Jan. 7th, 2019

samanthabryant: feeling purple (Default)
 #smileaday Book Club night!
 
Tonight was my First Monday Classics Book Club meeting. We were talking about The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. It's so invigorating, spending time with a group of passionate readers. No matter what we read, there is always diversity of opinion and interpretation. Sometimes the very thing I love in a book is what drove someone else crazy, and I LOVE the way we teach other about why we see things the way we do. 
 
A big point of discussion tonight was the difference it makes when and where you are in your life as you read something. When I read The Sun Also Rises at age 20 or so, as an undergraduate newly enamored of Spain and dreaming of an expatriate life, it was a very different experience than this time, as a nearing-50 woman settled with a family and career. 
 
Connecting with other readers is a light in my life. 

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Vindication Board Game #gameaweek I played quite a few games in the first seven days of 2019, but I'm going to talk about Vindication. I received it as a Christmas gift, and have played it only once so far. 
 
The premise is that you are wretched, an unworthy debased creature cast ashore on an island. Your goal is collect honor and possibly redeem yourself along the way. You do this by exploring the fantastical island and taking a range of actions. This is one of those games that doesn't have a single path to victory. You can earn honor points by defeating monsters, claiming territory and collecting honor as a sort of Monopoly-style rent, completing your secret journey, acquiring relics and traits, and probably some other way that I can't remember now. 
 
I was worried that so many possible paths would leave me feeling directionless in the game, where I floundered around trying a bit of everything and getting nowhere, but I really appreciated the secret journey card. Like route cards in Ticket to Ride, they can give you some purpose and shape to your action choices. Since mine awarded honor for defeating monsters, I went that route, and defeated several monsters that came with end of game bonuses. Capitalizing on those end of game bonuses had me collecting certain territories and types of attributes. I didn't win, but it was close! 
 
There are quite a few fiddly bits to this one, so I maybe wouldn't break it out with your friends who think The Game of Life is a complicated game. But it is well planned with good visual elements and four medium-to-highly-experienced gamers had little trouble figuring it out at La Casa Bryant. 
 
When I got it, we spent some time with a video from the makers about how to utilize all the very smart game-storage pieces that came with. If you nerd out about good game storage and thoughtful mechanics, you'll probably love this game. 

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Samantha J Bryant

February 2019

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