My Monthly Wrap-Up | September 2021

Hello ladies & gentlemen,

The month has come to an end and it’s time to do a quick wrap-up of what has been done.

Reading Breakdown.

Novels read: 1 ().
Comic books read: 9 (↓12).
Manga volumes read: 13 (↑11).

BOOK REVIEWS.

The Maleficent Seven by Cameron Johnston.

COMIC BOOK REVIEWS.

Sentient by Jeff Lemire.
Eternals by Neil Gaiman.
Digital Mini Reviews | Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire.
Superman by Grant Morrison Omnibus.
Batman: The Cowardly Lot Part One by James Tynion IV.
Batman: Bruce Wayne: Fugitive (Vol. 1) by Devin Grayson.

MOVIE REVIEWS.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).


TOP BOOK.

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Spy x Family (Vol. 1) by Tatsuya Endo.

A friend of mine recommended me to check out this new ongoing manga and I was surprisingly impressed by it! A spy is on a mission to infiltrate an elite private school and to do so, he has to find a child and a wife. What he doesn’t know is that the child has a secret power and the wife has a deadly alter ego. So far it’s such a cute and entertaining story with so many goofy moments and gorgeous artwork that makes you want to binge through it all ASAP!

LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK.

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Doctor Strange (Vol. 2): The Last Days of Magic by Jason Aaron.

The first volume was such a weird (pun intended) and awesome introduction to Doctor Strange’s unique mystical realm and the burden he has to carry as the prime sorcerer. This second volume dabbled into a messy and uncoordinated story arc that left much to be desired. I’m hoping writer Jason Aaron finds his groove with subsequent volumes before he disembarks from this comic book run.

TOP MOVIE.

The French Connection (1971) Classic Movie Neo Noir Film Retro Vintage  Poster Canvas Painting DIY Wall Paper Home Decor Gift|vintage poster|poster  vintageposter retro vintage - AliExpress

Out of the 13 movies I watched in August, The French Connection (1971) was my favourite. This movie as well as Chinatown (1974) were part of my backlog in preparation for the upcoming The Batman (2022) movie. Having read that they were significant influences on the director’s vision for the upcoming highly anticipated movie, I went ahead to prepare myself for what we might be getting in almost a year from now!

The story is about tough narcotics detective ‘Popeye’ Doyle who is in hot pursuit of a suave French drug dealer who may be the key to a huge heroin-smuggling operation..

This was an unmistakably engrossing cat-and-mouse game portraying the sleazy nature of the criminal underworld and the catastrophic consequences of human obsession through the masterful direction by William Friedkin, the brilliant performance by Gene Hackman, and the riveting score by Don Ellis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

CURRENTLY READING.

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Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee.

Currently finishing up this bad boy. I should have a review of it up soon!

PERSONAL LIFE.

September was an odd month. I was mentally all over the place and I didn’t ever feel like I needed to change that. There was always something to do and something to look forward to. For those of you that remember, I came into this month with only one big obstacle to face: my comprehensive exam on the 15th of September. Looking back on it, I can confirm that having such a monumental day set at the middle of the month is bound to screw with you for the ENTIRE month.

The first week was calm. A calm before the storm. I mostly wanted to embrace those days by sticking to my organization, my tasks, and my responsibilities. As I worked my way through the second week, I was given the opportunity to meet my girlfriend’s friends (a couple) from Belgium who came to Montreal (Quebec, Canada) to visit. As insane as it sounds, this couple were mirrors of ourselves and I didn’t think such a thing was even possible with an ocean separating us (then again, my girlfriend is European, so I’m cheating with my statements). Although the days got shorter and the exam got nearer, I felt less and less the need to stress about preparation and convinced myself that confidence in one’s self can allow you to go a long way in terms of success.

On the 15th, I took off from work to prepare for my exam (done virtually towards 3 in the afternoon) and plunged into an intense séance of revision just to refresh my thoughts. The exam in itself, noticing that I haven’t mentioned what it entailed, consists on writing two papers (an empirical and a theoretical essay) with different supervisors (one of them is your thesis supervisor) and then having to defend these papers in front of a jury composed of these supervisors and another teacher acting as the president of the jury. All they’ll be looking to do is scrutinize your understanding and your decisions regarding these papers and challenging you in every way possible on what you know and what you might not know. Long story short, the whole thing lasted 2 and a half hours and I came out with a positive outcome! The opposite would’ve meant the end of my Ph.D. 😉

Now you can only imagine the freedom that followed. The rest of the month went by so fast, I can’t even remember what I did but I can assure you one thing. I stuck to no program or organization whatsoever. I let myself loose and did whatever I felt like doing (except during work hours of course) and didn’t mind it at all and this went on till today. While it wasn’t a complete hiatus from everything, it was the closest thing possible and I’m so happy to have gotten through the worse of my degree. All that’s left is finishing up that thesis and defending it but I’ll let future me worry about it.

Top 30 Pulp Hero GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

Thank you all for checking out my monthly wrap-up and don’t forget to check out any posts that might interest you or that you might have missed out on!

Stay tuned for my Monthly Anticipation post coming out soon. 😉

So what’s going on with y’all? What have you discovered this month? What are your thoughts on the books/TV series/movies I’ve checked out?

Yours truly,

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27 comments

  • Good job and letting everything go after the exam. That is cool that you meant your gf’s friends and they were similar to you two 😀 Thankfully, I haven’t had that experience so I can still pretend I’m unique, hahahahaa.

    I know you’ll be talking about this in your “Plans for Next Month” post but I wanted to ask while I was thinking about it. How’s blogging going overall for you? I’m already starting to think about next year, not in specifics but just in general and I’m thinking something has to change for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, man. We all need to know when a break is necessary and that second half of September was just that for me. Hhahaha I was always skeptical about doppelgangers but here we are with the closest things possible. 😛 As for your case… Ignorance is bliss. 😀

      I’m gradually working my way towards a new way to approach my reading for 2022 too. I’m getting pretty tired of new releases and wanting to stay up to date with them and having almost no time to curate my reading towards better understanding myself (in terms of reading taste) and building my “literary foundation”. I’m sure I’ll talk about this again towards December though. Blogging-wise, I don’t think I’ll give up on this platform, it being my favourite way to get in contact with like-minded folks and allowing me to have a voice where people can choose to listen or not. Hopefully, you don’t plan on giving up on blogging altogether and you’re just thinking about investing less but still being present?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ignorance is indeed bliss! I totally agree 🙂

        Glad to hear you are thinking of quitting the rat race and finding the stuff that you want to read. I can say it can take a bit more work to track down things that aren’t forcefed you by NG and their like, but it makes for a much richer reading experience. Instead of being one of the crowd, you get to be your own man.
        When I was referencing “change” I was thinking more in terms of HOW you blog and not stopping. I certainly don’t plan on stopping but the “how” has to change. I was looking and in almost every category I’m having the best year ever. But with 6 posts a week for months on end, I’m just getting tired. Part of that might just be work :-/ It’s affecting every single area of my life and that’s not really cool.

        But yeah, no fear of me quitting either posting or commenting. I’ve still got a lot words inside. Just going to have to figure out some other way of writing or simply accept that I need to write less per week. Because when I feel like writing, I end up with a post every day, like this week :-/

        Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations on passing the exam! From your description it sounds like a harrowing task – or at least it would be for me…
    Anyway, you are now free to enjoy reading & watching movies with a far lighter heart… 😉
    Well done!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Lashaan, it’s so good to hear how well your month went, and congratulations on that exam (though I knew you had it covered!). I’m sure your thesis will go just as well. And very cool hanging out with your girlfriend’s Belgian friends. Unfortunately my only visit to Belgium was very short, just driving through it returning home to Germany from a vacation in The Netherlands. But I remember how beautiful the locations we stopped at were, and how good was the food! I miss my time in Europe, such beautiful people, food, architecture (I love old castles and town centers), and scenery. Is your girlfriend still trying out cooking different unusual dishes? And back to Europe, I don’t think I’ve ever watched The French Connection, so I added it to my Netflix queue. Maybe I’ll watch it before the years out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my good friend! You’re from Germany? I’ve been to Frankfurt (I was too young to remember the trip as much as I’d like) and to Berlin in 2019. Pretty cool that you still managed to squeeze in Netherlands and Belgium so far into your life! I also miss the food there. I’m hopeful that Belgium will figure amidst my priorities whenever I make another Euro trip in the future though. I hear the fries are impeccable there! 😀 Hahahah I showed her your comment on her unusual dishes as she was making a unique creation at that very moment too (an improvised salad without any leaves whatsoever). 😛 She hasn’t had much time to do anything too crazy lately but I’m sure she’ll get back to it when she gets more time to play around with hahaha I definitely recommend the movie to any fan of mystery/crime/noir/procedurals. The ending is baffling. And there’s a train scene in there that no one could ever forget too. Hope you get to try it out someday soon, Todd!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nah, I’m not from Germany. But I’ve lived there twice for a total of about 7 years or so. Great experiences, especially at those younger, more formative years. I think it really helped me see and better accept other cultures and ways of life. I visited Frankfurt once but I’d have to really think back to remember much. Never been to Berlin, though I wish I’d been able to. Back then it was still a split city. If you ever get back there and have the time, Heidelberg is a city I’d love to revisit and would recommend. We vacationed there and it was fantastic. It had the old cobble stoned city streets, the castle on the hill, river cruises to see all the lit up castles along the shore after the sun went down, etc, etc, etc. We lived in Augsburg at one time, which was also a beautiful old city. I recall it celebrating it’s 2000th anniversary while we were there. Blew my mind. A single city celebrating its 2000th anniversary with my own county only a bit over 200 years old. The fries (frites) were certainly fantastic, though being a young American kid who was used to ketchup I did have a hard time getting used to mayo on my fries. 🙂 I absolutely loved the waffles we tried in Belgium, never had any like them since. A leafless salad, eh? Nice! I completely understand the lack of free time getting in the way sometimes, but hey, a leafless salad is still something! I hope you both enjoyed it.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Congrats!! So glad all went well with the exam, and what a relief to have it done and over with, I’m sure. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congrats on passing the exam, Lashaan! Woohoo! Freedom! (at least for a while, until you get back down to writing your thesis) 😁😁😁
    And yay for Ninefox Gambit – I’ll be looking forward to reading your review! Hope you enjoyed it.
    Also, that’s so funny about your girlfriend’s friends being mirror images of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much hahahah Something tells me I’ll want to move out to New Zealand by the end of this PhD too. 😉 And yes, I look forward to sharing those thoughts. You are, after all, the one who even got me to check it out! 😛 And yes, who said psychological doppelgangers didn’t exist?? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heh, go ahead – I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy New Zealand once we get out of lockdown 😉 I’ll be happy to check out Canada at some point, too! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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