Mia Birdsong: The story we tell about poverty isn't true

Mia Birdsong's TED talk

Mia Birdsong shares some heartfelt narratives of the ingenuity of poor people and argues that structural inequality and luck, rather than a lack of hard work, are the prime causes of continued poverty.

The Iron Druid Chronicles - Kevin Hearne

The cover for Hounded, the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles

The Iron Druid Chronicles is an urban fantasy series featuring a druid living in modern Arizona.  It has a lot of similarities to the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, so I will be comparing the two.  If you haven't read the Dresden Files, they're very good, and I highly recommend them.  Currently, Hearne has finished 7 Iron Druid books, one will be published in January 2016, and there will be one more before the series is finished.

The Reckoners - Brandon Sanderson

The Steelheart cover

The Reckoners is a superhero trilogy (Steelheart, Firefight, Calamity) by Brandon Sanderson, but without the heroes.

In a modern-like era, the Calamity, a red star, appeared in the sky, and people started getting superpowers.  The problem is, there are supervillains, but no superheroes (though a religion whose medallion is a stylized "S" believes that the heroes will come).  As a result, most of the world is plunged into chaos, and the Reckoners are the only ones who are fighting back.

A Bird Story

A bird story logo

A Bird Story is an hour-long narrative-driven game about a kid and a bird.  I really enjoyed it.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a short story featuring Auri, a character from the Kingkiller Chronicle.  The book is unique and good.

The story it tells doesn't have a lot of the normal elements of a story.  There is only one character, so the only dialogue is with inanimate objects.  There isn't a lot of action.  There is, however, a strong sense of identity.

An Ergonomic Mouse

Two ergonomic mice

Vertical Mouse

Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love

The Cube & Star logo

Cube & Star is an exploratory game where you are a cube spreading color across the world.  The game was interesting, and it's the type of game that I would like to see more of, but the gameplay leaves something to be desired.

Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten

The Defender's Quest logo

Defender's Quest is an RPG tower defense. Your "towers" are archers, mages, and warriors, and you can equip them, level up, and allocate skill points.

I got the game through a Humble Bundle, and it was fairly good.  The basic game isn't that long, but if you want to 100% it, it'll take a while (you have to play through the whole game and the whole New Game+ with only your six basic towers and without recruiting additional towers, and then you have to level up a whole additional batch to beat some of the extra levels).  

Brent Weeks - Night Angel

The cover of the Night Angel trilogy

I read the the Night Angel trilogy because I liked Brent Weeks' other major work, the Lightbringer Series.  Broadly speaking, Night Angel is about redemption from the shadows.  The big themes in the book are love, the ethics of kill-to-save, and the ethics of power.

The book has most of the fantasy tropes that you would expect.  There are the old prophecies, old magic that has been lost to the world, and even mithril ("mistarille").  No Elves or Dwarves, though.

Extra Credits - Because Games Matter

The Extra Credits logo

Extra Credits is a series of 5 minute videos on video games as art, and it is superb. Its target audience is video game aficionados, developers, and critics, and if you like video games, I highly recommend it.

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