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On Our List: January 2015

On Our List: January 2015

“I am very picky about my audiobooks; I almost exclusively listen to memoirs read by the author, especially comedians. That’s how I knew that Yes Please! by Amy Poehler would be a perfect fit for me, and I was so very right. Considering my obsession with Parks and Recreation, as well as a follower of Amy’s Smart Girls (amysmartgirls.com), I expected the memoir to be laugh-out-loud hilarious, and I was not disappointed. What I really enjoyed, though, are the relatable stories and situations, as well as the scathing criticisms of sexism and societal pressures. She discusses her relationship and recent divorce from Will Arnett in a kind, appreciative way — she doesn’t attack him or say anything negative about their love and former marriage, which I really respect. Poehler does not shy away from the questionable decisions and actions in her past, and she has a whole chapter dedicated to her TV wife, Tina Fey.

Things you get from the audio that you don’t get from the physical book: 

  • Seth Meyers and Poehler’s parents reading the sections they wrote;
  • unscripted interaction between Poehler and Michael Schur, head writer on Parks & Recreation;
  • A live reading of the last chapter in front of an audience;
  • Cameos from Carol Burnett and Kathleen Turner;
  • Patrick Stewart reading haikus about plastic surgery (“Fake boobs are weird, y’all.”)

– Amber Midgett, Young Adult Reviewer

“I was a week behind on the episodes, but the new Agent Carter miniseries is probably one of the best things, period.  The series premiere did a great job showing Peggy Carter as a human: she’s competent, she often wins her battles using innovation and cleverness, and she has very real emotions that anyone could identify with.  The show itself had great attention to detail and gives a fascinating look at America after World War II.  A definite recommendation for those who haven’t checked it out yet.”

– Feliza Casano, Editor

“What happens when you put a microbiological research facility in the middle of the arctic, cut off from the outside world, removing an ethical code and governmental restrictions? SPOILERS/NOT SPOILERS: beautiful and terrifying things! I can’t say I’ve had much luck with many SyFy Original Series, but Helix gets it right. Helix features a diverse cast and many badass lady scientists, each with their own specialization and shortcomings. At its core, Helix examines the human drama when faced with a crisis situation. But it’s also a thriller, a suspense, and a jump-in-your-seat-if-you-watch-in-the-dark like I do. If you watch the first episode and don’t become hooked, the show is not likely for you. But if you decide to keep watching, you’ll see there are more questions than answers. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Helix is currently entering its second season. I’m trying to pace myself.”

– Alan Beyersdorf, Staff Writer

“I bought Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 on a whim. It’s basically the furthest thing from what I normally read, but the cashier had been raving about it and the art looked cute, so I figured why not, and I’m so glad I did, you guys! Doreen Green is moving out of the Avengers’ attic and attending college for the first time, with her best friend/squirrel sidekick Tippy-Toe at her side. The art is adorable, the style and colors almost Lumberjanes-esque, and the writing is snappy and funny (and there are little secret messages written in light type at the bottom of each page, be sure to look out for those). I’m really excited to see where this series goes, and hope the next issues are just as wonderful as the first.

Also, having a few panels devoted to superhero/villain trading cards created by Deadpool? Sign me up.”

– Allison Racicot, Audiobook Reviewer

“Even though I haven’t taken a history class in maybe two years, I decided to return to one of my passions: imperial Rome.  When I was enrolled in  a class on ancient Rome, I become enamored with Octavius, better known as Augustus.  Missing my favorite historical figure, I checked out the book Augustus: First Emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy a few weeks ago and have made significant progress through the early life and career as triumvir, about a fourth of the way through the book.  When I originally learned about the man that would become Rome’s first emperor, I was probably 16 and had a very romanticized view of not only him but the course of history as an entity. I don’t think I fully realized that he was a person as well as a great historical figure.

This biography goes far more in depth to his familial history as well as his personal history. It doesn’t even really get into his life for four or five chapters, instead taking care to lay out the state of Rome in the years leading up to his rise to power. Once the book gets into the public life of Octavius, we get a greater understanding of the revisionist view in general education courses. One of the interesting aspects of Octavius is that his most famous image, a statue in battle armor, presents him as a successful general, but in reality, he depended on a number of skilled strategists and generals to win his battles, particularly his friend Agrippa. However, even if he was not ultimately responsible for the battles that he won, he was extremely good at playing the political game. What has fascinated me for a long time about Octavius was that he was very young to be entering into the political sphere as major player, having returned to Rome at age 19 after the murder of Julius Caesar in order to take his place as Caesar’s adopted son and heir. His inheritance was more than wealth and land: he inherited power and status, and it was with this that he was able to strong-arm his way into the political world of ancient Rome.”

– Christina Casano, TV & Film Reviewer

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Girls in Capes
Girls in Capes magazine showcases women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community in geek culture and pop culture.
Girls in Capes
Written by Girls in Capes

Girls in Capes magazine showcases women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community in geek culture and pop culture.