Culture Consumption: November & December 2017

Hi, all. Hope you’ve had a good November. Here’s my month in books, movies, and television.


Tipping the VelvetTipping the Velvet presents the life and times of Nancy Astly, an oyster girl, who falls in love with male impersonator Kitty Butler. After forming a friendship with Kitty, she follows her into the theaters of London, where she works as a dresser (helping Kitty with costumes) before becoming a performer herself. This beautifully told story is a sensual exploration of love and the ability of gender roles. Waters is a master of historical fiction and I loved this almost as much as I loved Fingersmith.

Let it Die Hungry by Caits Meissner is a book that includes powerful poetry, poetic comics, and writing prompts from a class she taught at a woman’s prison. The combination and mixture of words and image and prompts makes for an engaging, fascinating read — one that I’ll be perusing many times more to see what new delights I can discover.

Books Finished Last Two Months:
1. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
2. Tender: Stories by Sofia Samatar
3. The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower #3 by Stephen King (my in-depth thoughts here)
4. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
5. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
6. Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma by Melanie Brooks
7. Locke & Key: Small World, written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez
8. Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth by written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez
9. Let it Die Hungry by Caits Meissner

Total Books for the Year: 48

Still in Progress at the End of the Month: Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson


I wrote about some of these in my Top Ten Horror and Top Ten Movies in general lists. But I’ll briefly say that both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok delighted me when I saw them in theaters recently. They were funny and surprising and totally fun. I enjoyed them.

Raw and Gerald’s Game are two horror movies that explore the experiences of women — although in very different ways. Both made me squirm at some of the graphic things that go down.

I’m a little short on time, so please comment, if you want to know my thoughts on any other others on this list.

New-to-me Movies watched over the last two months:
1. 1922 (2017)
2. Good Time (2017)
3. Okja (2017)
4. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
5. Rabid (1977)
6. War of the Worlds: American Experience (2013)
7. An American Werewolf in London (1989)
8. Bound by Flesh (2012)
9. Lady Bird (2017)
10. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
11. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
12. Raw (2016)
13. Bright (2017)
14. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
15. Gerald’s Game (2017)


I watched Stranger Things 2 early in November and have been meaning to post about it ever since. As a huge fan of the first season, I was excited going in to the follow up season with hopes high. While Stranger Things 2 was not perfect, it certainly didn’t disappoint, hitting all the right notes with the characters and thrills.

In no particular order (and with minimal spoilers), here are my four favorite things about Stranger Things 2

1. Bob Newby – When Bob Newby was first introduced as a love interest for Joyce Byers, I wasn’t sure what I thought of him, but he quickly grew on me. He’s sweet and a little bit goofy, kind and well meaning. He treats both Joyce and her kids well, supporting them in when he can and trying hard to be a father figure. He cares, and when things get bad, he’s incredibly brave. It’s also awesome that this character is played by Sean Astin, who stared in the kinds of ’80s movies Stranger Things pays homage to. More on why Bob Newby is awesome on Vulture.

hopper and eleven

2. Hopper and Eleven – One of the early reveals is that Eleven has been cared for by Hopper and hidden away in a cabin. They’re interactions — the way he touches her head affectionally, the way she smiles at him — are super sweet, with both clearly finding a family in each other. Their arguments are pretty rad, too, and all I can say is that it must be hell trying to raise a teenage with telekinetic powers.

3. Dustin and Dart – Dustin is pretty much my favorite of the kids from the show. He’s charming and funny and was an important voice of reason in season one. When he finds a little creature in his garbage can and adopts it in season two, I was delighted by how adorable he was about caring for it — even though it was clear that nothing good could come from it. When Dustin figures out just what his new pet is, the way he handles the situation is hilarious.

4. Steve Harrington, a.k.a. A Pretty Damn Good Babysitter, a.k.a. Mom – Out of all the characters in season one, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) probably showed the most development, going from cool-kid jerk to an okay dude, someone who steps up when needed and does his best to make up for being a dick. In season two, this progression goes even further, revealing Steve to be an all around great guy, especially when it comes to being a friend to the kids, particularly Dustin. It’s funny and awesome to see.

I also binged on X-Files, watching seasons 1-3 and Inuyasha season 6-7.

The X-Files was my favorite show once upon a time and I would watch it obsessively on Sundays with my dad. It’s been interesting returning to the show — with 24 hour-long episodes per season, it’s quite an undertaking to try to rewatch them. It’s also interesting to see the episodes in bulk like this (compared to on a weekly basis, as I did before), as I’m seeing how hit-and-miss and repetitive it could be some times. Seriously, I wanted to start counting how many times Mulder asking Scully why she couldn’t believe in the face of what she’s seen, and her replying that she relied on facts and evidence — because that conversation happens SO much. I still love this show. Though I’m needing to take a bit of break from it before launching in again. Also, I don’t think I’ll binge quite so heavily in the future.

That’s it for me! What are you reading? Watching? Loving right now?