Monday, January 10, 2011

what i'm up to...


as i mentioned on friday, inspired by something craig does on his blog fairly regularly, i thought i'd let you know what i've been reading/watching/listening to lately and, hopefully, finding out what YOU'RE reading/watching/listening to!
i love hearing about cool things that friends and family have been into and have been enjoying enough to recommend and, like all of us i think, am thrilled when i hear that someone enjoyed something i suggested.
what's with that, anyway? i guess maybe we like to know that our tastes are popular or that we are somehow on the cutting edge of books or music, movies or television. i know that, when i was younger, it seemed that i knew all the cool new bands and heard the cool new songs before everyone else and so was known as the go-to guy for music.
that, of course, fades. but if you're the cat who turned someone on to something--music, tv shows, what have you--then you're the one they associate with it for a long time. and that's kinda nice.

so i think i mentioned once or twice here on the blog that sharon and i, starting back in october during our trip down to richmond to see matt and suzanne, were listening to the millennium trilogy--the girl with the dragon tattoo books--and were liking them very much. we've since finished them and have watched the film version of the first two (awaiting the third to come out on dvd) and are curious to see how our hollywood treats them as well. great books! read them or listen to them--suspenseful and intricately woven.

after that, once again entrenched in a pattern of audio book obsession, i followed scott's advice and downloaded the first entry of the hunger games, another trilogy aimed at the young adult, harry potter, twilight demo, about a non-definite future where the government stages a survivalist reality show where 2 dozen teens are forced to fight to the death. i dug the story and enjoyed all three installments, though, at times, i could definitely tell that i wasn't the target audience and felt that the author relied too many times on the same devices and plot twists. my 15 year old nephew loved the first book (we'll see how he feels about the others...) and we'll be the first ones in line when the movie comes out next year.

for my birthday, my friend beth got me season one of mad men. craig and matt and everyone else had raved about it and i was dying to see it, just hadn't gotten around to picking it up. for christmas she gave me season 2 and so, since new years day, we have been watching them non-stop. yes, obsessed. that's how i get--give me ALL of it, i need to see it all. and right now. we just finished the last of season 2 last night and i am praying that season three is in the mailbox today when i go out to check in a little while. love it! love it!
(and, despite her rather shaky stint as host on SNL, am i the only one who thinks january jones should be playing sue storm in a new FF movie...? she's perfect!)

admittedly, i've only read /listened to one other book by bill bryson and that was his reflections of growing up in 1950s america called the adventures of the thunderbolt kid. but, based on that heartfelt and informative opus, i will say here and now that i'd follow this guy anywhere. his ability to write about history, science, pop culture... just about anything and make it not only interesting, but thought-provoking, makes him a truly unique voice in literature today. i'm listening to his newest offering, at home, a study on the history of the home and all the things around us that we have learned to take for granted. it's fascinating. and read by the author, which i always think is an extra treat.

on the actual reading front, i was recently lucky enough to snag a couple of gently aged copies of the old sci-fi magazine, amazing stories on ebay...

...and i got for christmas stephen king's latest collection of short stories, full dark, no stars, which i can't wait to get to ( i'm almost done with the short story collection christian gave me for my birthday, voices from the night, featuring authors like william f. nolan, rex miller, jack ketchum, and rick hautala, to name few...)

music~? well, there was lots of christmas music on the radio these past months, a few errant downloads from itunes, mostly of a motown/girl group nature, the latest offering from gorillaz, and this lovely disc of righteous rockabilly, the kudzu ranch by southern culture on the skids.

so, that's some of mine--what have YOU been up to?
lemme know and i'll
smell ya later~!


Brian said...

I picked up "Who Is Jake Ellis" last week at the LCBS and really enjoyed it. This is set up as a 5 issue mini-series and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Todd, that Bill Bryson book about the Home sounds interesting. I'll be sure to check it out.

todd said...

posted from some goood friends on facebook

Alisa Brewster
Love the dragon tattoo series and my daughter got me into the Hunger series too. I've been enjoying Mad Men on demand too! And Stephen King is one of my favs. I'm going to check out a few other of these since we seem to have similar taste.

Walt Curley
Reading... I'm dreadfully behind on EVERYTHING / Watching... Just started watching The Walking Dead / Listening... lots of 80s stuff like Yazoo, The Fixx and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Brian Pillow
I just got finished watching the first season of Dexter, and am hooked and must now acquire the rest of the seasons. This also has me interested in trying out the books of said character. Book-wise, I am currently reading the first installment of the Heroes of Olympus books, The Lost Hero. Comics-wise, what don't I read?

Eric Henson said...

Reading: The Book of Romans (New Testament), The Shack (WM. Paul Young), All Star Superman Vol. 2 (Grant Morrison) and The Perhapanauts #3 (Todd Dezago).

Watching: No cable...sorry!

Listening to: Neworldson & Jimmy Needham

Matt Wieringo said...

I'm reading (in two-paragraph increments due to a tendency to fall asleep as soon as I start reading) CRUCIFIED by Michael Slade. I'm a long-time Sladist and have actually met the author. He's a great guy and kind of a scamp.

Suze and I are wrapping up the DRAGON TATTOO audiobook you loaned us and have loved it. Can't wait for the next entry.

I'm wearing out the CONAN THE BARBARIAN soundtrack re-recording I got for Christmas. Craig also gave me the soundtracks for TRON, SCOTT PILGRIM and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and they are pretty amazing too.

I can't seem to stop watching the SCOTT PILGRIM movie. I loved the books and the film really captured the feel of the series. Great fun.

I'd love to read the HUNGER GAMES series. Sounds a lot like the Japanese BATTLE ROYALE. I'm sure I'm not the first to make that observation. I loved that movie so this should be right up my alley.

Next up, though, two John Sanford novels and some THOR comics.

Matt Wieringo said...

Oh, and I've actually only seen a few episodes of MAD MEN. I liked them but it seemed to me that John Hamm had an awful lot of free time on his hands for an ad executive. And, yeah. January Jones would make a GREAT Sue Storm. She even has an alliterative name!

todd said...

i thought the hunger games had something to owe to stephen king's the long walk as well...

Anonymous said...

I think one of your advertisements caused my internet browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.

todd said...

from steve gatrost, via facebook

Steve wrote: "I'm just finishing the John Adams series that was on HBO a couple of years ago, it stars paul giamanti. They should show these in highscool history classes, so acurate. the grant morrison dvd talking with gods is pretty inspirational. As far as reading I recently picked up Set to sea written and drawn by Drew Weing and Koko Be Good written and painted by Jen wang. As far as monthly comics I love the new Shield series by Johnathon Hickman, Atomic robo, Chew and Sweet tooth. Really digging the Munford and sons album, also Holy sons."

Warren said...

All I want is just one more oatmeal pie.
Little Debbie, Little Debbie!

Anyway, I'm reading the second book of the Maximum Ride series (yeah, I know, junk food for the brain). I picked the first one up at a thrift store last year and got the second installment last month at a diffrent thrift store.

Comic bookly, I'm really enjoying Morning Glories. It's a very cool little mystery book.

I'm planning to read some headier stuff soon. Maybe some Cormac McCarthy. Last year I read Shutter Island and the Lovely Bones, and after those two, I avoided any kind of heavy stories for a while.

Or maybe I'll break down and read the Harry Potter series. :p

todd said...

i've been planning to read shutter island too--before i see the movie...but i know what you mean about too many heavy stories in succession. that can drag you down a bit. on the converse, of course, nothing picks me up like (listening to) those harry potters!!

Matt Wieringo said...

Warren, I only picked up the first Harry Potter book because Suzanne was raving about the series. It wasn't very thick and looked breezy. WIthin 30 pages, I was hooked for the entire series. And I don't even much like fantasy stories. You won't regret it, I promise.

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