Well, it's Christmas time pretty baby
And the snow is falling down
Well you be a real good little girl
Santa Claus is back in town
In the beginning
You really loved me
I was too blind
I couldn't see
But now you've left me
Oh! how I cry
You don't miss your water
Till the well runs dry
I kept you crying
Sad and blue
I was a playboy
I wouldn't be true
But when you left me
And said 'bye-bye'
I missed my water
My well ran dry
I sit and wonder
How can this be?
I never thought
You'd ever leave me
But now you've left me
Oh! how I cry
You don't miss your water
Till the well runs dry
You don't miss your water
Till the well runs dry
#1. AvatarI've seen the ones in bold print. I don't think of Avatar as a dystopian film. It's more a picture of what we are like now, only we're on another planet. Looper is a time travel story, and I loathe time travel stories with rare exceptions. I couldn't finish District 9, finding it tedious and annoying. The others of these I've loved.
#2. District 9 (I watched part of it, but gave up before the end.)
#4. Pitch Black
#6. Minority Report
#7. The Matrix: Reloaded
#10. Children of Men
Larry listens. This is how he's learning about the world, exactly as everyone else does - from sideways comments over a lemon meringue pie, sudden bursts of comprehension or weird parallels that come curling out of the radio, out of a movie, off the pages of a newspaper, out of a joke - and his baffled self stands back and says: so this is how it works....
Sometimes Larry sees his future laid out with terrifying clarity. An endless struggle to remember what he already knows....
It strikes Larry that language may not yet have evolved to the point where it represents the world fully.from the back of the book:
Recognizing this gap brings him a rush of anxiety. Perhaps we're waiting, all of us, he thinks, longing to hear "something" but not knowing what it is.
Larry Weller has never thought himself extraordinary in the least. Like so many people, though, he has a transforming passion -and his is designing garden mazes. With their teasing treachery and promise of reward, they gesture toward life itself. Larry's Party is Carol Shields' invitation to peer into Larry's own life. Vignettes, like family snapshots, capture Larry at the most poignant, hilarious and moving points of his existence: two marriages and two divorces; his bewildered, loving relationships with parents, friends, and son; and his awkward and well-meaning quest to be a good man. If he can only figure out what that is. Carol Shields' marvelous novel captures -with salty wit and flawless wisdom- the joys and sorrows of everyday life, and shows us how these moments add up to something immensely important.Kirkus Reviews closes by saying, "Very fine and real: Shields writes with the rare self- assurance of one who from the first knows where her characters are going and what will become of them once they arrive, and--rarer still--manages not to bend them out of shape along the way." Publishers Weekly says, "The novel glows with Shield's unsentimental optimism and her supple command of a sweetly ironic and graceful prose." Canadian Literature Quarterly says, "Shields uses the novel form to explore new ways of writing a life, of uncovering what she has termed "the mystery of personality" and calls the book "admirable for its compassionate tracing of the puzzling and circuitous paths an ordinary man walks in the process of losing and finding the love and the work that define him as a human being."
There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over -until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.Amazing Stories Magazine closes with this:
Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace -an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone's gone "bucket list" or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off "impact zone" refugees.
The second novel in the Last Policeman trilogy, Countdown City presents a fascinating mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse -and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?
These are philosophical novels, books that examine why we do the things we do, and how we derive meaning, even in the face of certain death (which, of course, awaits us all, just not usually from an asteroid). These are moral novels, books that ask what it is that we owe each other, how much our word is worth, and how long we are bound by the promises we make. And whether the world is ending in 77 days or 7,000,000 years, aren’t these some of the most important questions literature can ask of us?Kirkus Reviews has a plot summary.
Seven Samurai, 1954, JapanOnes I've seen are in bold print. 38 is not as good as I had hoped. There are a lot of these I've never heard of. The ones I've seen are such that it makes me think well of the list. I'll see if any of them are at Spin Street when I go in from now on.
Amelie, 2000, France
Battleship Potemkin, 1925, Russia
Bicycle Thieves, 1948, Italy
Pan's Labyrinth, 2006, Mexico
Battle of Algiers, 1966, France
City of God, 2002, Brazil
The Seventh Seal, 1957, Sweden
The Wages of Fear, 1953, France
Spirited Away, 2001, Japan
La Dolce Vita, 1960, Italy
Metropolis, 1927, Germany
La Regle du Jeu, 1939, France
Three Colours Trilogy, 1993-94, Poland
Let The Right One In, 2008, Sweden
Tokyo Story, 1953, Japan
The Apu Trilogy, 1955/56/59, India
Oldboy, 2003, Korea
Aguirre, Wrath of God, 1972, Germany
Y Tu Mama Tambien, 2001, Mexico
Nosferatu, 1922, Germany
Rashomon, 1950, Japan
Spirit of the Beehive, 1973, Spain
Come And See, 1985, Russia
Das Boot, 1980, Germany
La Belle et la Bete, 1946, France
Cinema Paradiso, 1988, Italy
Raise The Red Lantern, 1991, China
Les Quatres Cent Coups, 1959, France
Infernal Affairs, 2002, Hong Kong
Godzilla, 1954, Japan
La Haine, 1995, France
M, 1931, Germany
Waltz With Bashir, 2008, Israel
La Grande Illusion, 1937, France
Dekalog, 1988, Poland
Rome Open City, 1945, Italy
Ashes And Diamonds, 1958, Poland
Le Samourai, 1967, France
L'Avventura, 1960, Italy
My Neighbour Totoro, 1988, Japan
In The Mood For Love, 2000, Hong Kong
Cyrano de Bergerac, 1990, France
Ikiru, 1952, Japan
Suspiria, 1977, Italy
Jules et Jim, 1962, France
10, 2002, Iran
Downfall, 2004, Germany
M. Hulot's Holiday, 1953, France
Closely Observed Trains, 1966, Czechoslovakia
Akira, 1988, Japan
Touki Bouki, 1973, Senegal
All About My Mother, 1999, Spain
Festen, 1998, Denmark
Lagaan, 2001, India
Belle de Jour, 1967, France
Central Do Brasil, 1998, Brazil
Persepolis, 2007, Iran
Heimat, 1985, Germany
Jean de Florette / Manon des Sources, 1986, France
Knife in the Water, 1962, Poland
8 1/2, 1963, Italy
A Prophet, 2009, France
Wings of Desire, 1987, Germany
Un Chien Andalou, 1929, Spain
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000, China
The Vanishing, 1988, Holland
Solaris, 1972, Russia
Ringu, 1998, Japan
Hard Boiled, 1992, Hong Kong
Persona, 1966, Sweden
Ten Canoes, 2006, Australia
Hidden, 2005, Austria
Devdas, 2002, India
A Bout de Souffle, 1960, France
The Idiots, 1998, Denmark
House of Flying Daggers, 2004, China
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, 1988, Spain
Bande A Part, 1964, France
Mother India, 1957, India
The Host, 2006, Korea
Battle Royale, 2000, Japan
Xala, 1974, Senegal
Orphee, 1950, France
Il Conformista, 1970, Italy
Run Lola Run, 1998, Germany
Andrei Rublev, 1966, Russia
Leningrad Cowboys, 1989, Finland
Loves of a Blonde, 1965, Czechoslovakia
Rififi, 1955, France
Goodbye Lenin, 2003, Germany
Ghost in the Shell, 1995, Japan
The Fourth Man, 1983, Holland
Yeelen, 1987, Mali
Way of the Dragon, 1972, Hong Kong
Delicatessen, 1991, France
Farewell My Concubine, 1993, China
Ran, 1985, Japan
Iron Monkey, 1993, China
Night Watch, 2004, Russia
Mama's never been really fat, whatever she's said, but she's surely always been well-upholstered. Those layers are quietly peeling off her now. I've asked her about it. She says, "Rosa, your mother is an old woman. If people don't die in their seventies from bad hearts or kidneys, then you'll begin to notice how they just start to vanish into thin air. It can take another twenty years, but they're on their way. After a while you can all but read the newspaper through their hand. I think it's kind of pretty. Just get used to it anyhow and don't worry me about eating."and then, much later in the book:
Emma had seen them and was out on the front porch waiting by the steps. When Rosa caught sight, she took a sharp breath. She hadn't seen her mother in exactly four Sundays, and in that time it seemed Emma had shrunk several sizes inward. And near the five steps, there seemed a good chance that that the slightest breeze would tip her balance and fling her down broken.I took this aspect of the plot (which is strictly a minor plot element) much too personally. I'm very much feeling the guilt/confusion/fear that this situation brings. And that's not even what this book is about! This situation is tangential to the main plot. And of course I would be reading this now.... But enough of that. I've definitely gotten off-track here...
Again Rosa suddenly felt she should come here and spend the rest of her mother's few years giving constant care and learning everything her mother had kept in. There was no real way to manage it though and stay close to Wesley; she forced back tears.
The time is now; the man and woman are Rosa and Wesley. Good and powerfully magnetic people, they have lived in marriage for twenty-eight years. They have good jobs, their skills are valued, and they have a good home. They mostly cherish and honor one another. Yet with no clear warning, their marriage breaks one evening in December. Soon they are more than light years apart. Wesley is in Nashville with another woman and all the ghosts he has tried to leave. Rosa is alone at home in Raleigh; in the absence of the man who vowed to protect her, she suffers a dark and mysterious assault. Too brave to settle for easy answers, they spend a long winter facing the trials of freedom and duty, madness and pain. Then, as spring comes, they try -with the help of family, friends, and strangers- to turn again to face one another.The New York Times review closes with this:
Unobtrusively, without histrionics either on their part or the author's, Mr. Price's characters move through the action of the novel to a larger understanding of themselves and others. As we and they discover, they are people equipped with the power to be good human beings, with the power to love. In revealing this, the tone and rhythms of Reynolds Price's language are masterful. ''Good Hearts'' is superb storytelling by an enduring craftsman. It is a study of life and the placement of individuals within life. In every sense of the word, it abounds with goodness.
Charley is an athlete. He wants to grow up to be the fastest runner in the world, like his father. He wants to be painted crossing the finish line, in his racing silks, with a medal around his neck.Kirkus Reviews calls it "A deceptively simple, clear-eyed story that should find its sympathetic Gullivers." SF Site praises the writing, but closes with this: "I didn't like this book much, although I certainly admired it. Some genre readers will find it delightful. But SF fans who expect credible science and realism had better take a miss." SF Reviews.net opens by saying, "Suffice it to say that whatever it is about this book that is blowing away awards committees is missing me by a mile" and later adds, "Putting this book down came all too easily." Jeff Vandermeer closes by saying, "this one of the most sympathetic and endearing books I’ve read lately." Stephen Wu says, "I just couldn't get into it," faulting the worldbuilding, the poor point-of-view writing, and "the oddest, most fitfully plotted conclusion I've read in a long time." Infinity Plus states, "The Mount is not a successful novel."
Charley lives in a stable. He isn’t a runner, he’s a mount. He belongs to a Hoot: The Hoots are alien invaders. Charley hasn’t seen his mother for years, and his father is hiding out in the mountains somewhere, with the other Free Humans. The Hoots own the world, but the humans want it back. Charley knows how to be a good mount, but now he’s going to have to learn how to be a human being.
The Mount is the new novel by Carol Emshwiller, author of Carmen Dog and Ledoyt.
I have a pain in my belly and an ache in my head.The song was written by Buffy Sainte Marie and has been often covered.
I feel like I'm dying, and I wish I was dead.
If I live 'til tomorrow, it'll be a long time,
But I'll reel and I'll fall and I'll rise on cod'ine,
Yes it's reel, yes it's real, one more time.
P. L. Travers – Mary Poppins series
Edith Nesbit – Five Children and It
J. M. Barrie – Peter Pan
Frances Hodgson Burnett – A Little Princess and The Secret Garden
Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Kenneth Grahame – The Wind in the Willows
Charles Kingsley – The Water Babies
George MacDonald – The Princess and the Goblin and The Light Princess
A. A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh
The Legend Of Hell House’s direction and cinematography are impressive, the compositions are suitably atmospheric, utilising split-focus and high, low and wide angles, and finally, the film’s electronic score (by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of the Electrophon company) is one of the creepiest ever committed to film.Horror Express calls it "an atmospheric and impressive entry in the haunted house genre." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 46%.
When Dr. Tom More is released on parole from state prison, he returns to Feliciana, Louisiana, the parish where he was born and bred, where he practiced psychiatry before his arrest. He immediately notices something strange in almost everyone around him: unusual sexual behavior in women patients, a bizarre loss of inhibition, his own wife's extraordinary success at bridge tournaments, during which her mind seems to function like a computer.
With the ingenious help of his attractive cousin, Dr. Lucy Lipscomb, Dr. More begins to uncover a criminal experiment to "improve" people's behavior by drugging the area's water supply. But beyond this grand scheme are activities so sinister that even Tom More wouldn't believe them if he hadn't witnessed them with his own eyes....
Oh, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby baby, b-b-baby baby, baby
Baby baby baby
Come back, baby, I wanna play house with you
Well, you may go to college
You may go to school
You may have a pink Cadillac
But don't you be nobody's fool.
Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand
I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
Come back, baby, come
Come back, baby, come
Come back, baby
I wanna play house with you
1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
3. Cat’s Cradle
4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
6. Invisible Monsters
7. White Oleander
8. In Cold Blood
10. Play It As It Lays
11. Ada, or Ardor
13. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
16. Under the Banner of Heaven
17. Me Talk Pretty One Day
18. World War Z
19. The Giver
20. The Fault in Our Stars
21. A Brief History of Time
22. Sophie’s World
23. Crime and Punishment
24. Life of Pi
25. Invisible Man
26. Joy of Cooking
28. The Train
29. The Artist’s Way
30. The Beautiful & Damned
31. Prodigal Summer
32. Never Let Me Go
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women. There is one eye-witness to this nightmare who guides sven strangers -among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears- through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness is a powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses -and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit.NPR says not many books are worth re-reading but that this one is, saying,
Saramago tackles all of human nature — love, loyalty, fear, jealousy, bravery, heroism, cowardice, violence, happiness, disappointment — it's all in there, revealed through characters so beautifully rendered, so vibrant on the page, that each time I read it, I immediately join Saramago's sightless band, tossed together by circumstance first into a chaotic quarantine center for the newly blind, and then loosed into a world that has fallen apart.Kirkus Reviews calls it a "masterpiece".
Can Stephen King scare even himself?Paste Magazine says, "This is King’s best book and one of the best horror novels ever written. Go back as far as you want: Lovecraft, Stoker, Shelley, it doesn’t matter. This is the top-of-the-line deluxe monster model." Kirkus Reviews closes with this:
Has the author of Carrie, The Shining, Cujo, and Christine ever conceived a story so horrifying that he was for a time unwilling to finish it? Yes. This is it.
Set in a small town in Maine to which a young doctor, Louis Creed, and his family have moved from Chicago, PET SEMATARY begins with a visit to the graveyard in the woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. But behind the "pet sematary," there is another burial ground, one that lures people to it with seductive promises... and ungodly temptations.
As the story unfolds, so does a nightmare of the supernatural, one so relentless you won't want ... at moments ... to continue reading ... but will be unable to stop.
You do it because it gets hold of you, says the nice old man with the secret. You make up reasons ... but mostly you do it because once you've been up there, it's your place, and you belong to it ... up in the PET SEMATARY - and beyond.
Filled out with overdone family melodrama (the feud between Louis and his father-in-law) and repetitious inner monologues: a broody horror tale that's strong on dark, depressing chills, weak on suspense or surprise--and not likely to please the fans of King's zestier, livelier terror-thons.