The Reading Room | 5 #Books to Binge-Read After Binge-Watching #StrangerThings

Fill your ‘Stranger Things’ void with books!

Did you watch “Stranger Things” on Netflix?  Did you tear through it? Were you left wanting more? Then check out one of these books, sure to leave you riveted. Filled with the supernatural and extraterrestrial, normal people in bizarre circumstances, and a tinge of nostalgia, these books are must reads for anyone looking for stranger things…

I answered yes to all three of The Reading Room‘s questions above, but I’ve only heard of two of these titles–the King novel The Tommyknockers, for one–but I had no idea that John Dies at the End was a book. Whether it started that way or this is a novelization of the film matters not; it looks like I need to be making a trip to the library!

Have you guys seen Stranger Things yet? Did you like it? Do you think this Reading Room list does your feels from the series justice?

#Music | Hollywood Vampires “Raise the Dead in Atlantic City”

Raise the Dead in Atlantic City

Source: Hollywood Vampires | News

Brian Ives gives us a stately look at the Vamps’ 5 July show from New Jersey’s Borgata in Atlantic City. I’ve only provided an excerpt of Ives’s humorous and insightful passage here, but go check out the entirety, you won’t regret it.

In the wrong hands, the band’s central theme – paying tribute to people who’ve died, mostly through substance abuse – could come off as dour, or even as a “Just Say No” commercial. Instead, Cooper (who knew nearly all of these deceased artists) celebrates Lennon, Hendrix, Morrison, Moon, et al, by asking, “What would they have liked?”

The show began right after 8 pm with a film showing some of the artists that the Vampires pay tribute to, and then the band hit the stage with one of their few originals, “Raise the Dead.”

“A sudden quick demise,” Cooper sang. “And so the body dies, but the music stays alive.” The show was proof of that. From there they went into Spirit’s “I Got a Line.” Then, two songs by David Bowie, whose catalog wasn’t eligible for a Vampires cover when  they released their self-titled debut last year, since he was still alive. That gave the performances of “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City” more poignancy… or as much poignancy as a song that invites the audience to yell “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” can have.

In this set, they performed covers of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and “Bang a Gong (Get it On).” They sound awesome doing it! Watching Johnny Depp play guitar on T. Rex songs feels a lot like watching Johnny Depp in a Stephen King movie–double the joy! Double the satisfaction!

He looks good amid all the turmoil he’s facing off-stage, but the music is definitely providing a solid sense of escape for the man. He looks at home on the stage, in his element. I only wish I could go see him, but they aren’t coming far enough south. The closest they’ll be is the 7 July show in Aurora, IL. *heartbreak*

(From Alex Neff) Hollywood Vampires cover “20th Century Boy”

(From Steve Easton) Hollywood Vampires cover “Bang a Gong (Get it On)”

 

 

 

TV | The X Files Season 10 Premiere

Source: Fox Broadcasting

I am so excited to have The X Files back in active rotation. Just caught up with the first episode, “My Struggle,” and found it close to form. It generated a lot of new questions, barely answered any old questions, and gave us a whole new revised version of the old conspiracy to theorize about. All I know is I am locked in for the next episode, because I have just got to see how this mini-arc ends.

It was lovely to see Scully and Mulder “back together” and in the most awkward of consequences. They were more often trading barbs than kisses, which I’m okay with either way, but they did a fine job of simply making it feel awkward to watch them together. Again, not a bad thing, they are actors, after all, and it would be awkward to be called by a former boss to find a former lover, who is also a former co-worker, wouldn’t it? And, then, after more than a decade, hang out like it’s old times? Yep, definitely awkward.

We also get to see Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Sans awkwardness, but with heated exchanges and statements of the obvious, respectively. And then there’s Joel McHale, playing buddy believer with Mulder, as a conservative TV host, who the New York Times felt was miscast here. But I thought he brought just enough energy, zeal, and overt seriousness (I mean, sometimes it felt like he was just trying too hard there.) to bring that character to life. It just reminds me that I need to start watching Community.

Overall, I was pleased, and I’m looking forward to where this little reboot takes us.

Pop | Tarantino Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Source: USA Today

Congratulations to Quentin Tarantino!! I have been a big fan of his movies since Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. I love how he tells a story, the actors he works with, and his dialogue is always intelligent and engaging. I haven’t seen a Tarantino film that I didn’t like. Pure entertainment, and well earned! Congrats to the folks who joined him in the “Class of 2016”. Click the image to see the entire USA Today article.

Love his quote:

“That’s really cool, I must have become a big shot,” he joked during his speech. “This is a real, real groovy day.”

Books | The Bazaar of Bad Dreams from #StephenKing

Source: Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster just sent along some information on Stephen King‘s newest short story collection. Here’s what they had to say about it. Certainly can’t wait to dig my claws into it!

A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

Pop | 2015 #Oscars Nominees Revealed

Source: Oscars.org
Source: Oscars.org

Oooh, the Oscars–ahem, The Academy Awards. 😀

Love the Oscars. One of my favorite award shows. Now, I’m not geek enough to know all the stats like Chris Connelly from ABC News; but that doesn’t mean I don’t love cheering on my favorites and those on my “To Watch” list.

I’m so excited to see old favorites Michael Keaton, on board with Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) highest on my TW List, and Meryl Streep, who killed in Into the Woods receiving her record 19th nom this year. I got to see this on opening day, and it was totally worth standing in line with about 100 people.

I’ll also be rooting on Julianne Moore, acknowledging her work in Still Alice, and Edward Norton, making it work with Keaton in Birdman. In all honesty, I would love to see The Grand Budapest Hotel take the Best Picture award because I don’t think anyone makes a movie or tells a story the way Wes Anderson does.

Use the link below to see the list in full.

2015 Oscars | Nominees | 87th Academy Awards Nominations.

Who do you think the Oscar should go to? How did you feel about the “snubs”? (I have to say I was awfully surprised to not see more noms for Selma, and I guess Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal were shut out despite being held up for their work in Cake and Nightcrawler, respectively.)

Golden Globes 2015: See All the Winners

Please direct comments to original posting at TIME, thanks!

TIME

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress in a Series or Mini-Series for Television

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Allison Janney, Mom
Michelle Monaghan, True Detective

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture for Television

Fargo (FX)
The Missing (Starz)
The Normal Heart (HBO)
Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
True Detective (HBO)

Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture for Television

Martin Freeman, Fargo
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Best Actress, Television Series — Comedy

Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

Best Television Series — Comedy

Girls (HBO)
Jane the Virgin (CW)
Orange Is the New Black

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The Top 10 Horror Novels of 2014

And I trust that Matt Molgaard would know! Please, direct any comments to the original post!

Horror Novel Reviews

Written by: Matt Molgaard

What novels scored big with readers this year? Truth is, that’s a tough question to answer, as we all seem to be looking for something a little different. However, we can definitely let you in on the books that really won us over. The following are the 10 best novels released in 2014, as voted on by myself and a number of our contributors!

butterfly-skin

10 Sergey Kuznetsov – Butterfly Skin

Verdict: Butterfly Skin reads, at times, like a vintage giallo picture… mixed with a little Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It’s wonderfully written and about as addictive as I imagine crack being. A stunning story that delivers tons of chills, the novel is about as disturbing as they come. Reviews of the novel seem to be a bit mixed, but lovers of the extreme are going to dig this one quite a bit.

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09 Benedict…

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Pop | Top 5 #Christmas Carols – #HappyHolidays

Happy Holidays to everyone out there on this fine Christmas Eve day. Season’s Greetings! May your holidays be warm and the wine flowing! In order to share the joy of the season with my lovely followers, I’m sharing my Top 5 Christmas Carols. These are the songs that get my heart racing and sometimes bring tears to my eyes. Christmas music isn’t always my favorite genre, but these five songs just spell out the reason for the season to me. Enjoy!

1) John Lennon – “So This Is Christmas” (1971)

(From BeatlesPlanet)

2) Band Aid – “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (1984)

(From PhoenixRising100)

3) Handel – Hallelujah Chorus

I have to say something about this song. I was a first soprano in high school, and I don’t remember a Christmas program that didn’t include this song. I had the option to choose a video created for this song featuring a professional choir, but there’s something about flash mobs that just choke me up!

(From Alphabet Photography)

4) Straight No Chaser – 12 Days (Original from 1998)

(From Randy of Straight No Chaser)

5) Celtic Woman – Carol of the Bells

(From PWestlake0114)