August 2021 media
Nier Reincarnation: Lots of Nier on these lists this year, huh? Reincarnation is the new-to-the-West mobile gacha game. If you can stomach those sorts of mechanics, and you don’t mind turning your phone into a screensaver to let it auto-complete missions, there’s plenty of the series' characteristic narrative flavor to enjoy. (There is for now, at least: they’ve been on a real tear trying to catch up with the Japanese server, so the rate at which they’ve been releasing new content will slow down soon.)
Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns: I watched this documentary about They Might Be Giants on Kirk Hamilton’s recommendation in the Strong Songs episode about “Fingertips." I don’t have any especial history with TMBG—I like them well enough and even saw them live once with a friend, but never dug deep—so this was a good window into what makes them and their fans tick. It inspired me to put Flood on my phone and see if it takes this time.
The Secret Lives of Color: I pulled this one off of NPR’s “Book Concierge," which has filterable lists of their favorite books each year. It’s essentially a history book where each chapter is a short anecdote about a particular color—perhaps a pigment used in painting, or a dye used in fashion, or some culturally important color like blonde (as in hair). I’d recommend it even if you don’t normally go for history or nonfiction—it’s a very breezy read, jumping from one bit of trivia to the next so quickly that you won’t have time to get bored.