Monday, August 8, 2022

Music Monday (211): Kelsey Lu, Alice Francis & Gene Stovall x Geenpool, Tom Holkenborg


  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Recently, I've been listening to Kelsey Lu's music again. I realized I never mentioned her stuff before. One of my favorite songs is Foreign Car.

Adri: At the end of Club Noir there's this (what I assume to be) bonus track. It's different from the rest of the album, but I like it. It's Not so Well Hidden Track by Alice Francis and Gene Stovall x Geenpool.

Andrea: Hi all! This week I'm listening to Blue Menace by Tom Holkenborg.

What are you listening to this week?

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Friday 56 (220) & Book Beginnings: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

Synopsis from Goodreads...
What is the purpose of a map? Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map. But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence... because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way. But why? To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps...

Beginning: "In the dim light of her desk's single bulb lamp, the map nearly glowed."

56: "She didn't even know for sure if he had the same number. But a few long minutes later, her phone buzzed."

Comments: There's nothing better than a highly anticipated book turning out to be a new favorite. The Cartographers lands right in that category. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

I Listened to Special by Lizzo

I’ve been a fan of Lizzo for a while now, and one of my most anticipated albums of the year was her follow-up to 2019’s Cuz I Love You. It was one of my favorites during its release year, and that album (and the ones before it) set the bar pretty high for the kind of fun and quality music I expect from Lizzo. (Don’t even get me started about her 2016 EP, Coconut Oil. I still love it.)

Lizzo’s latest release, Special, more than continued with that trend, delivering catchy retro 80s pop and disco beats, mixed with hip hop and funk. In terms of lyrics and messaging, Special is a pretty positive album overall, especially in its tone. However, it was also reflective and heartfelt too, especially with songs like 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready), Break Up Twice, and Special, just to name a few.

There are no features on the album, but honestly, Special didn’t need any. Lizzo’s artistry was on full display. What I thought was interesting was how she used a variety of samples to really drive home the aesthetic of the album, but they didn’t overpower the tracks.

The hype for Special was more than deserved. It really is one of my favorite albums of 2022, and I look forward to whatever Lizzo releases next.

Have you listened to Special yet? If so, what did you think about it?

Monday, August 1, 2022

Music Monday (210): Audrey Nuna, Deb Never, Beyoncé, Khalid, Ne-Yo


  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: I really like this collaboration between Audrey Nuna and Deb Never. It's called Sardines.

I'm also listening to Beyoncé's new album, Renaissance. It's so good! One of my favorites is All Up In Your Mind.


Andrea: Hi all! I'm currently listening to Talk by Khalid and Handle Me Gently by Ne-Yo. Have an amazing week!

What are you listening to this week?

Friday, July 29, 2022

Short Stories I Read in June

It’s the twenty-ninth of July. So it’s time to talk about the short stories, miscellaneous posts, and podcast episodes I read or listened to in June.

Mycelysis by G.G. Diniz; Art by C.A.P. Ward (Strange Horizons; Issue: 30, May 2022)

Mushrooms/fungus and speculative fiction/SFF seems to go hand in hand. The first of the two short stories I read this month was Mycelysis by G.G. Diniz. It was a fantastic work of flash fiction. The story can be a little haunting, as it talks of gods coming and going, and a nameless narrator who goes to a temple and joins a group of disciples. It was short but exceptionally interesting, especially with the imagery painted by the writing and the overall point of the story. (The little note at the beginning was an interesting look at how the illustration correlated with the story, and I recommend reading that as well.)

The Fruit of the Princess Tree by Sage Tyrtle (Apex Magazine; May 17, 2022)

The second and last story I read in June was Sage Tyrtle’s The Fruit of the Princess Tree. There’s no shortage of fiction that challenges that princess and prince charming narrative, and this story falls into that category. What makes it unique is its approach to it, by adding a fantasy aspect into the fray with princesses that grow on the titular tree. There was an undeniably somber tone to the story, but it was fitting. I also enjoyed the ending. This was a good one.

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