2018: The Fourth Quarter Summary

Word Cloud

Well, as I expected, my showing in the fourth quarter was pretty weak. And apparently I never got around to finishing a quarter 3 summary. So I’ll write this one, and go back and fill in quarter 3.

I did manage to complete eight books, although some of them were quite short and one, George’s Marvelous Medicine, was actually a children’s book that my son Joshua read to me.

Books Completed

Of the Moorcock novels, none was really a standout, although The Ice Schooner was the most engaging of this lot. I enjoyed The Freeze-Frame Revolution quite a bit. The Bloody Chamber is the real standout here, although the sexual politics it embodies are not simple, contemporary, or necessarily comfortable. This book of stories could easily be the major text for a seminar class.

I read these additional short stories by Peter Watts:

All are available on the author’s web site.

Books in Progress

There are a number of books that I started, or read part of; some of these I will eventually finish; some I won’t. Some will remain on my shelves to dip into in the future. Some might wind up on the give-away pile. I will definitely finish reading The Haunting of Hill House out loud to Grace, and I’ll definitely finish reading the The Fellowship of the Ring to the kids. I’m unsure whether I’ll finish reading The Tombs of Atuan to them. I think we just lost momentum on this one and if I’m going to read it to the kids, I’ll probably need to start it over again.

Books Started or Continued

Films Watched

TV Shows Watched

I watched all of Series 11 of Doctor Who, with the exception of the final episode, ““The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos,” which we just haven’t gotten to yet. There’s also the New Year’s special, which will be broadcast today, called “Resolution.” That will be available via the iTunes store tomorrow, and we’ll watch it when time allows.

The episodes we watched are:

I just polled the family, and we’re having a hard time deciding on a favorite. Several people voted for “Arachnids in the UK,” which had wonderful special effects. It also completely failed to have a coherent ending. Several people mentioned “The Tsuranga Conundrum,” mostly because of the wonderful little spaceship-eating monster. Grace mentioned “Demons of the Punjab” and I agree with her — it told the best human-centered story. But our main feeling towards most of these episodes is disappointment. Many of them have great premises, or great scenes, but overall just fail to really fire on all cylinders.

We also watched:

I want to mention one album in particular that I listened to heavily in the fourth quarter, and that is Akhnaten by Philip Glass. I got my copy in the form of discs 14 and 15 of The Complete Sony Recordings. This composition rewards study, and the recording richly rewards repeat listening — it’s just remarkable. As I mentioned in the blog, I would love to see this performed live.

Ypsilanti, Michigan
January 1st, 2019

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