chicafrom3: photo of the TARDIS (b: ani: rdu: tomato tomahto)
I've decided to start doing monthly roundups of the media I consume, because...reasons.

Basic stats:
According to Goodreads, I read 65 books in January. (In contrast to the two previous years I've been on Goodreads, I've decided to start using the site to keep track of every book I read. Including rereads. Including rereads of Scholastic books aimed at twelve-year-olds first published when I was six. Because why not.)
According to my own record-keeping, of those 65 books, 36 were books I was reading for the first time. (So slightly more than half, which seems like a good ratio.) Of those 36 first-reads, 7 were either comics or graphic novels; 11 were Doctor Who related; 5 were Star Wars related.
Of the 29 rereads, 1 was a comic collection; 8 were Animorphs books; 9 were The Baby-Sitters Club books; 9 were The Saddle Club books. When life is horrible, I reread Scholastic book series from the 80s/90s/00s, and I refuse to apologize for this fact.

TV and movies I keep my own records.

According to my records I watched 254 episodes of TV in January, which is . . . a lot of TV, wow. 138 of those episodes were new to me. There were four new-to-me series, consisting of 104 episodes. So a little more than half of my TV consumption was new material, and most of that was completely new.

I watched three new-to-me movies and didn't rewatch any, which is unusual for me on both counts. unfortunately breaks things down by 30-day period and not by month, but it looks like I didn't scrobble anything on the first anyway. According to their records I listened to 699 tracks in January, making for an average of 23 tracks per day. (I can tell you this isn't accurate, as I don't scrobble theatre recordings due to not knowing how to handle them, but I don't keep my own records so I can't tell you more than that.) Top artist was the Pogues with 106 scrobbles, to no one's surprise. The rest of the top 5: Taylor Swift (81), The Swell Season (63), Glen Hansard (57), Markéta Irglová (44). A total of 99 artists and 55 albums.

And now for some personal reflections on that media.

Like I said, I reread Scholastic book series when life is horrible, no apologies.

I finally finished a read-through of the Doctor Who New Series Adventures, and proved what I already thought: they're really hit or miss. One big problem with the NSAs is that because of the high turnover rate with the cast (especially during the RTD era, when every season ended with someone leaving) a lot of them (most of them) were written by someone who had never seen the Doctor they were writing about, the Companion(s) they were writing about, or both. And it often shows.

Over the past year or so I've accumulated a handful of Star Wars tie-in books and have now finally gotten around to reading them! (It's not even that many of them, I don't know why I've put it off so long.) Again, hit or miss. The Rogue One novelization is fantastic and what every movie novelization should aspire to be; Bloodline dragged through most of the plot and then abruptly got super-interesting in the last third or so; Kenobi just never quite felt like a Star Wars novel to me; Aftermath took me a while to get into and I only really ever got attached to one (of many) plotlines but I did get very attached to that plotline; Before The Awakening felt like not-very-skillful fanfiction.

I read the first two Paper Girls graphic novels early this month because my brother bought them for me for Christmas, and promptly got hooked. In the middle of a hiatus. Haha. Luckily the series starts releasing new issues tomorrow, so that's not too bad.

Tremendous anti-rec for The Abominable by Dan Simmons, I finished it and couldn't believe I'd wasted multiple days of my life on that garbage.

I picked up Robert Hewitt Wolfe's first novel, The Goblin Crown (first in a series called Billy Smith and the Goblins), more because I love RHW than because the premise particularly called to me. But I do love RHW and his writing (Andromeda, Alphas, Dresden Files, Elementary, etc.) a lot. I liked it quite a bit and will definitely be picking up the sequels, but I think if I was in the target age range I would've loved it.

Otherwise the month was a mix of books that were slightly better than I thought they would be or not quite as good as I wanted them to be but overall somewhat unremarkable.


My biggest commitment to a new series this month was Star Wars: The Clone Wars, because I've been putting it off for ages. I stuck it on my Netflix queue who knows how long ago because I love Star Wars, people kept saying it was what the prequels should've been (but weren't), and it's officially canon so I thought I should see it. And then I kept putting off watching it because five seasons of CGI cartoon seemed daunting. But now I'm fourteen episodes into season four and officially hooked. Ahsoka is obviously and inarguably the best part, but I also really like the development Padme gets, and I wish there was more of it. Anakin continues to be Anakin, but he's less irritating here than in live-action.

I also watched Ascension (technically a miniseries) and liked it a lot. It twisted in nicely unexpected ways (was anyone expecting that final shot of Gault? no?) and I adored Christa. That said it worked really well as a self-contained miniseries and I'm not particularly craving more of it.

I've never actually read the A Series Of Unfortunate Events books (an oversight I will someday rectify, probably), but I watched the Netflix series and loved it. It's exactly suited to my sense of humor, I don't know what else to tell you.

And then I watched The Crown, which was fine but never quite hooked me despite Matt Smith's presence.

Ongoing shows: The Librarians wrapped up season three and continues to be a show that feels like a comfortable afghan to me; I've been watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and alternately cringing and laughing and wanting to shake Rebecca into some sense; Star Wars Rebels continues to be fantastic; Girl Meets World ended and I'm still sad about it; Elementary continues to do interesting things with Holmes, Watson, and crime (wow that is the most generic statement I could've come up with isn't it); I think I will finish out Timeless's season one but not continue on with it to season two (if it gets one -- has it been renewed? I honestly don't know) -- it's failed to really capture me in any way; This Is Us is oddly comforting for a show which aims for at least one tearjerker in every episode; Supergirl is the best DC TV show now that Constantine is no more, and is certainly better than The Flash or Arrow, but I'm enjoying Legends of Tomorrow's weird amnesiac Rip plot; The Magicians has only aired one episode of season two so far but it looks like it's going to be an excellent season with loads of Fillory.

I think I crammed everything in there.

Oh, and not exactly the same thing, but yesterday we found out that 2017 will be Peter Capaldi's last year as the Doctor and I feel like that needs to be included in this roundup. I'm not ready for him to go -- I knew it was a possibility but I was hoping he'd break the New Who record for longest-running Doctor. Twelve will always be on the shortlist of my favorite Doctors. I'll miss you, sir. ♥


I watched three new-to-me movies this month: The BFG, Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and the remake of Beaches. Aside from the fact that I am possibly one of the last people on Earth who hadn't seen a complete Indiana Jones film, I don't have a lot to say about any of them. They were all reasonably good but not going to land on a favorite-movies list of mine anytime soon.


Honestly the only thing I really have to say about music in January is that I'm surprised the Dropkick Murphys didn't land on my top five list (they landed at #6), because they released a new album. 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory is not my new favorite Dropkick album (it's not even close, it's a three-way brawl between Blackout, Signed & Sealed In Blood, and Going Out In Style), but it's a solid offering. 4-15-13, about the Boston Marathon bombings, is deeply emotional, and at the complete opposite end of the spectrum is I Had A Hat which I'm pretty sure I'm never going to get out of my head. I'M A PEACEFUL LOVIN MAN I AM AND I DON'T WANT TO SHOUT BUT I HAD A HAT WHEN I CAME IN I'LL HAVE A HAT WHEN I GO OUT