Recent Diversions

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

  • Books: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman 4 stars. My son randomly picked this at a book fair, and it was a surprisingly enjoyable read with him.
  • Movies: Rampage by Brad Peyton 2 stars. Without the Rock, this movie would barely even rate as a B-movie. It was ... fine.
  • Movies: Venom by Ruben Fleischer 2 stars. Tom Hardy does a fine job playing two very different roles. The rest of the movie: eh.
  • Movies: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets by Luc Besson 2 stars. It was a mildly entertaining sci-fi flick with a couple interesting ideas.
  • Books: Make Time by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky 4 stars. Presents a good strategy and tactics for making more time for the important things in life
  • Movies: Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg 4 stars. I was prepared to dislike this because so much had been changed from the book, but it was really fun and entertaining.
  • Books: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 4 stars. Dang, this was good! Can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy.
  • Movies: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, & Rodney Rothman 5 stars. WOW. This movie completely nails everything. The animation style is beautiful, unique, and groundbreaking.
  • Books: It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson 4 stars. The founders of Basecamp dish out practical advice on creating a calm company in their trademark simple style
  • Books: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin 5 stars. So glad I finally took some time to read this beloved classic. Its place is well-earned.
  • Books: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend 4 stars. A fascinating world, fun characters, and a different take on kid's fantasy.
  • Movies: Game Night by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein 4 stars. Hilarious, with a great cast, rich story, and unexpected twists and turns
  • Movies: Pacific Rim: Uprising by Steven S. DeKnight 3 stars. Fun story, great action, and more of the robots on kaiju action from the original
  • Books: Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward 3 stars. Well-researched and written account of the bizarre first year or so of #45's presidency
  • Movies: Downsizing by Alexander Payne 3 stars. Funny at times, thoughtful at times, with a kind of weird take on futurism
  • Movies: Deadpool 2 by David Leitch 4 stars. Funny, profane, and violent in all the best ways that only Deadpool can be
  • Movies: Ocean’s 8 by Gary Ross 4 stars. A fun heist movie with a fantastic cast
  • Movies: Tomb Raider (2018) by Roar Uthaug 3 stars. It wasn't awful and mildly entertained me for a couple hours.
  • Books: Gumption by Nick Offerman 4 stars. Twas a fun (and funny) introduction to a variety of Americans who have shown guts in their field.
  • Books: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman 4 stars. A beautiful story of sisterhood, motherhood, and love with hints of the magic that binds them all together.
  • Books: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey 3 stars. Well-written memoir of James Comey's work life, with lessons on what makes great leaders
  • Books: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 4 stars. This was on my list to read even before the Hulu series, and well worth the read.
  • Movies: The Greatest Showman by Michael Gracey 5 stars. Loved the visuals, the music, and the story
  • Movies: Incredibles 2 by Brad Bird 4 stars. A really great sequel to one of my favorite Pixar movies.
  • Movies: Solo by Ron Howard 3 stars. On rewatching, I enjoyed this quite a bit more. I still wish I could have seen what the original directors envisioned.
  • Books: The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss 3 stars. A fun remix of classic literary characters and strong female characters solving mysteries
  • Games: Super Mario Odyssey by Nintendo 5 stars. I wasn't sure what to make of it from the trailers, but this was one of my favorite 3D Mario games yet.
  • Books: Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter 3 stars. Some practical advice and some fluff about making behavioral changes. Not bad overall compared to similar books.
  • Movies: Avengers: Infinity War by Anthony & Joe Russo 5 stars. This movie was WAY better than it should have been with the number of characters in it. Sucks you in and keeps going.
  • Games: Golf Story by Sidebar Games 3 stars. This funny, irreverent RPG-like golf game with SNES-style graphics was a lot of fun.

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