localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
In 2014 I read 37 books and watched 16 films, according to my records although I am suspicious that my record-keeping has been rather shoddy this year and there are some I have forgotten to put on. This is a further sad decrease in books and films from previous years.

Books

Best book I read for the first time in 2015 was: Friends of the Dusk by Phil Rickman- the latest Merrily Watkins. Although I really enjoyed Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.


The worst book I read in 2014 was:
Exchange by Paul Magrs. It isn't a wholly objectionable book, but I just felt like it was flimsy and, for a story about book lovers, surprisingly dull. The plot seemed weak and ill-formed.


The funniest book I read:
No! I don't need reading glasses by Virginia Ironside. I always find her writing light and fun.


I also want special mention of Brummie Road by Ian Richards, which would definitely be among the best of new writing I have read this year. Any book framed around football that can make me enjoy it and see worth in, at least, the social connectivity of the game, is exceedingly impressive.



In Films, many of the ones I watched this year were new to me: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pride, Antman, Wreck-It Ralph and the rest were re-watches. The best of the ones I watched for the first time this year were probably Pride and Age of Ultron.

Pride wins, on the basis that not only is it wonderful, I get to watch it going "THIS IS MENTIONED IN JEFFREY WEEKS' BOOK!" and "DYER TOLD ME ABOUT THIS" "IAN MCKELLEN MENTIONED THIS IN AN ARTICLE WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN" in gleeful queer glee.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
In 2014 I read 54 books and watched 24 films. This is a sad decrease in books- last year I read 61- but a slight increase in films- last year I only watched 24.

Books

Best book I read for the first time in 2014 was:

Night After Night by Phil Rickman. This latest offering by one of my favoured authors is a continuation of characters that appeared in two of his earlier books, originally published under the pseudonym Will Kingdoing including the BEST FICTIONAL CHARACTER EVER Cindy Mars-Lewis. Genderqueer, Cross Dressing Ventriloquist, Shaman.

The worst book I read in 2014 was:

Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde. It was just meant to be some little frothy fluff to read in my downtime but the characters were dreadful and the sex scenes were not only suprising and off-putting they really should be candidates for the 'bad sex' awards. Comparing a man's ...bits...to "like a greek statue" is not necessarily I think what the author meant.

The funniest book I read:

Ratbags and Rascals by Robin Klein. It's a re-read but never ceases to make me smile. Especially Brother Ninian's Blot.

The Most Poigniant/Moving Book:

This is quite hard actually. John Boyne's The History of Loneliness was very poignant, exploring the experiences of a Priest in Ireland in the 70s.

Then, also was Miss Carter's War by Sheila Hancock. I JUST KEPT CRYING.

For a full list of my books of 2014: http://listography.com/localfreak/books/books_of_2014

Films

The best film I watched:

X Men: Days of Future Past

The worst film I watched:

Muppets Most Wanted.

It wasn't horrendous, but was a big let-down from the previous one with no catchy songs at all.

The Most Uplifting Film: The Muppet Family Christmas (Henson, 1987)

I love this film and have found out that it is unlikely to ever be widely released which is such a shame as I had on tape from childhood and it is one of the best Muppets films ever- including a cameo from Jim Henson at the end!

I also really liked Chef and Frozen new this year.

For a full list of films: http://listography.com/localfreak/movies/films_of_2014
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I didn't post this yesterday because I had a wonderful time visiting my friend for a New Year's Eve gathering. Mum and I have never done anything on New Year's Eve before and it was so very lovely we had a wonderful time and today we were straight out again to take Nanny to Mass and then spend the afternoon with her, walk the dogs and get drenched to our underthings in the showers. Lol. Auspicious start to the year, anyway!


In 2013 I read 61 books and watched 21 films

This is, for the first time since I started recording, an increase in books (last year I read only 40) but an absolutely enormous drop in films (last year I saw 44). There are many reasons for this- buying the house and family commitments that have kept me away from the television, and equally a need for the comfort and escapism that books provide much more thoroughly for me than films- you can't 'drift off' in the same way from a book because the story waits for you to return your eyes to it.

Books

Best Book I Read for the First Time in 2013 was:

I've read several marvellous books for the first time this year including The Opaque Garden by Anna C. Jones, Kalmari 1 by H. Stilwell and The Black Land by M. J. Wesolowski, but I think overall I shall have to say 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. I have wanted to read this book after hearing an article on BBC Radio 4 about the story about five years ago. Only trouble was? I couldn't remember the title or author, only that 'it was a street in london and about a bookshop' so I was in PAROXYMS OF GLEE when I found it in the library and realised that THIS WAS IT. I have re-read it again since then because it's just wonderful.

The Worst Book I Read in 2012 was:

I cant decide between The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe which was just MISERY MISERY ALL IS MISERY FOREVER OH HOW CAN IT GET ANY WORSE? OH LOOK IT JUST GOT WORSE. Or Black Cat by Martyn Bedford which had a good premise but was quite hard going and then just turned terrible by CUT FOR BIG SPOILER )


The Funniest Book was:

You Made Me Late Again! by Pam Ayers. It's Pam Ayers, she's awesome.

The most poignant/moving book:

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt I SOBBED INTO MY BATHWATER but it was very very beautiful.

Favourite Re-read/Old Favourite:
I did a lot of re-reading this year but probably The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens but I did also re-read for the millionth time On Writing by Steven King I owe such a lot to it.

Full List of my Books for 2013: http://listography.com/localfreak/books/books_of_2013

Films



The Best Film I Watched in 2012:

Not much to choose from this year but probably Iron Man 3. Sorry, Wolverine, I liked you in parts but the plugged 'bullet train' was really a bit dull.

The Worst Film I watched in 2012:

Hercules I never saw it when it came out, although our Prawn loved it. I see my childhod instincts were correct, it is SO BORING.

The Funniest Film Was: either Iron Man 3 or Paranorman. It's a bit weird to look back though because we watched the latter on the campsite for Nanny's 80th birthday party which, of course, is now the last time I saw the kid alive. :-( so it's hard to remember really,but I think we found it hilarious and I was going to lend it to him.

The Most Uplifting Film Was: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Favourite Re-Watch:

Same as above. I love Muppet Christmas Carol.

Full list of my films for 2013: http://listography.com/localfreak/movies/films_of_2013
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I continue to surroung myself with books. I have read Educating Peter by Tom Cox, The Shopkeeper's Daughter by Lily Baxter and Cold Christmas by Nina Beachcroft since I last wrote. I have another two from my Lady Heyes pile left and another one on order from the library that hopefully will come soon.

I'm working there on Saturday anyway so I'll be able to see where I am in the queue and also probably acquire more books. I know I need to start getting down to hard academic tomes again, but they are not quite as comforting- one zones out of them more easily, when I need to be sucked in.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I have being surrounding myself with books. One forgets, it seems at times, what a wonderful haven just the smell of an old book can be. I am transported to the trips to the library of my childhood, imagining myself devouring the entire section (sans the picture books, naturally, which even at five or six I felt had too few words) just like Roald Dahl's Matilda. I used to fight tears when Nanny would tell me we had to go because the library would be closing soon and I must choose my six to keep me for the week.

To many, I'll be talking nonsense, I always have books. Surely, I have never turned away from them? And I suppose not, never entirely, but I had somehow forgotten, apart from brief moments quite what a comfort books are. That they transport, redeem, hold and embrace. Thinking about them, breathing them in, makes the Wide World stop at the locked door and slink away for a time.

I have re-read Stephen King's On Writing since last Saturday. I clung to its weight in my bag even when I had no time to read more than a paragraph, the little library book has been near my hand, a hand-hold itself for dealing with the funeral and everything. I have also finished re-reading, for the millionth time The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, my childhood comfort blanket. I am grateful for both of these.

On Friday, which was my mother's birthday, she, I and [personal profile] still_lycoris went to Lady Heyes and whiled some happy time looking at the bizarre and the shiny and the tat in the shops, before whiling away some hours in the amazing, towering second hand bookshop. There was an offer- buy 2 get 1 free. Even up to a few months ago I would have resisted, decluttering after all buying when I already have books on my to-read pile and so on. But right now I need books, I crave them and concerns about hoarding and mess can go hang when it comes to reading more.

I have just finished House of Tribes by Garry Douglas Kilworth. It is a story about a mouse named Pedlar and his adventures from Hedgerow to meet the house mice and unite the tribes and factions within. I said at the time, after reading the blurb, it would either be rather good or dreadfully tedious. It was very good. The pace is lightning-quick and the book thoroughly un-put-down-able. I liked it very much and am very glad to have bought it. I have five more on the pile from that trip, plus two or three rather more weighty tomes in my to-read pile. I also have a longing to re-read some others: Harry and the Wrinklies, Rowan of Rin maybe even Swallows and Amazons or the entire Harry Potter series.

There just aren't enough hours in the day for all of the books. I am so very grateful for them all right now.

memoriam

Jul. 25th, 2013 08:06 pm
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Just finished reading The Quarry by Iain Banks.

Three years ago I nearly had the chance to go to a writer's conference at which he was one of the keynote speakers and was running a workshop. But I'd just started my job, and only two people allowed off at a time, and Induction Week and ...and...

So I couldn't get the time off. But I consoled myself thinking "He seems to go there quite often. There'll be another chance."


How bloody wrong can you get.

(Also, I love the book)
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Today I went to get the lottery tickets after getting my monthly haircut and was asked for age identification by the lady in the shop. As I am ONE WHOLE HORRIFYING DECADE older than the minimum age to buy tickets I was mildly pleased. On my way back to The New House, taking time to facebook this fact whilst walking (because I haven't totally lost my 'down with yoof' yet) some boys who had been hanging around the chippy all afternoon approached me politely.

"Scuze me. Will you go the shop for us?"

"No, sorry love." I replied.

How funny that one minute I am de-aged and in the other feel so very old! Of course I wouldn't go in for them, there will be plenty of people who will, but truthfully for a moment there I honestly FORGOT that of course the kids used to do that all the time when I was one. Usually for fags or booze, at their age (which I'd estimate between 13-15) more likely to be fags.

Didn't get a lot done on the house today, but did manage a sneaky slip to the library to get out De Profundis between reading that and Rum, Sodomy and the Lash I feel I need something frothy to balance it out. So far am managing quite well be re-reading Pirate Vindaloo by Elessil and Hippediva (Sparrington) (in keeping with the sailors and sodomy theme, naturelment.

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