You and me both, Jane.
Let the following random sentence chosen from a book on my bookshelf inspire you. Don’t think; just write.
“I’m taking it to Venus. That’s a neat planet, you know, Mum? It’s very bright, all surrounded by these gases that they don’t know what they are.”
The Fire-Dwellers, Margaret Laurence
As this is a blog dedicated to storytelling, I would be remiss if I did not, at some point, talk about film.
Look, I’m not an expert or even really a knowledgeable amateur when it comes to discussing the intricacies of what makes a film “great.” For that, I bow down to the lovely critics and experts and people in the business who are dedicating their lives to exploring this wonderful medium. But in an effort to be exposed to some of the greatest stories of all time, I’ve been on a structured path to see all of the best films that have ever been made.
A few months ago, I was reading one of those “Top 100 films of all time” lists, and I was struck by how few of them I had seen. Deciding that I would watch them all, I compiled the Master Movie List of Awesomeness (shall I post it here?), which is made up of the “top films of all time” from the following sources as of June 2014:
- Tim Dirks of AMC
- Gail Kinn & Jim Piazza
- Roger Ebert
- Richard Corliss of TIME
- Sight and Sound magazine
- Empire magazine readers survey
- Rotten Tomatoes
- all Academy Award Best Picture winners in history
Even with many overlaps, the full list has about 400 movies on it. Every Thursday, JT and I host an open house movie night where we watch two of the films (or just one if it’s longer than 3 hours) with our friends. In addition to the new and/or less decorated movies I’ve watched outside of movie night, since June I’ve seen (in order):
- His Girl Friday
- The Godfather
- Taxi Driver
- West Side Story
- Blade Runner
- The Third Man
- North by Northwest
- Citizen Kane
- Annie Hall
- American Beauty
- Driving Miss Daisy
- Roman Holiday
- The King’s Speech
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- City of God
- The Graduate
- Apocalypse Now
That’s a whole lot of story.
You can never have too many books. That’s why, though my bookshelves are overflowing, in the last month I’ve bought 21 “new” books. Peruse my haul below!
The first batch came on the September long weekend. It was our “paper” anniversary, so JT took me to the local independent bookstore and let me go wild.
Cloud by Eric McCormick
Flamethrowers, The by Rachel Kushner
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
Name of the Wind, The by Patrick Rothfuss
Room by Emma Donoghue
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Y: The Last Man Book 2, Cycles by Brian K. Vaughan
The second batch came a week later. A local not-for-profit used bookstore and cafe in my area was having a sale — $1 per inch for books. What’s a reader to do?
Better Homes and Gardens Pies and Cakes
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Death in Venice and seven other stories by Thomas Mann
Fire-Dwellers, The by Margaret Laurence
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Name of the Rose, The by Umberto Eco
Selected Poetry by W.B. Yeats, edited by A. Norman Jeffares
Selected writings of the ingenious Mrs. Aphra Behn by Aphra Behn
Sonnets, The by William Shakespeare, edited by George Lyman Kittredge
Thorn Birds, The by Colleen McCullough
What’s Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies
The third batch came yesterday. Mum, Sister and I went shopping in the hipster district of our city for Sister’s birthday, and after a few vintage shops with used books, I finally gave in and got a couple.