December was a month of mostly four-star books. It was also a month filled with a very good podcast I just discovered. And of course, it was the last month of 2017. I sound like a broken record, yet still, every new year I’m amazed at how fast time goes by. This year has been my absolute best reading year, but I’ll (hopefully) post an entire post about that soon. Now I want to talk about December. I’ll remind you that this thing I’m doing here is still very new. In fact, it’s only my second time doing it. So bear with me while I experiment in order to figure out what to include in these posts every month. Enough blabbering, here we go:
Favorite books of the month
My two favorite books of the month are in very different genres. One is a classic murder mystery, while the other is a popular science book. The only thing they have in common, besides appearing here, is the fact that they were both written and published in the 20th century.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I watched the most recent adaptation of this classic mystery this month, and bought the book on that occasion. It was one of those spur of the moment purchases. At that moment I also completely forgot that I already owned a copy. Oops. I actually read it after watching the adaption. That’s right, after. I’ll give you a moment to get over it. Kidding aside, I was pleasantly surprised by how delightful and thrilling it was. It’s a classic whodunnit kind of story, featuring one of my favorite detectives, Hercule Poirot. It’s my first Poirot novel, but I grew up watching the tv show starring David Suchet, so I knew I would probably like the books. If you’re craving a fun mystery, then this is the book for you.
Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne is not exactly a page-turner. I’ve been reading it slowly on and off for a couple of months. As I’ve included it as a favorite of the month, you know that me reading it so slowly has nothing to do with the quality of the book. I put it down for periods of time because I needed to absorb all of the new information I was learning. A blurb from Wall Street Journal on the cover states that it’s a deeply satisfying and engrossing blend of theory, history, and anecdote. I agree one hundred percent. And that’s also why it took me so long to read it, as well as why I absolutely loved it.
TV and movies
I went to the movies twice. Fortunately, I really enjoyed both films. I also watched a lot of TV, which surprised me when I starting writing down the shows I watched.
As I’ve already told you several times, I went to see Murder on the Orient Express in the very beginning of December. I liked the small changes that made it more suited for the big screen, and I especially liked the aesthetics and atmosphere. Agatha Christie’s novel is a classic, and it has been adapted more than once. I think this is a good adaptation.
I’m one of those people who really likes Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I acknowledge that some may dislike it, and on some points I can see why. But, I loved the humorous elements and the direction in which the story is moving.
Scorpion is one of my favorite shows of the year. It’s about a team of geniuses who solve seemingly impossible assignments with their expertise. I just finished the third season and started the fourth. Something I’ve been waiting for since the first episode finally happened. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I’m just going to say that I’m very happy with the last couple of episodes of season three.
Claire Fox and Matt Smith do a fantastic job playing Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the second season of The Crown. It’s enchanting to watch this reenacted, and somewhat reimagined, history of the reigning Queen of the commonwealth. Each episode is great, not to mention the beautiful color scheme and period settings.
After reading Everything All At Once by Bill Nye (The Science Guy), I wanted to look into some of his other stuff. In the book he mentions his show on Netflix, so that’s where I started. The show, Bill Nye Saves The World, is very light on the science. Every episode is about a new topic, and I must say I’ve definitely learned some things. Though I’m not entirely certain all of them are unbiased. At times I felt like it was awkward, especially with some of the panels, but overall I think it has potential. The question is if they’ll use that potential, crank up the science, tone down the cringe and turn it into something a little less political.
Audiobooks and podcasts
To be completely honest I’m very picky about podcasts. I usually listen to an audiobook when I do menial tasks like cleaning, doing laundry, ect. If I’m not moving around while listening to something, I’ll forget to listen and be distracted by my own thoughts. Podcasts are a strange thing for me. I don’t like radio shows. I don’t know why, I just don’t like them. So podcasts are naturally not my cup of tea. There has only ever been one exception, that is of course, until now.
Startalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is simply awesome. I’m happy I found it. I’ve listened to several episodes, and all of them have been filled with equal amounts of cool science and the best kind of cheesy humor. If you like podcasts, have an interest in real space science, no matter how small, you should check it out.
I listened to a couple of audiobooks and Strange Dogs by James S.A. Corey was by far my favorite. It’s a novella set in the world of The Expanse. I usually don’t love spin-off novellas, but this one is different. I won’t spoil anything since it takes place between books six and seven. But it blew me away with its mystery. I’m pleasantly surprised!
On my radar for January
Finally I want to tell you about two new releases I’m highly anticipating in January.
The Night Masquerade Nnedi Okorafor is the third and final novella in a brilliant African-inspired Sci-Fi novella series. When I read the first book, Binti, I wasn’t yet convinced that the series would become great. While Binti certainly had potential, it was the sequel, Home, that really sparked my love for the characters and the world. I’m super excited to read the conclusion, and since they’re all so short, I might reread both Binti and Home in preparation.
I hope you had a great December. I’d love to hear which books, movies and/or shows you loved this month!