Hello, and welcome to the very first installment of The Queue! The intention of this series of posts is to list the things I’ve been enjoying each month and give a brief review for each, as well as look forward to the things I plan to read/watch/listen to in the coming month. Hopefully you, my readers, will find some helpful recommendations through these posts. And hopefully the Star Trek pun makes you laugh (or perhaps snort derisively – listen, just being a fan of The EntrePUNneur doesn’t automatically make you a proficient pun-master). 😛
I have to be honest: my reading lately has been pretty pathetic. I’ve been working through a middle-school level Doctor Who novel for the past several months, and tbh that’s just embarrassing. But between getting packed up to move, trying to figure out the direction I want to go in the coming school year, and just keeping up with the regular day-to-day activities of life, it’s been really hard to find time to sit down and being absorbed in a new story, much less something nonfiction. But I have managed to get a few things in, so here they are.
Synopsis: The Doctor has never faced a challenge quite like this.
A sinister school where graduation means death . . .
A monstrous mystery lurking beneath a quiet London street . . .
A desperate plea for help delivered by . . . Hang on. A potted plant?
The Doctor has been summoned. The galaxy is in terrible danger, and only a Time Lord can save it. But to do so, she must break into the ancient Galactic Seed Vault. And at its heart lies a secret: Vault 13. The Vault has remained unopened for millions of years and is located on a remote and frozen world–from which nobody has ever returned alive. . . .
Can the Doctor and her friends Yaz, Ryan, and Graham uncover the shocking secret in Vault 13?
I’m going to give this book a 3 of of 5 stars. That may seem like a low review, but in fact this novel did exactly what I wanted it to: provide a low-key, easily-digestible form of entertainment/distraction. This book is placed in the middle-school age range for good reason. It’s fun and simple, and that’s what I was looking for when I went to the library and picked it up. The villain is pretty typical fare for the Doctor by this point, the characters weren’t really delved into a whole lot, and there were a couple of “easy fix” plot devices that weren’t really explained.
But like I said: fun, easy middle-school novel. Don’t expect anything profound, and you’ll be fine. 🙂
Synopsis: Orthodoxy (1908) is a book by G. K. Chesterton that has become a classic of Christian apologetics. Chesterton considered this book a companion to his other work, Heretics. In the book’s preface Chesterton states the purpose is to ‘attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it.’ In it, Chesterton presents an original view of Christian religion. He sees it as the answer to natural human needs, the ‘answer to a riddle’ in his own words, and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the boundaries of human experience.
I’m not going to review this one yet, because I’ve only gotten through the first few chapters. I do plan to finish it asap, but I’d really like to get a paper copy of my own before I go much farther (as much as I usually enjoy audiobooks, this is one of those books you just have to read yourself and have the freedom to mark up in order to truly enjoy and understand it). However, I have loved it so far, and I’m very much looking forward to finishing it soon. 😀
- Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor – current team: Jody Houser (author), Roberta Ingranata (artist), Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist)
Synposis: The third arc begins in the official Doctor Who comic, as the Doctor and her companions Yaz, Ryan, and Graham set off on a new adventure from Eisner-nominated writer Jody Houser (Mother Panic, Stranger Things, Star Wars, Faith, Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows)! These fast-paced, accessible new stories are perfect for fans and newcomers alike!
I’m going to try to keep all the mini-reviews in my Queue posts short, sweet, and to the point. But I’m going to make an exception here, because guys. This comic.
The first two arcs were typical fare for the Thirteenth Doctor’s era so far, nothing too huge. This current arc, however, has changed that, with the rather unexpected inclusion of a certain character from the Doctor’s past who we’ve never gotten to know much about before. I really hope it’s a hint as to where series 12 will be taking the latest TARDIS team.
So far I’ve found this series fun, full of beautiful art (seriously, I LOVE Roberta Ingranata’s art style!!), some great callbacks and character moments, and a lil bit of heartbreak. (Thirteen getting all excited because she thinks she’s found Missy again?? cue the tears T.T )
THESE. C O V E R S.
I seriously cannot get over how beautiful these things are. I would LOVE to have them all as mini posters. (Also, all but one of the currently-released issues are available for free on the digital library service Hoopla, which is where I read them.
Synopsis: Newly discovered entries and drawings in William Shakespeare’s journals reveal for the first time the astounding relationship between the great Bard and the Doctor.
Since his first adventure in 1963, the Doctor has enjoyed many encounters with William Shakespeare. Now, BBC Books has rediscovered notebooks, long thought lost, compiled by the Bard in which he divulges the influential role the Doctor played in his creative life. Here are the original notes for Hamlet, including a very different appearance by the ghost; early versions of great lines (“To reverse or not to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow”); the true story of how the faeries of A Midsummer Night’s Dream were first imagined; stage directions for plays adjusted to remove references to a mysterious blue box; and much, much more.
I first learned about this book through Maribeth and it looked fun, so when I found it was available on Hoopla, I decided to give it a read. It combines one of my most popular fandoms (Doctor Who) with one of my very nerdy loves (the works of Shakespeare) in a collection of snippets and short stories showing how the Doctor, along with his friends and enemies, managed to “disrupt” much of Shakespeare works, as well as much of his life. Oh, and I especially loved the short story at the end with one of my all-time favorite DW duos, the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble!
It was fun crossover and I enjoyed it. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Things I’m looking forward to reading next:
- Oath of the Outcast – C.M. Banschbach
- Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #11 – Houser, Ingranata, Angiolini (out next week, eep!!)
- The Green Ember series – S. D. Smith
- lots of other things I’m sure but I can’t remember right now XD
Eventually I might split this category up, as I’m not sure if I want to keep music in the same block as podcasts and audio dramas. But for now, Imma keep them all together.
I’ve been REALLY enjoying this podcast lately, especially the lectures from the Imagination Redeemed 2019 conference. My favorite so far has been the lecture from Junius Johnson. (Here’s a link to the episode on the Anselm Society site, if you’d like to listen now: Creating in the Ruins.) As an “artist” (writer first and foremost, but also a lover of poetry, film, and traditional art) who gives a lot of thought to the purpose of art within the Christian worldview – what it means and why it exists and why we should create it – I’ve got to say, this is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard on the topic.
I’ve only heard one episode of this podcast so far, but since I love pretty much everything I’ve heard from the Rabbit Room’s excellent group of writers, musicians, artists, and other creatives, I figured I’d enjoy this too. I wasn’t wrong. The episode I heard (Episode 1: Katy Bowser Hutson) was an exploration on the power and purpose of poetry, and rather emotional in places, as Ms. Hutson shared her personal journey with breast cancer and how she used poetry during that time. I especially loved the discussion about how the meaning of a writer’s own words often isn’t understood until after they get them onto the page.
I’ve been meaning to listen to this one for a while now, as I love reading stories from the Phoenix Fiction Writers, and they’re really a splendid group of people to interact with online. So when I saw the latest episode of their podcast was on writing disabled characters (something that’s always seemed super intimidating to me, yet is also very needed in more spec-fic stories) and I had a mountain of dishes to wash, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I was not disappointed!! I really enjoyed hearing from these ladies about how best to represent disabled/differently-abled characters in stories, and I feel much better equipped to deal with the challenge in the future. (Here’s the link to the episode on the PFW site: Ep 19: Tips for Writing Characters with Disabilities.)
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this podcast, except that I need to listen to a lot more of it, and if you’re a creative mind who loves finding the depth and beauty and fingerprint of God in art (visual, literary, and musical), you should listen to it, too. 😀
Next: Audio Dramas!
Synopsis: Time is collapsing. Incidents of chaos and devastation are appearing throughout the lives of one Time Lord and his many friends – all fallout from one terrible disaster. From Earth’s past and present to timeless alien worlds, from the cloisters of Gallifrey into the Vortex itself… The Doctor must save universal history – and he needs all the help he can get.
I plan to write a full review of this at some point, as I took extensive notes the whole time I listened (…no…68% of them were not just keyboard slamming and emojis, I promise… 😐 ), but right now I’ll just say that this was the first boxset I ever purchased from Big Finish, and I’m very happy with that decision. 6+ hours of all different characters from across 50+ years of on-screen stories and 20 years of audio stories running into each other in amazing adventures, all leading up to a huge final showdown between the Doctor and an enemy who’s been popping up across his lives, and it was absolutely fantastic. My top favorite stories from this set were “Lies in Ruins” and “The Sacrifice of Jo Grant” (both of which I’ve listened to twice already).
- The Piano Guys
I kinda feel obligated to include this officially-curated study playlist from The Piano Guys first, because it’s powering me through this blog post as I type. But I’m always listening to TPG anyway, and their stuff is amazing, so it’s well deserved. 😀
- The Arcadian Wild
I’ve recently realized how much I love folky-type music, and The Arcadian Wild is one of my top faves. They have beautiful harmony and the way they play their instruments is amazing, as are the deep lyrics they pen that share so much truth.
My favorite songs by TAW this past month have been “Rain Clouds”, “If You’re the Coffee”, “The Ballad of Donnie Gene”, and “The Storm”.
*(I will warn that a handful of TAW’s songs do contain references to alcohol, usually in a historical context, as many folk/bluegrass style groups do… I know different families/individuals have different regulations regarding content like this in media, so I just wanted to mention it.)
- “Why it Matters”, Sara Groves
I’m not 100% sure how I found this song, but I believe it happened to come across my Amazon Music station… Either way, I really love it. My friends and I are always on the lookout for “artsy” music that captures the connections between the arts and our faith, much the way many of the podcasts I talked about above do.
- “The Artist”, Sarah Sparks
Another “artsy” song! A friend of mine recommended it to me not long ago, and it has come great lines (“Why would you put the hope inside me\If you would not paint the dream?”) and I adore the message. ❤
Things I’m looking forward to listening to next:
- More of the same podcasts + The Bible Project podcast (this came highly recommended to me by an author acquaintance on Instagram, and I started listening to an episode a couple weeks ago. It sounded really great, I’m excited to check out more!)
- More Big Finish Doctor Who! I actually was able to purchase the first in the Diary of River Song range just the other day, which I’ve been wanting to get started on for a while now. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more from that range soon, and I’d also really like to get into the more recent Eighth Doctor stories in the near future (particularly Doom Coalition).
- Classic Doctor Who (1963-1989)
This is an on-going thing in my life right now: trying to make my way through all the surviving episodes of the classic series. Right now I’m about halfway through the tenure of Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor, the first Doctor to make it to color television. It’s fun. Extremely cheesy and with even worse VFX than the early 2000’s episodes, but many of the stories are actually good, classic sci-fi television, and the characters are as charming and easy to become attached to as they are to this day. Plus, seeing the early days of U.N.I.T. and the relationship between the Doctor and that organization during his exile on Earth is really neat, as I love Kate, Osgood, and the rest of the second-generation team with modern U.N.I.T. in current series.
I’m watching all these original seasons on BritBox (as an extension of our Amazon Prime Video subscription), and so far my experience with that has been great.
- Avengers: Endgame
YUSSSS I finally saw this!!! *little happy dance*
And no, I don’t think I’ll tell you what I thought of it.
Actually, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about a lot of the character choices. Once I’ve worked through all of that, I’ll blog about it. But for now, I’ll just say that I found the movie to be very enjoyable and lots of fun overall, which was a relief after all the angst of Infinity War.
- Monsters Inc. & Monsters University
Several of my friends were horrified to learn that I had never seen these movies, and since they gave them such high reviews, I decided watch them with my baby sister. And I’m really glad I did! Both were super cute and fun Disney Pixar films, and I loved the characters, story, and especially the design. Oh, and the relationship between Sully and Mike!! I’ve got a huge soft spot for close friendships (romance is so over-rated 😉), and this was one that made me very happy. 🙂
- My Classic DW watch will be continuing for the foreseeable future
- Idk why, but I feel a need to re-watch Tangled sometime… and I’ve heard tons of good things about the animated show that continues the story from the film, so I need to give that a try sometime, too.
- Star Wars Resistance!! There’s a couple of episodes I missed from the first season that I need to go back and catch up on, and I’m really looking forward to the second season coming this fall!
That’s it for this first installment of The Queue! I hope you all enjoyed this (extremely looooong) list of the things I’ve been enjoying lately, and hopefully it was helpful and gave you at least one or two things to check out and maybe add to your own queue. 🙂
Until next time,