I have this habit of keeping track of the books I read and movies I watch. Goodreads is useful for the former, and the latter I just do with old-school pen and paper (I should use IMBd lists but… I don’t). I think it helps me consume media mindfully, though I’ve only been recording, not really reflecting or doing any sort of holistic analysis. So why not start now?!
Here are my 2 rules for what gets included in a month’s log:
1) I have to finish the thing within the month. No half-read books, ongoing audio courses, etc.
2) New stuff only. If I’ve seen/read it before (recently enough to remember it) I’m not including it. I’m not a fan of re-watching and re-reading unless there’s something about a book/movie/episode/etc. that truly merits another visit.
Other general blah-blah notes:
1) I don’t have cable and don’t watch much TV right now. I’m including shows that have new episodes I’ve watched within the month.
2) I’m ordering the lists by oldest to most recent release. It may look like I don’t read/watch much new stuff, but that’s mainly because I make heavy use of free resources (like the library!) where the newest stuff is often unavailable.
* = new favorite! 🙂
- The Turn of the Screw, Henry James (1898)
- No Exit, Jean-Paul Satre (1944)
- An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Kay Redfield Jamison (1994)
- The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (2011)
- Imaginary Girls, Nova Ren Suma (2011)
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black (2013)
- Night Film, Marisha Pessl (2013)
COMICS / GRAPHIC:
- Y: The Last Man, Book One (2008)
- Batwoman Elegy (2010)*
- Saga, Volume 1 (2012)
- The Graphic Canon, Volume 3 (2012)
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
- Barton Fink (1991)
- Magnolia (1999)*
- The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
- Lost in Translation (2003)
- Big Eyes (2014)
- Adventure Time
- Regular Show
- Bob’s Burgers
- No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life (The Great Courses, audio)
Thoughts & reflections:
- Oh, existentialism. I’m in my mid-twenties, so it’s totally cliche and expected to be into this, right? Whatevs. I love the Great Courses, and this particular lecture series was well done, though a lot to take in as someone who hasn’t had any formal education in philosophy. However, I did learn that I’ve already read and connected with quite a lot of quintessential existential fiction (Kafka, Camus). To add to my collection, I picked up No Exit by Sartre — a quick but impactful read. I’m glad I listened to the lecturer’s analysis before reading it, as I got a lot more out of it that way.
- Huh, I must’ve been attracted to “night” this month. The Night Circus. Night Film. Loved ’em both.
- I’m looking for a new collected edition series, can you tell? I started with Saga, only to discover that my library has volumes one and three — but not TWO?!?! So I picked up Y, Brian Vaughan’s earlier heavily renowned series. Already hooked and through Book Two (but SHH that’s for next month’s log dammit).
- I don’t know why I’m so convinced that I should love Coen brothers films. Barton Fink is the third Coen film I’ve seen (No Country for Old Men and The Big Lebowski are the other two), and I really want to connect with them and consider them my favorites but… I think it’s time for me to accept that while they’re great films with memorable characters and stories, they’re just not my style. And that’s okay. Go ahead and gasp, film snobs, but I think it’s alright to acknowledge artists’ work as well-done/deep/important/whatevs while still saying, y’know, it just ain’t my thing. My apologies to The Dude.
- Is Philip Seymour Hoffman in every late 90s movie?
- “What the hell does Bill Murray say to ScarJo at the end??” Okay, so I feel like this shouldn’t bother me as much as it does. I’m supposed to think “oh, it’s up to me to imagine what he said” or “it doesn’t matter what exactly he said, what matters is the resolution.” Sorry I still feel cheated. Oh well. That’s my own issue.
- I must have seen Rocky Horror before because I somehow remember most all of the songs… and a lot of the film itself. Maybe it’s just branded in my collective cultural subconscious?
Ideas for next month:
- Music — to include, or not to include? I’m so disorganized when it comes to finding new music I like, let alone tracking it. Sooo… I dunno. Something to think about, I guess.
- Tracking specific episodes of shows? Is that getting too anal retentive?