All The Stuff That Got Missed or Items 10 - 20 on the Facebook Lists

Over the last few days there have been a couple of challenges which popped up on the feed of my NSA information gathering service (Facebook). Among these have been the “List three things I am thankful for for five days in a row” one, the “Ten books that stayed with you” one, and the “Ten movies that moved you one.”

I will be the first person to admit, I love these kind of things. They combine the whole the opportunity to show everyone what they should be reading or listening to or watching or whatever with the CDO
1 pleasing aspect of making lists.

I love lists.

I went into quite a bit of detail with the “Things I’m Thankful For” one, but I wanted the opportunity to state why I chose some of the things that I did and include things which probably should have made the list but didn’t. Since these two wishes are outside of the scope of what was allowed on Facebook, I decided to address them here.

Let’s start out by looking at the list of books that stayed with me. As you can see, I alphabetized them by author.

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness by Edward Abbey
Emma Who Saved My Life by Wilton Barnhardt
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Happy Birthday of Death by Gregory Corso
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
It/The Stand by Stephen King (I couldn't pick just one fiction title)
On Writing by Stephen King
My Song For Him Who Never Sang For Me by Merritt Malloy

At first glance, there are a number of things which stand out. There is the fact that I cheated and included two titles in one slot because I couldn’t decide between my favorite Stephen King books. There is the fact that despite my love for the horror genre, the list is actually fairly light on books from the dark side. Even more amazing is that there are no mysteries on it.
4 Want another eye-popping bit of amazing? The vast majority of those titles are not fiction (half are actually non-fiction, a distinction I will make clear in a moment).

I’m not sure how to classify the first book, a collection of quotes from famed environmentalist and Monkey Wrench Gang author Edward Abbey. The second is a book which I read back in the 1980s which really spoke to me. The characters reminded me of myself and others I knew. It was easy to I have been tempted to re-read it, but I am worried that I won’t connect with it the same way I did now that I am older.

Dandelion Wine is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. Dee Brown’s story of American westward expansion as told from the point of view of the Native Americans was a revelation to me. I find the works of Joseph Campbell fascinating as a writer and as someone who studied psychology.

Then we come to the first of two collections of poetry, Corso’s collection which includes memorable pieces like the titular poem, “Bomb,” and “Marriage.” I don’t suppose anyone will be shocked to learn that I enjoyed all of Herriot’s tales of a young country veterinarian, nor that I had a hard time choosing just one Stephen King novel so I fudged it and listed two on the same line.

On Writing is simply one of the best books on writing that I have ever read, filled with great suggestions for every type of writer. The list ends with another collection of poetry which contains startling beautiful images created by melancholy words and haunting photographs.

What may be surprising for some readers is what is missing from my list. There are no mysteries. Were the list longer it would certainly have included books from notable authors like Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and of course Mickey Spilane. There is also a startling lack of science fiction and fantasy. Again, on a longer list we would see Asimov, McCafffrey, Dick, Orwell, Tolkien, Gaiman, and more Bradbury. I could make an entire list of books by people I have had the pleasure of meeting like Cherie Priest, Scott Nicholson, and Cory Doctorow. There would also be a lot more horror and probably some forensic science texts.

The film list is a little more straightforward:

2. Princess Bride
Tale of Two Sisters
The Orphanage (NOT The Orphan, which sucked)
The Usual Suspects
7. The
Evil Dead Trilogy
The Maltese Falcon
The Thin Man
The Seven Samurai

The movies are listed in the order in which they came to me. We start with my favorite movie of all time, one which I have seen over 200 times now including five times in the theater.
5 The only real comedy, The Princess Bride is one which I always watch whenever I come across it on television. It is also one which I can quote most if not all of the dialog from. Alien won over its sequel by a very narrow margin. While both are great films, the original made the list because the Xenomorph has been haunting me since I was a little kid.

The next two films are ones which I watched back to back. I am on record as describing the experience as “a sucker punch to the soul.” If you have not seen
Tale of Two Sisters or The Orphanage you should do so right now. Be warned, they are both foreign films, but reading the subtitles is well worth it.

The Usual Suspects is a great film, one which keeps you guessing until the very end. Even knowing the final reveal, I am still engrossed by this movie. I admit that I totally cheated by putting all three movies in the Evil Dead franchise6 on one line. It would be impossible for me to choose between the horror of the first film and the slapstick of the second. Of course, with these two on the list there was no way I could leave off Army of Darkness.

The next two films reflect my love of classic noir movies.
The Maltese Falcon is another example of Bogie at his best. I could sit and listen to Nick and Nora go back and forth all day (and have).

The Seven Samurai. I am a huge Kurosawa fan. I suspect that on the extended list, Throne of Blood, his retelling of MacBeth would be number eleven. In the end I had to place the film which inspired one of the greatest westerns of all time just a little higher.

Other notables which almost made the list include
The Crow which I watch at least once a year, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Godfather7, The Sting, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and of course The Adventures of Bucakroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

1 CDO is like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order AS THEY SHOULD BE!

2 Because it is
my blog on my website and I can do whatever I want to.3

3 Nyah.

4 For those of you who do not know, I had an entire wall of mystery titles in which I chose my favorite from each decade from the 1880s to the present (which at the time was the mid-1990s). I have since donated most of those titles to libraries so others can enjoy them.

5 Which is not bad considering I missed the initial run by almost half a century.

6 You know I don’t count remakes.

7 Only the first two.