4 Books I Read This Semester That I Thought Were Great
1. George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire (all of them)
Simply epic, almost flawless, and meticulously thought out fantasy series. Anyone who thinks they don't like fantasy books really needs to check these out. Can't wait for the next one!
2. "Cities of the Plain" by Cormac McCarthy
A meditation on age, the vanishing Old West, and love. It takes a wonderful left turn at the end.
3. "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
The book that almost invented the 60s. A bit repetitive, but of enduring historical value.
4. "Lord of the Flies" by William Goldman
A bunch of kids get stranded on an island. Top shelf writing.
5 Albums I Heard This Semester That I Thought Were Great
1. Soundgarden - "King Animal"
A return to form, and even better than "Down on the Upside." Chris Cornell shrieks satisfyingly, Kim Thayil smashes you over the head with his guitar, and the other two guys also come ready for trouble. A couple of songs are missteps, but altogether a great album.
2. Behemoth - "The Apostasy"
Really loud and really Polish. "At the Left Hand ov God" is an amazing song, and everything after that is good, too. The first two tracks were a little too late-era Celtic Frost for me, but most of this album is certainly good enough for Satan.
3. Gorgoroth - "Antichrist"
These guys are even more evil than Behemoth, and their metal has a uniqueness that few other bands can touch. Their music is a lot less busy than Behemoth's, and their singer sings in an excellently evil fashion.
4. Steve Reich - "Music for 18 Musicians"
Some might say this is monotonous, but I like it.
5. Destruction - "Eternal Devastation"
One of Germany's classic thrash bands. I spent a week or so shouting "Life Without Sense" in my living room..
3 Movies I Saw This Semester That I Thought Were Great
1. The Company Men
Great movie about the downsizing of America. Ben Affleck, who I still haven't entirely forgiven for "Daredevil," is terrific as an out-of-work software executive. Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner also shine in this one. Reminded me of so many people and places.
2. The Amazing Spider-man
Yeah, I waited a long time to finally see it. To my surprise, it was a good movie up until maybe the very end. The Lizard might have looked a little too much like The Hulk, but Andrew Garfield makes a good Peter Parker.
3. The Human Centipede (first sequence)
It's so disturbing it'll have you up nights. Not as graphic as the sequel, but more psychologically effective.
4. Cabin in the Woods
This movie is a little bit H.P. Lovecraft, a little bit Friday the 13th, and a little bit The Matrix. More intelligent and funny than your average horror movie.
2 Books That Suck
1. "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel
Boring and anachronistic. A real struggle to get through.
2. "Mid-Flinx" by Alan Dean Foster
One of the worst books I have ever read. I simply can't imagine reading another of Alan Dean Foster's books. I'd have to be in prison. Or in an insane asylum. Or in an antarctic outpost, without anything else to read.
...and with that I will leave off writing this blog for the remainder of fall semester. See you in February, after Chinese New Year!