Thursday, September 8, 2011

1,001 reasons to love kid's books, chocolate, songs, video games and albums

List by Tosca

"A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers."
- Plato

What if you had knowledge *and* numbers in the one book? 1,001 numbers, to be exact, with the accompanying 1,001 pieces of information to go with them? And if you were crazy enough to request and read 5 such books, well, those are some phenomenal numbers right there. My brain is crazy-jam-packed-full of bits of trivia and recommendations after the reading fest of the last four or five days. When I had the idea to do this list I thought it would be a relatively easy-ish thing to do: search the catalogue, request whatever interests me, read and add/not add. Foolish, foolish thought. Choosing which titles to request was hard enough but trying to play favourites with them was worse. I had to discount a whole heap because they weren't quite as interesting to me as I thought they'd be (golf? Really?!) or, really, were too 'highbrow' for my tastes (I think Mr. 7's fingerpaintings are a wonder to behold). I'm not a classy kind of person. Now I have a huge list of kids' books to re-read, chocolates to try, songs and albums to locate and listen to and video games to hunt down. Eek!

Also, I apologise for my absurdly long and somewhat dizzy version of 'honourable mentions.' And to the librarians who had to round up these enormous books to send them to me, thank you so much! And no, Sue, I'm not creating a bucketlist :) Well, not yet, anyway...

Titles considered for being 'wide-ranging' that were then discarded for being 'wide-ranging' and are more for people who have taste (and I so obviously have none):
  • 1001 golf holes : you must play before you die edited by Jeff Barr - I had this vague idea that I should be a little bit wide-ranging in my included titles but then opened this book and didn't feel inspired enough to keep it. If it'd been called '1001 things you can do on a golf course that don't involve golf balls or clubs' THEN I would've used it.
  • 1001 books for every mood by Hallie Ephron - Book suggestions for everything from a good cry to apocalyptic vision and all points in between. Also includes 'literary merit' ratings.
  • 1001 paintings you must see before you die edited by Stephen Farthing - I have three favourite paintings: Summertime by Jackson Pollock, Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh and The Scream by Edvard Munch and so, really, what do I know about art?
  • 1001 things every teen should know before they leave home (or else they'll come back) by Harry H. Harrison Jr. - Initially grabbed it because I thought it would have some great advice and it does but some of it was too serious for me. If my parents had tried to sit me down to talk about credit ratings and God's unconditional love the first time I left home at 18 it probably would not have been received well.
  • 1001 buildings you must see before you die edited by Mark Irving - Spectacular buildings but I know diddly about architecture and have next to no understanding or vision of it/for it. I just felt like I should have read it.
  • 1001 movies you must see before you die edited by Steven Jay Schneider - You've seen/read about my taste in movies. You know how truly appalling it is. Are you surprised, then, to find this title in this section...?

  • 1001 children's books you must read before you grow up / edited by Julia Eccleshare
    1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up is an ideal reference for parents keen to introduce their children to the wonderful world of books and for all adults to update their knowledge of this specialized area of reading.

    Tosca's comment: So many of the books listed here encouraged my love of reading.

    1,001 reasons to love chocolate / Barbara Albright & Mary Tiegreen
    A visually enhanced celebration of all things chocolate features decadent recipes, profiles of the world's foremost chocolate confectioners, a Whitman's sampler of facts, depictions of nostalgic and classic candies including Milk Duds and Junior Mints, and modern incarnations of chocolate-enhanced foods like Godiva martinis.

    Tosca's comment: Like I need a reason to like chocolate other than their number one: 'There is nothing else like it.' Believe me, I'm surprised as you are that this isn't listed as my #1.

    1001 songs you must hear before you die : And 10,001 you must download / edited by Robert Dimery
    Compiles a list of over one thousand landmark songs in the history of popular music, including their influences, how the songs helped influence others on the list, and provides their historical significance to the genre.

    Tosca's comments: Some might think I'm cheating by having a 1001 songs *and* 1001 albums. To them I say: BAH. Also, I dare you to read this and not get caught up in it.

    1001 video games you must play before you die / edited by Tony Mott
    In fewer than fifty years video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment, but which are the best games, the ones you must play? Video game expert Tony Mott presents 1001 of the best video games from around the world and on all formats, from primitive pioneering consoles like Atari's VCS to modern-day home entertainment platforms such as Sony's PlayStation 3. Each entry includes an illustrated screenshot of the game in action, along with details of its original release date and platform, with informative and authoritative text outlining its play mechanics, artistic qualities, contributions to its respective genre, and more. From "Donkey Kong" to "Doom", and from "Frogger" to "Final Fantasy", 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is the essential guide to everything from the old favourites to those breaking new ground. These are the games that should not be missed.

    Tosca's comment: Our very first game console was a Fountain that my parents bought way back in the 80s and I adored it! We played it so much that, eventually, it died of overuse. My memory is hazy and I can't remember a replacement of any sort until dad bought a Sega Saturn and then a Nintendo 64. These days we rock an X-Box and a PS3 (I still have my PS1 and PS2 consoles buried in a box somewhere) but I'll never forget the Fountain. My love of video games was fostered by my dad's youngest brother and sister whose idea of babysitting was to take me to local spacie parlours and burger bars, hand me a heapload of 20c coins and let me go crazy playing Space Invaders and Galaza. I will forever love them for that (and only that). This book GAH! This book! Assuming I could ever round up all of the games listed there is absolutely no way I could ever get through trying to play everything. But OH! If I could... Hugely comprehensive listing that made me awfully nostalgic.

    1001 albums you must hear before you die / edited by Robert Dimery
    If you thought you knew your music this will make you think again. 1001 Albums you must hear before you die is more than a simple guide to music, it is a critical list, packed with insights into why each album is significant, the key tracks, the circumstances of its creation, the critical reception in its day, and why it stands the test of time. The text contains fascinating anecdotes that will amaze even the most dedicated muso. Written by top UK and US music journalists, 1001 Albums you must hear before you die covers the period from the late '50s, when albums began to be considered as an oeuvre, to 2005 when inspiration drawn from bands of the '60s once again defined the musical landscape. With a focus on rock music and a peppering of hip-hop and R&B, these are the soundtracks.

    Tosca's comment: Music is a big deal for me. So much so that when I'm not plugged in to my iPod, I constantly have an internal soundtrack playing in my head. I have this weird belief that there is a song for every situation I find myself in and, thanks to this book, I've found a whole heap more that, with the wonders of YouTube and our catalogue, I intend to explore. Some of these artists I've never even heard of and likewise their albums and some of the tracks recommended within.

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