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IMG_0114So hopefully you will have seen and read my review of The Girl etc. (henceforward to be known as TGWATG which is inelegant but that’s acronyms for you – that is an acronym isn’t it?) which can be found here, and if you haven’t read it yourself yet I hope that you will get hold of a copy soon, because if I was the kind of blogger who makes a list of her favourite books of the year (and I don’t) then this would definitely be in the top five (which it won’t because I just don’t).

Anyway I think I may have mentioned in writing about the book that I virtually forced my friend Silvery Dude to buy TGWATG to take on holiday with him and we read it more or less simultaneously (I think I had a head start in not being a father of three young boys on holiday in Greece while reading the thing so finished it first) and had similar opinions, and our friend and colleague MargaRita (Queen of Speed) read it shortly afterwards and to cut a long story short we got involved in a very detailed exchange of e-mails when we should have been doing Important Work-Related Things and tried to cast the movie. Our suggestions are below and please be gentle if you have Thoughts, because my mind goes blank as soon as someone asks me to do this sort of thing and all except Silvery Dude (because he still hasn’t seen it) may have been influenced too much by recent exposure to Guardians of the Galaxy (and what I thought about that can be found here).

Anyway, here’s what we came up with (and reinforces pretty much that we should stick to the day jobs):

  • Melanie – an early bid for Chloe Grace Moretz (slightly too old now) was trumped by Elle Fanning
  • Miss Justineau – Zoe Saldana (but only because of the GotG thing mentioned above) (and shows a shameful lack of awareness on my part of who the best actresses of colour are though oh, I’ve just thought of Sophie Okonedo)
  • Sgt. Parkes – the hottest debate – my first thought was Sean Bean (too good looking), then Silvery Dude would not be moved from the idea of Viggo Mortensen, and a late bid for John C Reilly (see GotG again) was overruled in favour of Clive Owen though the good-looking thing applies there too….
  • Dr Caldwell – Julianne Moore (“at her most pinched” said SD) or Nicole Kidman (at her most icy) but I am attached to the idea of Gillian Anderson
  • Private Gallagher – Jamie Bell (but probably too old and fit now), Andrew Garfield (too obvious?) or Nicholas Hoult (in Warm Bodies incarnation).

So there you have it. Can you do better?

Actually I think we all know the answer to that one….

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This is going to be a tiny wee review of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life which I read because (a) I heard it was really good and (b) I was going to see the movie this weekend based solely on a mixture of stuff I’d picked up from the internet and stuff I’d seen in movie magazines and had a sudden panic that I should probably try to find out a little bit more before I parted with my hard-earned cash.

So loving comic books, all things Canadian and pretending that I am at least 25 years younger than I actually am, this was just up my street being a comic book set in Toronto about a 22 year-old who has to fight the evil exes of the girl he’s fallen in love with.

And it’s really good, and even though I have now seen the movie I expect I will get the rest of the comic book series because I can be a bit of a completist if I don’t watch myself. Not that that’s a bad thing.

So I may have mentioned before that I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently, but that seems mainly to be about fiction. I am solidly working my way through a number of non-fiction books at the moment, and the first I’ve finished is It’s Only a Movie by the one and only Mark Kermode.

Those of you who wander over to my other blog will know that I love movies and one of the critics whose opinions I pay most attention to (even though I don’t always agree with him) is the Good Doctor Mark Kermode. His Friday afternoon reviews with Simon Mayo on Radio Five Live are a real joy and the podcast is one of my Saturday morning rituals. So good fun to read his memoir, subtitled “reel life adventures of a film obsessive”.

It has all the great stories that those of you who follow the Good Doctor have heard before (his brush with Helen Mirren who took him to task for saying The Queen wasn’t a proper film, Werner Herzog being shot while Mark was interviewing him, and so on), plus some new stuff that I hadn’t come across before (the trip to the Soviet Union to visit the set of Dark Waters). The only thing missing are the great rants about films he doesn’t like (Pirates of the Caribbean a special favourite) so if you can search these out on YouTube or elsewhere because when he’s in full flow there is nothing more wonderful.

It’s difficult to review this – I thoroughly enjoyed it, one of the few books I could be bothered trying to read while standing up on my daily commute, precariously balanced but any man who

grew up believing that Planet of the Apes told you all that you needed to know about politics, that Slade in Flame was a savage expose of the pop world, and that The Exorcist revealed the meaning of life

deserves to be listened to.

Signing up for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge gave me the perfect excuse (in case I really thought I needed one) to re-read the Neil Gaiman Sandman series from scratch, alongside the fascinating-and-occasionally-dipped-into-but-never-properly-read Sandman Companion by Hy Bender. And of course you start at the beginning, with Preludes and Nocturnes.

The thing about the need for an excuse is that my TBR pile (which with my tendency to be unable to avoid buying books plus all the stuff the Book God has in his possession) has actually become a TBR room, if not taking over the whole house, and so any re-reading has to be carefully thought through because there are just so many new(ish) books waiting for me to pick them up.

This is a problem that will not go away for two reasons:

  • the Book God and I currently have a combined age of 106, and if you assume that we both started buying our own books as teenagers (let’s say arbitrarily 15) then that’s potentially 76 years of book buying

Which brings me to reason number 2:

  • I am constitutionally incapable of getting rid of anything vaguely book shaped. At all. So I almost certainly have just about everything I have bought since I was a teenager

So you can see my problem.

Nevertheless the draw of Sandman was irresistible and I ploughed on, really enjoying the opportunity to get back inside a world that I have always enjoyed. And then  another issue hit me – how do I review this? I mean, I can’t really review this as if I have come to it fresh, because I haven’t, and it is such a well-loved series and so many other bloggers have written about it all so eloquently. So I’m not going to attempt the feat at all.

I love it still, and if you haven’t read the series I urge you to have a go.

———–

I’ve also had a couple of relatively rare outings this week (I don’t count cocktails with Silvery Dude and friend on Wednesday because in my simple little mind that’s the sort of thing I should be doing every day); no, this is proper going out for the evening stuff, involving:

  • on Thursday, the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum – wonderful stuff with costumes based on the court of Louis XIV and a classic fairy tale on stage the way it should be done
  • on Saturday, The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers at the Royal Albert Hall, with the full score performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra – and lovely to see Howard Shore, the composer, take a bow at the end.

And then home to Dr Who and River Song. What more could a girl want?

Phew.

Will review on Screen God once I’ve had the chance to watch again, but crikey, glad it’s all looking so good.

My thoughts (such as they are) on:

So I’m doing my now traditional staying up all night to watch the Oscars live – missed only once in 10 years. It’s 23:35 here in London and I am now settled in front of the TV watching the Red Carpet on E! (in preference to some of the British coverage) even though it’s mildly annoying.

I have the full support kit: fizzy white wine; enormous milk chocolate heart left over from Valentine’s Day; blanket just in case it gets a bit chill in the wee small hours; laptop in case inspiration strikes me, but not live-blogging as that’s too much pressure.

Day off tomorrow, probably just as well.

And as long as Avatar doesn’t win Best Picture and there is at least one really gorgeous frock I’ll be happy.

Or newish at least since I haven’t linked to my film reviews for yonks.

So if you want to find out about any of the following, then just follow the links:

Not wanting to behave too much like a Twihard (it’s so undignified for a woman of my advancing years) but  Neil Gaiman is writing for Season Two of the Matt Smith Dr Who.

Two of my absolutest favourite things/people/stuff/whatever coming together in what will surely be a glorious televisual event.

Must be true – it’s on Mr G’s own blog plus at SFX

So Christmas 2009 – not quite what I had expected. Stinking cold from 19 December onwards meant that I had little or no voice for significant parts of the holiday season (cheers all round from family, friends and co-workers as you might imagine) and I was also working most of the time (including part of Christmas Eve though I did give in to my cold around lunchtime). Christmas Day itself – opened presents, fell asleep for most of the day, dinner wonderful but late. That’s the advantage of just the two of us on the day, we can play it by ear and only have ourselves to please.

Main highlights so far:

  • The Gruffalo on Christmas Day was the surprising TV highlight for me – really sweet and very nicely done
  • Dr Who – well, a bit disappointing but I’m reserving my judgement until I’ve seen part two as this was so obviously a first-part-setting-up-the-big-denoument episode; but David Tennant was as lovely as ever, especially when he looked like he was going to cry….
  • Sherlock Holmes – the big Christmas movie outing – great fun, will review over on Screen God shortly

But what of the presents? Well, bookwise I did quite well:

  • Vintage Handbags by Marnie Fogg – almost obscene in its wonderfulness, a big glossy history of handbags from the 1920s, I am going to be dipping into this one a lot
  • The Crimson Rooms by Katharine McMahon – asked for this simply because I loved the cover
  • Under the Dome by Stephen King – well, couldn’t resist asking for this one then completely forgot about it; when given the package to unwrap I thought “don’t remember asking for anything this big” – should have known!
  • Martyrs and Murderers: the Guise Family and the Making of Europe by Stuart Carroll – sixteenth century, what can I say?
  • Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Discarded bride by Elizabeth Norton – ditto
  • The Great Silence 1918-1920 by Juliet Nicolson – the period just after the end of WWI and its impact on the social fabric, looks fascinating
  • Strange Days Indeed by Francis Wheen – a history of the 1970s which I am really looking forward to reading, given that it covers the decade when I was a teenager
  • Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Rodney Matthews – when I was a student I was much more of a Roger Dean fan but I’ve come to appreciate Matthews more over the years and this is a beautiful volume
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, illustrated by Hunt Emerson – a graphic novel version of one of my favourite poems
  • Amphigorey: fifteen books by Edward Gorey – huge Gorey fan, ’nuff said
  • Angel With Two Faces by Nicola Upson – sequel to her earlier Josephine Tey crime story
  • Tamsin by Peter S Beagle – picked up from other blogs
  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor – ditto
  • Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge – just loved the cover
  • Lovecraft Unbound, edited by Ellen Datlow – Joyce Carol Oates does Lovecraft, worth it for that alone
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest – steampunk, really been looking forward to this one
  • Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellars – and a bit of Bloomsbury to round things off

So that lot should keep me busy for a while……

Bride of the Book God

Follow brideofthebook on Twitter

Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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