December, 2017

December 2nd, 2017, 1:18 p.m. - "I told you we were good parents." "Agree to disagree"

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – "Return to Skyfire": Jake becoming a nerd is a beautiful thing. I also loved that Rosa inadvertently dressed like a steampunk heroine. Rating: 4 plaster masks

Speechless – "B-I-BIKINI U-N-UNIVERSITY": The Ray plot was kind of random, but funny. I'm telling you, that actor is going to be huge. Rating: 4 snakes

Modern Family – "Brushes With Celebrity": Chris Martin's self-deprecating humor is really, really charming. This show always makes good use of its guest stars, and this episode was no exception. Rating: 4 art pieces made of reclaimed wood

Supernatural – "The Scorpion and the Frog": This was my favorite episode of the season so far. Alice is the new Charlie, right? Rating: 5 darts

December 8th, 2017, 6:38 p.m. - I had this book for two years, and when I finally get around to it, this is what I get?

40. The Long and Faraway Gone (Lou Berney)
I am legitimately mad at this book. It's repetitive and goes nowhere, and the climax has nothing to do with the two main plots. There's absolutely no way to solve either of the central mysteries. I don't understand how this book got so much praise, and I certainly don't understand how it won a freaking Edgar.

Up next: Every Last Lie (Mary Kubica)

December 9th, 2017, 2:21 p.m. - "How dare you make me upset while I'm wearing this outfit!"

Ghosted – "Haunted Hayride": The B plot was dumb, but the rest was fun. Why was there a haunted hayride in December, though? Rating: 4 disturbed graves

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – "99": Now that we've made it to episode 99, I need at least 99 more episodes, please and thank you. Also, Gina Rodriguez once said she wanted to play Rosa's love interest on the show; I am all for that. Rating: 4 cheese puffs

Speechless – "S-T-STAR W-WARS W-WARS": Yes, more Logan! It almost makes up for the dumb B plot! Almost! Rating: 4 lightsabers

Modern Family – "Tough Love": Manny would date a professor, wouldn't he? It makes much more sense than him trying to date a freshman. Rating: 4 forts in the living room

Supernatural – "The Bad Place": That sequence with Kaya dreamwalking while the angels were pounding on the ground outside was awesome. I hope Kaia makes her way to the spin-off; she'd be a great addition. Rating: 4 cages poor Mary has to hang in until mid-January

December 14th, 2017, 8:03 p.m. - Two losers in a row

41. Every Last Lie (Mary Kubica)
Amazon's description says this is "a gripping psychological thriller." not.

Up next: Artemis (Andy Weir)

December 16th, 2017, 1:26 p.m. - "I thought you were better than this!" "You did? Why?"

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – "Game Night"; "The Favor": They made such a big deal out of hitting the 99th episode, but nothing about how they've now passed 100 episodes, which is a huge accomplishment. Also, reruns are coming to TBS in January! YES! Rating: 4 broken bottles that had bugs in them

Speechless – "S-I-SILENT N-I-NIGHT": This was one of those episodes where I laughed so loudly at a few points that I know my neighbors must have heard me. Probably the highest point was during Dylan's Love Actually tribute, especially when she detailed how she was going to gaslight Ray by buying all his clothes a size too large so he'd think he was shrinking. Rating: 5 turkeys

Modern Family – "No Small Feet": Am I wrong in thinking that James Van Der Beek is underrated? Okay, I'll show myself out. Rating: 4 pairs of shoes

December 19th, 2017, 8:07 p.m. - The dark side of the moon

42. Artemis (Andy Weir)
I want to go to the moon and hang out with Jazz Bashara and maybe cause some trouble. Okay, maybe I don't want to go to the moon. Being there seems tedious. But I want to hang out with Jazz.

Up next: The Wrong Way to Save Your Life (Megan Stielstra)

December 26th, 2017, 9:12 p.m. - Ending the year on a very high note

43. The Wrong Way to Save Your Life (Megan Stielstra)
I connected with Stielstra's writing immediately and bought her other book of essays before I was even 50 pages into this one. Thank you, Amazon, for recommending The Wrong Way to Save Your Life as something similar to books I already liked, and thank you, local library, for having a copy the day I went.

Up next: Once I Was Cool (Megan Stielstra)

December 29th, 2017, 12:23 p.m. - Just when I thought I was done for 2017...

44. Once I Was Cool (Megan Stielstra)
Not as good as The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, but I still read it in, like, two days, so...there you go.

Up next: Everything You Want Me to Be (Mindy Mejia)

December 31st, 2017, 3:38 p.m. - Year! End! Book! Round! Up!

1. If someone offers to train you to become an assassin and fight bad guys, say no. (The Regional Office is Under Attack!, Manuel Gonzales) – New York, Texas
2. Citizen Kane was the first movie to show ceilings on screen. (But What If We're Wrong?, Chuck Klosterman) – U.S.
3. The Netherlands has 13 provinces. (The Dinner, Herman Koch) – the Netherlands, France
4. Jonathan Franzen will have a posthumous novel called A Bereavement. I won't read it. (California, Edan Lepucki) – California
5. Australian farmers shoot rabbits a lot. (The Dry, Jane Harper) – Australia
6. The paint on the Golden Gate Bridge is called International Orange. (The Most Dangerous Place on Earth, Lindsey Lee Johnson) – California
7. Boris Karloff was contracted to shoot the movie Targets for only two days, but he liked the movie so much that when three more days were needed, he worked for free. (Universal Harvester, John Darnielle) – Iowa
8. Queen Elizabeth carries around a suction cup with a hook so she can hang her purse wherever she goes. (The Animators, Kayla Rae Whitaker) – New York, Florida, Kentucky, California
9. Apophenia is the tendency to look for patterns in unconnected events. (Ill Will, Dan Chaon) – Ohio, Nebraska, Wyoming, Illinois
10. Spoiled kids may skew the results of the marshmallow test. (Perfect Little World, Kevin Wilson) – Tennessee, Georgia
11. People who only have sight in one eye have a hard time pouring things. (The Fall of Lisa Bellow, Susan Perabo) – Pennsylvania
12. David Lynch was an Eagle Scout. (The Hearts of Men, Nickolas Butler) – U.S., Botswana
13. A mattress is a good place to hide a murder weapon. (If We Were Villains, M.L. Rio) – Illinois, Ohio, New York
14. Cream tea is an afternoon tea where scones and cake are served. (I Found You, Lisa Jewell) – U.K.
15. Replanting roses in new soil can revitalize them. (The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas) – U.S.
16. In Catholicism, on some high holy days, the Eucharist is displayed and admired around the clock. (Today Will Be Different, Maria Semple) – Washington, New York, Louisiana, Colorado
17. One year on Neptune equals 165 years on Earth. (The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti) – U.S.
18. Most people who are struck by lightning survive. (The Last Night at Tremore Beach, Mikel Santiago) – Ireland
19. There's a London Tube stop called Canada Water. (I See You, Clare Mackintosh) – U.K.
20. Indian wedding rituals and ceremonies go on for days, and no one actually enjoys them. (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul) – Canada, Thailand, India
21. An abuser who strangles his victim is more likely to eventually kill him or her. (The Kept Woman, Karin Slaughter) – Georgia
22. The only people who could crack the Zodiac Killer's codes were a couple who tried it just for fun. (UNSUB, Meg Gardiner) – California, Virginia
23. There are ping-pong tables in Bryant Park. (Final Girls, Riley Sager) – New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana
24. In a wildfire, you only get 15 minutes' notice to evacuate your house. (The Mothers, Brit Bennett) – California, Michigan
25. If you tell your kids they're Greek, they'll never question it. (Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory) – Illinois, Maryland, Arizona
26. The medical name for Down syndrome is Trisomy 21. (The Girl Before, J.P. Delaney) – U.K.
27. Don't mess with people's memories. Just don't. (The Blinds, Adam Sternbergh) – Texas
28. The penalty for lying to an FBI agent is a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. (The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter) – Georgia, New York
29. Virginia Woolf used her first writing proceeds to buy a cat. (You Play the Girl, Carina Chocano) – U.S., France
30. Instead of saying "cheese" when they take a picture, Chinese people say the word for "eggplant." (Chemistry, Weike Wang) – Massachusetts, New York
31. If an animal tells you a big storm is coming, listen. (Tornado Weather, Deborah E. Kennedy) – U.S., Iraq
32. I learned how to legally get your name changed in Florida. (Young Jane Young, Gabrielle Zevin) – Florida, Maine, New York
33. A slipper is a good place to hide a key. (All the Missing Girls, Megan Miranda) – North Carolina
34. It takes at least 70 years for a cactus arm to start growing. (Keep Her Safe, Sophie Hannah) – Arizona, New York
35. Rebel all you want – you'll still have to wait for a man to save you. (Gather the Daughters, Jennie Melamed) – ?
36. Haiti's Independence Day is New Year's Day. (Hunger, Roxane Gay) – U.S.
37. "I'm about to leave with the Peace Corps" is a good cover when you need to disappear. (The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda) – Pennsylvania, Massachusetts
38. The opposite of machismo is marianismo. (Priestdaddy, Patricia Lockwood) – Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida
39. I learned a fantastic '90s Bill Clinton joke that I dearly hope I never forget. (Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng) – Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, California
40. The Cowboy Hall of Fame is in Oklahoma City. (The Long and Faraway Gone, Lou Berney) – Oklahoma, Nevada
41. Dementia can lead to issues with balance and depth perception. (Every Last Lie, Mary Kubica) – Illinois
42. There's static electricity on the moon. (Artemis, Andy Weir) – the moon
43. It takes an hour to ride the Ferris wheel on Navy Pier in Chicago. (The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, Megan Stielstra) – U.S., Italy, France, Czechia
44. There used to be a bar in Chicago called the Alcohol Abuse Center. (Once I Was Cool, Megan Stielstra) – U.S., Czechia

The best: The Animators, The Hate U Give, The Blinds, Little Fires Everywhere, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life

The worst: The Long and Faraway Gone, Every Last Lie

Book that Entertainment Weekly named one of the ten best that I disagreed with the most: Nothing this year

Favorite characters: Starr Carter (The Hate U Give), Jazz Bashara (Artemis)

Least favorite characters: Micah Ellis (California), Bonnie Juno (Keep Her Safe)

Book that most lived up to its hype: UNSUB

Book that least lived up to its hype: The Long and Faraway Gone

Book I was looking forward to that didn't disappoint: UNSUB

Book I was looking forward to that did disappoint: Ill Will

Books I'm most looking forward to in 2018: Meg Gardiner's Into the Black Nowhere, Sloane Crosley's Look Alive Out There

9:05 p.m. - Should've taken an extra day with this so I wouldn't end the year on a downer

45. Everything You Want Me to Be (Mindy Mejia)
You need more than two suspects for a compelling murder mystery! Even the red-herring suspect didn't make that much sense! Gah!

Up next: The Power (Naomi Alderman)

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