Thursday, February 28, 2019

media update: February

Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; double asterisks are reserved for the creme de la creme.  As always, your mileage may vary.


1. Freefall* by Jessica Barry:  After surviving a private plane crash in the Colorado Rockies, Allison has to fight her way through the wilderness.  Meanwhile, her estranged mother Maggie, believing Allison is dead, is determined to find out what her daughter had been up to during the two years they hadn't spoken.  An exciting read that I tore through in one day.

2. You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian:  A collection of short stories (including the 2017 viral sensation "Cat Person") that, to quote the jacket, "explores the ways in which women are horrifying as much as it captures the horrors that are done to them".

3. Adele by Leila Slimani:  The titular character appears to have it all---a prestigious job, a gorgeous Paris apartment, and a loving husband and son---but she's deeply dissatisfied, and tries to fill the void with affairs.

4. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker:  A mysterious sleeping sickness takes over a small California college town.

5. The Lost Man* by Jane Harper:  After their brother Cameron is found dead in the Australian outback, Nathan and Bub start to think that it wasn't an accident.  Unlike Jane Harper's previous two books, it took a bit of time to grab me, but once it did, I really enjoyed it.

6. The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman:  Dr. Alex Delaware and his police detective friend Milo Sturgis investigate when a dead body is discovered at a wedding reception.

7. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley:  A group of friends go to an isolated Scottish estate for New Year's Eve, and when long-simmering resentments and secrets come to a boil, one of them winds up dead.

2019 total so far:  11


Nothing this month.

2019 total so far:  1


1. Food Wars!* vols. 27-28 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

2. My Boyfriend is a Bear* by Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris

3. The Promised Neverland* vols. 7-8 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu

4. Chlorine Gardens by Keiler Roberts

5. Off Season by James Sturm

2019 total so far:  8 volumes of manga and 3 graphic novels


1. Hell Fest:  A serial killer stalks a horror-themed amusement park, but his crimes are assumed to be part of the show.  Fun, although I had to look away during an eyeball gouging scene.

2. Widows*:  After their husbands are killed when a heist goes wrong, four widows band together to finish the job and clear a debt.  An intriguing crime thriller with complicated, strong female characters.

3. Patient Zero:  An advanced form of rabies turns people into bloodthirsty "Infected", and a man (Matt Smith) who survived getting bitten has the ability to talk to them.   Meh, although a slumming Stanley Tucci greatly enhances every scene he's in.

4. Bohemian Rhapsody:  A biopic about Freddie Mercury and his meteoric rise to fame with Queen.  I had the same reaction as everyone I know who's seen it: Rami Malek is great as Freddie, the musical numbers are electrifying...and nothing else is very good. 

5. Bad Times at the El Royale*:  At a hotel that straddles the California-Nevada border, several strangers meet and share a very odd night.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie, but it was an odd little Tarantino-esque treat that I really enjoyed.

6. Can You Ever Forgive Me?*:  Lee Israel, a biographer struggling both personally and financially, discovers that she has a lucrative talent for forging letters from famous people.  Excellent performances from Melissa McCarthy as Lee and Richard E. Grant as her charming friend, both of whom were nominated for Oscars.

7. Overlord*:  American soldiers are tasked with taking down a Nazi radio tower, but it turns out the Nazis have a special weapon in store for them.  I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say this isn't your average WWII movie.

2019 total so far:  17