Goodness, I need a separate question for all of these.
I don't read nearly enough, so this is basically just "everything
in recent memory", but I adored them all.
Update: You know, maybe I'm starting to read enough!
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (by Barbara Kingsolver)
Food, Inc. (by Peter Pringle, unrelated to and better than the
Banana (by Dan Koeppel)
The Big Necessity (by Rose George)
The God Delusion (by Richard Dawkins... arrogant but still
Infidel (by Ayaan Hirsi Ali)
biographies of Karl Marx and Carl Sagan
Fast Food Nation (by Eric Schlosser---finally! My boss was like
"how have you not")
Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind (by Gene Logsdon)
Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's
Greatest Encyclopedia (by Andrew Lih)
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and
the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
(by Sam Kean, yes that's the title)
Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Brontë)
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth
on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (by Naomi Oreskes
& Erik Conway)
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (by
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (by James
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook
Got Wrong (by James W. Loewen)
Fahrenheit 451 (by Ray Bradbury)
The Compass Rose (by Ursula K. Le Guin)
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
God Is Not Great (by Christopher Hitchens)
Starship Troopers (by Robert A. Heinlein)
The Gate to Women's Country (by Sheri S. Tepper)
The Sparrow (by Mary Doria Russell)
Trying to think back before this list began in 2011... I've had my
mind blown by Cryptonomicon (and tried to pick up Anathem but it
was so dense I didn't get hooked during that attempt. I have faith;
I'll try again.) I re-read Great Expectations and My Antonia from
school and appreciated them. I enjoyed Stranger in a Strange Land,
and Catch 22... I worked at a public library once that had a
"school reading list" section. That helped a lot. I had also
already read Omnivore's Dilemma (by Michael Pollan), The New
Humanists (ed. John Brockman), and The Man Behind The Microchip (a
biography of Robert Noyce).
Update: After a great film analysis class at college, I'm ready to
make movies a serious part of my life indefinitely. All those
movies my parents tried to show me as a kid but went over my head?
The Third Man? Citizen Kane? The Horse's Mouth? I'm ready for them
now, and so many others.
Short version: typical boy geek/nerd/dork who, when not down for
the count, can absorb more courage zone movies. (I need Hot Fuzz,
but enjoyed Lilies and Hotel Rwanda and The Constant Gardener. And
Babel, and... Update: Do The Right Thing, and Battleship Potemkin,
and La Jetee, and Meshes of the Afternoon)
Comfort movies! Even if there are parts I now recognize are
Star Wars 4-6, Lethal Weapon 1-3, Die Hard 1 and 2, Indiana Jones
1-3, The Matrix, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Ratatouille, The
Incredibles, Wall-E, Hunt for Red October, Michael Clayton, Ronin,
Boondock Saints, The Mask of Zorro, Ocean's 11, The Fugitive, U.S.
Marshals, Black Dynamite, The Negotiator, The Lord of the Rings
Trilogy, Charlie Wilson's War, Gone in 60 Seconds, Charade, the
Back to the Future movies, modern superhero stuff like Ironman and
Avengers, Road Warrior movies, James Bond movies, Pirates of the
Carribean 1, Inception, The Santa Clause, Mission Impossible 1,
Leon the Professional... just rewatched Heat at an old enough age
to get it and thought it was fabulous.
I had a really great time with:
Everything Pixar made that I haven't already talked about (except
Cars 2---have avoided seeing it), Syriana, Girl with the Dragon
Tatoo (the original--now I have to go see the original Insomnia
because I didn't know there was one), Munich, The King's Speech,
Clue, Thank You For Smoking, Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking
Barrels, Inside Job, Gasland, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless
Mind, Groundhog Day, the new Batmans, Men in Black 1 and 2, Office
Space, Platoon, The Usual Suspects, Silver Linings Playbook, Coco
I realize now I really love movies, and recognizing fabulous
screenwriting and how it makes you feel. Love being brought to
tears by gripping moments. Talk movies to me! There are so many
more to see.
I always avoid watching TV shows because it feels like a
dangerously huge time commitment, even though my friends are
constantly nagging me about so many that sound convincingly
awesome. (I would, of course, want to watch them "properly", from
the beginning, paying full attention to each and every episode.)
But as soon as I have someone to cuddle up on the couch with who
wants to watch them with me, BRING THEM ALL ON. (Ok fine I've seen
a little Community, Venture Bros., and Burn Notice and they were
tons of fun. And somehow I still haven't seen Firefly, so at this
point I'm saving it for a special occasion.) Oh and Jesus Christ
DAILY SHOW--HOW COULD I FORGET THIS I DON'T EVEN
Update: Well, I know "how I could even". I've just had a lot of the
idealistic hope from younger days disillusioned out of me by recent
years. Not the idealism, just the hope. Politics is more depressing
than exciting now, and I haven't watched the Daily Show for a long
time. I miss it, and when I feel just the right way, will enjoy
going back to it (and catching up on what I missed).
I grew up on (and love) classical music. Rachmaninoff's piano
concerto #2 is a gorgeous example. My homegrown interest is film
soundtracks (and game soundtracks). For the soul, nothing beats
John Williams' themes or atmospheric/mood sections, or, say,
Oblivion's atmosphere tracks. But then again, same with belting Cee
Lo's Fuck You with everyone at a karaoke bar or in the car. Don't
worry, thanks to some college a capella, Tenacious D and the Pick
of Destiny, the Rock Band games, and lots of friends, I can
appreciate rock and everything else, now, too. Oh yeah and thank
god for Weird Al Yankovic.
But I can go so many places with music. Bring on the Gershwin,
bring on the African drumming, bring on the Daft Punk, bring on the
stone-church choral music. Bring on the Motown classics, bring on
the soft rock, bring on the Simon & Garfunkel, bring on the
barbershop (as long as its subtle and clever and not trying too
hard), bring on the Avenue Q. I love, love, love harmony and the
chance to sing it with others.
I've firmly decided that one of life's great joys will be making
music with other people. I've got some piano in my background so I
have something to start with, but I've got some work and investment
to do in order to get there...
I'll keep filling this in as I reflect back in nostalgia... I'm
positive I'm not remembering all the important ones...
Eager Little Kid:
Carmen Sandiego, Gizmos and Gadgets and other 'Learning Company'
gems, Civilization, SimCity, The Incredible Machine
SNES Zelda and MegaMan X's, Secret of Mana... Civilization II,
Colonization, and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri... SimCity 2000 and
3000, SimTower... adventure games like EcoQuest(?) and Day of the
Tentacle... maybe stupid old Warcraft II and Command & Conquer,
my first RTS's... Star Wars: Dark Forces and X-Wing (the
original!)... Castles: Siege & Conquest...
All the N64 classics like Mario/Mariokart, Zelda, and Smash
Brothers... MegaMan Legends (<3!)... the golden age of LucasArts
Star Wars releases (Jedi Knight, X-Wing Alliance, Rebellion,
Shadows of the Empire, Rogue Squadron, even Masters of Teras Kasi,
lol!)... StarCraft... Fallout... Sonic Adventure... to my great
luck, I got infected by an MMO at this point: Asheron's Call. I
could do it, have a great time with it, and get over it, and be
innoculated against future, far more potent epidemics...
Spoiled Young Adult:
Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Halo (on the PC,
thank you), Civilization III, Counter-Strike, Zelda: Windwaker,
Knights of the Old Republic, Portal, Diablo II
Troubled Early Twenties:
Oblivion, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Anno 1404, Civilization IV,
Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, Fallout 3, Psychonauts, Borderlands
(even though I ended up hating it, it started off as a good
cause---a way for four friends now in far corners of the country to
"hang out" together), Rock Band, Valkyria Chronicles
Right Before Defeating The Addiction:
Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead
Someday, I will game again, carefully. Only a handful of games
interest me anymore anyway. And I have finally grown up enough that
no matter how enticing, they all end up disappointingly "limited"
anyway, and I can walk away from them untroubled. But a friend or
housemate playing a game in the living room, while I cook or
something, remains the number one way for me to feel like I'm at
home. I had that once and miss it.
When the truly charming and engrossing games like Psychonauts or
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time come along, well, that should be
rare enough to be entirely healthy and called-for... like ice
I also appreciate board and party games like Bang!, Charades,
Scrabble, Cranium, etc. Cards Against Humanity should, by all
rights, be fabulous---but after playing it just once, I no longer
get excited about it? Maybe it's full of cliches for me now. But
hey, with the right people, maybe it can be great.
Update: Just played Scattergories for the first time since playing
Scattergories, Jr. as a little kid (and forgetting entirely what
the game was about) and it was fabulous!!
I love meat but hate CAFO's, and I love sugar, fat, and salt, but I
also love what I've learned about the physiology of our metabolism.
So I'm definitely a "health-itarian", shooting for ecologically
conscientious, life-improving food... and as Pollan says, "mostly
plants"! And, what do you know, it always ends up being delicious
I was so jealous and envious of people who could cook, I never
thought I would learn to cook, I never saw how it could happen, I
didn't think I was the type, and at no time did I ever feel like I
was learning to cook, but by golly... it's been two years since I
started reading about food issues, shopping at a food co-op, and
poking at things experimentally and... I really have some things
down. I'm so proud and content to have my life together in this one
way... I can turn a kitchen, a chef's knife, a refrigerator, and a
stove into a small repertoire of good meals.
As of a few weeks ago, I have a Crockpot. ::sexy growl:: Next step,