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What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing: November

What I'm Reading

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

This novella was AMAZING and well deserving of it's Nebula/Hugo wins! More happened in the first 30 pages of this book than in the entireity of some of the Wheel of Time books. (Joking! Kinda...) I'm not going to give too much away, it's super short and I recommend you just read it, but the culture, the aliens, and the technology were all very cool and interesting twists on the normal sci-fi experience. Read it!

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

This one was as terrible as the first one was good. I was cringing through the entire thing and wondering why on Earth the author was dragging us through so much pointless teen angst. Even the sci-fi elements that were so cool and interesting in the first book became boringly over explained in this one. Why???? I pushed through in the hope that the third one would be better, and because the first one was so good, and because it was so short.

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

This one took a turn towards being better, but still didn't live up to the first installment. While the plot and pacing was good, and the technology was used in a cool and surprising way, a few of the tropes were just so badly done I wanted to pull my hair when she was convinced her family was dead but they were alive all along and she just refused to go and check and be thanks. Overall it was just mediocre and I didn't love the second or third parts of this series, which is disappointing because the first one was so amazing.

The Edge of Every Day by Marin Sardy

This definitely reads more like a collection of essays and musings than a traditional memoir, and was a little bit boring at times, but the meat of this book was really interesting, sad, and informative. The author in this book tells the story of her childhood in Anchorage Alaska with her schizophrenic mother and then the sad decline and eventual death  of her brother due to the same illness. I don't know much about schizophrenia other than what I learned in my high school psychology class, and it was fascinating and heartbreaking to read about her real life experience with dealing with it in her family.

Bellweather by Connie Willis

This wasn't so much a sci-fi novel as it was a romance novel about scientists. It wasn't bad, but it definitely wasn't what I was expecting. The whole time I was reading this I was waiting for the two scientists to discover somethings sci-fi worthy or to go in a strange direction, but instead they just...fell in love. It was well written and funny, but fiction.

Below Stairs: the classic kitchen maid's memoir that inspired "Upstairs, downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"  by Margaret Powell

This hilarious, matter-of-fact memoir was a quick and fun read! It wasn't particularly literary, but had the feel of a gossipy old aunt telling you the good and bad of how things were "back in the day." I could see the personality of  both Daisy the kitchen maid and Mrs. Patterson the cook from Downton Abbey in Margaret Powell's voice and experiences. I loved it!

What I'm Watching

His Dark Materials

I read these books as a young adult and really loved them. The movie that came out a few years ago was not so good, but I was looking forward to giving this adaptation a chance...and I'm glad I have. We're three episodes in and I can say that it's AMAZING. This series really brings Lyra and the world to life. The few changes that have been made are definitely for the better and I look forward to how they play out. Gunnar, who never read the books, is really enjoying it too. I can't wait to see the rest of this series!

What I'm Playing

Untitled Goose Game

I let the kids watch me play this and they just laughed and laughed and then I explained to them how they are the real gooses in my life because they break my stuff, hide things from me, and make little inane messes all over the place, and they just laughed some more. But really, this game is quick, charming, and silly but lots of fun!