Recent comments

  • Children's Books that Everyone Should Read   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Children's books are really my favorite. It seems like they still have good things to say, they still have hope, where sometimes adult books are so realistic they are depressing. Many of these I haven't read, but my list ( a very girlish one) would include A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women. I think I still own The Curse of the Blue Figurine, I loved John Bellairs as a child, although I'd forgotten about him until now. Tolkein never made the best impression on me, for some reason. I made it through The Lord of the Rings, and enjoyed them, but I was always held up by the Hobbit. I could never get past the party at Bilbo Baggins residence.

    Is there a way to spell check this, because I'm just awful...

  • Books I will never finish   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Huck Finn should get easier as you get older. I had to bull-shit about it in highschool, but the second reading in college, was much better. For some reason, it helped me (this was a class exercise) to draw a sort of picture-gram of the plot. It is so episodic that its hard to get lost, but a visual representation is quite interesting. Its a great book!

  • Authors Whose Works I've Vowed Never to Read   14 years 22 weeks ago

    I hazard to guess that you would enjoy "A Prayer for Owen Meany " or "The World According to Garp" the best. They are sometimes difficult, Dickens-like reading, but he tells a good story. If you feel you may be offended by incest, then I would stay away from "Hotel New Hampshire." Widow for One year is his newest, and I think the most accesible. I always think that what people find offensive or troubling about John Irving is not his themes, but how he uses everyday actions that people don't agree with (adultery, incest, abortion), to show us that life is holy... I'm interested in if you perhaps refuse to read Tom Robbins as well. John Irving is a much better and much differant writer, but Tom Robbins seems to me to have similar ideas, and uses them in such a way that it could be much more tempting to want to boycott him.

    Sorry about the spelling, I have a degree in English, but I can't spell without spellcheck.

    Also, I didn't mean in anyway to sound picky or to challenge your beliefs, its just that I feel strongly that if one is a serious reader and a serious student of life, its sometimes those books that we don't agree with that make us grow. Its wonderful to read a book where everything agrees with our worldview, and we just want to shout Yes, someone thinks the same as I do; but it makes us grow more to challenge our own beliefs. I guess that means I need to start reading something by...I don't know, whom do you suggest?

  • Jojo's Top Ten Musicals   14 years 22 weeks ago

    I saw Cabaret once, but I was very young (7th or 8th grade), and i didn't like it. I may be able to see it through new eyes now, though...

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Okay, I practically gave 58 and 60 away. But I won't be giving this one away. No more hints on 59.

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Re. # 40: I did use the internet (one of my bookmarked movie sites) to find the answer to this one, but I didn't use a search engine. According to my rules that's not cheating, and I hope you won't consider it to be. Ivory makes Golden Bowl - he's a class act. The answer is THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James, brother of the pragmatist philosopher.

  • Movie Quotes Part Two: The Revenge!   14 years 22 weeks ago

    btw, I have confirmed this answer...somebody needs credit up top!

  • CC00009: Radiohead   14 years 22 weeks ago

    I believe any album earning an 8 or higher can easily be considered a 'great' album in the eyes of critics. When critiquing The Bends, almost every critic placed it somewhat below OK Computer. The most commonly given reason for this is originality. Where critics heard many echoes of REM, Floyd, and U2 on Bends, OK Computer seemed to strike them as a thoroughly original album with a sound completely Radiohead's own. I pretty much agree with the critics here; there is certainly a break between Bends and Computer where Radiohead sounded less like their grunge and post-grunge contemporaries and more like a band that refused to fit comfortably into any current musical styles. Of course, this doesn't necessarily make Computer a better album, but it does possibly gives it a slight stylistic edge and the advantage that can accompany a fresh sound.

    The second most common reason was consistency. While certain songs on Bends were usually singled out as wonderful (Fake Plastic Trees in particular), critics largely found every song on Computer to be a classic, and they largely felt that the album felt a bit more cohesive than Bends. One critic mentioned that Computer felt like a great album, where Bends felt like a collection of great songs. At the moment, I'm not exactly sure how I personally feel about these comments.

    If I were ranking these albums myself, I'm not exactly sure how Computer and Bends would come out in relationship to each other, but for the critics, Computer came out quite a bit higher than Bends, and my list of the critical consensus reflects that reality.

    Thanks for the comment. I'll have to consider my own personal views on the two albums and reply again, or, perhaps, create a separate Radiohead list with my own opinions.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Authors Whose Works I've Vowed Never to Read   14 years 22 weeks ago

    What you said is true, I don't know much about Irving's ideas, except for one, and I won't comment on that. But I will tell you what I almost did, but didn't do. I'll start at the beginning. I'm having dinner and all through out your words are running through my head and the lemon chicken is doing a number on my ulcer (it's not been diagnosed as such but I'm convinced I have an ulcer.) So I take out a pen and crazily start writing out a retort to your post. (The whole time my boyfriend's looking at me as if I've lost my head, but he doesn't bother to ask anymore.)And I believe I've come up with a firm argument. On the drive home I decide I want to stop at Half-Prcie Books. We pull into the parking lot and I run straight for the I section. There he is, Irving, quite a few copies of some of his books. I'm tempted to buy one, but my rational self tells me 4 dollars is too much money to pay for an author I said I'd never read. I leave empty handed, promising to go to the library and check something of his out, tossing my napkin with the discourse into the nearest trash can. I'm not recalcitrant you see, now I just have to convince myself that I'm staunch in my beliefs. So Nadine, which book do you suggest I start my journey into the world of Irving off with? My only qualm is that I may enjoy what he has to say.

    Oh by the way, I rather enjoyed Steinbeck's The Red Pony.

  • 0007. L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 22 weeks ago

    I have no pride. I'd take some hints.

  • To Read, and in my Possession   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Same here. Have you tried Grendel by John Gardner?

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   14 years 22 weeks ago

    For #38 I have to guess Tom Robbins, just 'cause it seems Robbinsish. But I'm pretty sure it's not from one of his that I've read...

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Well, Jim, it's been more than a few week-days, it's been a few weeks, and nobody has taken the hint. Ellison must be feeling like an utter has-been. I'd claim it now, except I've forgotten the story's title, and my sf collection is still largely in moving-house-limbo. Is someone going to beat me to it before I can dig out my copy of D........ STORIES? Only time will tell. Oh my! the suspense.

  • CC00009: Radiohead   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Why put The Bends over a point below OK Computer? They are both wonderful albums, but I consider The Bends to be a cut above; it's wonderfully moving and the lyrics wail with alienation and disconnect. It's almost *too* good: listening to it almost always makes me moody, so it's not an album for all occasions.

  • 0007. L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 22 weeks ago

    A few hints:

    2. Any reader of my lists knows that this artist is one of my favorites, even if he is not currently in vogue.

    10. No one has guessed this yet? Mega-selling 80s and 90s band which is a favorite of many. This is from my favorite album of theirs, although most folks would list this as a second or third favorite.

    23. Top ten hit (peaked at number 3, I believe) by an eclectic artist popular in the 80s, back when everybody, even he himself, knew his name.

    25. Jim and I have briefly discussed this album.

    27. One of the largest bands in history. Scan the list and think of the most famous band not mentioned. That's them, and this is from their best album. The album's lyrics are a bit burried, so one can be easily forgiven for not getting this one.

    28. She's royalty in the world of soul, and yes, you have heard of her. This was a single.

    29. Notorious cult album and a critic's (myself included) darling.

    31. Oddly enough, this band probably wasn't named after the drug. And no, not Morphine. A new song from a band which only recently broke their long silence.

    33. If you have heard any punk in your life, you've probably heard this band.

    35. Maybe if you heard the guitar parts...

    36. From Lester Bangs' favorite album, these lines open the disc.

    39. Even though Americans dreamt it was over, this band continued to have quite a rewarding career. This great single was big in England, but nowhere to be heard in America.

    42. If you dug rock music in the 50s, this man was no doubt your buddy.

    43. Askew and hexed.

    50. Despite the lyrics of number 43, he was the king of it.

    Oh no, I've said too much. Have I said enough?

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO   14 years 22 weeks ago

    Good ear! Tom Robbins it is. He hasn't written too many novels, so do you wish to take a stab at which one it might be?

    Again, good call, especially since it was based on style.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Favorite Movies   14 years 22 weeks ago

    I like a lot of films on your list, but I don't know what people saw in Buffalo 66-- so if you could let me know what I was missing. I remember being very annoyed by the voice over...

  • Authors Whose Works I've Vowed Never to Read   14 years 22 weeks ago

    What ideas of John Irvings do you not agree with. I always feel that he is talking about the holiness of everyday life, regardless of the themes he picks? How do you know about his ideas unless you've read him? I have to admit he is a top, top favorite author of mine, and I love the way he uses homor to get at really deep issues. I don't mean to sound horrified.. Just a note, give him a try! I can see what you mean about the annoyingness of oOprah, but the older I get, the more she seems to be trying to do a good thing to help people. Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Alice Hoffman have written very nice things that I read independantly of Oprah.

    Also, I boycotted John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway for a long time, because I didn't like the first thing I read by him (The Red Pony and Old Man and the Sea), and it took me about 12 years to realize that they were classic authors who had good things to say.

  • 0007. L. Bangs' Great Lyric Challenge   14 years 23 weeks ago

    sorry, been vacationing...yep, it is Ani's song. Very nice indeed.

  • Children's Books that Everyone Should Read   14 years 23 weeks ago

    'fraid I haven't read them, as I say often. Guess my folks steered me towards the more "boy books", tho I did like the Ramona series by...dang, who'sherface.

  • 0005. Some Under-Rated Films   14 years 23 weeks ago

    I believe he had a few more roles after Being There, although BT did give him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor!

    I understand about not liking a film on first viewing you eventually end up loving. For this reason, I try not to be too out-spoken about disliking a well-respected film until I have seen it at least twice. Goodness knows it's not because I'm shy or soft-spoken!

    I'm thrilled somebody enjoys this gem of a film!

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Anyone have any Recommendations?   14 years 23 weeks ago

    I have read portions of his History of Europe, which I liked. I have not read his newer History of the Twentieth Century yet. A friend of mine who has complained that it falters a bit toward the end. She claimed that his lack of understanding of newer developments such as the Internet made passages a bit laughable. I have no idea how apt her observations are, but there you go.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • To Read, and in my Possession   14 years 23 weeks ago

    While it might take awhile, given the molasses-like pace with which I'm crawling through my to-read list, I'm definitely going to tackle the Fagles first (since I own them). I read them each once in high school, but I don't know what translation they were. In any case, I'll add the Chapman translations to one of my buy/borrow lists, thanks!

  • To Buy/Borrow, Home/Handy   14 years 23 weeks ago

    If we ever tackle that job upstairs, I'll be sure to check with you first, thanks!

  • Resonant Movies, Tier Two   14 years 23 weeks ago

    Ha! Not quite what I had in mind. :) However, I have to admit that I re-examined this list, and I recalled all the movies on it quite clearly EXCEPT for S&S. Note its departure...