book recommendations, comic recommendations, game recommendations, monthly review, music, podcast recommendations, reviews

July 2017

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I took my mom to DC and absolutely wore my Bitch Planet leggings to the White House. It’s the little things.

Books

Squirrel Girl by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi
I’m up to volume 5. Everything about Squirrel Girl is perfect. KICK BUTTS EAT NUTS.

The Kingdom of Gods by NK Jemisin
Usually trickster characters don’t do it for me, but I had so many Sieh feels. This is the last of the Inheritance trilogy, so start with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Podcasts

Wolf 359 is in its final season. Come for the comedic space life vignettes, stay for the huge government conspiracies. I’m sad to see it ending.

59. One To Another by The Allusionist
Helen Zaltzman interviews the man translating The Memory Palace stories into a Portuguese book. I also love The Memory Palace, but I don’t do anything productive with that love. Instead, sometimes I cry a little at work.

Episode 70: The Procedure by Criminal
CHURCHES MADE A NETWORK TO HELP WOMEN GET ABORTIONS WHEN ABORTION WAS ILLEGAL. Uh, spoiler?

265- The Pool and the Stream by 99% Invisible
Skateboarding history. Suburban pool history. Don’t listen to this on a sweaty train, you’ll get really jealous.

266- Repackaging the Pill by 99% Invisible
I need Roman Mars to give me the design history of everything remotely feminist.

Games

1
Dream Daddy

I’ve been playing this one a little bit. You’re a dad that goes on dates with other dads. You’re nice to your daughter and make dad puns. There are cryptids and dogs!

Music

KESHA IS BACK.
I’m prepared to stockpile glitter the second she announces a tour.

The Long Winters
I’ve been listening to these guys on repeat, too. They have a sad song about astronauts.

book recommendations, comic recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

June 2017

We’re late this month! I decided to be very patriotic and go to DC for July 4th. It was as busy as you’d expect.

Books

Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
I pulled out of my bad novel slump! This is the first two installments of a trilogy. The first one starts a little rough, but it was her first book. She figures it out.
Mixed race girl saves the world! (Kind of). Fantasy! Magic! Demons! Falling in love with maybe evil incarnate. Yeah, I’m here for it.

Enigma by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo
I normally cannot deal with the 80s/90s dirty gritty edgy comics because I get really bored when people are irredeemably terrible and I’m supposed to want to read about them. This is my exception. It opens with this:
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Recommended for fans of S-Town.

Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
I’m so happy that coming of age stories about angry goth girls exist now.

Podcasts

Just Girls: The Hidden World of Patti Smith and Judy Linn by The Kitchen Sisters
Really, really listen-able despite the fact that I know almost nothing about Patti Smith.

05 Alessandra: Lips by Mortified
I put off listening to Mortified for a really long time because I cannot. do. secondhand. embarrassment. They somehow keep the secondhand embarrassment to a minimum despite being exclusively embarrassing stories. Girl just wants a boyfriend in this one.

06 Adam: Rhyme or Reason by Mortified
Poetry camp > English teachers.

33 Erin: My Dad Read My Diary! by Mortified
Her dad read her diary, so she gave him something worth reading.

36 Tyler & Janelle: Love, America Online Style by Mortified
Remember saving AIM conversations to read back later? Remember printing out AIM conversations with your crush and then collecting them in a binder to give to them, and then reading them on stage together years later?

41 Jackie: How Not To Be Grateful by Mortified
Extreme TMI scrapbooking.

45 Emma: The Girl Who Cried Y2K by Mortified
I now need a series that explores weird adult doomsday bunker men and their reactions to Y2K. I’m calling Emma if I ever need to survive nuclear war, she was on top of stuff.

58 Forbidden Crushes Part 3: My Secret Gay Crush by Mortified
I’m pretty sure I read this story in at least 8 Xangas growing up. Happy Pride!

Moon Graffiti by The Truth
Short audio fiction exploring what may have happened if Apollo 11 hadn’t made it back home.

Eat Cake by The Truth
A love story that worked for me despite being really creepy if it were real life! Weird.

comic recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

May 2017

11169420_10153153863009651_2812637146544590296_nHug your favorite cousins for me this month.

Books

One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
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If someone were to kill me, that’s what it would be for.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! by Kate Leth and Brittney Williams
I read Volume 1 in February. Volume 2 was also great.

Howard the Duck by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones
I put off reading Howard the Duck for AGES. I love Chip Zdarsky, but Howard is a duck. I didn’t like the Ms. Marvel crossover..and..ducks, guys. I was wrong for putting it off. It got me in the feels way more than a lot of Marvel does.

Podcasts

TLDR: I’ve been binge-listening The Memory Palace. One day I’ll run out of Radiotopia podcasts to listen to. Today is not that day.

The Modern Necropolis (Episode 258) by 99% Invisible
I’m always here for cemetery history.

This is Chance: Anchorwoman of the Great Alaska Earthquake (Episode 259) by 99% Invisible
I’m also always here for stories about women doing their jobs really really well.

Citius, Altius, Fortius, Horrendius (Episode 26) by The Memory Palace
You’ve never been on a run this bad.

The Sisters Fox (Episode 27) by The Memory Palace
Ghost girls!

Heard, Once (Episode 45) by The Memory Palace
I got chills.
This made me want to dig out old CDs for bands I loved in high school, but maybe I shouldn’t ruin the version of songs living in my head.

The Rise and Fall of Rising and Falling (Episode 47) by The Memory Palace
Nate DiMeo is really great at humanizing people you originally would want to make fun of, and then making you laugh anyway.

Picture a Box (Episode 48) by The Memory Palace
I cried a little a work. This should be required listening in history classes, particularly in the south.

400,000 Stars (Episode 60) by The Memory Palace
W o m e n  i n  S T E M

The Glowing Orbs (Episode 61) by The Memory Palace
This one is about John Glenn, so of course I love it.
It also has my all time favorite Memory Palace plot twist.

Episode 73 by The Memory Palace
Tear all the Confederate monuments down.

The Ballad of Captain Dwight (Episode 75) by The Memory Palace
If you liked Hidden Figures you’ll love crying to harsh reality.

Mary Walker Would Wear What She Wanted (Episode 76) by The Memory Palace
Dress for the job that you want until they give in and give it to you.

Artist in Landscape (Episode 79) by The Memory Palace
Audubon could paint some birds, but he sure wasn’t nice to his wife.

S-Town by Serial and This American Life
I listened to this driving through the south on my way home and can confirm it’s accuracy.

Family Snapshot (Episode 89) by The Memory Palace
Adding this to the list of astronaut stories that made me cry.

New Jersey (Episode 260) by 99% Invisible
No, not THAT New Jersey.

book recommendations, comic recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

April 2017

Books

I’m on Goodreads if you want to see the number of one star reviews I give in between liking things. I’m not having great luck with books that don’t have pictures.

Giant Days by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar
I wish college had been like this. Volume 2 was a little rough, but everyone is back to ‘normal’ in Volume 3.

Casanova by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá, and Cris Peters
I almost recommend reading Volume 3 first. All of the bad weirdness starts to get smoothed out there. Now we’re left with good weirdness, time travel, and ukuleles.

Thor by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, and Mark Morales
Movie Thor hasn’t been doing it for me, but this Thor is promising. This picks up after Ragnarok so spoilers for the next movie? Maybe. Who knows what the MCU is doing these days. LADY LOKI, guys.

Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig
I really need to stop reading this before bed. One of the few ‘dark’ comics that actually reads as dark for me. Volume 1 sets the stage. In volume 2 a class of assassins takes on some rednecks.

One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
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You know how some books feel like a friend and when you read them you feel closer to the human race? Yeah, this is one of those.


Podcasts

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I still have a huge Radiotopia problem.
I got to see Roman Mars and Helen Zaltzman in 99% Allusional! It’s everything you’ve ever wanted. (If everything you’ve ever wanted is Roman Mars singing about Rosalind Franklin).

Wishful Thinking (the dislike club part IV) by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
A great overview of Twitter’s troll infestation.

New York After Rent (III of III) by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
Come for the Airbnb discussion, stay for the terrible Rent parody song.

Instaserfs (parts I, II, and III) by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
The problem with Uber (even when it’s not being sexist).

Björk – Stonemilker by Song Exploder
“How It’s Made” but for a Björk song.

CHVRCHES – Clearest Blue by Song Exploder
I’m having a hard time coping with how Chvrches makes songs because it’s the exact opposite of what I would do.

A light touch and a slight nudge by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
CONSPIRACY THEORISTS ARE LAZY.

Honeypot by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
All of these advertising algorithms and they still don’t know that I’m not interested in getting a degree from the school that I already have a degree from.

The Architect of Hollywood (Episode 255) by 99% Invisible
Paul Revere Williams learned to draw upside down so white people wouldn’t feel uncomfortable sitting on the same side of the table as him. Man.

Sounds Natural (Episode 256) by 99% Invisible
Pros of this episode: Talks about how nature documentaries are crafted, and how they can be a little misleading. A cat purrs while Roman Mars talks.
Cons of this episode: They don’t burn down fake documentaries from the Discovery channel, which I have personally had to debunk to people.
Still a good time.

Entrapment by Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything
Can FBI surveillance cause what it’s trying to detect?

The Album Leaf – The Outer Banks by Song Exploder
I hadn’t heard of The Album Leaf before this episode. I’m into them. There’s a glockenspiel in this song. Is that a selling point for you? It is for me.

The Authority (Episode 54) by The Allusionist
“Sometimes you want to make the dictionary sexy but it’s just not a sexy thing”.

Brian Reitzell – Watch Dogs by Song Exploder
Video game songwriting!

The Long Winters – The Commander Thinks Aloud by Song Exploder
I’ve listened to this episode three times. I’ve listened to the song a lot more. I made a whole playlist of sad astronaut songs because of this song. It’s that good.

International Brotherhood of Mothers (Episode 10) by The Memory Palace
Mother’s day just became my favorite holiday. An origin story after my own heart.

The Brothers Booth (Episode 11) by The Memory Palace
Putting Abraham Lincoln’s assassination into context. It was like Drew Barrymore did it.

Secret Kitty (Episode 16) by The Memory Palace
“They were scientists, not witches.” I want to be a witch scientist and make an army of kitty spies.

comic recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

March 2017

Books

I read more books than two comics this week. They weren’t great. Here’s the ones that were:

Black Magick by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott
Beautifully drawn witch cop? Yeah, I’m here for that.

Casanova by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon
I didn’t understand a lot of Volume 1 last month, but I understood some of the references in Volume 2! It’s worth plowing through.

Podcasts

I’ve heard that some podcasts exist that aren’t a part of Radiotopia. Weird, right?

Church (Sanctuary, Part 1) (Episode 249) by 99% Invisible
If your religion doesn’t help refugees, it’s useless. That’s not the tone of this episode but..there’s no lie.

State (Sanctuary, Part 2) (Episode 250) by 99% Invisible
I had to wait a full week for this. It took so much self control to not just Google the rest of the story.

Wildin (Episode 62) by Criminal
It’s really easy to live in a bubble and not listen to the stories of undocumented immigrants. If you listen to anything this month, listen to this one.

Bosom Holder (Episode 2) by The Allusionist
I will listen to people talk about the history of women’s fashion forever.

Going Viral (Episode 3) by The Allusionist
We should all strive to be chronic infections instead of acute ones.

Detonating the C-Bomb (Episode 4) by The Allusionist
I checked that my headphones were plugged in all the way about 50 times during this episode.

Crosswords (Episode 8) by The Allusionist
Guess what this episode is about.

Negative Space: Logo Design with Michael Bierut (Episode 251) by 99% Invisible
Nearly an hour of logo talk. Design nerd heaven.

Rochester, 1991 (Episode 63) by Criminal
I cried a little on the train.

WLTM part I and part II by The Allusionist
Part I is historical dating ads if you want to pretend you’re too good for online dating..part II teaches you how the game the system.

Manzanar (Episode 253) by 99% Invisible
It’s important to know what our country did to Japanese Americans. It’s important to not do it again.

Getting Toasty (Episode 41) by The Allusionist
WOMEN SCIENTISTS IN ANTARCTICA.

Videos


ASK A MORTICIAN – All about cremation!
Caitlin Doughty is killing it.

book recommendations, comic recommendations, game recommendations, monthly review, movie recommendations, podcast recommendations

January 2016

Oh weird, this blog post isn’t a list of things to be outraged about. I feel like I should fix that.

Books

Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk
Twitter Could. Not. Handle. This Cover:
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I can handle it. There is a corgi and Clint Barton, too. It’s like they know me.

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
The first part in a trilogy.
Summary: Humanity manages to war itself to near death. An alien race picks up the survivors and tries to prepare them for a new life alongside them. Humans are bad at getting along with people different from them (surprise! re: war). The aliens ask a lot in return for their lives.
I didn’t like the rest of the series as much as this first one, but this one made me cry.

Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
If a weird mist descended upon me and gave me super powers, I would also turn into Captain Marvel. I plowed through volumes 1 & 2 this month.

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Dexter Soy, Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire.
Speaking of Captain Marvel..I love her. I reread In Pursuit of Flight this week because I needed some boss lady vibes in my life. This volume switches artists a decent amount. (I know I’ve forgotten some here.) That usually bothers me, but doesn’t here. Two years until we get a movie!

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, and Jared K. Fletcher
The library finally got volume 2 in! I read volume one back in November. Two giant tardigrades fight to the death, the Bechdel test is passed so hard it explodes, and Matt Wilson colors.

Podcasts

I’ve finally listened to every episode of 99% Invisible. 10/10, do recommend them all.

Guano Mania (Episode 239) by 99% Invisible
The legal limbo of Puerto Rico can be linked to penguin poop. Laws are weird.

Walnut Grove (Episode 58) by Criminal
This is the best episode Criminal has made. We need to have a talk about for-profit prisons.

Games

Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag
You get to climb all over buildings, be a pirate, and pet cats.

Movies

Hidden Figures
I don’t see movies in theaters often. Hidden Figures is worth it.

book recommendations, comic recommendations, game recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

December 2016

We finished 2016! Who wants to bet that next month I’ll make a list of the best best-of-2016 lists?

Books

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, and Takeshi Miyazawa
I would absolutely call myself Princess Powerful if I were a mutant. Actually, I would be everyone in this book.

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson
The entire world is so lucky that I’m out of my goth phase. I’d be insufferable if these characters were around then.
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The covers make me want to cry. They’re so pretty.

Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
Parts two and three to Ancillary Justice from last month. All the zombies and neat AIs of the first installment, but with more feels and smashing oppressive status quos.

Podcasts

Finals killed my podcast time.

On Average (Episode 226) by 99% Invisible
Averaging was once a radical concept. It makes sense because averages can be totally useless lies.

Long Distance Love Story (Episode 13) by Millennial
I cried a little on the train.

Games

Skyrim
If you need me, I’ll be sneaking around and filling my houses with cheese wheels. I guess there’s a plot where you kill dragons or whatever. I play on a Xbox 360 because I am actually that far behind in the world.

Splendor
Splendor is my favorite tabletop game. I get to collect resources AND I win all of the time.

Morels
A two-player card game where you get to competitively pick mushrooms. I don’t win this one all of the time, but I still like it. That means a lot.

book recommendations, comic recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

November 2016

So, this happened:
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My aesthetic goal was “evil faerie princess in human form”. We nailed it.

Books

Squirrel Girl by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi
Kicking butts and eating nuts is always the answer.

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
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Of course astronauts greet you in heaven, why else would you want to go? Come to Paper Girls for the cute idea of an all-girl paper delivery team. Stay for the surreal feelings and oh god what’s going on this is not a cute paper route story, they have guns.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
A book without pictures! The author does some neat stuff with gender here. If that’s not a draw for you, the main character is an AI housed in a reanimated corpse. We probably can’t be friends if you need a third selling point.

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Uh, crimes as in they rob banks. Not like..sex crimes. Hands down the most clever comic I’ve ever read, and the best example of how to show nudity and not be objectifying. Even the letters pages are gold, so pick up single issues if you can.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
This interspecies couple just wants to raise their improbable baby in space-peace. The royalty with televisions for heads aren’t a subtle metaphor, but I’m still trying to work out what the talking baby seal stands for.

Podcasts

My excuse for how many episodes of 99% Invisible I have listed is that they are the best podcast in the world. Obviously.

Millennial
I’ve had a few people ask me, a millennial, to describe what a millennial is. This podcast is my new answer. The first season is sequential and so, so real.

The Nutshell Studies (Episode 165) by 99% Invisible
I was profoundly upset that Harvard gave these away.

Awareness (Episode 173) by 99% Invisible
I assumed that breast cancer ribbons were the first because of how popular they are. I was wrong.

Hard to Love a Brute (Episode 176) by 99% Invisible
Fine. I’ll try to find space in my heart to love the architecture of Boston City Hall.

Lawn Order (Episode 177) by 99% Invisible
I don’t know what it says about my personality that I really love plant crimes, but I really love plant crimes.

Reefer Madness (Episode 180) by 99% Invisible
This episode sounds like it should be about plant crimes. It’s not.

Miss Manhattan (Episode 200) by 99% Invisible
My new favorite episode. I have so many feelings about sculptures now.

The Giftschrank (Episode 203) by 99% Invisible
The internet needs a Giftschrank.

Unseen City (Episode 210) by 99% Invisible
Pigeon. Milk.

Unpleasant Design (Episode 219) by 99% Invisible
You know how some benches are so uncomfortable you can’t imagine how someone designed and thought it would make a good seat? It was probably on purpose.

Video


The One Moment – OK Go
I yelled at my computer when I realized how they were going to lip sync this one.

book recommendations, comic recommendations, monthly review, podcast recommendations

October 2016

I don’t blame you if you download all of the podcasts and borrow all of these books instead of following election coverage.
You have to leave your cocoon for a few minutes to vote, though.

Books

Some months I read books without pictures. This was not one of those months.

Comics in general tend to have a high barrier to entry for fans, but I got all of these from the library. I had the library buy Pretty Deadly so I could read it. Library cards are magic!

Nod Away by Joshua Cotter
The main character of this graphic novel is a female scientist. It takes place in space. There are other weird and cool things going on, but he had me at lady space scientists.

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Emma Rios, and Jordie Bellaire
Volume 2 made me cry. A comic book. I cried over a comic book. Pretty Deadly is the most beautiful comic I’ve ever read. Start with Volume 1 (obviously), and don’t worry if you have to read it twice to understand it. Once you get introduced to everyone it gets easier.

Giant Days by John Allison, Whitney Cogar, and Lissa Treiman

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I want to be Esther so badly. I just read Volume 1 and I am so excited for the rest.

Podcasts

There is a lot of 99% Invisible on here. I could pretend it’s because I met Roman Mars this month and was cramming to seem cool, but it’s not. That’s just what I do when I like things. I recommend every single episode. Here’s a few to get you started:

Cow Tunnels (Episode 115) by 99% Invisible
I’ve never been so delighted by an episode of a podcast in my life. Put on your headphones and listen to this before you read the text or look at the pictures.

Good Bread (Episode 137) by 99% Invisible
The history, racism, and religion of bread. Sliced bread was a big deal.

Guerilla Public Service (Episode 152) by 99% Invisible
My favorite kind of law breaking.

Coin Check (Episode 156) by 99% Invisible
An update to this story is that he now has a presidential challenge coin. I’ve held it.
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This is supposed to be the most rare, but I know in my heart that I would burn a pile of them for one NASA coin. (I realize that I can Ebay it. That’s cheating.)

Mystery House (Episode 162) by 99% Invisible
When I have time I’m going on a scavenger hunt for other historically crazy women who maybe just wanted careers. I would have been a witch for sure, because toads.

Wolf 359
I can’t recommend specific episodes because Wolf 359 is a serialized sci-fi podcast. If you think J.A.R.V.I.S. is sassy, you’ll love my girl Hera. I named my ukulele after her.

Melinda and Judy (Episode 53) by Criminal
This is the only type of true crime media I can deal with. Criminal isn’t gratuitous, exploitative, or gross. Check with me if you have content you’d like to avoid. This episode isn’t graphic, but it’s effed up.

News

Professor Rick Shine wins Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for work on cane toads
He named his cane toad Galadriel. That Galadriel. The one Tolkien said was “the greatest of elven women”. He gets me.