Movies, books, music, etc.

Thiiiiis post is what we call a cop out, also known as Day 4 in a five-day series: my shameless, self-indulgent list of favorites.

For posterity, a list of my top books and media, as of today, June 30, 2011 — lest I someday forget. I tried to keep it to five, but some categories were simply not to be contained.

TV Shows:

  • 30 Rock
  • Arrested Development
  • The Office
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Freaks and Geeks


  • Almost Famous (This movie solidified my desire to be a journalist. And a groupie. “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.” -Lester Bangs)
  • The Royal Tenenbaums (A dysfunctional family at its most beautiful. “I don’t think you’re an asshole, Royal. I just think you’re kind of a son of a bitch.” -Henry Sherman)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I can’t even began to explain the many things I love about this movie. “We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.” -Holly Golightly)
  • American Beauty (Kevin Spacey is kind of a creepy person, right? I don’t care. This movie is phenomenal. “I don’t think that there’s anything worse than being ordinary.” -Angela Hayes; “Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.” -Ricky Fitts
  • Little Miss Sunshine (I think I might have a dysfunctional family trend going here. “He gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, those were the best years of his life, ’cause they made him who he was.” -Frank Ginsberg (on Proust)

Honorable mentions: Proof, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


  • “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Harper Lee (My dad read this book aloud to my brother and me when we were Jem and Scout’s ages, respectively. Chapter by chapter, he made sure we heard good literature most nights for weeks.)
  • “A Wrinkle in Time,” Madeleine L’engle (My favorite book as a kid; I remember being soooo pissed at my fourth grade teacher when she didn’t believe I’d already read it when she announced we’d be reading it as a class.)
  • “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger (At 15 or 25, I still feel for Holden Caulfield.)
  • “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” Dave Eggers (Gorgeous writing. If you think your life sucks, this book may offer some perspective.)
  • “Pride & Prejudice,” Jane Austen (A book I shared a love of with my mom, and something I’m thankful for.)

Film Soundtracks:

  • The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson understands the impact of music in film. Highlights: Mark Mothersbaugh’s score, Nico, Eliot Smith)
  • Vanilla Sky (weird, weird movie, but Cameron Crowe’s hand in the soundtrack selections is evident. Highlights: Radiohead, R.E.M., that one song by the Red House Painters, and the obligatory Peter Gabriel selection)
  • Empire Records (so 90s, so my idea of what high school/college would be like. Highlights: Gin Blossoms, Cranberries)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (This CD made me accept the fact that I love and adore folk music, despite years of rebelling against my parents’ taste in music. Highlights: Norman Blake, Alison Krauss)
  • (500) Days of Summer (True confessions: my first introduction to the Smiths. Highlights: Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition,” Meagan Smith’s cover of the Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man”)
  • Garden State (my introduction to the Shins, before I completely burned myself out on them. I think I’m over Zach Braff but this is still an amazing mix CD on his part. Highlights: Colin Hay, the one Coldplay song I still like)


  • The Beatles
  • Death Cab For Cutie
  • Rilo Kiley
  • Guster
  • Modest Mouse


  • “Pictures of Success,” Rilo Kiley
  • “The Long an Winding Road,” The Beatles
  • “The World At Large,” Modest Mouse
  • “Bend to Squares,” Death Cab For Cutie
  • “Passenger Seat,” Death Cab For Cutie
  • “I Spy,” Guster
  • “Mona Lisa,” Guster
  • “The Sound of Silence,” Simon & Garfunkel
  • “The Circle Game,” Joni Mitchell
  • “The Good That Won’t Come Out,” Rilo Kiley

Songs This Second:

  • “Better Than Love,” Griffin House
  • “Talking in Code,” Margot & The Nuclear So-and-So’s
  • “Gagging Order,” Radiohead
  • “Moth’s Wings,” Passion Pit
  • “Comes and Goes,” Greg Laswell

If any readers have any more music by these artists, please share! Except Radiohead — I think I’ve got them covered.


  • “The Con,” Tegan & Sara
  • “Transatlanticism,” Death Cab For Cutie (kind of tied with “The Open Door” EP and “Something About Airplanes”. Also, in retrospect, I really, really like “Narrow Stairs”. Gahhh.)
  • “Rubber Soul,” The Beatles
  • “Abbey Road,” The Beatles
  • “The Execution Of All Things,” Rilo Kiley
  • “Return of Saturn,” No Doubt
  • “Bookends,” Simon & Garfunkel
  • “Blue Album,” Weezer

3 thoughts on “Movies, books, music, etc.

    • YES! I was obsessed. My second favorite was called “Many Waters,” did you read that? It was about the twins going back in time.

  1. Yes! I read all of the sequels. Another one I liked from her was called “An Acceptable Time” about Meg and Calvin’s daughter Polly. Another great read! Can you believe that “A Winkle in Time” is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary?

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