Tuesday, May 31, 2005

At what point do I get a special nametag or trophy?

(Note: Jago, all I have to say is: you wasted your nerdcall on my last post. THIS is the one that truly merits mockery of the very highest nerd proportions.)

After a week of tweaking and effort, I finally made myself a list of my favourite things. Well, the Top 10% of my favourite things. I have made lists of my favourite books, graphic novels, and cds, as well as my Top 100 movies, complete with colour-coding, percentile counts, and pie charts (both 3-D and regular flavours).

What surprised me the most was how poorly my brain separated what was good from an "art" perspective (as in, skilled musicianship or masterful prose) and what was good from an "impact" perspective (as in, "I cry every time I see it" or "It always manages to cheer me up.) It was difficult to make an ordered ranking for things, because the different views kept conflicting. (I still can't order my 100 favourite movies - I wouldn't know where to begin.) However, for the very top of all of the lists, there was no dissociation between the art and the impact; they speak almost equally to my aesthetic and my emotions, and they fell into a very easy pattern.

I'm not going to post everything here, as it would just make for a VERY long post. Here, however, are the Top Tens:

Top 10 Books
1. Sometimes a Great Notion - Ken Kesey
2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
3. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
4. The Little Prince - Antoine de St. Exupery
5. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
6. The Wars - Timothy Findley
7. The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Where The Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein
9. Animal Farm - George Orwell
10. The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell - Aldous Huxley

Top 10 Graphic Novels / Trade Paperbacks
1. Watchmen - Alan Moore
2. Preacher, Vol. 2: Until the End of the World - Garth Ennis
3. The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius, Vol. 4 - Judd Winick
4. The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country - Neil Gaiman
5. Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard - Warren Ellis
6. Swamp Thing, Vol. 2: Love & Death - Alan Moore
7. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Fear and Loathing - Garth Ennis
8. V For Vendetta - Alan Moore
9. Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road - Kazuo Koike
10. DC: The New Frontier - Darwyn Cooke

Top 10 CDs
1. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
2. The Beatles- Revolver
3. Bill Cosby - Wonderfulness
4. Sarah Harmer - You Were Here
5. Johnny Cash - At San Quentin
6. Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape
7. Outkast - Aquemini
8. R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant
9. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
10. NoMeansNo - Wrong

Suggestions for consumption? Points of debate? Meaningless lists? That's for you to decide. I'm curious as to what people think, either about my lists or more importantly, about things they would put on theirs, so I encourage any comments you can leave me. I'm always interested in trying new things. It's why I have such a short attention span.


Sylvana said...

Have you read Maus or Palestine (graphic novels)? Those are really good. I'm more of an educational reader myself. I pretty much only own reference, instructional, and history books.

ORF said...

I read Kavalier and Clay and I think Chabon is a pretty decent writer considering all the other crap out there like Plum Sykes and sh*t but I keep seeing this book popping up on everyone's top ten list or whatever and frankly, I'm a little mystified. I enjoyed it, but it was far from being one of the best books I've ever read. Care to elaborate as to why it is your #2?

The Doc said...

I probably should have been clearer: these are the favourite things that I own and not necessarily of all-time. If it was all-time, it would have taken MUCH longer to do, and the lists would look much different. That being said:

Sylvana: I have read Maus and I think it's some of the best comics I've ever read. I don't own it yet, which is a bit of a failing on my part, but I do plan on it. Palestine I haven't read but have heard many good things about. As for non-fiction, I am a very big fan. The nest five books on my favourites list (11-15) are mostly non-fiction. I particularly enjoy Oliver Sacks (psychology / neurology), John Spong (theology) and Simon Winchester (history / geology).

ORF: Kavalier and Clay is, again, not my #2 book of all-time. That would probably be "Sometimes A Great Notion", because Huxley's "Brave New World" is my all-time favourite novel (that I sadly no longer own). I think the reason that Kavalier and Clay ranks so high on my current list is because: a) it is vaguely about comics, b) the plot completely captured my interest, c) Chabon's descriptive language is some of the best I've ever read, d) the characters are so compelling that I started taking an active interest in their development (actually shouting at the book at times), and e) I read it quite recently and am probably overinflating my opinion of it. Give me a year or two, when I've read and purchased even more books, and it'll probably have moved down. That being said: it is a fantastic novel, and although some people I know have a problem with the ending, I don't think I've enjoyed a book as well-written as that in two years.

guile said...

you were here.. one of the best records of all time..