This year marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, so this post will feature all things Star Wars for all ages, whether you’re new or seasoned fans! The franchise is galaxy-spanning, so I’m not going to be able to recommend everything, but if I miss a favourite of yours, chime in in the comments!
Also, expect to see minor spoilers, though I will try to avoid major ones.
We’ll start things off with the original trilogy featuring Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, which you can borrow individually or as a trilogy set.
Follow it up with the prequel trilogy (or don’t, if you hate them, although I personally enjoy them) in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith for insight into Luke’s origins and why and how he came to be the Jedi’s new hope.
It should be no surprise to anyone who has read my posts that I am a nerd and proud of it! I mean, my very first post was about science, math and humour. A 100+ hour video game made my best-of-2022 list. And I’m a Librarian who loves reading books about Libraries, so how’s that for a niche interest? Something only those who have read my bio will know, though, is that I’m a baker1. Combining these passions led to scouring the catalogue for nerdy cookbooks to share with our readers, which I found way more of than I anticipated. We’ve got cookbooks for Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft, Outlander, and even Alice in Wonderland. And those are just single-media cookbooks. Read on past the break to see a plethora of options that are sure to hit something you’re passionate about and give you ideas for a delicious, nerdy night in. Also, there might be some pictures of my attempt at one of the dishes.
Travel is one of the most missed activities during the pandemic, and the lowering Covid positivity rate is certainly giving us hope to resume international travel – soon, not quite yet! For now, we can continue to quench our thirst with videos and travel guides, I suppose. And, if you haven’t, what about reading a few popular novels from the countries that you want to visit? I know, you may question how much fiction will actually tell us about the real world, but I would say fiction is arguably one of the best channels to immerse ourselves into a different culture. A well-researched novel can tell us the most intricate nuances of another culture: their people, their life, their ideologies, their desires, and their dreams – the hidden world that we can’t easily access when we do a two-week or three-week travel.
I will start with East Asia in this post. There are so many great books from this part of the world, and I wish I could include more titles, but let’s start with three that I know.
The Three-body Problem by Cixin Liu
The three-body problem is unsolvable, “as the motion of the bodies quickly becomes chaotic” (Britannica). In this first installment of a trilogy, the Hugo Award winning author asks the most classic and unanswerable question in hard sci-fi: “What would it mean for the human race to come in contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence?”
Because of the elaborate world building, the novel is a bit slow to start, but once it gets up and running, the thrilling suspense grips readers all the way to the end. The work offers many interesting “lengthy passages of technical exposition about everything from quantum mechanics to artificial intelligence.” (NPR) While the unique historical backdrop (Cultural Revolution) requires some effort to chew on, Liu skillfully pushes the moral dilemmas beyond specific nationalities or abstract physics, and asks: “Is science truly objective and provable, or is it simply the best we can do given our limited understanding of four dimensions?” (Rick Riordan)