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The Immortals, Book 1: Wild Magic (finished 24 December 2011)
I started this book on a trip to San Francisco in late October—there’s still a plane ticket sticking out of it, actually—and didn’t actually read it until later in the year. A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a good introduction to Tamora Pierce’s writing. I remember when the Circle of Magic books were published around the time I was in junior high; they were popular but I never read them. Wild Magic isn’t bad; I can find nothing glaringly wrong with it, at least, except that it is—quite obviously—simply an introduction. (There are three other books in “The Immortals” series.) I’d read the others (or, at least, the second) if they showed up on my desk somehow, but I probably won’t seek them out.

Red Riding Hood (viewed at home 10 December 2011)
A retelling of the ancient fable that’s part drama, part mystery—with a dash of romance for flavor. I was pleasantly surprised to see Galactica‘s Tigh in the film, though I wish he’d played a bigger part. The film itself was all right—I didn’t immediately figure out who the werewolf was, but I’m not adept at mysteries, so there’s that. I wasn’t really surprised when it was revealed. Definitely a fantasy, but not in an overt kind of way, which I liked. Also, I kind of liked the ending; romantic, in a strange sort of way, though I can see why it wasn’t well-received at the box office. Whatever. It was all right. Not “super awesome you must see this right now”, but okay.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn, part 1 (viewed in theaters 26 November 2011)
I don’t care enough about this series (the books or the movies) to give it more than a mention here. It wasn’t a good movie. In fact, it was pretty spectacularly bad—bad characterization (there is none), bad for women (are you kidding me, S.Meyer?), and a non-existent plot—and this is still the only series that involves vampires that has ever made me root for someone not the vampires. I mean, really. It’s just pathetic. This is the first movie in the series that I didn’t (attempt to) read the book beforehand. I’m pretty sure reading the book was unnecessary, since the very first Twilight movie was actually an improvement over the book upon which it was based. Just… ugh, Twilight; ugh.

Sleeping With Money (finished at home early November 2011)
I’ve said I’m not really one for yakuza/gangster stories, and yet recently I’ve read a few without even seeking them out. I don’t know why that keeps happening. Either way, this novel was… eh: so so. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. That might have been the translation (it was translated from the original Japanese), but I just… didn’t really get into it. I finished it, but the most it had going for it was the pictures (seck-say woo woo) and my desire to finish things I start. Otherwise, meh.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (viewed at home 14 November 2011)
Made me want scream. I realize the documentary is slanted against the MPAA, but seriously… it wasn’t like these guys had to try very hard to make the Association look bad. If the stuff in this documentary is true, the MPAA rating system—and its implicit censorship and the use of complete secrecy—is complete bullshit. Also, way to go, sexist/anti-gay/anti-sex movie industry… of which the MPAA is only a symptom. Made me want to just strangle someone. You think violence is okay and sex somehow isn’t? Not going to lie: that’s pretty fucked up. I’ll give you some violence. /garrrrrrr /tears out hair

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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