I’ve really looked forward to this topic on the That Artsy Reader Girl, since it combines my two great loves, reading and travel. Some of the places on my list exist only in imagination and will always remain out of reach… but one can always dream! I probably could have filled the entire list with nothing but fantasy and sci-fi, however I tried to keep it mostly grounded in this reality.
I’ve always loved re-reading and comfort read to me is almost always about the pleasure of re-visiting an already familiar book. Naturally not every book that I go back to would qualify. I think I re-read Tolstoy’s War and Peace about four times by now, but I doubt that many people would put this dense door-stopper on their list. Bright, breezy and not too long is what usually hits the sweet spot.
Before I started compiling the list (as prompted by That Artsy Reader Girl), I thought it would be about individual books, but it turned out to be more about the authors with a writing style that makes for a perfect comfort read.
Top Ten Tuesday weekly meme resides at That Artsy Reader Girl – see the link for the rules. I’ve seen it pop up many times on the blogs that I follow, and I thought that since I love reading and compiling lists, I should finally jump in and participate! This week’s topic is Bookish Pet Peeves, basically a chance to rant about the things that ruin the reading experience.
I found a list of my top favourite 50 albums I’d made back in 2008, and I thought it would be fun to revisit and update. More than half of my picks remained the same, so my musical tastes haven’t undergone a dramatic change in the last ten years. Organising the albums in the exact order of preference is too much headache, so after the top two it’s a loose list.
I don’t have much use for Valentine’s Day, but it’s as good an excuse as any for more listmaking… so here are my personal favourite celluloid love stories and couples.
Daniel Craig and Eva Green – Casino Royale
Casino Royale is my favourite Bond film and while it’s great from the beginning, it really takes off when Eva Green’s exotic, mysterious Vesper Lynd enters the stage and trades barbs with Bond in the train scene which could have come from a classic 40s screwball movie. But their relationship wasn’t all witty banter and sexual undercurrents; Craig’s raw, unformed Bond was still open to love and his tragic romance with Vesper was genuinely emotional, though I do have to admit that the last 20 minutes of the film don’t quite work.
I had a week off work some time ago, so I decided to rewatch all three extended editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back. Much like the movies themselves, it was an epic undertaking that started at around 9am and, with various breaks, came to the conclusion at almost midnight. I’m happy to say that they are still marvellous films and crème de la crème of the fantasy genre. I thought it would be fun to do a personal Top 10 moments from the trilogy and talk about the scenes or moments that, for various reasons, stayed with me the most. I also realised, when doing the list, what a huge part Howard Shore’s incredible score played in making many of them memorable.
1. Behemoth (The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov)
This list is not really in an order of preference, but Behemoth is probably my favourite fictional cat, and not just because I’ve read this book about 50 times over, in both Russian and English. He’s an enormous black cat who accompanies Satan on his visit to Soviet Moscow in the 1930s, and provides some of the novel’s best humourous passages. He walks on two legs, has a fondness for sarcasm, pistols and vodka, but is polite enough to offer to pay for the tram ride. What’s not to love?