A post on Books, Gaming, Television, and Podcasts.

I’ve worked quite a bit in the last couple of weeks.  When I’ve not been helping families, I’ve been writing here.  When I’ve not been doing either of those, I’ve been moving into a new office.  When I’ve not been moving, writing, or helping families, I’ve been returning phone calls.  Sometimes, I need to relax a bit, and this is about relaxation.

I love reading.  I think that a person who reads regularly opens himself or herself up to a world of new possibilities, information, ideas, and insights.  My Kindle is littered with books that I’m “currently reading;” at this point the “currently reading” list is dwarfed by the “I’m putting this one down and taking a break to read this one and OH CRAP LOOK AT THAT” list.

A couple of recent gems I’d share with anyone in a heartbeat are “Mogworld” and “Jam” by Yahtzee Croshaw.  Both are hilarious and offer different takes on the worlds of fantasy gaming and apocalyptic dystopia genres, respectively.  “Mogworld” is about a failed sorcerer killed in a battle who is subsequently resurrected by a necromancer–and the newly risen zombie’s repeated attempts to die again (he liked it better that way).  “Jam” replaces the standard “zombie apocalypse” scenario many seem to enjoy with cannibalistic strawberry jam.  If you’re skeptical regarding the humor of either, go look up “Zero Punctuation” on YouTube and you’ll get a good sense of Yahtzee’s comedic stylings.

If you haven’t read it yet, and you’re anything close to a fan of 80s pop culture, go pick up “Ready Player One” and dive in immediately.  Then post your thanks here later as a comment.  This book has been optioned, we have a screenplay in place, and there’s a good chance Christopher Nolan (he of the latest Batman trilogy) will be the film’s director, so you owe it to yourself to check out the next big thing before it hits theatres.

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life too–these days I just don’t get to do much console stuff with a kid in tow.  iOS gives me a chance to get my fix in on many an occasion, and with the latest influx of tabletop-style games on iPhone or iPad I can scratch that itch whenever I feel necessary.  I have especially enjoyed the comic book and card game stylings of “Sentinels of the Multiverse,” the crazed fun of “Galaxy Trucker,” the Heroquest vibe of “Card Dungeon,” and the fantasy board game feel of “The Witcher Adventure Game.”

Television is in a wintery phase, and most of the good stuff is on mid-season break, but you can still watch great programs on Hulu or Netflix if you’re so inclined.  I’ve been digging the glut of comic book-related programs lately, including “Constantine,” “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Gotham,” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” I’ve stopped watching “Scandal” since the end of last season; but “How to Get Away With Murder” turned out to be a nice replacement.  Amazon Prime gives me the chance to catch up on “Justified,” and I’m just now catching up on Season Six of “Sons of Anarchy.”

Podcasting killed my desire to pay for SiriusXM, and I’ve got no shortage of programs to keep me occupied when I’m in the car.  My absolute favorites tend to stick to the wrestling side of the world, so I greatly enjoy both “The Steve Austin Show” and “The Steve Austin Show Unleashed,” “The Ross Report,” and “Talk is Jericho.”  When I need some intellectual filler in my life, I turn to Professor Stewart Harris’s “Your Weekly Constitutional.”  Gripping true crime enthusiasts have already discovered “Serial,” but it can appeal to anyone.  And for fun stories, I recommend Colt Cabana’s “The Art of Wrestling,” where a lifelong traveler of the independent wrestling scene swaps stories with his friends about their time on the road.

I hope you can pick out a few suggestions from this list, whatever your poison, and enjoy your weekend.

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