Recent Diversions

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

  • 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.
  • Movies: Justice League by Zack Snyder 1 stars. I really do not understand why DC continues to trust their characters with Zack Snyder. Not a good movie.
  • Books: The Circle by Dave Eggers 4 stars. An insightful look at technology and its impact on the modern world, wrapped in a chilling story.
  • Movies: Black Panther by Ryan Coogler 5 stars. Marvel movies feel like they are continuously getting better overall, and this was no exception.
  • Books: Wonderland by Steven Johnson 5 stars. A fascinating dive into how the toys and tools we make for pleasure fuel progress and social change
  • Movies: Coco by Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina 5 stars. Pixar was firing on all cylinders for this movie. Beautiful, inspiring, emotional.
  • Movies: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle by Jake Kasdan 4 stars. Way more entertaining than it had a right to be. Very different from the original, but so much fun.
  • Books: Children of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card 2 stars. Not the same caliber as Ender’s Game by a long shot, but an entertaining return to Battle (now Fleet) School.
  • Books: Shrinkage by Bryan Bishop 3 stars. A heartfelt, funny story on surviving cancer sprinkled with unexpected lessons for life.
  • Books: Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley 4 stars. I enjoyed this sequel a little more than the original.
  • TV Shows: Runaways (Season 1) by Stephanie Savage & Josh Schwartz 4 stars. I thought this was a pretty great adaptation of the comic. Great cast, great story.
  • Movies: Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Rian Johnson 4 stars. While the pacing and story were a bit odd at times, Rian Johnson opened up a new world of possibilities in Star Wars.
  • Books: Press Start to Play by Various Authors 3 stars. A fun collection of short stories, in some way related to games and gaming. Some were great, some just okay.
  • TV Shows: Stranger Things (Season 2) by Matt & Ross Duffer 5 stars. I wasn't sure how the Duffer brothers would follow up on the first season, but they delivered in spades!
  • Games: Stardew Valley by Eric Barone 5 stars. I love everything about this beautifully rich, meditative game about farming and small towns.
  • Books: The Magician King by Lev Grossman 4 stars. This sequel to The Magicians was great, with well-paced twists that kept me turning the page.
  • Games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo 5 stars. I regret that my rating system has but 5 stars to give for a game this amazing.
  • Books: Artemis by Andy Weir 3 stars. Not quite as good as The Martian, but a thoroughly enjoyable second book.
  • Movies: Thor: Ragnarok by Taika Waititi 5 stars. I loved the spectacle of this movie. Everything felt bigger, from the sets and story to the action and humor.
  • Movies: The House by Andrew Jay Cohen 2 stars. A great cast, an okay plot, and some over-the-top shenanigans. Worth renting for a cheap laugh.
  • Movies: Baby Driver by Edgar Wright 4 stars. Though different from Wright's other movies, I loved the unique story, amazing music, and awesome action.
  • Movies: The Big Sick by Michael Showalter 5 stars. This was so funny, sweet, and heartfelt. I felt like I understood Kumail Nanjiani a bit more after watching.
  • Movies: Arrival by Denis Villeneuve 4 stars. I really love that this was more story-driven than action-packed. The mystery hooked me.
  • Movies: Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins 4 stars. By far the best DC movie since the Christopher Nolan Batman era, it was amazing to see such a great female heroine.
  • Music: ÷ by Ed Sheeran 5 stars. I randomly picked up this album browsing through records and it's become one of my favorites.
  • Movies: Pitch Perfect by Jason Moore 3 stars. I don't know why I avoided this movie for so long, because it was a ton of fun.
  • TV Shows: The Defenders by Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez 3 stars. You know it's a pretty good series when you're disappointed that it felt so short.

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