Saturday, January 29, 2011

Top 5 items I'm in the middle of reading/watching/listening to during this wet and wild Auckland Anniversary weekend

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

No, I beg to differ - the best thing one can do when it's raining is to stock up on lots of everything! Two of the nephews and I made a run to the library today to stock up on movies, books and music (good and terrible) to ride the bad weather out. We're truly awful after we've come home with our haul of treasures. They round up their loot and stake out the flat to have a movie marathon and, occasionally, come up for air and food. I take over the main house and spread everything out around me and go over each and every cover and synopsis in detail, read the first page, then the last page, and then divide my spoils into two piles: 'wanna, gotta, need to have it right now' and 'it can wait.' Then I try to read a book, watch a movie and listen to music all at the same time. It's messy, unstructured and totally smacks of someone who has little to no control over their impulses. At least when it comes to library items. Below is nothing more interesting than a small part of my most recent stash of library goodies that I'm in the middle of enjoying. All at once.

Honourable mention
  • The horns of ruin by Tim Akers - steampunk fantasy (love the cover)
  • Supernatural : John Winchester's journal by Alex Irvine ; illustrations by Dan Panosian and Alex Irvine - TV tie-in to Kripke's 'Supernatural' series (the journal that Dean and Sam's dad uses in his demon hunting)
  • The science of Doctor Who / Paul Parsons




  • Whisky, kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster : traveling through Scotland with Boswell and Johnson / William W. Starr
    A celebration of Scottish life and spirited endorsement of the unexpected discoveries to be made through good travel and good literature.

    Tosca's note: A week and a half ago I toyed with the idea of writing up an historical romance list featuring Highlanders (those kilts, they get me every time) and came across this quirky nonfiction title instead...and immediately requested it. So far it's sharp, witty and very funny. As for the Highlander list, the awesome Teigan picked it up and ran with it and gave it more personality than I would have been able to :)

    Mardi Gras : parade music from New Orleans [compact disc] / Various artists
    A compilation of titles from the GHB Jazz Foundation's Jazzology and GHB labels.

    Tosca's note: When I was 8 I heard a jazz recording for the first time. New Orleans jazz even. I decided then that I would visit New Orleans and hear it played firsthand. In 2009 I was fortunate enough to be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. There was zydeco (another one of my fav music genres), blues and jazz galore - a true explosion of the musical senses. I heard a brass band busking in Jackson Square, I listened to Big Al sing down on the riverfront, I heard zydeco music spilling out of the bars on Bourbon Street and I got to hear a lot of my old favourites played in Preservation Hall. It was a phenomenal experience and cds like this one remind me why I can't wait to go back again next year.

    The unholy cause / Joe Schreiber
    Twenty-three years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a demonic supernatural force. Their father then taught the boys everything about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners of America... and how to kill it. In this book, the brothers head south to Georgia where a civil war battle re-enactment has gone very badly wrong. Based on the hit CW series Supernatural created by Eric Kripke.

    Tosca's note: Ok, so my liking for Supernatural borders on the obsessive (go ahead, ask me to name my top 5 YouTube's Supernatural cast interviews or my top 5 reasons for wanting to attend a Supernatural convention - none of them sane) and I could defend it but, instead, I'll revel in it.

    In the electric mist [DVD] / starring Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard, Kelly MacDonald, Mary Steenburgen.
    Originally produced as a motion picture in 2008. Based on the book "In the electric mist with Confederate dead" by James Lee Burke. While on an investigation into a series of grisly murders, veteran detective Dave Robicheaux navigates his way through the Louisiana bayou and the dark, sultry world of New Orleans mobster 'Baby Feet' Balboni. Layers of corruption and long-dead secrets reawaken grudges and a lethal alliance. Restricted 16 - Restricted to persons 16 years and over. Note: Contains violence and offensive language.

    Tosca's note: I started reading James Lee Burke's 'Dave Robicheaux' novels when I was a tertiary student. My yen to visit New Orleans extended to reading Louisiana-based fiction. Burke's books were dark and gritty and I was fascinated by Robicheaux's break-all-the-rules attitude. Somewhere along the way I stopped reading them, feeling they were becoming maybe too formulaic, but the movie adaptation of 'In the electric mist' starring Tommy Lee Jones has made me think maybe I was too harsh. I'm thinking I might pick up the books again.

    Sherlock Holmes's London / David Sinclair
    "Sherlock Holmes - perhaps the most famous detective of all time - had an intimate knowledge of London's topography. His partner, Dr. Watson, also had a sixth sense about the city's people and the places where they lived. Here, David Sinclair recreates the London Holmes and Watson knew, and relates it to modern London. Following the routes that Holmes took on the trail of criminals - whether to Brixton and Kennington on the trail of the murdered Enoch J. Drebber, or to Bloomsbury and Covent Garden in search of the man who stole the blue carbuncle - creates an entertaining detective story in itself as the book relates places in the stories to places that exist now. Sifting through mystery and disguise, the book tracks down the real Langham Hotel, speculates on the location of the Diogenes Club and Saxe-Coburg Square, and identifies the scenes of crimes and the homes of villains and victims, as well as the restaurants, theaters, and concert halls where Holmes and London relaxed off-duty. It also recreates the unique atmosphere of a London sometimes darkened by smog, where travel was by hansom cab and brougham."--Publisher's description.

    Tosca's note: Sherlock Holmes was one of my early literary crushes (Hercules Poirot will always be first followed very closely by Mr. Darcy, The Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown) and what could be more fun than playing Sherlock tourist and following in his footsteps? I would love to see 221B Baker Street in person! It's on my 'travel to-do list' for sure. Speaking of, you've absolutely *got* to request 'Sherlock' starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. It's a modern take on the classic Doyle stories and is oh-so-much goodness (I'm a squee-ing fangirl so I am biased). As if that isn't a good enough reason to watch it, Steven Moffat is one of the co-creators...

    1 comment:

    /fish said...

    It's not about impulse control issues. It's about allowing your impulse control issues to focus on good things.

    I love Holmes. He, along with Descartes, Socrates and my good old Dad (who introduced me to the second two) are my inspirations for a reasoning approach to the world.

    That being said I just watched the pilot for Lexx only about 20 years too late and I'm in love with it.