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What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing

Um, the last one of these I did was in September. Yikes! I am a bit behind! And I'm still mulling over my 2021 goals, but that post is incoming soon. 


The Dresden Files 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

When we left off here I had just finished #13, and since then I have finished the series all the way up through the two new releases! Of course, by the time I got to the last few I was just ready to be done with the series and read something else, but I did enjoy the new installments overall.  Peace Talks was a little slow, and Battle Grounds was a little bit grueling--it was pretty clear that they were meant to be one book but someone up the pyramid decided that it should be two books instead, which I think is what threw off the pacing. As a series, it's INCREDIBLE how much the characters have changed and grown over the course of the series, and incredibly rewarding too. Reading them all in a row like that was an interesting experience...remember when Harry could only do like tracking spells and didn't even have his blasting rod? And that time he stayed awake for like 50 hours or something? And that time that he wore sweatpants and a bathrobe to the Wizard Council Arthur Dent style? So many good memories, so many ridiculous outfits. I want to do an in depth series review and tap John and Diana and Gunnar for their opinions too, but I have not had time lately. It's on my to-do list! 

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

The latest installment in the Stormlight Archives was a big one! I was SO excited to read this and it was definitely worth the wait! There were some amazing revelations and character growth's hard to talk about this one without spoilers, but I will say that if you haven't read The Stormlight Archives, you should! The first in this series and the first Mistborn book are both good places to start with Sanderson's works if you are interested in getting into the "Cosmere" as his universe of novels are called. Stormlight is more high fantasy and Mistborn is a steampunk heist type of setting, and both are good in their own way, though I personally like Stormlight better.

As for this installment in particular, Adolin is one of my favorite characters and he features heavily in this one. A lot of people write him off as dumb because he's not politically savvy and he likes duels and fashion, but I admire how earnest, loyal, and determined he is. I also really liked Navani's chapters. I kinda...okay I really identify with her imposter syndrome that is just raging all around her as she does incredible things. 

I'm glad that Sanderson writes fast, because I really can't wait for the next one already! And thankfully, Sanderson writes quickly so it shouldn't be that long of a wait!

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I wasn't feeling like moving on to another fantasy series just yet, so I decided to fill myself in on a standalone Sanderson novel that I hadn't read yet. My library had this one on audiobook, so I decided to give it a listen! And I loved it! I had to listen on 1.5 fast forward (John can listen on 3x but he's crazy) and I mostly listened while I sewed in the evenings. I really enjoyed it and I'm glad that I read it! 

Cradle: Unsouled by Will Wight

John got me this book for by birthday this year and I just got around to finishing it. It's very Naruto/ninja fiction, which I loved, but...more grown up and slightly less ridiculous. There are definitely some surprises, I'm going along, ninja kid doing his thing, and then all of a sudden there is a new character flying through outer space and I was like...wait, what?? So yeah, it's fun and surprising and cool. It is part one of an 8 part series, and I think I'd like read the rest! 



I got this one for my birthday and it was a hit! Especially with Jack! This game is a cute little risk-like factions game that has a pretty steep learning curve and took me way too many youtube tutorials to figure out all the rules, but we've been having fun playing it as a family. 

Terraforming Mars

Gunnar and I have been playing this one a lot because HE LOVES IT. I find it a little bit tedious, but I don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it. It had also gotten easier as we play it a few more times, and it's one of those rare games that actually seems to go faster with more players. (Well, depending on who you play with of course!) It's a strategy game and it can be competitive, but we generally play in a fairly cooperative way, not directly sabotaging each other and instead working together to get Mars liveable. It is satisfying to watch the board fill up with little green and blue hexies, and when you get a really good production mechanic in place that helps genera rate resources for you too. Gunnar often falls into the trap of wanting to do too much and not investing heavily enough in one strategy, and I tend to not think through decisions and just focus on the "next thing." I can't wait until Jack is old enough to play this one, I think he'll really love it! 

Call to Adventure: The Stormlight Archives

We love the game Call to Adventure, and we love the Name of the Wind expansion--so  I was super excited to get The Stormlight Archives version! It's all the good parts of Call to Adventure but with the bonus of the amazing art featuring characters from Stormlight. It also has a really cohesive feel as far as building a character in that world, but sometimes can tie you up a bit as you play, since it feels weird to make a character who doesn't follow the same path as the characters who the card is based on do. 

Other Games We've been Playing: Reef, Memory, Catan, SushiGO, You've Got Crabs, and since Christmas, I've been building lots and lots of legos with my boys! 


So many things! 
The Mandalorian of course, which is the perfect Star Wars show in EVERY WAY and I will fight you if you disagree. We are trying to convince our older kids that Miles' middle name is actually Grogu. (It's Gabriel). I won't put a bunch of spoilers here but it is seriously so good. 

 Enola Holmes was just okay. It was very YA but not in a good way and I admit I am a little bit of a Sherlock Holmes snob. I've read all the stories and consider Watson and Holmes to be dear friends of mine, and I just...didn't love this adaptation. I can see why people DO like it, it wasn't my cup of tea. 

You know what was my cup of tea? Bridgerton. It's very steamy and definitely earns is MA rating, but the costumes are SO FUN and the drama is SO GOOD--well, it's so good if you like classic romance tropes that include sexy dukes, fake courtships, and scandalous gossip--which I do! I've heard people complain that the costumes aren't historical enough, but I don't care about that. They are dramatic and theatrical and beautiful and I love them. I've also heard people complain about the casting but I absolutely don't understand why--I thought that the diversity was a great step forward in inclusivity. 

Gunnar declined to watch Bridgerton with me, but we both watched and enjoyed His Dark Materials season 2, which I think actually still has a few episodes. I haven't read the books in many years, but from what I remember of them, it has been a very faithful adaptation so far. They do a great job balancing the whimsical with the realistic, and Lyra and Will are both very well portrayed. 

We're also partway through the current season of The Expanse and really enjoying that too. I wasn't a huge fan of the previous season, but so far I'm liking this season much more. 

I'm sure there's more that we've watched since September, but I can't remember. I'll try and do better  in 2021!