Culture Consumption: May 2016

For the past — I don’t know how long — I’ve been posting a monthly breakdown of the books and movies I’ve been watching with a short-ish review for every single one. But lately I haven’t had the time to write individual reviews. So I snagged the idea of Culture Consumption from Calico Writes, which combines all my monthly reading and watching and listening into one post.


Anne of Green GablesSince Nonbinary Review is currently open to submissions for its Anne of Green Gables themed issue and since I’m an associate editor for the Nonbinary, it only made sense that I should finally get around to reading the book that is the basis for the theme. The story of an bright-eyed, imaginative, and hard working orphan come to live with an elderly brother and sister has captured the hearts of many readers and, after reading it, I can see why. She’s a wonderful and moving character. I have a few thoughts on the experience of reading Anne as an adult, which I’m still trying to gather together into a blog post.

Of course, the reading of Anne of Green Gables led me to other children’s classics that I never got around to reading, like Margaret. So, this month turned into an accidental theme of “playing catchup with my childhood”.

1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
2. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood
3. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Total books for the year: 22


Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Only Lovers Left Alive is a languidly paced and beautifully filmed vampire movie that captures the despondency of immortality and watching the world change without being able to stay connected to it. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are both wonderful are two vampire lovers, who remain grounding forces in each other’s lives.

In a close second place for favorite movie of the month is The Witch with its gorgeous and eerie cinematography, perfectly discordant music, and unsettling storyline based on religious folklore from the 1600s.

This month provided quite a mix of fantastic alongside terrible movies this month and I’ve listed them below in order of best to worst.

1. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
2. The Witch (2015)
3. Tale of Tales (2015)
4. Attack the Block (2011)
5. The Avenging Conscience (1914)
6. Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
7. Mimesis (2011)
8. The Terror Experiment (2010)
9. The Demented (2013)


Scream Queens is a satirical slasher horror show about a group of sorority girls being hunted by a serial killer. It’s fabulous and glossy and funny and almost surreal in the way it handles the characters, many of fall into typical tropes (mean girl, good girl, rich jock, etc.) except that all of those tropes are either spun on their heads or made so extreme as to point out the very absurdity of the trope. My only complaint is that because of the slasher storyline (with bodies falling one after another almost every episode), the episodes can get a bit repetitive. Scream Queens has been renewed for season two and I’m curious and excited to see where they might take the continuing storyline.

Scream Queens

Although similar in premise, Scream (MTV’s slasher TV show based on the movie franchise of the same name) is thus far generic and bland in comparison to Scream Queens. Whereas, Scream Queens paints the characters into archetypes in order to satirize and toy with the tropes, Scream just dives right into the stereotypes without any deeper examination. At this point, I have not decided whether continuing with Scream is worth my time.

1. Death Comes to Pemberly (2013 miniseries) – This is also fabulous.
2. Scream Queens (season one)
3. Scream, (season one, episode one)


In “It Works Better In Movies,” episodes 56 of Here Be Monsters, Lina Misitzis talks about how she used to tell people that she was dying, even though she wasn’t. Her moving story illuminates the strange ways dying girls are romanticized in pop culture, and how that romanticization fed into her own issues creating a need to lie in order to feel special. This is an important episode, bringing to focus something about our society that merits more discussion, and it’s also

I also want to highlight two Drunk Monkeys episodes, because they both feature my fab friend Lise Quintana, who is an amazing writer and the founder of Zoetic Press. In the first episode, she does a reading of a couple of her stories along with Bud Smith and in the second episode she is featured in an interview.

Final note: Slums of Film History is back from its break! And it continues to be full of nudity and gore and other things in the back alleys of film history. Loving it.

I listen to a ton of podcasts these days (and I’m not accurately keeping track), so this is an incomplete list of the most memorable listens from this month.

Here Be Monsters 56: It Works Better in Movies
Here Be Monsters 55: Ghost Tape Number Ten
Here Be Monsters 54: Flaming Sword of Truth

Drunk Monkeys Radio: Filmcast #1 Elvis & Nixon
Drunk Monkeys Radio: Readings: Bud Smith & Lise Quintana
Drunk Monkeys Radio: Lise Quintana Interview

Slums of Film History: Episode 13: Toxic Waste
Slums of Film History: Episode 14: The Golden Age of Porn
Slums of Film History: Episode 15: Head Trauma

The Poetry Magazine Podcast: May 2016: “My Darling Turns to Poetry at Night”

Alice Isn’t Dead: Part 1, Chapter 5: Signs & Wonders
Alice Isn’t Dead: Part 1, Chapter 6: Sylvia
Alice Isn’t Dead: Part 1, Chapter 7: Let’s Break into a Police Station

Welcome to Night Vale: 88 – Things Fall Apart

Scriptnotes Podcast: 248 – Pitching an Open Assignment
Scriptnotes Podcast: 249 – How to Introduce Characters
Scriptnotes Podcast: 251 – They Won’t Even Read You

Imaginary Worlds: Humans: New & Improved
Imaginary Worlds: The Robot Uprising

Apex Magazine Podcast: “She Gave Her Heart, He Took Her Marrow” by Sam Flemming
Apex Magazine Podcast: “Six Things We Found During the Autopsy” by Kuzhali Manickavel
Apex Magazine Podcast: “Pocosin” by Ursula Vernon
Apex Magazine Podcast: “Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon

Podcastle: 414: The Men from Narrow Houses by Rachael K. Jones
Podcastle: 416: Braid of Days and Wake of Nights by E. Lily Yu

Lightspeed Magazine: Seanan McGuire – The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch
Lightspeed Magazine: An Owomoyela – Three Points Masculine

First month’s list done! Woo! Things may change as I get used to the new format, but yay!

What are you reading? Watching? Loving right now?