Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Months in Entertainment

So, this is a massive catch-up covering the nearly three months since I retired. 

Live: Kinky Boots at the Kennedy Center. High-powered excellence, and sufficiently different from the movie to be surprising at times. Violet at the Clarence Brown Theater at UT. The play was fine, if a tad predictable, and most of the actors good. But here's a thing: if you are going to put the orchestra on the stage, the cast has got to be able to rise above them. And they couldn't, not all of them. I have season tickets here, and am really looking forward to some of the productions.

Film: Kubo and the Two Strings - brilliant, beautiful movie. The Secret Life of Pets, which was okay. Jason Bourne, a good time. Southside With You which I enjoyed very much indeed. Pete's Dragon, a vast improvement over the original. (My great-nephews liked it very much, too.) Star Trek Beyond - so sue me, I like the reboot and I really enjoyed this one.

DVD: A few episodes of Legend, a rather amusing series set in the 1870s with Richard Dean Anderson as a dime novelist often mistaken for his hero and John de Lancie as a Hungarian inventor who provides tech support. The show ran briefly in 1995. A little diversity is provided by the inventor's brilliant Aztec partner, but of course none of the regulars or - so far - recurring characters are women.

TV: I didn't watch much TV and didn't make notes, either.

Read: This is what I did. Finished Lud-in-the-Mist, an odd book I liked a lot. Janet Kagan's Hellspark and Mirabile; don't know how I missed her earlier, but I'm glad I found her now. Everything I could find of several authors (Diana Wynne Jones, James Schmitz, Martin Walker (the Bruno novels), Donna Andrews, Shamini Flint, Emma Lathen, and Dorothy Gilman ), generally because of finding a new or overlooked one of theirs. Boar Island, the latest Nevada Barr. Dick Francis's Gamble, one of his son Felix's, which was better than the last of those I'd read. Pride's Spell, a Sin-du-Jour novella and amusing. Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold - I needed to reread Penric's Demon, but it's a short fun book, too. A Dead Djinn in Cairo, which was fascinating. Every Heart a Doorway, which was sad and wonderful and funny all together. Forest of Memory, a fine novella by Mary Robinette Kowal. The Goatibex Constellation, a very funny Soviet satire by Fazil Iskander. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which is quite worthy of being in the canon, considering that it's a script not a novel, and which gives us the wonderful Scorpius Malfoy. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies and Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy, both by Sonya Sones and both, in very different ways, excellent. The latest Bruno novel, The Children Return. The Terracotta Bride, a lyrical short by Zen Cho. Started "Bookburners Season Two". It's still engaging. Die Like an Eagle, Andrews' latest Meg Langslow mystery. I Shot the Buddha, another wonderful Dr Siri book by Colin Cotterill. Why Only Us, several articles about language and evolution. The Quartet, Joseph Ellis's latest, about the Constitutional Convention. The Fifth Rule of Ten, which has our hero taking some big steps in his life. When the Music's Over, the latest of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks. The Wages of Desire, a sequel to The Language of the Dead and much better. Ovidia Yu's very likable "Auntie Lee Singaporean Mysteries" - Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge, Auntie Lee's Deadly Specials, Aunty Lee's Delights. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, the latest Flavia de Luce and better than the previous one. And finally, I'm reading N. K. Jemison's The Fifth Season and finding it as spectacular as her other works.



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