Wednesday, July 31, 2019

media update: July

 July has been a really weird-ass month, full of things both good and wretched.  On the good side:  a lovely visit with our friend Root, birthday celebrations galore, and a visit to the cat cafe.  On the bad side:  earthquakes, breaking my hand, heatwaves.

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. Her Daughter's Mother by Daniela Petrova:  Lana accidentally-on-purpose meets her anonymous egg donor and strikes up a friendship, and when the donor goes missing, suspicion falls on Lana.

2. Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frears:  A murder suspect's alibi is contradicted by his wife, but she may have a hidden agenda.

3. Shamed by Linda Castillo:  Police chief Kate Burkholder investigates the murder of an Amish woman and the disappearance of the victim's granddaughter.

4. The Need** by Helen Phillips:  Molly is confronted by a mysterious intruder in her home.  Do they have anything to do with the fossil dig where Molly found several mysterious and anachronistic items?  An excellent and creepy read; one part freaked me out so badly I double checked the front door.

Side note: out of curiosity, after I finished, I checked the reader reviews on Amazon and was astonished to see tons of bad ones.  It's definitely not for everyone, but if you like Karen Russell's short stories, I bet you'll gobble this up.

5. The Chain by Adrian McKinty:  Rachel is on her way to a doctor's appointment when she receives a strange call:  her daughter has been kidnapped, and in order to free her, she must kidnap someone else's child.

2019 total so far: 44


1. The Killer Across the Table* by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker:  A look at four of the FBI profiler's most disturbing cases.

2. American Predator* by Maureen Callahan:  A riveting look at a serial killer who, thanks to his unusual meticulousness and some shocking lapses by law enforcement, managed to get away with it for over a decade.  Warning: extremely graphic, even more so than the book above.

3. Three Women* by Lisa Taddeo:  An intimate look at the lives of three women: Maggie, whose affair with her teacher led to a scandal; Lina, who starts sleeping with her high school crush because her husband won't even kiss her; and Sloane, whose husband likes to watch her have sex with other men.

2019 total so far:12


1. The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel (art and adaptation of the Margaret Atwood novel by Renee Nault)

2. Our Dreams at Dusk vols. 1-2 by Yuhki Kamatani

3. Ao Haru Ride vols. 1-5 by Io Sakisaka

4. Rin-Ne vol. 30 by Rumiko Takahashi

5. Citrus vol. 10 (final volume) by Saburouta

2019 total so far:  31 volumes of manga and 17 graphic novels


1. Under the Silver Lake*:  Sam (Andrew Garfield) meets a young woman swimming in the pool at his apartment complex, and when she disappears, he tries to find her.  It's like Donnie Darko and Brick had a baby that spent all its spare time on Vigilant Citizen, or as G put it, like a slacker version of The DaVinci Code.

2. Murder Mystery:  Nick and Audrey (Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston) go on a very belated European honeymoon, but when they accept an invitation to visit a mysterious stranger's yacht, they get entangled in---spoiler alert!---a murder mystery.  It's not great, but it had some funny lines/scenes, and Jennifer Aniston is delightful as always.

Side note:  G and I were watching this when the earthquake hit, and after things calmed down, I thought to myself "God, that would have sucked if fuckin' Murder Mystery was the last movie I ever saw."

3. Hotel Mumbai:  An extremely tense dramatic retelling of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai in which several sites were targeted, including a 5-star hotel called the Taj. 

4. Shazam!:  A 14-year-old receives powers that turn him into an adult superhero when he says...well, I'll let you guess.

5. Always Be My Maybe:  After falling out on the night they lost their virginity to each other, Sasha and Marcus don't speak for 15 years.  But when Sasha returns to their hometown to open a new restaurant, they reconnect.  A cute rom-com with a great cameo by a superstar poking fun at his image.

6. Family:  Kate Stone (Taylor Schilling) reluctantly agrees to watch her niece Maddie while her brother and his wife are out of town.  Much to Kate's surprise, Maddie becomes a Juggalo, or a superfan of the horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse.

7. Justice League vs. the Fatal Five:  What it says on the tin.

8. Little Woods:  Ollie (Tessa Thompson) is on probation for selling prescription drugs, and she wants to stay straight, but when her sister gets pregnant and her home is about to be foreclosed on, she finds herself desperate for cash.

2019 total so far: 55