#T5W: Underrated Books

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I love this topic of discussion, because it gives me a chance to talk about books that I feel aren’t read enough. I’m as guilty as anyone for reading hyped books and propped books and the things that probably don’t need another voice in their corner. But there’s something especially satisfying about discovering a wonderful book that hasn’t been talked about. So here are my recommendations for your next under-hyped reads.

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Upcoming Releases of 2017

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It’s time again to talk about my most anticipated upcoming releases. So far. As always, this list will probably grow as the year unfolds. For now, let’s have a look at what to expect.

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle (February 7, 2017) Wolf in White Van had some hype around it when it first came out, and it sounded off the beaten path, so I tried it. I loved it. I’m talking new favorite book levels of love. That means I’m very hyped for this. Darnielle seems to like telling stories with retro, nostalgic trappings, so this one revolves around a video rental store. Remember those? The main character works at just such a place, and he starts getting complaints from customers. The VHS tapes have scenes replaced with footage from a nearby barn, and the spliced in scenes are simple and yet sinister. This sounds deliciously unsettling, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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#T5W: Favorite Polarizing Books

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5. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This is one where even I feel polarized. As in I still don’t know how I feel about it. While this is often advertised as the dark and gritty Harry Potter, to my utter delight, it turned out to be the dark and gritty Narnia. For most of the book, I was loving it. Tearing through it and just eating up all the references. Then the main character started being a selfish punk, and it kept getting worse, and I couldn’t understand why he was so blind to his own bad behavior. It resulted in some horrible decisions that made it feel like if you could step into the book and slap some sense into him, the whole thing would’ve been fine. I found that frustrating. As a result, I haven’t gone on to the second book. I side-eye it often and can’t decide if I want to endure it. Yet most of my experience with the first book was good. And I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way.

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Rise of the Antihero: Deadpool and Suicide Squad

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There’s simply no denying that two of the highest grossing movies in 2016 were superhero films wherein the characters weren’t heroes. Hollywood has done this sort of thing in the past, disparate studios releasing movies with the same basic thrust at the same time, accidentally creating a kind of phenomenon. For me, the idea of antiheroes becoming the norm is an interesting idea for our current atmosphere. Let’s discuss.

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Reading Wrap-Up: November and December 2016

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The reading slump continues, but I am getting a few things in here and there. With that in mind, here’s a current rundown of my latest reads. They’re all short and token efforts, so definitely don’t get too excited.

The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler (My Rating: 5/5) For transparency’s sake, I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. I entered not even realizing this short story ties into a previous book by the author. I honestly thought the synopsis sounded interesting, and it turned out it was. Though I will say it felt a little sneaky, since the summary made the story sound like a fantastical/magical-realism thing, and it’s really not. It still took me by surprise, and I loved it. It was also blessedly short, being only a small story, and it allowed me to accomplish something at a time when I felt like I wasn’t.

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Review: Star Trek Beyond

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First, it needs to be addressed that I’m a weird Trekkie. The first reboot film in 2009 is what brought me to the Star Trek fandom. I watched some of the original series and thought it was all right. Sacrilege, I’m sure some of you are crying. Then I found The Next Generation. There it suddenly was. My brand of Trek. Everyone has the incarnation that is their baby, and I don’t judge anyone for whichever show or set of films that is. Even in discovering that Next Gen was definitely my favorite, the reboot films are still beloved by me. You’re always going to show favor to whatever brought you to the dance, even among naysayers.

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Top 10 Books of 2016

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Happy New Year! A lot happened last year, good and bad. (Let’s not even talk about 2016 getting its last shots in as December was winding down.) There’s a lot I could talk about, but I think I’ll celebrate this new year by discussing my top 10 favorite books that I read. I’m not exactly special here, as everyone is doing this, but I’ll add my list to the pile all the same. Continue reading