Recent Diversions

My thoughts on recent books, movies, games, and more

  • Books: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari 4 stars. This was a thought-provoking overview of the history of human development.
  • Books: The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal 4 stars. Well-written, enthralling conclusion to the two-part series started by The Calculating Stars.
  • Books: The Art of Screen Time by Anya Kamenetz 3 stars. A common-sense approach to handling media with family guided by research and a broad variety of experts.
  • Books: Making Comics by Scott McCloud 5 stars. An excellent guide to making comics, from character and story to tools and techniques.
  • Books: Range by David J. Epstein 4 stars. A great in-depth exploration of why generalists often have an advantage in innovation and discovery.
  • Books: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin 4 stars. A great book on its own, but even better as a cap to the series. I'm looking forward to reading more by N.K. Jemisin.
  • TV Shows: Stranger Things (Season 3) by Matt & Ross Duffer 5 stars. This show just keeps getting consistently better. I watched every moment of this season with a big dopey grin.
  • Books: Uprooted by Naomi Novik 5 stars. Felt like a classic fairy tale without becoming boring, predictable, or cliche.
  • Movies: Spider-Man: Far from Home by Jon Watts 4 stars. A great epilogue to Avengers: Endgame, and a fun story in its own right.
  • Books: The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker 4 stars. Brilliant collection of ideas for ways to pay attention, encourage curiosity, and spark creativity.
  • Books: Origin by Dan Brown 2 stars. Better than some of his other recent books, but a bit predictable in the end.
  • TV Shows: The Great British Baking Show by Andy Devonshire & Scott Tankard 5 stars. A charming way to relax and learn a bit more about baking while watching delightfully British people.
  • Games: Diablo 3 by Blizzard Entertainment 3 stars. A fine entry in the hack-and-slash field, though it felt a bit repetitive by the end.
  • Books: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou 4 stars. A well-researched and meticulously told story of the meteoric rise and fall of health startup Theranos
  • Books: The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin 4 stars. A fantastic sequel in this series, leaving me wanting to read the third and wrap up the full story.
  • TV Shows: Game of Thrones (Season 8) by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss 3 stars. The last season felt rushed and predictable. I'd much rather read the book ... maybe someday.
  • Movies: Avengers: Endgame by Joe & Anthony Russo 5 stars. Wow. There may be small flaws, but this is a near-perfect capstone to the LARGEST movie series ever.
  • Books: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport 4 stars. Great treatise on why it's important to limit time on social media and apps, with practical strategies to do so.
  • Games: The Last of Us by Naughty Dog 5 stars. So glad I finally got to play this game. Great story, superb action, and so well-paced.
  • Books: The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King 4 stars. A great, well-paced story and the audio book narrator was fantastic.
  • Books: Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman 5 stars. This was amazing as an audiobook, with Nick's dulcet tone telling me stories and teaching me to be a better person.
  • Books: This Is Marketing by Seth Godin 3 stars. If you like Seth's blog, you'll enjoy the book. A decent treatise on how marketing should work.
  • Movies: Captain Marvel by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck 5 stars. Funny, action-packed, & well-written. I hope this encourages studios to promote even more female superheroines.
  • Games: Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerrilla Games 5 stars. So glad I finally got around to playing this. It was worth every minute of the countless hours played.
  • Books: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal 5 stars. Alternate history. Space race. A study of gender and race relations. Sublime.
  • Books: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert 5 stars. Really, really loved this inspiring take on creativity and the magic that happens when we make things.
  • Movies: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part by Mike Mitchell 4 stars. Not quite as good as the first, but a lot of fun nonetheless with great music.
  • Movies: Sorry to Bother You by Boots Riley 4 stars. This weird, funny, intelligent story is a critique of modern society.
  • Movies: I Kill Giants by Anders Walter 5 stars. Wow. This was absolutely magical!
  • Books: Redwall by Brian Jacques 5 stars. A classic for good reason. Somehow I missed this gem of a book when I was a kid.

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