Fall TV Shows: A Summary

This Fall has been all about TV for me. I haven’t felt motivated to blog, but I sure as heck can find the motivation to watch TV. Here’s my take on some of Fall’s new and returning shows.

New

Ghosted¬†(Fox) – To be honest, I just wasn’t a fan of this one. I really like both Craig Robinson and Adam Scott, but it just didn’t have the comedic tone I was looking for. It was too…much in some ways. The jokes were too obvious. The show seemed too superficial.

Wisdom of the Crowd¬†(CBS) – I did not expect to love this show as much as I do. The characters are fun and interesting to me, not to mention pretty diverse. The idea of a crowd-sourced, crime-solving app is super intriguing to me. I like how there’s an overall case that they’re trying to solve with other secondary cases on each episode.

The Good Doctor¬†(ABC) – When I saw this show was produced by the same people who made House, I knew I had to watch. I LOVED House and I love this show too. It’s a completely separate tone, but with all of the things that I think made House so watchable. There’s lots of hospital politics and cool graphics/special effects. If you’re super squeamish though, I might suggest passing on this. There are a lot of surgery scenes.

The Gifted (Fox)¬†– I am just about ready to give up on this show. I just don’t really feel like any of the characters are super likable and the plot hasn’t gone anywhere since the first couple episodes. I love the Marvel universe, but I’m thinking I’ll replace this show with the next one.

Marvel’s Runaways¬†(Hulu) – I read these comics about 10 years ago and really loved them so I was super excited to see that it was being turned into a TV show. I’m (for the most part) pretty happy with the casting and the first few episodes have been alright. I’m just worried that it’ll depart more from the comics than it already has. Also, I’m worried it’s going to get more…mature.

The Mayor¬†(ABC) – This is another show that surprised me! There’s something about Courtney, his mom, his friends, and even Lea Michele’s character that is incredibly likable. I think the entire cast has really good chemistry and the show is just fun to watch. Even though it’s a comedy, it’s a great platform to bring awareness to certain social issues that are plaguing many cities across the country. Courtney comes across as very genuine and as someone who loves his city and really wants to help it even if he’s a little naive about some things.

Returning

The Good Place¬†(NBC) – S2 – This show is fantastic! I was worried about how the second season would be after the end of season one, but they’ve pulled it off. I wondered if it would essentially be a repeat of the first season, but they’ve managed to keep it fresh without it being too Groundhog Day-y. The cast is great just like they were last season and I’m excited for it to start up again in the new year.

Superstore¬†(NBC) – S3 – THIS SHOW IS SO UNDERRATED. But seriously, why does nobody talk about this show? It’s so funny! The show makes unbelievable things believable. I mean, they literally just found a dead employee in the wall of the store and it wasn’t weird. Also, I ship Amy and Jonah so hard. Talk about OTP.

Fresh Off the Boat¬†(ABC) – S4 – Another show that is just…so great. I thought that perhaps I especially enjoy it because I’m half-Chinese, but my (non-Asian) husband loves it just as much! It’s a fun look back at what it was like growing up in the 90’s and the characters are all really likable as well.

This is Us¬†(NBC) – S2 – I love this show, but I also hate this show. It just pulls my emotions all over the place and I don’t even know what to do with myself. I’m inevitably in tears after every episode. I JUST WANT THESE PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY. Beth is my spirit animal.

Speechless¬†(ABC) – S2 – Minnie Driver is such a great actress and is such a perfectly flawed mother. I think some people could view her as overwhelming and annoying, but for me she’s pretty perfect. I think all of the characters on the show are exaggerated a little bit, but the show still works. I also love seeing a normal character with disabilities. In my enormously unqualified opinion, the show does a great job talking about issues and stereotypes that people with disabilities face in a realistic and respectful way.

Survivor¬†(CBS) – S35 – I grew up watching Survivor and then kind of fell out of it in high school and college. Then, my husband and I started getting back into it and we are now addicted to all CBS reality shows (Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother). It’s awesome. Anyway, this season is pretty much just like all the others. This show knows what works and they keep doing it. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with this season.

What are some TV shows you guys are watching? Do we watch any of the same shows?

 

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ANNOUNCEMENT

First of all, I just want to thank the people who have stuck around with me even though I’ve been posting hardly at all. Life has just taken a weird turn and I have zero motivation to blog right now. I’m working full-time and my husband is just starting grad school, plus, all the Fall TV shows are starting.

With all that being said, I’m putting this blog on an indefinite semi-hiatus. “Indefinite” because I don’t know when I’ll find the motivation to start blogging again. “Semi” because if I feel like it, I might still post every once in a while and I do have some prior commitments that I’ll need to keep. Maybe I’ll write about books, but maybe I’ll just write about the TV shows I’ve been watching.

I do have a ton of ARCs from NetGalley that I need to get reviews up for, so you’ll probably be seeing those, but don’t expect too much else for the time being. Maybe I’ll start feeling more motivated to write in the new year? But I’m not holding myself to that.

Thanks for all the love, likes, and comments.

Ashley @What’s She Reading?

The Perfect App for the Person Who Keeps Planning on Reading Classics but Never Actually Does

This is me. I am the person who has a list of classic books that I want to read eventually, but never do because when it comes down to it I have too many other, more current books to read instead. Classic books just always take me so long to read and it’s not like they’ll ever be unavailable to check out, right? That’s always my rationale at least. But then I discovered the most wonderful app called Serial Reader (this is not a sponsored ad, I just seriously love this app). So here’s how it works. You pick a book that you want to read and set a time to receive new issues every day. Then, once a day you’ll receive a manageable portion of the book to read. The app even tells you how long it will take for you to read it! Once you’re done with your issue, then you just have to wait until the next day to keep reading. Before you know it, you’ll have finished the whole book one manageable portion at a time!

Serial Reader 1

There’s a really wide variety of books to choose from and as far as I know, there isn’t a limit to how many you can read at one time. You can highlight and take notes and it will save all of those for you in the app. The app itself is free, but if you purchase the upgrade (I think it was either $1.99 or $2.99) then you can read ahead to future issues and use the handy dandy “Read Later” function. So far, I’ve finished¬†Northanger Abbey and am currently reading¬†Wuthering Heights. On my “Read Later” list I have¬†Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Letter, Frankenstein, The Haunted Hotel, The Woman in White,¬†and¬†The Mysteries of Udolpho. The only drawback that I’ve found so far is that the app only has the rights for books published before 1930. So books like¬†1984 and¬†Farenheit 451 aren’t on there.

I have my issues set for 7 AM, shortly after I wake up, so that I can read them at any point during the day. I’ve only tried reading one at a time at this point–more than that might be a little much for me–but it feels good to know that I’m knocking some classics off of my TBR without taking too much time away from the other books that I’m reading!

Has anyone else tried this app? What did you think? Let me know if you end up downloading it and what your first read is going to be! What are some of your other favorite reading apps?

New from Sarah Dessen

So, so excited to finally announce my next book, ONCE AND FOR ALL! Coming June 2017. #number13

A post shared by Sarah Dessen (@sdessen) on

 

Dessen fans rejoice! Sarah Dessen just announced via social media that her 13th book,¬†Once and for All, will be published June 2017. The announcement was originally made on PublishersWeekly.com. In case you didn’t already read the Instagram post, “The novel…follows a just-graduated high schooler with a cynical view of romance and marriage. Burned by her first true love, she’s not ready to give her heart to anyone, when she meets a handsome young man”. And apparently it’s set in the world of wedding planning, but it’s not clear whether that’s our protagonist’s job, her parents, or maybe even the “handsome young man”. To me it sounds like our main character might be a little Remy-esque from¬†This Lullaby and I’m all for it. So there you have it. We have to wait until next June but what’s another ten months, really?

DISCUSSION: Diversity in YA

Diversity in Books

This is a topic that I’m sure you guys have been hearing a lot about lately and I know you’ve all been wondering what I think about it…right? As a POC (person of color) myself, I do feel like I have a small sliver of authority on this subject. After all, I’m the kind of person who’s underrepresented, right? I came across a post myself just today and I left this long comment which made me think that I really just needed to write my own post. So here we are.

Just as an introduction, I’m half Chinese and a quarter Panamanian and I grew up near the Seattle area so there was a fair amount of diversity at my high school (mostly white, but a pretty large representation¬†of Asian, some Hispanic, and some Black as well). I’ve always been a reader but it honestly never really bothered me that the books I was reading were all about white people. It’s just not something that I ever thought about. Growing up with parents and countless other family members who were part of interracial relationships made it so that race was seriously a non-issue for me growing up. Even now, despite the fact that I live in a very white area, I rarely¬†feel uncomfortable or like I stand out because of my ethnicity. At the same time, I know that a lot of people have had a different experience than me. I know some people have acutely felt the lack of diverse characters in YA books–I’m just not one of those people.

Let me make sure to say¬†that I do think we need more diversity in books. Absolutely. But I think we’re looking for that diversity to come from the wrong people. We complain about straight white authors who are only writing about straight white characters. Well…what else are we supposed to expect? For the most part, authors (and other creators–this can be expanded to television and movies) write about the things they know about. They write about what they have experience with. If they’re a heterosexual white person, then they’re most likely going to write about and focus on white people in heterosexual relationships. That’s just how it is. As a POC I would never write a book with 100% white characters because I don’t have experience living a 100% white life. I honestly don’t know what it was like to grow up in a white household. Anything that I would try to write would be inauthentic and probably stereotypical.

I think the worst thing that could happen is for authors to become so badgered by the “diversity police” that they start including diverse characters just to get people to shut up. There was a book I read not too long ago but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was…anyway, a character was included who had a diverse characteristic, but it literally had no affect on the character.¬†The character might as well have not had that diverse characteristic. I don’t think it’s helpful to have characters who don’t embody the traits they’re supposed to possess. Just saying that a character is Asian doesn’t make the book more diverse if the Asian character acts like every other white character. I don’t just want to¬†see diversity, I want to¬†feel diversity. Despite my skin color, deep down I feel pretty white. I’ve never been to China or Panama. I don’t speak Cantonese or Spanish (to the disappointment of my grandmother). I don’t know how to cook authentic Chinese or Panamanian dishes. I live, basically, like a white person. That being said, my heritage¬†and my culture still affects me. If everything else in my life remained the same, I would still be a different person if I had white parents. Those are the people I want to see represented in YA books. If white authors include characters who are diverse only on the surface, it’s not going to help diverse readers feel like they belong any more than a book full of not diverse¬†people.

Then what is the solution? More diverse authors (and other creators). We need people out there who can tell our story because they’ve lived our story. It’s unfair for us to expect authors who aren’t part of “our group” to represent us. Instead, “our group” needs to step up to the plate instead of just complaining about how we’re underrepresented. We have stories to tell, but how are the white people supposed to know that? They’re too busy telling their own stories! I’m not a fan of everything that Jenny Han writes, but what I do love about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is that she incorporates Laura Jean’s Korean heritage. I love hearing about the food they eat and the special things they do over the holidays. Even though Laura Jean is American, she’s also Korean and Han does a great job of highlighting¬†that in Laura Jean’s story.

I’m not discouraging straight white authors from doing the research and including diverse characters in their books. If they want to do that, I think that’s great. What I am saying is that it’s not really their fault if they don’t include diverse characters. It doesn’t mean they’re racist or homophobic. It doesn’t mean they don’t think diversity’s important. I honestly¬†believe¬†they just don’t think about it when they’re sitting down to draft a new book. So instead of complaining about how authors need to include diverse characters that represent us (and not them) in their books, let’s do something about it ourselves. Instead of saying we need more diverse books, let’s let the publishing houses know that¬†WE WANT MORE DIVERSE AUTHORS¬†instead and support the ones that we already¬†have.

Parental Advisory for Books?

parental-advisory_custom-d61ea6192ebc478d3a7ff147dbbe3e884ebcb5ac-s900-c85
Just a picture, not actually a warning for this post.

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you might remember that I did a post on parental advisory for books almost exactly a year ago. Within the last couple of months this post has¬†seemed to regain interest–the views have really started to pick up–and I’m not exactly sure why. I reread through that post and the comments the other day and I felt like I needed to write a new post addressing the topic. Now that I’m halfway done with my Masters in Library Science, I feel like I have a little more perspective and a more concrete opinion on the matter.

Just as a reminder from the brief research that I did for my last post, I didn’t find that ratings or labeling content as “explicit” was required for any medium (movies, video games, music) but that it was encouraged in a lot of them. I’ve seen some books that have warnings as part of the summary, but they’ve all been books that I’ve found on Amazon and appear to be self-published or published by a small publishing house–not by one of the big five.

The last time I talked about this, I proposed that books be given ratings similar to movies and video games. I think a lot of people took that to mean that children would be restricted from certain books if the rating was too mature like they are from R-rated movies and Mature rated video games (which started to feel like censorship to some).¬†As I’ve started my degree, I’ve discovered that librarians feel¬†very passionately about censorship (I’m taking an Intellectual Freedom course next term). They do not agree with it and actively fight against it in a lot of cases. I too do not believe that librarians have the responsibility to censor material for their young patrons–that is the job of parents. Who am I as a librarian to say whether or not someone else’s kid can read Fifty Shades of Grey? I know I wouldn’t let¬†my¬†kid read it, but that’s my own personal decision.¬†I realize now that I should have clarified something in my original post. I’m not proposing that kids be kept from reading certain books if they choose to read them. What I am proposing is that books be given ratings as a source of information for consumers (and parents of consumers).

While¬†you’re not given the responsibility to tell people what they can and can’t read as a librarian, you are given the responsibility of recommending books to people when they ask. This is called Readers’ Advisory (I took a class on that as well). Part of the RA interview is to determine a reader’s comfort level in certain areas. Perhaps you have a patron that loves reading romance. She’s comfortable with some steamy scenes, but she’s not a fan of erotica. It’s the librarian’s job to recommend books that fall within her comfort level. With what I propose, the rating system will only help readers to get the same information that they might get from a librarian during an RA interview. We already have a summary of the book, why not a brief summary of its adult content as well?

Ultimately I see this as a help for the consumer when determining what to read, but also for parents of young readers. My mom was a great mom. She was a stay-at-home mom so she was able to spend a lot of time with me and my siblings and was very involved in our lives. That being said, with the rate at which my sister and I consumed books, there was no way that my mom could keep up with what¬†we were reading. There were a couple of times when my mom caught wind of something “bad” in a book or series that I was reading and she made it clear that I was not to read those books. Honestly, I didn’t care. There were plenty of other books to read so I did what she asked (I mean, she’s my mom…what was I going to do?). I think if books had the kind of ratings that I’m proposing, my mom would have had a much easier time helping us to choose books with content that she thought was appropriate for us to be reading which is exactly what we as librarians hope parents will do.

So now that I’ve made some clarifications in my opinion, what do you guys think? Do you still think it’s a bad idea? Or would you find this kind of information helpful as well?

Do you want to be a librarian?

Hello everyone! I don’t usually post stuff like this, but I just wanted to get this information out there for anyone interested. Before I started this blog I had no idea how exactly one goes about becoming a librarian. Honestly, I didn’t even know that I might want to be one! After joining the book blogging community, I noticed a few bloggers mentioning MLS degrees and classes. I thought to myself, “What is this mysterious degree?” It turns out MLS stands for Masters of Library Science which is a degree that you need if you want to become a librarian. I know! I had NO IDEA that librarians had to get a specific Masters degree!

Anyway, after finding out about this glorious degree and feeling that it was the right path for me, I looked into and applied to a few different programs across the country. I started school last fall and will be done this December (fingers crossed!).¬†One awesome thing about the MLS is that a lot of schools have this degree 100% online! That meant that I could keep the job I already had plus I could start school. I’m currently working part time (28 hours a week) and going to school technically full-time (3 classes per semester, 2 classes per term). So far I’ve been loving it! It’s been hard for sure to find the balance between work, school, and personal life, but I’m excited with how quickly my progress has been towards getting this degree.

So here’s a little advice that I would give to anyone who is possibly interested in this degree.

  • It doesn’t matter what your undergraduate was in. My undergrad was Economics with a minor in Math–definitely unrelated. As long as you like books and feel passionate about the library’s role in society, you should be good.
  • Different schools require different things when applying. Some want you to have an interview, some have you take the GRE or GMAT, some require you to come to campus for an orientation, and they’re all different prices as well. So just pick the one that works for you! I personally went for one that didn’t require an interview, test (as long as your undergrad GPA was high enough), or on-campus orientation. In the end I think I had to send in transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a cover letter, and the online application.
  • Different schools have different classes and offer different specializations. Since I read a lot of YA, I decided to look into a Teen Services Specialization. Some schools didn’t have that and some did–so that’s something to think about. A lot of times you can find a list of the courses a school offers online. Find the one that has classes or a specialization you’re interested in!
  • If you don’t feel confident in your ability to be a self-starter or if you have a lot of other obligations on your time, online may not be the best route for you. You really do have to be on top of assignments and making sure you’re getting the readings done. With no face-to-face class time, there’s less accountability throughout the semester.

With all that being said, it’s been a really great experience for me. This is an email I was sent today and was asked to forward it to anyone who was interested:

Interested in obtaining your MLS degree 100% online?

Starting as early as this fall?

The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI is taking applications until July 15.

The Master of Library Science program, accredited by the American Library Association (ALA-MLS) is the entry degree for a professional librarian, universally required for professionals in academic libraries; essential for leadership in public libraries; provides valuable information and management skills for people who advance information connections in a variety of organizations, public, private, and non-profit.

Admissions Information

Online application

Plans of Study

Questions?  Feel free to contact me!

Elizabeth Bunge

Graduate Program Coordinator

Indiana University

School of Informatics and Computing-Indianapolis

535 W. Michigan St.

IT 476

Indianapolis, IN  46202-3103

Phone:  317-278-9200

http://soic.iupui.edu