Reading: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This is the third novel is his popular, well received series A Song of Ice and Fire. I am, embarrassingly, one of those people who did not hear about A Song of Ice and Fire until everyone on Tumblr was obsessing over the first season of the show created for the series, called Game of Thrones. I am a huge fantasy nerd, so I was shocked to not have heard of it sooner. I quickly watched the entire first season and was instantly hooked and enthralled by the human stories. My brother gifted me the first four books after that (because he is the best brother), and I've been reading them ever since. The show is really really good. And for good reason, George R.R. Martin is pretty involved with it's production. But the books are so much better. I know everyone always says that, but they do it for good reason. I cannot get over these stories. I'm now almost done with A Storm of Swords, as I've had difficulty putting it down (even more so than the first two novels); all 1128 pages have had me on the edge of my toes. It is the series I recommend to everyone, especially fantasy lovers, but just book/story lovers in general. George R.R. Martin is a magnificent writer and story teller. I even got Will's mom reading the series, and she's reading them faster than me! Once I've finished this one, I'll probably binge watch the 3rd season of the show (that follows the first half of this book) before starting the fourth. Oh goodness.
Watching: Orange is the New Black is another discovery I have made thanks to Tumblr. Seriously, Tumblr, I love you. Orange is the New Black is based on a memoir of the same name, by Piper Kerman, about her own experiences in federal prison after being convicted for a decade old crime. To be honest, I was completely shocked by this series. It is way better than I thought it was going to be (I don't know why I wasn't confident that it would be good). It is raw and human and funny and sad. All of the characters are so unique and well written and significant (rightfully so, as it is a true story). It is so wonderful to see a show completely made up of women, doing so well. I mean, this show kicks the Bechdel test's butt so easily. The feminist in me is super happy about it.
"The strength of [Orange is the New Black] isn’t that it’s universal and isn’t even that it’s women-specific, but that it tells the stories of the types of women who don’t get their stories told in our culture: black women, Hispanic women, fat women, butch women, bi women, old women, immigrant women, uneducated women – and even a trans woman’s story. When the season is done, you will be astonished at the vast range of women you've been exposed to and if you reflect on it, will probably be a little depressed that such stories are so rare in our culture."
If you're interested, the first season of the show is available to watch on Netflix.
Listening: This band has had me smitten for quite awhile, but Radiation City's latest album Animals in the Median has gotten me in a full on swoon. This Portland band has a sound that is retro, romantic, and fun. They kill me every time. They released the video for the song Zombies from Animals in the Median a few weeks ago and I love the feel of it. The dreamy, eery, pop feel of the song was perfectly captured. This song makes me sad but also want to dance all at the same time. But mostly dance. Give it a listen!