January 4, 2018 · 9:32 am
Books. Of the 51 books I read in 2018, my clear favorites were Salman Rushdie’s Two Years Eighth Months and Twenty-Eight Days and Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Rushdie’s book was rich with delights, and Joyce’s book disarmingly sweet. In all 33 of the books were fiction, 18 non-fiction. I read four “best of” series (short stories, mysteries, O. Henry Prize), and four books by Betty Cavanna (including The Black Spaniel Mystery, a book I bought back in the early 1960s through the Scholastic Book Club but never read). I also read two of the “Freddy” books, by Walter R. Brooks, and read Michael Cart’s book about Freddy and his author, Talking Animals and Others. I read three books about cooking, restaurants, and bars (RC director John Mersereau’s How To Grill A Gourmet, Ruth Reichl’s Tender At The Bone, and Ernie Harburg’s book about the Del Rio, Liberty, Equality, Consensus and All That Jazz.
Movies. I saw 44 movies in 2018. Clear favorites were Black Panther and Ready Player One. Other favorites included Isle of Dogs and The Green Book. Movies I liked fairly well: Maze Runner: Death Cure, I, Tonya, Game Night, Tom Raider, Red Sparrow, Jurassic World 2, Ant-Man and Wasp, Skyscraper, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Rich, Crazy Aliens, Little Women, Venom, and The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
January 3, 2018 · 5:41 am
Books. I read 37 books in 2017, which is less than in 2016 (45) or 2015 (54). However, several of the books were long collections (over 700 pages), including three Dozois science-fiction collections. I read 12 collections in all, four of science-fiction, four of poetry, two mystery, two fiction. I also read two sci-fi magazines, and a collection of Fritz Leiber stories as well as a collection by Neil Gaiman. The Gaiman collection contained a story in the American Gods universe, and I read that novel later in the year, liking it quite well. My favorite book was Robert Waggoner’s Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, which was fascinating and full of information. I read the two newest Spenser movels (by Ace Atkins), liking Slow Burn quite well but finding Little White Lies a bit generic. I read the first two Anne Hillerman “Leaphorn and Chee” novels, continuing her dad’s series, liking the first one a bit more than the second. I read the first two books in the old Tom Corbett “space cadet” series. Of the 37 books, 12 were non-fiction . . . .
Movies. Alain and I saw 42 movies in 2017, a bit fewer than our average of 48. My favorites were Keti, Hidden Figures (technically a 2016 movie), Wonder Woman, and The Shape of Water. I also very much enjoyed Valerian, The Big Sick, and Three Billboards.