TBR Jar: Indie book

I finally finished Biketopia edited by Ellie Blue. Like her previous collection, it was full of compelling and tightly written short fiction. Unlike zombies in the last anthology, this one focuses on dystopias.

I’ve been keeping up with rating individual stories in anthologies to see if my average matches my overall rating.

  • Riding in Place – 5/5
  • Taming the Beast – 3.5/5
  • Meet Cute – 4/5
  • Signal Lost – 5/5
  • Portlandtown – 4/5
  • Fast Learner – 4/5
  • Day 3658 – 4/5
  • Shelter – 5/5
  • Questions with the First – 4/5
  • The Future Of Flirtation – 3/5
  • Maaike’s Aquatic Center for Bicycles Raised by Fishes – 5/5
  • Book Reviews – 3/5

My overall rating would be a 4 out of 5 and my average was 4.13. I really love these collections and highly recommend them.

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Media Monday: BookTubers

These are the BookTubers that always make it to the top of my watch list.

Books and Pieces

A cheery Brit who loves sci-fi, fantasy, and strong female characters.

Getting Hygge with It

A Canadian woman who likes historical fiction, horror, and thrillers.

ChapterStackss

A young woman who enjoys thrillers, horror, and fiction.

Sophie Carlon

A feisty Aussie who loves the Tudors, strong women, magical realism, and anything a bit weird.

Books with Emily Fox

A French Canadian with a love of fantasy, sci-fi, and the occasional classic.

A Book Olive

An American woman who loves nonfiction, books on birds, and Russian literature.

Rincey Reads

A Chicago contributor to Book Riot who likes fiction, history, and reading diversely.

Insert Literary Pun Here

A woman who loves literary fiction and has very intelligent and critical reviews.

Mercy’s Bookish Musings

A British woman who likes literary fiction, magical realism, and hard hitting nonfiction.

Jen Campbell

An author, editor, literary prize judge, and reader, this Brit adores poetry, magical realism, literary fiction, and most things to do with fairy tales.

Deadpool 2 Review/Rant

I saw Deadpool 2 recently and I’m a big fan of the merc with a mouth. The first movie was pitch perfect so I knew it was going to be hard to live up to. I knew this yet I’m still disappointed.

What follows is a rant about what I think needed tweaking with Deadpool 2. SPOILERS abound.

Too many meta jokes

We all enjoy Deadpool’s fourth wall breaking but they overdid it here. We did not need a Hulk, Thanos, and Winter Soldier joke. These meta cracks were at a 12 when they should have been at a 7 or 8. This is not the only thing that makes Pool Pool.

Undoing a happy ending

The previous movie ended happily so let’s undo that. I hated it when Infinity War did it, I hated it when Deadpool does it. I’m not sure why Vanessa dying was necessary. I get why the decision was made story-wise but I don’t have to like it. There has got to be a better way for character growth beyond torturing the protagonist.

X-Farce

The team lasted around 5 minutes. The Vanisher was a fun joke, Zeitgeist’s death was close to cannon, and Shatterstar was never a BFD in the comics but I am genuinely offended at how they wasted Terry Cruz. In my head cannon, he is resuscitated and back for the third film.

More Final Boss

For all the foreshadowing and buildup to the final mutant boss, I’m still pretty ignorant about movie Juggernaut. What’s his deal? Who is his brother? Why is he a bad guy? Who are we dealing with? It wasn’t clear why I was supposed to care as much as I should. He’s tough to beat but you can and should do better.

Pros

Domino is awesome, Cable is very interesting, Negasonic and Yukio brought some representation, and Blind Al is always fun. There’s excellent fight scenes, higher stakes, and more interpersonal drama. Despite my complaints, it’s not a bad movie.

Conclusion

If the first Deadpool was 5 stars, this was a 3.5. Entertaining but it almost felt like it was trying too hard at times. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it but I loved the first one. It was hard to live up to and 2 had a misleading trailer. I’m hoping the Blu-Ray will bring deleted scenes that will add to the story.

U Is for Uncomfortable and Undoing

I was completely blown away by Morgan Jerkins This Will Be My Undoing. It is an honest, intelligent, and poetic memoir about being a black woman in America.

I was amazed at Jerkins’s brutal honesty about her personal struggles, dating mishaps, and human failings. She is unapologetically flawed and doesn’t hide from it. It was uncomfortable at times but many of us need to be made uncomfortable to embrace black womanhood in all its forms.

Jerkins also ties her personal experiences with the larger history and culture of blackness in America. How has slavery impacted the black psyche today? How does police brutality complicate a black woman’s desire to be safe? These connections flow in and out of her pets stories with ease.

This is a fantastic work of nonfiction and I think everyone should read it. Any review I create will not do it justice. 5/5

Media Monday: Pods I’m Behind On

I enjoy these shows but there’s a finite amount of time in the day so I’m behind on these gems.

Pod Save the People

I’m just going to quote the website: “DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics through deep conversations with influencers and experts.”

Welcome to Night Vale

An audio-drama about a small town where very weird is very normal.

Jim Harold’s Paranormal Pod

Jim Harold interviews different folks about strange paranormal events and phenomenon.

Jim Harold’s Campfire

Instead of pros, ordinary folks call in to tell Jim about their paranormal experiences

May Wrap-Up and June TBR

I actually managed to read down my TBR quite a bit this month.

May Wrap-Up

Manfried the Man by Major & Bastow

A cat who isn’t great at adulting and his pet man. At its core, it’s about growing up, taking responsibility, and making the best of your life. 5/5

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

A horror novel about the Donner Party. It stays true to the major events while adding an undercurrent of fear and malevolence. 4/5

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung

A delightful insight into an introvert’s inner world 5/5

Widow’s Point by Richard & Billy Chizmar

A haunted AF lighthouse with a bloody history and a famed paranormal investigator determined to spend the weekend. What could go wrong? 4/5

Perils Ahead by Jeremy Vinar

A fun and quick look at life inside a D&D dungeon. 5/5

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

A beautiful and brutal story of a school shooting as told by four students. 5/5

And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O’Connell

An honest memoir about a woman who became a mom before she was ready. I really appreciated her brutal honesty about her birth experience and feeling inadequate as a mom. However, O’Connell had a lot of privilege that she never acknowledged. 4/5

Comics You Should Read About Stuff And Things by Rosscott Nover

I’m somewhat acquainted with the artist so I was happy to finally see his second collection to come out. Fun and silly. 5/5

Dog’s Unleashed by Tamsin Pickeral

I got this from the B&N bargain section. It had a lot of interesting breeds not fully recognized by the AKC but needed to clarify what some of terms meant at the outset. 4/5

June TBR

I’ve got my toe in several different books and I’d really like to wrap them all up.

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

I’m about halfway through this library hold and am blown away.

Biketopia edited by Elly Blue

My indie book I started for my TBR Jar pick.

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman

Getting Hygge With It said it was more of a western than a horror novel. I’m curious to see if that’s true about a comatose woman being buried alive.

TBR Jar pick: Hype

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

This is the very buzzy book that helped catch the Golden State Killer. It is very hyped right now.

I’ve got some others I’m hoping to pick up but I don’t want to commit to anything just yet. Who knows what library holds will be coming in?

Media Monday: Podcasts I Love

I try very hard to stay on top of these pods.

Pod Save America

Former Obama staffers discussing current events impacting our country.

Pod Save the World

Former Obama staffers discussing current events impacting the world.

Keep It

Pod Save but about pop culture.

Lovett or Leave It

Pod Save America meets Wait, Wait

Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me

NPR’s weekly comedy news show. It’s clean and mixes major news with sillier stories.

Can I Pet Your Dog?

When keeping track of the news of the world gets to be too depressing, switch to this pod. One review described the hosts as “too happy.” It’s for unapologetic dog lovers and has created an entire community of friends and dog lovers.

Reading Glasses

Two west coast readers discuss various book tech, reader problems, and interview a cool bookish person. A must listen for any bibliophile.

Here to Make Friends

Two feminist contributors at HuffPo lovingly snark on The Bachelor franchise. This pod is only active while the show, or one of its spin-offs, is airing so it’s easier to keep up.