Culture Corner – August 2014

2014 08-08 Throwing Shade Live!I planned to start with the ridiculous movie theater I went to, but why not just go in order?

If you remember back in March I went to see a live taping of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale and how much fun I had, you’ll appreciate this. When I found out a few months ago one of my favorite podcasts, Throwing Shade, was coming to Boston I immediately bought tickets! The original plan was that Caroline, Hayley, a TBD friend and I would go. I mean it’s a comedy podcast dealing with politics and pop culture, of course it would be AMAZING.

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Book 47: Confessions from a Coffee Shop – T. B. Markinson

Markinson, T. B. - Confessions from a Coffee ShopAnd she’s back! Now don’t get me wrong, Markinson (TBM)’s last novel, Marionette, wasn’t bad and was excellently written, it just wasn’t for me. However, Confessions from a Coffee Shop harkens back to A Woman Lost in humor and fun! I flew through this and couldn’t help but smile the entire time I read this novel. I received a copy from the author and received no compensation for my response. If this review sounds at ALL interesting you should request a preview copy from her here.

I said above that TBM is back and the reason I say that is because she’s return to what she knows and what I can assume is a comfort zone for her. I don’t fault her one bit for stretching her writing muscles in her second novel, but I’m so glad she returned to her strengths!

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Book 41: One More Thing – B.J. Novak

Novak, B. J. - One More ThingThis was quite possibly the strangest and quirkiest book I’ve read in ages. The majority of it comes from the randomness of the collection of short stories, but a lot of it comes from Novak’s rather odd, but incredibly witty imagination. My friend Caitrin lent me this ages ago and I finally got around to reading it.

The first I heard about it was on the podcast Dinner Party Download where Novak read a few of his short stories and then he was in Boston for a reading and book signing and Caitrin and a few friends went. I didn’t go as I’m super selective over what books I want signed, my bookshelf space is severely limited, but I would definitely go to hear him speak now, having read the book! Doesn’t hurt he’s a local boy from Newton and went to Harvard so even more reason to pay attention (never really followed The Office so wasn’t familiar with him at all).

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Book 32: Poster Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #5) – Anne Tenino

Tenino, Anne - Poster Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #5)I think this is by far my favorite of the Theta Alpha Gamma series by Anne Tenino and it’s definitely one of the best written of the series. I of course requested a copy from the publisher, Riptide Publishing as soon as I found out there was a new release in the series. It didn’t hurt that the cover had the cutest of all the guys in the series so far. Prepare yourself, a Goodreads observation/rant is about to follow, if you want to just read about the book and not my thoughts on female M/M romance writers and readers skip the next two paragraphs.

When I put in my star rating on Goodreads, I noticed that the overwhelming majority of the first page were female readers. I decided to look at the first 100, but there were only 60 written reviews, which I ignored for their general idiocy, and of those 52 of them were female. This really isn’t that shocking, as I’ve mentioned it before and I remember reading about it while studying for my Gender Studies degree, but I’m starting to find it really interesting which ones I like and which ones the female readers like. It’s almost always opposite and I’m not sure what that says about me, the females or about the writer.

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30 x 30: #20 – See a comedian/comedy show live

2014 05-18 Road To OddballTonight I saw The Road 2 Oddball tour featuring Adam Cayton-Holland, Howard Kremer and Brody Stevens, right, in that order. Seeing comedy live is one of those things I enjoy when I do it and think “oh I should do that more often,” but then don’t. I think the last time I saw comedy live was in 2006 when I was visiting the great Helen Blowers in Newcastle and we went to a show which was epic.

I knew I would go to tonight’s show if given the opportunity as Howard Kremer is one of my top five podcasters and I’m obsessed with Who Charted. His odd sense of humor mixed with Kulap’s hilarity and the ever interesting engineers make it a great show, so I wanted to see his stand-up. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. I felt bad for my friend who went with me, when we left he was like “uh, not really my thing, but I got a couple of laughs out of it.” :( To be completely fair there were some pretty big hits and misses from all three of the headliners, and the local who opened the show (Samaria Johnson) was pretty good.

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30 Before 30 (30 x 30)

Keep Calm 30On December 21, 2014, I turn 30 years old. As funny as it is, I’m not really nervous or scared of the big three-oh, honestly, I’m just ready for it. I did, however, enjoy the image to the right so included it. I’m sure my parents (and aunts, uncles and grandparents) are more nervous than I am, but hey that’s what they’re for! (I’ll link to the list here so you don’t have to read the ENTIRE post if you don’t want to.)

A few months ago I started seeing 30 before 30 lists everywhere. I didn’t put much thought into them until friends started turning 30 recently and then I wondered what would be on mine. So I decided with the last nine months of my 20s there were a few things that I want to do and this list developed. A couple of friends made suggestions and a lot on the list will require friends to complete. I’ve divided my 30 to-dos into five categories: physical, relaxing, reading and writing, cultural and miscellaneous.

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Book 16: It’s All Geek to Me – J. L. Merrow

Merrow, J. L. - It's All Geek To MeWhat a quick fun read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if Merrow were to expand this story into a longer novel, or even a series of short stories, I would definitely check it out. I received a copy of It’s All Geek to Me from the publisher, Riptide Publishing and received nothing in return for my honest opinion.

From the adorkable premise of the comic book store to the “aww” worthy ending, I couldn’t help but smile through this quick novella. I of course loved the two main characters, the gorgeously described Welshman Rhys and the adorably emotionally fragile protagonist Jez. Merrow did a great job building the tension between the Rhys and Jez and adding in a (not completely) unexpected turn. I wasn’t quite sure what the hidden secret was but I was so worried it was going to be something completely different and the actual reason was so adorable and their reactions were so adorable that I couldn’t help but smile.

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