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10 Second Reviews: The Grab Bag Edition

10 Second Reviews: The Grab Bag Edition
  • On June 10, 2016

Y’all, May felt like the month that never ends. But on the up side, I did read and watch and consume a ton of awesome stuff, so here we go.

“The Nutmeg Tree” by Margery Sharp

Open Road Media republished 10 of Margery Sharp’s books in ebook form in April, including “The Nutmeg Tree” (which, full disclosure, I got for free during a giveaway Open Road did to promote Sharp’s work). Most of us probably know Sharp from “The Rescuers,” which was turned into two Disney movies. “The Nutmeg Tree” has one of the most charming opening chapters I’ve ever read. It’s about a madcap woman who is reuniting with her prim and proper daughter after many years apart—and the scrapes the mother gets into along the way. It was funny and touching, and it definitely makes me want to dig into Sharp’s back catalog.

“Flunked” by Jen Calonita

I love a good fairy tale retelling, but “Flunked” kind of turns it on its head. Fairy Tale Reform School allows rehabilitated villains—like the Big Bad Wolf from “Little Red Riding Hood” or Cinderella’s stepmother—to help children going down a bad path to turn themselves into heroes. This middle-grades book grapples with big concepts in a way that’s easy to understand. And more than that, it’s just fun.

“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow

Hear me out. This biography of the $10 Founding Father without a father makes the musical “Hamilton” even better—if that’s even possible (it totally is, though). It gives context to the show, and it has led to me spending hours thinking about why Lin-Manuel Miranda made the choices he did in what to leave in, what to cut, and what to compress. Chernow is a tremendous writer, and the audiobook version, read by the incomparable Scott Brick, is delightful. Brick’s expressive voice really gets the disdain for Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson across. Don’t let the length of the book dissuade you; it was 37 hours well spent.

Third Love

This is 100 percent the fault of “All The Books!” (Which you should also totally listen to if you like books and recommendations and hilarious women.) Third Love makes super comfortable bras out of memory foam, which is kind of the best. So far I’ve bought the 24-hour T-Shirt Bra and the strapless bra (which is, sadly, out of stock). They’re both so comfortable that I forget I’m wearing them, which has to be some kind of witchcraft. The bras come in half sizes, and if you’re not sure of your size, the app gets my former bra-fit specialist seal of approval. So if you’re a human who wears bras, I would definitely check out Third Love.

“Far Harbor”

“Far Harbor” is the latest DLC for Bethesda’s “Fallout 4.” It’s huge, with a ton of story and a new map to explore. The basic premise is that everyone’s favorite robot grandpa Nick Valentine gets a new case about a 19-year-old woman who has run away from home (or been kidnapped, depending on whether you believe her mother or father) and gone way to the north to Far Harbor. In trying to find out what happened to her, you’ll encounter three factions—the humans who live at Far Harbor, a city of free synths, and the Children of Atom—and have to decide which one you’ll help. I had (and continue to have, as I’m running all my Sole Survivors through it) a blast—and not just because DiMA vindicated all my anti-Railroad feelings. If you’re on the fence, definitely pick this up—and bring Nick Valentine with you. You’ll get a ton of backstory on him.

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