February 2017 Update

Books, Movies, Reading

Books Read

The big reading news for me for February is I bought a Kindle Paperwhite. I have been using Kindle apps on my phone and on an iPad for a while now, but I found my phone to be too small and the iPad too big for comfortable reading. I had a Nexus tablet for a while but it got old and slow, and eventually became inoperable. Obviously, I bought the Paperwhite thinking I would like it, but I am surprised by how much I like it. The size and weight are just right, even with the case I bought for it. Holly also bought one, so we’re in the same household and can share books. There are still things I prefer about print books, but the convenience of the Paperwhite has won me over.

To test the Paperwhite, I read Brandon Sanderson’s Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. I was just looking for a short, quick read and this fantasy novella fit the bill. The book was entertaining enough but wasn’t particularly interesting. But it did give me the experience of reading something from start to finish on the new device.

I also read the Winter 2017-2018 issue of Ploughshares. My subscription include both the print edition and ebook versions, so it was great having both the physical copy and a copy on the Paperwhite.

I wasn’t all that impressed with this issue. As always, compilations like this vary in quality. The only standout pieces were two of the essays: Beth Ann Fennelly’s “When Dusk Fell an Hour Earlier,” and Farah Peterson’s “Illness and Identity.”

The highlight of my reading month was Michael Chabon’s excellent Moonglow. Based on conversations he had with his dying grandfather, Chabon weaves a fascinating tale of family drama, WWII rocketry, workplace violence, and snake chasing, among other things. The degree to which any of this is based in fact is purposely ambiguous, not that it matters. The book is intriguing regardless. I have always wanted to read more of Chabon’s work having only previously read The Mystery of Pittsburgh.

Books Read in February

  • Moonglow (library book)
  • Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Winter 2017-2018

Books Read in 2017

  • A Gambler’s Anatomy (library book)
  • The Princess Diarist (library book)
  • The Best American Essays 2016
  • Moonglow (library book)
  • Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Winter 2017-2018

Movies Watched

My hopes of seeing more movies in the theater this year is off to a good start. We saw three movies in the theater in February. I was disappointed with the much ballyhooed La La Land and impressed with Hidden Figures. I try to not pay much attention to the Academy Awards, but I was annoyed that such a mediocre film such as La La Land got more accolades than Hidden Figures.

The other film we saw in the theater was a 25th Anniversary screening of Wayne’s World. Although some of the jokes are now dates, overall, it was still entertaining. The screening featured pre-recorded interviews with some of the cast after the movie.

Although I saw two 2016 films in the theater, I saw only one other film from last year at home. We re-watched Hail, Caesar which we had seen in the theater when it first came out. I am trying to get caught up on my 2016 film watching and made little progress this month.

There are a couple of reasons why I went off track with the 2016 films. One is my subscription to Film Struck. I re-watched Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love which was as amazing as I remembered it being. After seeing Paterson last month, I went on a bit of a Jim Jarmusch binge and watched Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law, Mystery Train, and Night on Earth. Of those, Mystery Train might have been my favorite. For no particular reason, I also watched The World of Henry Orient.

The other reason I did not watch as many 2016 movies as I hoped to was due to the Film Comment podcast. I’m not a big fan of podcasts but have found the Film Comment one, hosted by the enthusiastic Violet Lucca, has drawn me in. One of the episodes this month was about women in new Hollywood, focusing on female directors of the 1970’s. I found it fascinating enough to watch Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid and Claudia Weill’s Girlfriends.

Movies Watched in February

  • In the Mood for Love
  • La La Land (in theater)
  • Wayne’s World (in theater)
  • Hail, Caesar
  • Stranger than Paradise
  • Down by Law
  • Mystery Train
  • Night on Earth
  • The World of Henry Orient
  • The Heartbreak Kid
  • Hidden Figures (in theater)
  • Girlfriends

Movies Watched in 2017

  • Hell or High Water
  • 13th
  • Mountains May Depart
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut
  • The Long Good Friday
  • The Witch
  • Patterson (in theater)
  • Swiss Army Man
  • The World of Jacques Demy
  • A Bigger Splash
  • Decline of Western Civilization
  • In the Mood for Love
  • La La Land (in theater)
  • Wayne’s World (in theater)
  • Hail, Caesar
  • Stranger than Paradise
  • Down by Law
  • Mystery Train
  • Night on Earth
  • The World of Henry Orient
  • The Heartbreak Kid
  • Hidden Figures (in theater)
  • Girlfriends

Blog Posts

On Being and Formulating in February

On Educational Media Reviews Online in February

On Being and Formulating in 2017

On SuperPlus Eats in 2017

On Educational Media Reviews Online in 2017


Photos in the Wild

Photos in the Wild in February

Photos in the Wild in 2017