I offer to you my list of favorite authors, movies, music, and websites, with random editorializing:
Authors/Books I Like:
This is a big list of the books I've read recently–or re-read–and loved, in no particular order:
Books coming out this summer 2011 that I was lucky to read in Advance Review Copy form (one of the perks of being an author!): Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer; Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany; Little Black Dress by Amy McBride; A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace.
Solomon's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson; Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman; Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook (full disclosure that both of these authors, who I love, read and endorsed my upcoming novel, The Love Goddess' Cooking School, with very kind blurbs). I LOVE their books, and warmer, kinder, more generous women you will not find); The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch; Stay by Allie Larkin; Girls Like Us (bio about Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King); The Art of Mending (and everything else) by Elizabeth Berg, who lately is my favorite author; Like Life and Birds of America (story collections) by Lorrie Moore; In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner; Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara Samuel; Pug Hill by Alison Pace; Bird by Bird and Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott; Shelter Me by Juliette Faye; The Fiction Class by Susan Breen; The Inn at Lake Devine, Then She Found Me, Pursuit of Alice Thrift by Elinor Lipman; Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding; Tales of Drama Queen by Lee Nichols; all of Pam Houston's non-fiction; Empire Falls by Richard Russo; Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; The Friends by Rosa Guy; Sophie's Choice by William Styron; Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume; Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; Amy & Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout; The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert (this book was amazing).
Making A Literary Life by Carolyn See (this, along with Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and Stephen King's On Writing, are my favorite books on writing). I also love Elizabeth Berg's book on writing.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert gets its own section because I seem to be the only person on earth who loved this memoir (though someone else must have since it was on New York Times bestseller list for a million years). I read it while I was going through a divorce, which might be key. Very excited for the movie.
A book I'm looking forward to reading, despite being a cat person, and because I think it's the best title ever is: You Had Me At Woof by Julie Klam.
Movies I like:
Annie Hall: My very favorite. At this point, I can recite the entire movie. I never get tired of watching it. I love most of Woody Allen's work from the 70s and 80s. Hannah And Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors are my other two faves. Hmm, maybe Crimes is from the 90s?
Crossing Delancey: LOVE. Maybe it's Amy Irving's curly hair or that I know from Jewish grandmothers and the lower east side, but this has never moved from favorites list. A gem.
Hope Floats: Why do I love this movie so much? This movie is on critics hate list for reasons I do not understand But I love it so much that everytime I see it, I get goosebumps. I do like Sandra Bullock, but I LOVE her in this movie. I like Harry Connick, Jr, fine, but I LOVE him in this movie. And who cannot love Birdie's glasses-wearing little daughter? Who, I believe, Is Mae Whitman, the voice of Katara in my son's favorite show: The Avatar (I love that show too!)
Movies I can't resist watching every time they're on, but they're not quite favorites: Love, Actually; the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; October Sky; and Carrie. It's interesting to me that my top three favorites of all time tell you a lot about me, but these ones that I can't resist are incredibly varied. I am not an open book after all!
TV I like: Law & Order, all the variations (Never, ever get tired of watching the same reruns. Why is that?); House–I've always loved Hugh Laurie, but I've long had a crush on the serious Robert Sean Leonard); What Not To Wear (both versions, but I miss the BBC America one); the occasional Oprah. I love Rachel Maddow but haven't watched her as much since election day. Don't know why.
Music I like:
Coldplay (Ten years ago, when I was a dating fool in New York City (I am now a sometimes-dating fool in Maine), I was talking on the phone with a guy I was dating and I told him I was madly in love with this song and video that was on MTV at the moment, so he turned his TV on to see my beloved Yellow and Chris Martin making funny eye expressions on the beach, and he said, "This is derivative crap." Humph. The guy didn't last, and a lot of people seem to agree with him, but ten years later, I still LOVE Coldplay and can listen to Yellow and The Scientist and the songs from A Rush Of Blood To The Head over and over.
Bruce: When I moved to New Jersey from Flushing, Queens, at the crazy age of 12, my new best friend, Cara, and I used to sit in her attic bedroom and listen to Born to Run and sing along at the top of our lungs.
Neil Young: Oh to live on Sugar Mountain. I can't get enough of Neil Young. I listen to him every day. My favorite song is "Old Man, look at my life, twenty four and there's so much more." Also, Damage Done and the beautiful Helpless. Big birds flying across the sky…. I usually don't like covers, but K.D. Lang, whose voice is amazing, does a beautiful cover of Helpless. Speaking of covers, I do not like the music of John Mayer at all, but he does a cover of Tom Petty's Free Falling that I think is amazing.
Pink Floyd. I love David Gilmour's face. Okay, more so when he was young, but those eyes! I can listen to Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here over and over. I did not appreciate Pink Floyd when I was 15 and my best friend Cara and our boyfriends went to the Hayden Planetarium light shows. But I do now.
Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy will always be one of my favorite albums. Her song Hold On was a very big comfort to me when my best friend died of a brain aneurysm when I was 30 and he a very young 36. I wrote my debut novel (See Jane Date) to her CD and about Greg, and doing both helped me with my grief more than anything else.
I also have a deep fondness for the Grateful Dead. Love Truckin and Box of Rain and Sugar Magnolia. I don't know why I love all this 60's/70s stuff now. I was an 80s girl and graduated from high school with Madonna hair and listening to Michael Jackson and Duran Duran and the Police.
If I had to choose two favorite songs of all time, they would strangely be: "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye and "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits. The Killers do a cover of "Romeo and Juliet," and it's okay, but no one is Mark Knophler. He, like Tom Petty, is one of those older, not so good-looking rockers that I find incredibly attractive.
I listen to the radio in the car and love a lot of what I hear. And because my 8 year old son has ears for only one singer–yes, Justin Bieber, I've come to like his songs too. Don't love his hair swoosh, but I like his songs, like You Smile and Never Let You Go. I don't get the hate for the Biebs at all.