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Books & Media of 2017

I forgot to ever post this in January. Oops.

Anyway it's based off my library history, so now I can do this sort of thing without having to keep and update my own list.

The happy bookers : a playful history of librarians and their world from the stone age to the distant future / Armour, Richard, 1906-1989
This was not playful. It was forced levity and just not that interesting, sadly. The kind of "made up" mocku-history that just sounds trite. Too bad.

One second after / William R. Forstchen; Joe Barrett
Great first part of a trilogy of modern apocalypse stories: an EMP wipes out all of the electric-based infrastructure of the United States. Highly recommended.

Eye of the Red Tsar : a novel of suspense / Eastland, Sam
Shadow pass : a novel of suspense / Eastland, Sam
Archive 17 : a novel of suspense / Eastland, Sam
Three of a series of forensic crime novels set in Soviet Russia. Not bad, but every book involves repeating how the protagonist got to where he was, as if you've never read any of the other books.

Ghostbusters 1 & 2 [videorecording] / Murray, Bill, 1950 September 21-
Got this because it seemed like a good time to revisit Ghostbusters. The movie itself is kind of weird, because now we notice how every person smokes like a chemical factory, and Bill Murray's attentions to Sigourney Weaver come across as stalkery rather than appealing. Didn't bother watching GB 2.

The naked gun [videorecording] : from the files of the Police Squad! / Nielsen, Leslie, 1926-2010
Got this because we enjoyed Police Squad! but wow, this movie is awfully dirty. Awkward.

North by Northwest [videorecording] / Lehman, Ernest, 1915-2005
Been some years since I saw it so I made the kids watch it. I know this is a classic, but it feels... I don't know. Just kind of okay? >_>;

Beast in the red forest / Eastland, Sam
Same as the series above.

One year after / Forstchen, William R.,
Second in the Forstchen series, still good, brutally honest look at how to survive in a modern apocalypse. Also a set up for the next bit plot arc.

Red icon : an Inspector Pekkala novel of suspense / Eastland, Sam,
Still the same "red" series. By this time it's tiring to read the same backstory chapter in every book (and no they're not easily set aside, they happen as parts of the story).

Psycho / [videorecording] / Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980
Finally saw this and while I can see how it was scary af when it came out, but now it's just a suitable terror movie for teenagers (most of whom have, sadly, probably seen a lot worse by that age :/ ) - anyway, a pretty good movie to watch at least twice, once for to see it new and once to see how everything ties in.

Mallory's oracle / O'Connell, Carol, 1947-
Someone recommended this and... couldn't get into this.

Star Wars : Tarkin [sound recording] / Luceno, James, 1947-
Someone got paid to write Grand Moff Tarken official fanfic. Some fanfic is written well. This wasn't.

Jughead. Volume one / Zdarsky, Chip,
The new Jughead comic is actually very funny and well written!

The birchbark house [sound recording] / Erdrich, Louise
Fictional story of a young Native American girl and her family around the Great Lakes area. Good stuff.

Written in stone : a journey through the Stone Age and the origins of modern language / Stevens, Chris, 1964-
Okay, it shows I checked this out, but darned if I can remember anything about this. Maybe it was for Dad? Maybe it just wasn't very good?

The island at the center of the world : [sound recording] [the epic story of Dutch Manhattan & the forgotten colony that shaped America] / Shorto, Russell
Now this was good history! Wow was this interesting. A++ if you're interested in history in general.

The game of silence [sound recording] / Erdrich, Louise
Sequel to "The Birchbark House" and I had to stop listening because it got too depressing. :(

Red dawn [videorecording] / Swayze, Patrick
I don't think I saw this since it came out. More post-apoc! AngryDandelion "well that couldn't really happen, Russia invading like that" but Mom pointed out "it doesn't matter *who* does it, the point is they react to the incursion." Yes, this is our family...

Rainbow soup : adventures in poetry / Cleary, Brian P., 1959-
These were good.

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet / [videorecording] / DiCaprio, Leonardo
Huxrin asked about this and we enjoyed it. Actual Shakespearean dialog (which I translated) in a modern setting.

The Far side gallery 5 / Larson, Gary
The far side gallery 3 / Larson, Gary
The Far side gallery 4 / Larson, Gary
Well, sure!

Three amigos [videorecording] / Martin, Steve, 1945-
Boy, was this a mistake. I knew it was generally considered a bomb, but I figured I'd see how it went anyway, and I actually quit this movie not too long into it. The kids: "Wow, you know a movie's bad when Mom can't sit through it."

Rumble in the Bronx [videorecording] / Cheng, Long, 1954-
Another one I saw in my youth and decided to try again. Still good action sequences, but I'd forgotten about the language and nudity. Eek.

Finding me : [sound recording] [a decade of darkness, a life reclaimed : a memoir of the Cleveland kidnappings] / Knight, Michelle, 1981-
Michelle Knight is a strong, strong woman, and her story is harrowing, as most of these stories tend to be.

Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries / Stamper, Kory,
Started off OK but couldn't hold my interest.

Dictator style : lifestyles of the world's most colorful despots / Peter York; Douglas Coupland
The article online had better pictures, believe it or not.

Graphic novel through Interlibrary Loan; the "fake ads" are some of the best art. 1950s suburban mom is actually a highly skilled assassin.

Catastrophe 1914 : [sound recording] Europe goes to war / Hastings, Max
I wish there was more of this series (as far as I know, there isn't) because it only covers 1914! I would have loved to get the rest of the war coverage. OTOH, 25 hours of audiobook covers so much of that one year. Again, good stuff, recommended.

Inherit the wind [videorecording] / Kramer, Stanley
The fact that this battle is still happening in our country today is unnerving. I am aware that the movie is a dramatization, not a documentary or history lesson.

Joe Steele / Turtledove, Harry
AU where Stalin emigrates to America and becomes dictator. Had to stop because it got too depressing. Which is a shame because I've liked a lot of Turtledove's other one-shot AUs.

The dirty dozen / [videorecording] / Aldrich, Robert, 1918-1983
Newest favorite war movie!

Meddling kids : a novel / Cantero, Edgar, 1981-
This came highly rated as a hip, modern interpretation of Scooby-Doo and similar "mystery kids" cartoons. I tried a few chapters. It's so edgy it hurts itself. It's trying soooo hard, you guys, to prove that it's completely hip and with it and cynical.

Where are they buried? How did they die? : fitting ends and final resting places of the famous, infamous and noteworthy / Benoit, Tod
Not as much fun to read as you'd think. Kinda dull actually.

Die hard / [videorecording] / Gordon, Lawrence.
End of disc was damaged, but still a good action film, though my kids are definitely modern viewers.
Frex: Huxrin: "He's lost way too much blood to be still on his feet."

Justinian's flea [sound recording] : plague, empire, and the birth of Europe / Rosen, William, 1955-2016
I do love my audiobooks about history, don't I? And books about historical disasters. This covers a huge amount of time - Roman empire, Justinian, travel, culture, disease, up into early middle ages. A good listen.

About this time was when I began working from home full time, so I didn't need audiobooks any more.

Walk to beautiful : the power of love and a homeless kid who found the way / Wayne, Jimmy, 1972-
If you're looking for tell-alls, this one's pretty mild. Though the poor guy did face a stepdad who tried to kill him with a shotgun, and a mom who (with her current man) dropped him off with the bus station and some change and told him to "go home" before disappearing into the night. Home was a few states away.

Guardians of the galaxy vol. 2 / Pratt, Chris, 1979-
I was dreading this but it was actually pretty good.

Charade [videorecording] / Stone, Peter, 1930-2003
Purported to be as good as a Hitchcock movie, but mostly it felt creepy and weird. This is because Audrey Hepburn is chasing after Cary Grant, and he is literally old enough to be her dad, and looks it. It feels very, very skeevy, more "this was done because a love story was demanded". I looked on Wikipedia and apparently Cary Grant wasn't too comfortable with the age gap either (thank you, Cary!) so the love story was re-written so she was chasing him. Still icky.

Aftermath [videorecording] : population zero / Milton, Stephen.

WarGames [videorecording] / Broderick, Matthew, 1962-
Older movies are time capsules for my kids, like, "this is how you had to use computers then" and so on. OTOH still a really good movie.

Paleo slow cooking : over 140 practical, primal, whole-food recipes for the electric slow cooker / DeVito, Dominique
Hahahahaha sorry about that. The whole paleo thing to me falls apart as soon as they start including things that paleolithic people couldn't have had, like refined coconut oil. Or worse, combining things from different continents. So why did I get this book? idk, it was there on the shelf and I decided to give it a try. Couldn't get past the snobbery part.

Gone to Texas : quilts from a pioneer woman's journal / Chutchian, Betsy
History and quilting! Includes quilt patterns and transcriptions of a woman's journal from the time of the Civil War. She worked hard and still found some time for herself to quilt. (No daughters, a bunch of sons and adopted sons.)

Arrival / Villeneuve, Denis, 1967-
AngryDandelion asked me to get this and we forgot to watch it, but Mom and Dad saw it and said it's actually really good, so in 2018 I'll try to view it.

The final day / Forstchen, William R.,
The last of the Forstchen series and a good way to wind everything up. Recommend the series.

Get well soon : history's worst plagues and the heroes who fought them
by Wright, Jennifer Ashley, 1986- author.

Lighthearted discussion about major plagues and pandemics of history. Yes, these are serious subjects, but the writer made me laugh out loud. Except for the chapter on Walter Jackson Freeman II who was genuinely a sanctioned serial killer, except his victims were still alive afterward - just brain dead. Seriously, this scared the heck out of me. He had no surgical training, didn't worry about a clean and sterile environment, and once chased a man down a hotel hallway and forcibly lobotomized him right there on the floor, after the man screamed that he'd changed his mind and didn't want this done to him.
The rest of the book is pretty funny, still, with commentary on how people reacted to diseases and what could happen today.

Batavia's graveyard / Mike Dash.
My final book of 2017, another true disaster history, if you will, this time of a shipwreck and mutiny that led to serious massacres among the passengers and crew. And more Dutch history. This was a year for it, I guess.

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