Tuesday, December 11, 2007

QoWP: The Required Reading

I was talking with Derek last night, and he said that he'd made Ariann watch High Fidelity while keeping in mind that she would understand him better as a result of watching the movie. That got me to thinking: what would be the required reading/watching/listening for understanding me more fully?

(I gave Derek the same challenge, and so you may see his response in the next while.)

I think there are two ways to approach this question: you can list the works that had a formative influence on you, or you can list works that describe you well. And I think I'll go with a combination of both.

Required Reading:
The formative books:
  • Emily's Quest by L. M. Montgomery
  • The Blue Castle, LMM
  • Anne of the Island, LMM
  • Little Women, L.M. Alcott (in addition to the most recent film version)
  • Summer Gone, David McFarlane
  • Beyond Ourselves, Catherine Marshall
  • Philip Yancy's Where is God When It Hurts?
To understand the way in which I analyse people these days, you probably would also need to read something like The Five Love Languages.

Academic Reading:
  • Remembering war: the Great War between memory and history in the twentieth century, Jay Winter.
  • Rites of Spring, Modris Ecksteins.

Required Listening:
  • Side B of Simon and Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
  • Cat Steven's Teaser and the Firecat
  • Joni Mitchell, "Free Man in Paris" and "River."
  • The entirety (until the instrumental ending) of the Christian compilation Streams. (Probably to act as background to a reading of Where is God When it Hurts?)
  • You'd probably need to listen to Janis Ian's "At Seventeen", at least to understand my teenaged self.
  • And then counter-balance it with India.Arie's "Video."
  • And finally the Association's "Along Comes Mary."

Required Viewing (mostly formative):
  • At least an episode of season 1 or 2 of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • Hello, Dolly! but you'd have to sing along while watching it, to get the full effect.
  • Also: Oklahoma! but you'd have to dance along with "Many a New Day."
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • You've Got Mail (mostly it justified any quirkiness that I have, and especially how disgusting I am when I have a cold: it can re-define all of that as "cute").
  • Out here, people really would have to watch a few episodes of Corner Gas to understand most of anything that Chris and I say. And, really, everyone should watch the cartoon of Robin Hood to understand anything that my cousins and I say to each other.
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, but not their Bogus Journey.
What about you? What would you recommend for your required reading/viewing/watching?


liz said...

I agree with most of that except...ew...don't you want to change your mind about the FILM version of Little Women. That newest one with Susan Sarandon just sucked on so many levels. The first of which is that they combined An Old Fashioned Girl and Work in with it. And they left out stuff. And I'm sorry but Jo is a big girl BIG GIRL. Tall. Big hands. Big feet. Big personality. While I adored Winona Ryder in Heathers and Mermaids and Beetlejuice, Jo she is NOT.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

But they leave the least out of this one, compared to the other film adaptations! And Kirsten Dunst's Amy (while annoying) was the Amyest Amys we've had (but not Samantha Mathis's Amy). I'd far rather have her over Liz Taylor!

It was also really formative for me: I watched it a lot during those "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up because I'm clearly unlike everyone around me" years. And in that way, Ryder's Jo character really resonated with me.

Bella Sultane said...

I LOVE that you included LMM. I collected every book that she wrote when I was a kid, and still own them. :-)

eventhere said...

sooooo.... I found this old post, trying to figure out the TGS, and I see how and why you and I understand each other. I OWN STREAMS! (And love it... and most of the books on your list, of course!)