the Little Red Reviewer

September Reading Update

Posted on: September 11, 2021

It’s been so hot and humid lately, almost hard to believe it is nearly autumn! the sun is coming up later in the morning, and the acorns are plink-plinking off the trees and on to the driveway, the purple cone flowers are dying, and the hostas are starting to look done. Yep, summer is over. The house is surrounded by oaks, hickories, maples, cherry trees, and is that a beech tree? I can’t wait to see all the beautiful fall foliage colors! and good god, the raking. So. Much. Raking. Even if we get a leaf blower, it’ll be hours of leaf blowing. I’ve been reading, some. watching a TON of tv. I can’t help it, there is a ton of great TV on Netflix and HBO right now! I’m also buying way too many cookbooks, buying weird squashes I’ve never heard of at the farmer’s market, watching the birds, making this recipe on repeat, and following around the toads in the front yard. We have toads! they are so cute! AND? Today I got a library card, and walked around one of the downtown parks. This city has so many nice parks. and the ladies at the library were so nice!

ok, so this picture does NOT do this park justice. ok, so it’s a teeny tiny park, with a path and a bridge over the river, and a little island you can get to from another bridge. i loved the sound of the water gurgling over rocks. and I’m pretty sure I saw a heron! DEFINATELY going to this park again!

that picture doesn’t do it justice, at all.

anyway, BOOKS! been reading slower than usual, been struggling to concentrate lately. here’s what I’ve read recently and #amreading:

I finished reading Tower of Swallows by Andrej Sapkowski, it was good, not great. Yes, I know I’m reading these out of order, I still can’t find half of them after the move. I don’t know if they are double stacked on the back of a bookshelf or still in a box that we haven’t unpacked yet. I found this one, so I read it. The Siri parts were great! and the Geralt parts were great! all the other parts were just meh. I do want to dig out the rest of our Witcher books and read them, but this likely is one I won’t read again.

#amreading Passage by Connie Willis. ok, so first I thought this would be similar to Crosstalk? lol, it is not like that book AT ALL. Good thing this book takes place before we all had cellphones in our pockets, so much of the Willis style running around and not being able to talk to the person you’re looking for because every damn person just needs to talk to you for just a minute! and the main character is too polite to tell any of these distractions to jump in a lake, so it’s hours and HOURS until she can finally get to the person she’s trying to find. if this story took place in the age of cellphones, she’d just go to the bathroom, hide in a stall, and chat via text message to the person she’s trying to reach. I’m frustrated by the main character’s passivity, but enjoying the story as a whole. And come on, this is Willis, of course I can’t put the book down!

#amreading Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man, by Steve Alpert. Yes, this is a non-fiction book about Studio Ghibli! Steve Alpert had worked for Disney and had also lived in Japan, so he was hired to be the Disney liaison to Studio Ghibli. Much of the book is about when Princess Mononoke was released in the US, and the Disney had no idea what to do with that movie, they kept asking who was the bad guy, wanting romance to be added to it, and assuming it was a kids movie since it was animated. Alpert gives an incredible behind the scenes look of what it was like working at Studio Ghibli and trying to translate Japanese culture to Hollywood. I’m purposely reading this book as slow as I can, because I don’t want it to end! if you are interested in Studio Ghibli, this is the book for you!

I need these guys in our backyard

oh, and I also went to the library in our new city and got a library card! here’s what caught my eye:

What If by Randall Munroe was always one of those “interesting” books that I was interested in, but wasn’t interested in owning, if that makes any sense. I’m not sure if xkcd is still going, but man did I obsessing read xkcd back in the day!

I’d asked on twitter for recommendations for “contemporary romance books with sexy sex”, and Welcome to Temptation and a few other Jennifer Crusie books were mentioned among other titles. I’ve been struggling to concentrate on “heavy” stuff, work has been drama+stress, so maybe some fluffy romance will do me some good.

Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge was on the “new” shelf, and i swear this book jumped off the shelf and into my arms, like a kitten! So of course I had to get it.

I’ve been watching a TON of TV lately. I blame our comfy living room. we’ve got this big picture window, and when i look out it’s all green. all trees and leaves and birds. Plus the pretty rug under the sofa, and I love this room! Anyway, lots of great stuff on Netflix and HBO:

(Right now we just have netflix and HBO. might get Amazon prime, likely not going to get Disney+)

Clickbait (Netflix) – so, so, SO good!!! 8 episodes, and you should plan to watch them all over one weekend. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different character, which in a book would make me throw that book across the room, but it worked really well on TV! The writing and directing in this show is freakin’ fantastic. It’s a murder mystery, think Broadchurch meets Twin Peaks, plus the insanity of social media. The main character, Pia, isn’t super likeable, but I think that’s why I liked her so much? She’s impulsive and has no filter, and is angry her brother being dead. And that last episode? WHAT A TWIST HOLY SHIT! you know how with murder mysteries, once you know the end, you don’t need to read the book or see the movie again? I want to watch this again!

The Other Two, S2 (HBO)- I’m only a few episodes in, and so far this isn’t as good as the first season, but apparently if Molly Shannon is in something, I have to watch it?

Money Heist (Netflix) – hype and advertising annoys me, and WOW did Netflix advertise the hell out of this. So for months I didn’t touch it. On a lark, I gave it a try, and it is SO GOOD! I’m watching it in Spanish with English subtitles (I think there is an English version if you don’t like subtitles?). A bunch of thieves break into the Royal Mint of Spain, and lock themselves and a bunch of hostages inside. One of their goals is to have no blood – no one gets hurt, no one gets killed. Their other goal? that would be a spoiler! the mastermind guy is fascinating, and the police negotiator needs her own show! And of course as the episodes continue we get to know each thief better, and what their motivations were to take this job. It’s not just me who thinks this show is fantastic, it won an International Emmy Award for best Drama in 2018. I’ve been binging the hell out of this show!

Prospect (Netflix) – This is Dust’s first full length movie, they are known for excellent scifi shorts. This movie was good, but not great? Cee and her dad have just enough money for a shitty pod to get down to a planet to prospect for gems. Everything goes wrong, and now Cee’s only way off the planet is the rival prospector Ezra. I really liked Cee. She’s observant, likes talking about her favorite book series. Ezra realizes pretty quickly that Cee isn’t responsible for any of the idiot choices that brought her to this planet. Ok, so I really liked the idea behind this movie, but Oh. My. God. Was. Ezra. Annoying. i swear, the movie is mostly him talking and never getting to the fucking point. With Ezra’s character having been written/directed/voiced just a smidge differently, this could have been a damn awesome movie. Because of Cee and what she goes through, thinking about her, it makes me want to read True Grit, or watch that movie. Cee was cool.

so that’s what I’ve been up to, how about you?

4 Responses to "September Reading Update"

I’m gonna have to wishlist that Ghibli book, it sounds fascinating.

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i wish it was longer! Alpert was with Ghibli for 10-15 years, he’s got to have volumes of stories.

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Wonderful. Today first rainfall since early March, we are in such a deep drought. Got new glasses, but not doing much reading, other than the newest one by William Kent Krueger, Lightning Strike. Mystery, his Cork O’Connor series, a prequel. I reread the first Jodi Taylor Chronicles of St. Mary’s novel, loved it so much. Great series!

Hope your Fall color is amazing!

Liked by 1 person

we’re just at the start of fall color, the barest blush on the tree tops. the weeds are dying back, which makes it easier to see back into the woods and up the hill, so that’s nice.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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