What I’m Reading/Watching (2012-3)

Important Update. As of October 2011, I created an index of books I reviewed here. I will continue to list books I am currently reading here, but I will not attempt to write capsule reviews or even to link to them. For that you should check the index of books I reviewed. Movie Reviews will continue to be listed and annotated as before. This post contains a list of books I’ve been reading recently. Starting January 2011. See also my 2010 Reading/Watching List, 2009 Reading/Watching List, 2008 Reading/Watching List , 2007 Reading/Watching List my previous Sept 2004 to Oct 2005 reading list or my Nov 2005 to Nov 2006 Reading List , so definitely check that out as well. See also my Best of 2006 for a scoop about favorites. See also Writers who have Changed Me. A few remarks. I’m reading several books at a time, and to be honest, sometimes I don’t read all of them depending on the content or my interest. Usually however, it’s been a matter of attention span and what other projects I’ve been doing. Also, you might want to check my favorite novels, and my Amazon.com wishlist. Also here’s an annotated photo of my bookshelf Also, I haven’t read most of these books, but I’ve been setting up Amazon lists of classic Texas novels (100 novels and counting). You also might enjoy reading my Amazon list of Unforgettable Forgettable Novels. I’ve also started adding my book inventory to librarything.com (although I’m allowed to input only 200 titles). At the bottom of this page you will find a list of movies I’ve been watching. What I’m Reading

  1. Complete Works and Other Stories  by Augusto Monterroso.

What I’m Watching .

  1. Brief Encounter. David Lean’s masterpiece adaptation of Noel Coward play.
  2. King of the Hill
  3. Wings
  4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Selected episodes
  5. Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Highly recommended. Lots of fun moments.
  6. The Odd Couple (movie)
  7. Portlandia (various episodes)
  8. Farscape (complete series + Peacekeeper Wars)
  9. UHF
  10. Winter’s Bone. Highly recommended. Everything felt genuine and melodramatic and not just because some director ordered it to be that way. Great script too.
  11. Best of Triumph the Comic Insult Dog
  12. Lady Eve
  13. The Black Girl
  14. Doctor Who (Season 6)
  15. The Messenger
  16. Breaking Bad (most of Season 1). Interesting premise, but by season 2 I realized that the tv series had nowhere to go and nothing to say.
  17. Glee (selected episodes)
  18. Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 1)
  19. One Two Three
  20. Answer This. Funny premise for a college comedy, but the love story was wretchedly done.
  21. This is Spinal Tap
  22. Downfall. Highly Recommended!
  23. Sophie Scholl. Highly Recommended!
  24. Valkyrie. Also, really good and a perfect role for Tom Cruise.
  25. Hey Raam. Great self-consciously arty  film about political engagement. Overdone, but the material and themes were utterly original. You really have to admire the cojones of an Indian who plots another assassination plot of Gandhi. Recommended.
  26. She’s the Man. Formulaic comedy, but Amanda Bynes does great things with the material.
  27. Faces, John Cassavetes. This seemed dull and dated to me. I hate movies about drunk people.
  28. Shame. A pointless and pretentious movie with a somewhat interesting plot and characters. The movie was too caught up in moods and sexual secrets to be interesting or even humane.
  29. Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
  30. Skyline
  31. The Exes (TV Show)
  32. Wings (TV show)
  33. One, Two, Three
  34. King of the Hill
  35. Blue State  is a charming indie road trip romantic comedy about a leftie blogger who foolhardily promises  to move to Canada if Bush beats Kerry in 2004. When he discovers that others expect him to act on his promise, he takes a trip there  with a female acquaintance and has misadventures along the way. Lots of funny lines — it’s not that political a movie — but it kept me guessing and it raised some unusual questions about loyalty to your values and to your country. I thoroughly enjoyed it — Highly recommended. Plus, I loved the Winnipeg scenery.
  36. The Ladykillers
  37. The Honeymoon Killers
  38. The Artist
  39. Love Film. Szabo’s early film about love, communism and desire.  I loved the film’s unpredictability and the way it jumped backwards and forwards in time (which was justified by the subject matter). Recommended.
  40. Bolivia
  41. Creator. One of the crappiest movies I have ever seen.
  42. ‘Til Death (TV Series)
  43. Persona (for the zillionth time)
  44. IT Crowd
  45. Drive was well acted and unbelievably stylish, but the injection of the usual gangster-violence-revenge-orgy-angst theme was so tedious that I felt as though my sanity being stabbed to death at the end.
  46. Wish Upon a Star. 90s Disney teen comedy about two sisters who change bodies. (Great for age group 10 and up). It’s a cross between Clueless and the Parent Trap. Formulaic & feel good comedy which is a lot smarter than it appears to be at first glance. I enjoyed it a lot.
  47. Super 8. Drivel.
  48. Dead Zone (TV Series). Formulaic supernatural TV series which nonetheless did pull off some great episodes in the early seasons with the conceit.
  49. Last Train Home is about the long journey that migrant factories have to take to get home for the holidays. It focuses on one family under stress because they have been separated for so long. It is a sad, beautiful film. Highly recommended!
  50. Quartet and Encore. Two films adapting Somerset Maugham short stories.  These are lovely and delightful movies about minor short stories of Maugham.  The film version of Gigolo and Gigolette is just amazing. Highly recommended!
  51. Married in America 2. Michael Apted documentary about married people. It does not have the scope of the Up Series (and the theme of marriage offers a lot of traps), but  Apted knows how to do the subject honestly and compassionately.
  52. Preacher’s Daughter
  53. Travellers and Magicians. Highly recommended. Best movie of the year so far!
  54. Eureka TV series. The key to appreciating this lowbrow sci fi series is to view it as primarily as a sitcom.


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