• Books

    Book Awards Challenge Reading List

    Here is my list for twelve award winning books to be read between July 1 2007 to July 1 2008 for the Book Awards Challenge. I’m confident I’ll complete this challenge because I have a couple of the books in my house and couple of which are also Newbery. I have provided a long list of prospective books for additional reading in the challenge.

    1. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Booker Prize)
    2. Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje (Giller, Governor General’s)
    3. Street of Riches by Gabrielle Roy (Governor’s General’s)
    4. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Newbery)
    5. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nany Willard (Newbery)
    6. Complete Poems and Plays by T. S. Eliot (Nobel 1948)
    7. Beloved by Toni Morrison (Pulitzer, Nobel)
    8. Beowulf: New Verse Translation (Costa/Whitbread)
    9. Neuromancer by William Gibson (Hugo, Nebula)
    10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Newbery)
    11. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Pulitzer, NBCC)
    12. Little, Big by John Crowley (World Fantasy)

    Bonus Books:
    Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett (PEN/Faulkner, Orange)
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Pulitzer)
    Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (Miles Franklin, Commonwealth Writers’) – I remember trying to read this years ago when it was first published; I managed one chapter, so we’ll see how far I get this time.
    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Hugo, Nebula)
    The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (Nobel)
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: A Novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel)l
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (Commonwealth Writers’) – I own this, and it is big.
    Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (PEN/Faulkner)
    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Pulitzer)
    The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck (Pulitzer, Nobel)
    The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (Pulitzer, NBCC, Governor General’s)
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Giller)
    The Pearl and Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (Nobel 1962)
    All the Names by Jose Saramago (Nobel 1998)

  • Movies

    28 Days Later

    28 Days LaterI never watch horror movies. When I got this movie last month, it was on a whim because it was around the time of the release of the sequel, I had heard good things about it, and Christopher Eccleston is in it. Since I don’t generally care for horror or scary movies, I can’t say if it was a good movie of its genre, but certainly an entertaining film overall. The beginning was pretty slow, but I noticed the nice soundtrack which only got better as did the plot, characters, settings, and scariness of the film. Yes, it reminded me of Shaun of the Dead a lot, but not in the psychologically scary parts surrounding Christopher Eccleston’s character. It was the fear of what happens to people in post-apocalyptic and dystopian worlds, not of the zombies. As usual, I’m pleased with CE’s work here even if the character was sometimes both dimensional (his psychology) and flat (bit stereotypical). The equally attractive Cillian Murphy really carries the film because slowly, his and the other characters are revealed to us and shown to be resilient capable survivors. There’s actual character growth. The screenplay is quite good then. Even though I haven’t seen any horror movies, I have a feeling the writing is better than most of the genre. I like that it was an original screenplay rather than adapted from novel, short story, graphic novel or comic book which often happens in science fiction. Director Danny Boyle said the writer Alex Garland cited The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndam as an inspiration for the book which I mentioned the other day. I liked the ending which I read was the original one. The sequel does not have any of the original cast, and there is apparently to be a third. I’m not quite sure I will seek out the sequels in the near future even if I did like this one. All because I liked this movie doesn’t mean I’ll make a habit of watching more horror films.

    On a lighter note, here is a hilarious interview Time interview with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin and Brad Pitt. I really want to hang out with these people.