Claire’s Top 5 Topics From 2016

If you listen to our podcast you’ll know that I really enjoy a lot of the topics we talk about (it’s the benefit of choosing them). Therefore, narrowing them down to 5 has been quite a challenge. As much as I wanted to show a range of mediums most of my picks ended up being books… of course. Oh, and I didn’t include our throwback topic The Nightmare Before Christmas because that seemed like cheating




This fifth spot was the hardest for me to fill because, like I said earlier, there were so many wonderful choices. At the end of the day this game was such a joy to play, or mostly watch in my case (one day I will master that Playstation controller). The story was riveting; I became invested in the characters from the get go. I cared about their relationships and the decisions they made in a way that I didn’t think was possible with a video game. Also you gotta love an Indiana Jones homage, which manages to capture the action and swashbuckling tone. Listen here


The Big Book of Science Fiction:

I feel so lucky we stumbled on to this. I think James found it on an online forum and we threw it into the mix last minute when another topic fell through. It is a gem! The work the editors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer put into finding these short stories is astounding. They feature authors from all over the world and stories that have been written as far back as 1897. I’ve been emotionally moved by every piece I’ve read so far (disclaimer: I haven’t gotten through too many since it’s 1166 pages). I can’t wait to get my hands on The Big Book of Fantasy, which reportedly is their next project. Listen here


The Witch:

This was one of the first episodes we ever recorded and now it seems like I watched this movie in a different lifetime. In reality it was March. The Witch is one of those topics where the research we did on it made me like it even more. As a history nerd I really appreciated the level of detail/research director Ryan Edgars put into the film. From appropriate 16th century candle lighting, to accurate sets, to what the Puritan lore. Also, it was a very engrossing story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, which is a lot coming from someone who hates scary movies. (I spent most of the film trying to hide behind my boyfriend’s shirt.) Listen here



This might be controversial (for our podcast) since it’s one of the few topics Kyle and I disagreed on. But forget him, I loved, loved, loved these books. From the different quirky dragon characters, to the reimagining of how dragons would contribute to a Napoleonic battle, to the exploration of different countries and continents in the 1800s. History and magic, everything I want! I actually saved the last two books of this series for an 18-hour plane ride and it was the smartest thing I did because when the plane landed, I wasn’t ready to get off. I would have rather continued reading. Listen here


Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom:

I say this all the time on the podcast. But YA fantasy is my entertainment comfort food. I’ll read mediocre works in the genre and still have a good time. But when it’s good… OMG! This fantasy heist set in a fictionalized Amsterdam kept me on the edge of my seat from the start. All of the characters were three-dimensional, the plot had wonderful twists and turns and as the cherry on top, we got to have author Leigh Bardugo and audio book narrator Lauren Fortgang as guests! Listen here