While there are a lot (I mean a looooot) of guitar channels on YouTube, so many of them are only of the vapid reactionary meme-y type. There are instructional channels, but many of them are very dry and not quite fitting to a video platform (they should be articles or chapters in a book instead). A good channel properly utilizes video shooting and editing, showing close-up details of each hand as it’s playing, while the instructor is engaging (a little bit of humor and wit goes a long way too). A recent discovery that more than handles these requirements is Ben Eller. Yes, some of his recent videos are reactions, but I suppose any large channel has no choice to maintain and continue growing. I will certainly skip them.
Cimerion – Contresort
Ben Cosgrove – The Trouble With Wilderness
Russ Daniels – Early Dialect
Tania Giannouli – Solo
Joe Hollick – Rest Lessness
Lauren MacColl – Haar
Macroblank – serpent lp
Will McNicol – Miniatures
Avi Perrodin – The Return
walden – Der Berggeist
As the debut novel by popular writer/YouTuber Abbie Emmons, 100 Days of Sunlight was a pleasant surprise for me. I admit I went in with fairly low expectations. While I enjoyed most of her videos and felt she would write something at least adequate, if not more substantial, I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed this novel as well as the emotional response it invoked from me. Perhaps, as it’s not the kind of novel I normally enjoy, it was a refreshing change and exactly what I needed. Unlike most novels I’ve read recently, this one only took a few days to read, and each evening I looked forward to continuing the story and find out what happened next.
The novel is titled after one of the main characters, Tessa, after she temporarily(?) loses her sight after an accident involving her grandmother. The main drive and who I feel is the actual main character is Weston, the boy who discovers the newspaper ad placed by Tessa’s grandfather and responds. In time he forces Tessa to confront her fears and her doubts, and shows that sight is not required to enjoy and take charge of life. All the while this is going on, Weston hides something from Tessa, something that harvests his own fears and doubts that he feels might drive Tessa away once she does recover her sight.
I enjoyed the character-focused story, and while there was a lot of flashbacks to Weston’s past to show his development into his present-day character, we didn’t get the same from Tessa. This was the only drawback that I really noticed and wanted to be included. Otherwise this was an easy read and it held my attention all the way through. There is a sequel novel, The Best Christmas Ever, that continues their story and brings in Tessa’s mom. I haven’t decided if I’ll read it soon, if at all, as I really liked the story in this first novel as-is, and I’m not sure if or when I’ll be ready to want more added onto that. Time will tell. Abbie also has a third novel, The Other World, that will be released in September. While it is also character-focused with some romance, it seems it will have a bit of fantasy mixed in. I’m intrigued, and look forward to it.
I was pleasantly surprised by Jesus Revolution, to say the least. I haven’t seen many (if any?) Christianity-focused movies before, and I was unsure going into the theater if I would get much out of it, if anything. There are parts of this movie that are emotional, moving, and introspective. It struck a good balance between actual events and the effect of Christ, church, spirituality, and religion on several people in various walks of life, all presented in a more dramatic manner as one would expect in a movie. It was nice to see how people changed, including teens and parents. I liked how it showed that it’s an ongoing process; finding Christ isn’t simply a one-and-done solution. Both internally through prayer, bible reading, and worship, alongside working with and helping others at church and elsewhere.