Book Buzz: African Magical Realism, Monstrous YA, and Ozark Reminiscences

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For October, we’re looking at a family epic tinged with magical realism, a YA novel perfect for Halloween, and a good-natured memoir about life on the Lake of the Ozarks in the 1960s.

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Old Favorites: H.P. Lovecraft

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Today marks the 129th anniversary of the birth of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, known to generations of readers as classic horror/weird fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft. Though he was writing in the early 20th century, Lovecraft has been a major influence on countless contemporary horror writers, including Stephen King.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of Lovecraft’s nightmarish fictional world or one of the completely uninitiated, today’s the perfect chance to revisit his work–or sample it for the first time.

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Movie Review: Shin Godzilla (2016)

Shin Godzilla.jpg

Godzilla needs no introduction, right?

I mean, even if you’re not a fan of Godzilla movies, you know who he is. And you probably know about the current American reboot of the series, which started in 2014, included this year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and will wrap up next year with Godzilla vs King Kong.

However, you may not be aware that a couple of years ago, Japanese filmmakers made their own original Godzilla movie, the first in over a decade.

I went into this movie not having the slightest clue what the plot was. Really, all I knew is that it was a Japanese Godzilla movie made in 2016. And I really liked it! Thanks to Julie for ordering this for me and adding it to the collection!

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Predator (1987)

Predator

Usually, I try to focus on newer movies and TV shows for my reviews, but while I was researching potential things to write about, I came across last year’s The Predator, a remake of the classic 1980s action/sci fi film Predator.

Now, if I were a fair-minded person, which I often claim to be, I would have given The Predator a chance.

However, I’m not really that fair-minded. Ever since I heard they were working on this remake, I just couldn’t get over the fact that there was no reason to remake the movie. I’d have been much happier if they’d just re-released the original in theater.

Because if you’re looking for a veneer of outrageous, over-the-top 80s action overlaying a far more complex science fiction tale, then you can’t do better than Predator.

So, for that reason, this week I’m reviewing the original (and best) Predator.

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TV Review: The Terror (2018)

The Terror

I’m usually behind on the most current television. Because I don’t have cable, I have to wait for the DVDs or until something hits a streaming service, and that’s not something that ordinarily troubles me. But every now and then, a show premieres, and I am bitterly disappointed that I am behind everyone else. That was definitely the case with AMC’s recent miniseries The Terror. I’ve been so excited for this show ever since casting was first announced a couple of years ago. Just ask Julie. I’ve been preemptively pestering her about buying it ever since. 🙂

And now it’s here! And it’s just as excellent as I had hoped it would be! (Thank you, Julie, for not only buying it but also good-naturedly humoring my repeated purchase requests.)

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Old Favorites: Mary Shelley

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

August 30th marks the 221st birthday of English author Mary Shelley, and this year marks the 200th anniversary of her most famous book. She is best-known for her classic novel Frankenstein and her dysfunctional family life, but this daughter of two noted writers and wife of another is a fascinating literary and historical figure in her own right.

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Old Favorites: Edgar Allan Poe

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

Whilst I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. . . .

I was first introduced to Edgar Allan Poe as a child. I don’t remember how I acquired it, but somehow I got my hands on a collection of his poems and short stories, and they became instant favorites. For many years afterward, when I was feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, I would flip to “The Raven,” and despite the fact that it is not in any way intended as relaxing, I always found it therapeutic.

Well, this week (January 19th) marks his 199th birthday, and there is no better way to celebrate the wonderfully unusual, macabre, and creepy world of Edgar Allan Poe than by revisiting his work.

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