Recommendations

This week, I’m recommending a few books, TV shows, and movies that I’ve recently enjoyed. Recommendations are subjective so your mileage may vary.

First, I have to draw attention to the brilliant N.K. Jemisin. She just won her third consecutive Hugo Award, something no other writer has done. And, all three were for the three parts of her “The Broken Earth” trilogy. I loved these books, and I believe she’s now the model for all future fantasy writers.

Ms. Jemisin has a Patreon account. If you haven’t heard of Patreon, it’s a space where fans can offer direct financial support to their favorite artists, writers, musicians, etc. Creatives might want to consider setting up an account. And fans might look for their favorite artists.

I’m also giving a big congrats to Nnedi Okorafor for her Binti trilogy. I finally read all three novellas, and they deserve the recognition they’ve received. You can check out all her titles on her website.

I read Fonda Lee’s Jade City, the first book in a new series. I can’t wait for the next to be published. If I had to describe it, it’s the Godfather meets Hong Kong martial arts films with a touch of magic thrown in. You can read an excerpt on her website.

Rebecca Roanhorse won a Hugo Award for her short story: “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™. It’s creepy and funny and heartbreaking. You can read it online at Apex Magazine.

I read Ms. Roanhorse’s “Trail of Lightning,” which is the first book in her “The Sixth World” series. It’s set in Dinétah, but it’s not the Dinétah you know from the Tony Hillerman mysteries. Here, Coyote, Monster Slayer, and the other gods walk the earth. I cannot wait for the second in this series. An excerpt is available on her publisher’s website.

Jen and I are loving Issa Rae’s “Insecure” on HBO. The show focuses on life for young African-Americans in the Los Angeles area. It’s hilarious and really smart.

We also started watching Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” via streaming. It’s on FX, and we need to get caught up with season two. Reviewers describe it as a dramedy. It definitely has moments of humor and moments of tragedy. It’s well-written and has great visuals.

We’ve also been watching “America to Me” on Starz. It’s a documentary following several high school students in the Oak Park and River Forest High School in a suburb of Chicago. The episodes can be hard to watch, but that’s because seeing how badly our education system fails at its goal is infuriating.

On the lighter side, we both loved Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” and have watched it a few times. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a great film to get you in the mood for El Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, and all things autumn.

We also enjoyed “The Greatest Showman,” despite its flaws and liberties with P.T. Barnum’s legacy. I’m not a Zac Efron fan, but he managed to do a good job in this film. Hugh Jackman is always a delight to see, and the music in this film is catchy and uplifting. And Keala Settle is fantastic. She has extensive Broadway and touring company credits, and that shows in her powerhouse performance of “This Is Me.”

 

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