What I Enjoyed, January 2017

Thoughts on the books, films, and music I enjoyed in February 2017—A Wizard of Earthsea, Game of Thrones, and more.

January 2017 was an unfortunately busy month for me. It was the kind of busy that threw off my balance, and I’m working on trying to find it again. Outside of work, I spent most of my time working on my personal projects, with some book reading and television watching mixed in.

Books

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

I read A Wizard of Earthsea mostly while riding the bus. It felt fitting to be on the move while I followed along with Ged’s adventure. I enjoyed A Wizard of Earthsea quite a bit, so I wrote a full review of it.

I started The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin after finishing A Wizard of Earthsea, but I’m still early on and am not ready to share my thoughts yet.

Music

January was a pretty low-key music month for me. I continued to listen to the Blade Runner soundtrack a whole lot, which gets better with each listen.

Meat is Murder by The Smiths

I decided to buy Meat is Murder by The Smiths, since I really enjoy their self-titled album and The Queen is Dead. I don’t think Meat is Murder is nearly as good as them. “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” is the standout song on the album for me. “Well I Wonder” is another highlight. The rest of the songs fall flat and don’t do much for me. Maybe the album will grow on me with time? I’ll continue to slowly work my way through The Smiths’ discography.

Disintegration by The Cure

I had never intentionally listened to The Cure until last month. My friend Gahlord gave me a recommendation to listen to Disintegration first. Wow, what an album. There’s not a song I don’t like. It’s 72 minutes of fantastic music. The album has such a special atmosphere and mood.

It was difficult to choose my favorite songs from the album, but here they are:

  • “Untitled”
  • “Disintegration”
  • “Closedown”

I’m not sure which The Cure album I’ll go for next, but the bar has been set pretty darn high.

Movies

La La Land

My partner and I went to see La La Land in theaters, which was a nice evening. I enjoyed the music and Ryan Gosling’s character’s obsession with jazz. I thought Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s performances were pretty good. I don’t think the movie is by any means incredible, but I think it’s worth a watch.

Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire

To my surprise, I fell down the Game of Thrones rabbit hole in January. My partner had never watched Game of Thrones, so we started the series. The last season I had watched was season four, so I picked up where I left off and have been watching season five and six in parallel with the earlier seasons.

I dislike the extremely graphic depictions of violence in the show, but the plot and world are so engrossing. There’s also some questionable direction for the action shots in some episodes, and some of the storylines have begun to drag in the later seasons. Overall the show is well done.

To my surprise again, I began listening to the audiobook of A Game of Thrones. I started reading A Game of Thrones in 2015 and got halfway through it, but I never finished it. The audiobook seemed like a nice change of pace, and I’ve never listened to one before, so I decided to go for it. The narration is pleasant, even if a few of the narrator’s character voices sound ridiculous. The audiobook format works well while on the bus and taking walks. If I continue with the novels, I’m not sure if I’ll keep listening to the audiobooks or switch to reading. Time will tell.

Author: Brett Chalupa

day: software developer, night: comic artist

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