These are a few of my favorite things (of 2018)

2018 has been a jumbled mess of a year. I started, stopped, and started this blog so many times and I’m sorry. Here are some random things I liked this year. Cue Julie Andrews. ** These are not things that came out in 2018, just things I consumed in 2018.**

Books:

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a lovely story about an old curmudgeon (best word of 2018) who finds a place for himself. I wrote a full review here.

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean is the first romance novel I read all year that didn’t fetishize toxic masculinity, which I loved. I went through a major romance phase during wedding reception planning mostly because I needed something easy to read and emotionally upbeat to keep the stress at bay. Loved this and was so frustrated it was a new release. Now I have to wait for the next ones to be published!

The Humans by Matt Haig is an odd story about an alien who takes control of the body of a human mathematician. It’s weird and funny and heartwarming and I wrote a better review here as well.

Vintage Youtubers:

This is one of my newest favorite categories of thing I’m in love with. I’ve been collecting vintage pieces here and there my whole life and never put together that I could just be a vintage lady until I found this community of people.

The Closet Historian is one of my favorite vintage Youtubers. She has practical and informational videos sprinkled with sewing tutorials and projects. She’s super cool.

Angela Clayton is a fantastic costumer and I love watching her sewing videos where she talks through her process. It’s way more advanced than anything I’ve ever attempted, but still fascinating.

Podcasts:

The Adventure Zone is hands down my favorite podcast of all time. I started listening 2 years ago and am finally up to date as of November of this year. That may be a bit intimidating if you’re looking for a new podcast, but it is seriously the best D&D playthrough podcast I’ve ever listened to. Your mileage may vary, but also… this one is the best.

My Brother My Brother and Me is one I started listening to because I fell in love with the boys from The Adventure Zone. This is the podcast they started originally and it is a hysterical advice series. They also made a TV show that is the most hilarious thing I watched all year.

Last Podcast on the Left was a podcast I became obsessed with after a “ghost tour” I did in Chicago and wanted to learn more about H. H. Holmes. They make miniseries about specific topics surrounding the occult, serial killers, cults, and other semi-related dark topics.

Music:

To close out this probably longer-than-it-needs-to-be post, here is a smattering of music that I would recommend.

Top track: Ghosted – Get Some

Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense

Lucius – Nudes is my favorite album of 2018

Bodhi Presman – The Presman Farm

Marc Rebillet’s Idealogue series

Graphic Novel Fiend – A Collection of Mini Reviews

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Solid State by Jonathan Coulton | ★★★☆☆ | I found this book at my local comic shop and had no idea it was a concept graphic novel paired with an album by Jonathan Coulton. I’d never heard of the artist before and to be honest, the music didn’t make much sense for a sci fi graphic novel in my opinion. I was expecting something more electronic and space-y and the album I ended up listening to isn’t really my style. The graphic novel itself was fairly interesting and unique, albeit a little preachy. The pacing and timelines were a little confusing as well, though the art was clean and easy to follow. All in all, this was a fairly decent graphic novel, but I just wasn’t a huge fan.

The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1) by Kazu Kabuishi | ★★★☆☆ | It’s hard to judge the first volume of a graphic novel series. I did enjoy the artwork and the story line has potential. I’ll definitely pick up the second one to see where it goes.

Lumberjanes #3 by Noelle Stevenson | ★★★☆☆ | Ehhhh. I love the style and idea of this series, but this volume just wasn’t my favorite. I wanted a more cohesive story, but the snippets of different stories threw me off a bit. I may check out future volumes from the library.

Deadly Class #1 – 2 by Rick Remender | ★★★☆☆ | I borrowed four volumes of this series (are there only 4?) from my best friend, and I’m not sure that I want to finish it. It’s an interesting story and the art style is on point. I love how the darkness is conveyed through color and the various monochromatic spreads are pretty dang cool. This series is just darker and grittier and cringier than I like.

Goliath by Tom Gauld | ★★★★★ | The quickest read gets the highest score. I love this take on the classic story. It’s short and simple, but packs a punch. The simple scenery combined with the sparse dialogue painted a melancholy viewpoint of Goliath and I am so there for it. Read this book!

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf | ★★★★★ | What a piece of work. I am unashamedly obsessed with stories about murder and mayhem and this graphic novel fills that void. It deals with Dahmer’s early years and was created by a classmate of Dahmer. The art style matches the tone and the subject matter really well, too. This is a great one to read before listening to Last Podcast on the Left’s three-part series on Dahmer; If you’re interested in serial killers and weird occult stuff, this is your podcast and this is your book.

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by the McElroys | ★★★★★ | Okay, these last two book reviews are just me raving about podcasts, I get that. But seriously, this podcast is the best Dungeons and Dragons podcast. They’re definitely more story-based than rules-based, but it makes for a great podcast and this graphic novel follows Magnus, Merle, and Taako in the first story in the Balance arc (start here).