Archive for ‘Books’

January 18, 2010

Roger Ebert made me join Twitter

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert is why. The sole reason why. Laugh if you want, Ebert is a fantastic writer and I’ve been a fan for many years. I own four of his books: The Great Movies, The Great Movies II, Your Movie Sucks, and I Hated Hated Hated This Movie. I’ve read all four books cover to cover. The man won a Pultizer for criticism, for Christ’s sake. But, look at these tweets:

Jeff Bridges has time for Billy Bush but sent me boring, cursory answers for my e-mail interview. Tells Billy the same things, more cursory.


All hail “Avatar,” yes, but the year’s best picture? Give me a f–king break.

And look at that picture. That’s the picture of a man with true courage. He doesn’t give a fuck what you think.

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April 26, 2009

Borders Books Not Music

Borders has been having clearance sales for their CDs and DVDs. First it was 30% off for select titles that had a red sticker, then 40%, and now 50%. At 50% off I started visiting the various Borders here in the valley, and going through their selection. I’ve been able to pick up some really good titles. A couple Of Montreal albums, a Metric album, the Tori Amos collection Tales Of A Librarian where she re-conceptualized some of her songs. But, on Friday the signs said simply 50% Off CDs. All of them. The DVDs were still select red stickered titles. So, I asked the cashier if Borders is getting rid off all their CDs and DVDs, and she said all except the top 25 selling titles. I said, “Well, as long as Borders stays.” And she said almost tearfully, “We’re trying.” I went to a different Borders yesterday, and this one still had only select titles on sale. This makes me sad. I mostly download music now too. But, lets be honest, there’s something missing. Not just the physical CD and the liner notes, but also the experience of driving to a store and perusing CDs.

I worked at Borders, in the music department, from September 2000 – August 2004. I loved it, and still count my time there as the happiest years of my life thus far. Most of my closest, dearest friends were met there. I said that while visiting Borders one time after I quit, and I was scoffed at. I hope those people always work in an intellectual, artistic environment. Otherwise, you will not find such a mix of intelligent, cultured, artistic, unique people. It was wonderful, and I felt at home. You’ll find people here and there, but not such a concentration as at Borders. Before I worked there, I was the person who “needed to come out of his shell”. Done. Borders has a welcoming vibe. Barnes And Noble feels like a stuffy library. It seems stark and passionless. And, I can’t explain the difference. It’s intangible. I worked at Borders while the music section had a separate CD player from the book department, and we would play anything we wanted. I was surrounded by music, books on music, and DVDs. I had a computer where I could do research and special order non-stock items. We rarely had to ring people up. It was utopian. As a teenager, working at Borders in the music department, was my dream job. I was offered a supervisor position about seven, eight months after I started. Part of why I declined was because it would have taken me out of the music department.

Before I started there, I probably went to Borders once a week. I was a regular customer, but me being me, I kept to myself mostly. I still frequently go there today. It feels like a second home. I loved the music department because it was so big and they played Radiohead, Massive Attack, the stuff I was into. Borders carried things no one else did. All the Brit-pop, electronica, indie bullshit I was starting to get into and love. I’d go up and down the aisles discovering new bands I had barely heard of, albums I didn’t know existed. It had an import section back then, and I bought many a $10 single or $30 album back then. It was the only way I could get the European music I read so much about in music magazines. How the internet has changed things. Who needs CDs anymore? Who needs magazines anymore? Who needs to pay $30 to get a CD from some obscure Swedish band anymore? The death of Borders Books And Music.

July 2, 2008

If I should read these, i’m about 1/5 there.

Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them 😉

I’m not going to do any of the instructions.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee Atticus Finch is my hero, BTW.

The Bible (I’ve read parts of it)

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

Complete Works of Shakespeare I’ve not read them all, but I’ve read more than like 90% of Americans, I can safely say.

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

Middlemarch – George Eliot

Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

Bleak House – Charles Dickens

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

Emma – Jane Austen

Persuasion – Jane Austen

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

Animal Farm – George Orwell

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

One Hundred Years of Solitude

A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irvine

The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Atonement – Ian McEwan

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Dune – Frank Herbert

Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

On The Road – Jack Kerouac

Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

Dracula – Bram Stoker

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

Ulysses – James Joyce

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

Germinal – Emile Zola

Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Possession – AS Byatt

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

Charlotte’s Web – EB White

The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

Watership Down – Richard Adams

A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

June 25, 2008

Some random thoughts.

I just realized the two songs I’ve been listening to most lately are “Hug My Soul” by Saint Etienne and “Find My Soul” by Sally Shapiro.

Juno was a good movie and I had no problem with it. Nothing I wanted to change. But, I didn’t feel passionate for it either. But I just watched Enchanted, the Disney movie with Amy Adams, and I adored it.

I’m happy Jon Stewart is giving Obama just as much a hard time as anyone else. I support Obama, but I also support lack of bias.

I would argue Chuck Palahniuk is in some way a (very modern) poet.

I think it’s terrible that people accuse Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Lily Allen, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mandy Moore, etc of being fat. There’s nothing wrong or unattractive with a girl having a little weight. I wonder how non-famous girls feel reading this shit. There’s a big (no pun intended) difference between a 5′ 6″ girl weighing 150 versus 200.