Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 Reading, Books 19-21 (plus why you should watch Monday's Sleepy Hollow!)

19. Rita book #5

A tough one to rate. There were things I loved about it and things I hated. If this had been the kind of contest where you offer critique as opposed to just a numerical score, I would've filled the scoresheet with my rants and raves. As it was, I ended up assigning it a middling score, though unlike most of my midrange scores, I never thought "meh" at any point.

20. Sleepy Hollow #1-4 by Marguerite Bennett

I'm choosing to count these four comics as a single graphic novel, since they have a linked story arc and they're about the length/number of issues I usually see bound into book format.

OMG these are SO much fun. Far better than average for a TV tie-in, and filled with everything I loved about Season 1 of the show that's been too often lacking in the current season--focus on Ichabod and Abbie working together with wit, intelligence and loyalty, Katrina used minimally but effectively, plenty of Jenny and Irving. As with most tie-ins, not what you'd want as an introduction to the story and characters, but if you enjoy the show, you MUST read these.

...And if you're a Sleepy Hollow viewer who's stepped away over the way the show occasionally dragged this season with way too much Crane Family Drama and focus on extraneous characters like Nick Hawley to the exclusion of established favorite supporting characters like Jenny and Frank, I encourage you to come back for the two-part finale that starts Monday night. For that matter, I'd encourage you to tune in if you'd never seen the show before and want to know what I'm constantly babbling about of late. IMHO the writers have righted the ship and the show is moving in the right direction again. Plus we get Evil!Katrina. FINALLY.

Look, I've got excerpts from Monday! You want to watch this! You want to know what happens! I know it all sounds crazy, but that's what makes it so awesome!

21. Does Jesus Really Love Me? by Jeff Chu

Arguably yet another entry in my Year of the Memoir, but I decided to count it as a religion book, since I felt like I learned more about the churches Chu visited and the people he met than I did about his personal journey--though that was in there, too. The balance felt like 60-40, or maybe 70-30.

Homosexuality is arguably the most contentious issue in modern American Christianity. My native state of Alabama is currently making something of an exhibition of itself over it, and as someone who's evolved into a theologically liberal Christian, I feel a certain satisfaction that my chosen home state of Washington didn't have to wait for a court order, we voted for same-sex marriage. But as a straight woman, I'll always have an outsider's perspective on the issue. Chu provides an insider's view as a gay Christian from an evangelical background as he explores everything from the most extreme of extremists (he actually meets the Westboro Baptist Church people) to the most open and accepting congregations. A readable, gracious, and generous book.

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