parts. I’m still processing it.
  • Oh, Invisibilia. “In this episode, we’ll be talking about whatever it is that is most relevant in Kendra’s life right now.” Yup. Every episode is eerily relevant and intensely fascinating. How do they do it? I’ve also gotten hooked on Pop Culture Happy Hour, because it makes me feel up-to-date with TV and movies even though I’m really not. I apparently love NPR broadcasting so much that it’s spilled over into my TV-watching. This American Life, the TV series, is almost a decade old now, but the subjects and stories are still fascinating. Gives me lots of think about, which just makes my head happy.
  • Sagaaaaaaa!! Finally! Well worth the long library hold waiting list. When it came in, it was like Christmas. The librarian must’ve sensed my joy. I devoured it, and now I’m back playing the waiting game.
  • Hah. Movies. Hah.

Ideas for next month:

  • I need to get back on a regular reading routine. Summer days and good weather have me all thrown off! I just want to move and frolic. But I also want to read all the things. So.
  • I’ll be testing out a couple more comics series this month until I get hooked on something. Or maybe I won’t. Gosh I still miss Y: The Last Man. That just set my standards so high, I may never recover.
  • After OHYoS, I feel like I need to read some fluffy fiction. Or something straightforward. Some simple, tidy stories perhaps?
  • Stranger Things!! 

What I Read and Watched in May

paper girls

BOOKS:

COMICS / GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV: 

Thoughts & reflections:

  • So, movies weren’t my thing this month. I’ve decided that I can’t (nor should I) force myself to watch movies if I’m not in the mood and have other priorities. Something about spring and the sunshine just doesn’t make movie-watching appealing. My interest will likely peak again during some other months or seasons.
  • Ahh, such good comics this month! Paper Girls exceeded my already high expectations for awesomeness. And WicDiv of course was stellar, gorgeous, and well worth the one-month hold I had on it at the library. Black Hole, though? I’m still not sure how I felt about it, other than confused and grossed out. Yeesh.
  • How is Transparent the most amazing show? It just is. And how am I supposed to wait until winter for Season 3 now? *heaving sigh*
  • Beach reading is best reading. Except I’ve been reminded that when reading in public, your choice in books becomes free game for people comment on. You want to chat about Salinger? Or feminism? That’s cool. Good way to meet new friends (and possible enemies, though thankfully that has yet to happen).
  • I need to read more poetry.

Ideas for next month:

  • More poetry.
  • I’m investing in a simple streaming device for my TV to make it, like, an actual, functional TV (without cable, but still). I’ll see how the convenience affects my movie and TV-watching, if at all.
  • Massachusetts authors. Kerouac (Lowell, where I used to dwell) and Updike (Ipswich, where I dwell now).

What I Read and Watched in April

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Happy 1 year anniversary to my monthly media log!

BOOKS:

COMICS / GRAPHIC:

MOVIES:

TV: 

Thoughts & reflections:

  • At last, I’ve been able to experience the joys and woes of binge-watching a show. I’d thought I was incapable, but I guess I’ve just never watched a series as amazing as Transparent. This show is perfect in general and perfect for me. I blew through the first season faster than I care to admit (hey, it’s only 10 30-min episodes). And thus, my whole monthly movie-watching goal is shot. Worth it. Now I have to decide whether or not to devour the second season right away. How do people watch TV this way? It’s taxing.
  • As you can see, I attempted a movie theme of musicals this month… until Transparent happened. I still got in 3, and these are long films. I chose ones I’d never seen before, but probably ought to for cultural awareness and such (“I Feel Pretty” is from West Side Story? See, I didn’t know this). I usually think of myself as not being a fan of musicals, but I’m not sure why. I enjoyed them.
  • I did some reading on writing this month. The illustrations in The Elements of Style Illustrated made me laugh! Otherwise, my reading selections don’t appear to have a connecting theme. The theme is the lack of theme.
  • Of course I managed to accidentally find a comic that combines two of my favorite things — poetry and crabs. Dear Creature is adorable!

Ideas for next month:

  • So it’s been a full year since I started logging my media consumption in this format. Is it time to change things up? I think maybe. How? I’m not sure yet, but I’m in the mood for something new.
  • I have too many comics on hold at the library, they’re going to revoke my card. Someday when I’m rolling in riches, I’ll buy enough trade paperbacks to swim in, but for now, I have to be patient! Ugh.
  • More nonfiction will be happening.
  • Binge-watching Transparent season 2 and then crying that it’s not coming back until later this year will also very likely be happening.

2015 Media Log Summary – Kendra’s Favorites!

2015 was the first year I consistently tracked my reading from start to finish. Plus, I started tracking movies and everything else (albeit haphazardly, mostly by memory) around April. In total, I read (or listened to) 115 books, graphic novels, and comic volumes (thanks Goodreads). Movies and everything else I would have to add up manually, so meh, I’m not going to. I’ll spend that time, instead, organizing and presenting my favorite books and other media that I enjoyed this year.

This is going to be sort of long soooo…

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