Monster's of the Week: The Complete Critical Companion to The X-Files

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If you or someone you know is an X-Files fan this is the best. Every episode is broken down to discuss all the details. It’s like binge watching the series with a couple friends where you pause and discuss all the best parts. For the most part you get a bunch of inside info on the set and story line.

I’d love to create a sort of Sci-Fi/ Cryptozoology course out of a re-watch of the series and this book.

My only complaint would be that the authors felt the need to look at most episodes through the social media lens of 2018 instead of the mores of when the episode aired. Not everything ages well, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun to watch.

Monster's of the Week: The Complete Critical Companion to The X-Files by Zack Handlen and Todd VanDerWerff

October 16, 2018

Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border

We seem to only talk about our Southern border these days. This story brings our Northern border in all its length and natural beauty into the forefront. 

Travel writer Porter Fox spent three years exploring 4,000 miles of the border between Maine and Washington, traveling by canoe, freighter, car, and foot. In Northland, he blends a deeply reported and beautifully written story of the region’s history with a riveting account of his travels. Setting out from Maine, Fox follows explorer Samuel de Champlain’s adventures across the Northeast bringing history to life for the reader.  He recounts the rise and fall of the timber, iron, and rail industries; crosses the Great Lakes on a freighter; tracks America’s fur traders through the Boundary Waters; and traces the forty-ninth parallel from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean. It's pretty awesomely detailed.
 

This is worth reading just for its long narrative descriptions of places like the Boundary Waters which you may have heard of but most of the US population will never see firsthand.

He weaves in his encounters with residents, border guards, Indian activists, and militia leaders to give a dynamic portrait of the Northland today, wracked by climate change, water wars, oil booms, and border security it is not an entirely pretty picture.

Verdict- Buy

Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America's Forgotten Border by Porter Fox

July 3, 2018

Springfield Confidential

I squeezed this review in just under the wire of my self-imposed deadline, and it was well worth it. I love reading about writing, writers and how television and movies get made. Mike tells you all that you've ever wondered about. Where is Springfield?  (it's nowhere real) How long does it take to write one episode (it depends) How are the guest stars chosen? (Sometimes because they owe Fox some money) Side note- guest stars make $400 proving that it's more about saying you were on The Simpson's than it being some high paying gig. Overall even if you aren't a fan of the show (we are) it has become a sort of social icon for our times. I found the book to be entertaining and irreverent much like The Simpson's itself.

Verdict- borrow

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from Edelweiss + without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

Springfield Confidential by Mike Reiss, Matthew Klickstein

June 12, 2018

Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together

This book reinforced something I already suspected- Build A Wall is an exact opposite of what we should be doing as a nation. Like the idea of walling off the kitchen from the rest of your home- it's not only a dumb idea but close to impossible to live with at this point. The United States and Mexico are so intertwined in so many ways that we are going to have to be good neighbors to each other like it or not. I thought the book was well researched and was a quick read because it wasn't written for academia but everyone. I'd hand it over to a high school student studying civics with no problem.

Verdict- borrow

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from NetGalley without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together by Andrew Seelee

June 5, 2018