Wednesday, March 2, 2011

PoP, Editon 21

(Technically it's still Wednesday here. And I think I like this every-other-week format. It gives me time to actually finish stuff. So, yeah, that's the plan from here on out.)

Books
Fire by Kristin Cashore
You guys, I think I liked Fire more than Graceling, which is really saying something because Graceling was probably my favorite book of 2008. Fire is impeccably written, with every word feeling both deliberate and natural. As opposed, say, to some long-winded fantasy writers that get swept up in describing part of their world just for the sake of showing, "Look at how cool this place is!" The world-building in Fire is terrifically unique. The political tension is taut, the romance is palpable, and the emotion is very, very real. Kristin Cashore, well-played. Can Bitterblue just be out tomorrow? Please? 

Inventory by The A.V. Club
I did not get anywhere near finishing this book, but it's not really the sort that's meant to be finished. It gets points simply for accomplishing what it sets out to do, which is to compile obsessively specific pop culture lists. Written with all the verve and snark you'd expect from the A.V. Club (and its parent, The Onion), Inventory relies on the OCD-like mindset of us pop culture junkies. Did I really need a list of 16 Film and TV Characters Who Know Exactly What They'd Like To Eat? No, but I sure as heck enjoyed reading about it.

Music
The King of Limbs by Radiohead
Listen, I have to confess that I'm not a very good Radiohead fan. I genuinely like, even love them but I haven't put much effort into into quantifying my favorites or studying the differences between albums. So when I say that I think their latest addition is a really good Radiohead album, you have to take that with a grain of salt. I can, however, say with all certainty that I have thoroughly enjoyed the spade of Dancing Thom Yorke videos that have come as a result.

My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura
Tracyanne Campbell's twee, occasionally pitchy voice isn't for everyone--but I might just be her biggest fangirl. The songs are sentimental and sincere, often sounding like they come from a 50s Pleasantville record store instead of modern-day Glasgow. Recommended if you like drives through the countryside, lomo photographs, etc. Bonus points for having the most gorgeous album artwork I've seen in a long time.



Movies
The King's Speech
You've heard so many things about this movie already, so I'm just going to sum up with what I said when I came out of the theater. "Best. Bromance. EVER."
Also, it inspired what has become my favorite joke I've written for twitter.



TV
How I Met Your Mother, Season Five
All in all, this was a bit of a lackluster season for the HIMYM crew. I liked watching the Barney/Robin storyline play out and come to its inevitable conclusion, but everything else felt off. (Not to mention the fact that it's challenging to build an entire show around finding a mate for your usually irksome main character.) On the other hand, it's still loads funnier than Charlie Sheen's contribution to society on Two-And-A-Half Men and from what I can tell, the actors from HIMYM are all totally sane. Winning!

4 comments:

Erin said...

Oh my goodness, LOVED Fire. I was one of the few who didn't care a whole lot for Graceling, but Fire, oh my word. It's one of my favorite fantasy books of all time, now.

Sara said...

Man, oh, man . . . Those dancing Thom Yorke videos are ridiculous!

But I was wondering about that new album. I've only heard one song so far, and I didn't want to buy the album until I heard from a trusted source that it was good . . . So thanks!

Ashley said...

You've offically passed me in HIMYM. I never made it past four. I have so much to catch up on!

EP said...

Yeah, so the only thing on here that I've heard of is HIMYM. And Radiohead.

... I feel like I need to check these out immediately...