owlmoose: (lady business - kj)
[personal profile] owlmoose posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Like everything else this year, my media consumption has fallen a bit by the wayside with the all-consuming nature of world events. Still, reading and watching does continue, so here are some of my favorites of the first half of 2017.

Books:

1. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers: I loved this book even more than its predecessor. The characters, their relationships, and Blue's backstory were gripping and appealing. Possibly my favorite active series right now.
2. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi: Although I could have done with less of a cliffhanger, this story launched a fun and exciting new series, and I'm excited to see where it goes.
3. Infomocracy by Malka Older: A great near-future political thriller, with an intriguing world set-up and some fantastic characters.
4. Runtime by S.B. Divya: My favorite of the novellas I read in the run-up to selecting my Hugo nominations.
5. Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan: A highly-satisfying end to one of my favorite series of all time.

Other Media:

1. Agents of SHIELD: The second half of this season stumbled a bit at toward the end, but overall it was fantastic. To explain exactly what I loved about it involves more spoilers than I want to share here -- it deserves its own discussion post, which I hope to write shortly -- but the sharp commentary on not just current events but the Secret Empire arc in Marvel Comics alone was worth the price of admission.
2. The Good Place: We binged this show at the beginning of the year, and it was excellent. It was fun, it was cute, and it had a brilliant twist that has me dying to see what comes next. The season finale is an easy choice for my Hugo Ballot next year, in Dramatic Presentation-Short Form. The cast, mostly unknowns plus Kristen Bell (of Veronica Mars fame) and a pitch-perfect Ted Danson, is spectacular, with excellent chemistry. Really recommended.
3. Hamilton: I've now seen this on the stage twice, and loved it more each time. At my first show, the San Francisco cast had only been performing together for about three weeks; when I saw it again in late June, the ensemble had gelled better, and most of the performers seemed more comfortable in their roles. One thing I noticed was the cast leaning into the humor more, in a very effective way. I also saw the alternate Angelica and Laurens/Philip actors, and liked them both better than the ones I saw before.
4. Hidden Figures: A fine telling of a piece of our history far too long under-recognized. The three core actresses are amazing.
5. Wonder Woman: I would have been happy for this movie to be merely competent; instead, it was one of the best superhero films of the modern age. I'm so glad to have seen it and to have loved it, and to see it doing well at the box office. May this just be the next step down the road toward better and more inclusive Hollywood blockbusters.

While I'm here, I also wanted to check in on my reading goals for the year. In the first six months of 2017, I have read 18 books, a fair bit off pace to hit my goal of 50 (revised from 40 when I decided to include novellas). Of these, 5 are by authors of color, even further short of my 50% goal, although it's a little better if I count by by unique authors (5 out of 12). But now that I'm essentially done with Hugo reading for the year, I can concentrate a bit more on catching up.

My goals also including reading more novellas and shorter fiction (successful), graphic novels (dismal fail -- I haven't finished even one new one this year as of yet), nonfiction (none yet, but that was always going to be a stretch), and books off my TBR shelf. I've done a little better on that last one (3 toward a goal of 10), because I polished off the three books in Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series, which have been hanging around for awhile.

Since I'm new to the process of setting reading goals, I had no idea what might be realistic. If it turns out I was too ambitious this year, so be it; I'll know what to dial back in the future, and where to push myself a little. All useful data.

So friends, how's your reading been going so far this year? Any great successes or wonderful finds? Share them here!

Date: 2017-07-06 01:47 pm (UTC)
oracne: turtle (Default)
From: [personal profile] oracne
I am well under the number of books/comics I would like to have read, because I've been reading tons of fanfic and magazines instead. But I've been happy with the books I did read.

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