Posted by: Hannah | 07/12/2011

a few of my favourite things

Awhile back when I was struggling for inspiration, I asked you all to suggest topics for me. Because when I can’t come up with a topic, I have a tendency to rant / vent / rail against everything, and that’s just boring for everyone.

(I would link to that post, but for some reason lately WordPress doesn’t seem to want me to insert links ever, so trust me on this).

Anyway, an old friend of mine asked what my favourite album, book and movie are. Of all time.

(Aside: The fact that he listed ‘album’ first is very telling. He is possibly – and I say this with love – the biggest music dork I have ever met in my life. You remember that John Cusack movie High Fidelity? Yeah. Like that. I still have a stack of mixed tapes, carefully labelled, that he made for me back in high school. Even though I only have one functioning cassette deck in the house. When he made suggestions for what I should be listening to, that was the last time I was on the cutting edge of music-cool. You know, 15+years ago. Shudder. Am old.)

Now, I have a hard time with these kinds of lists. I really do. I can’t make decisions. (You should see the agonies we are suffering right now trying to name this baby). But I can probably make a stab at it.

Favourite movie

It’s a bit of a cliché but my favourite movie of all time really is Gone With the Wind. Yeah, I know. But it’s the perfect movie! It has everything! The first time I saw it I was about six I think? (yeah, way inappropriate. But whatever.) It aired over two nights on CBC Television that year. Our TV was a 13-inch black and white job so my whole family went to my grandparents’ house to watch it on their massive wooden-cabinet floor model so we could enjoy the “glorious Technicolor”. Even as a kid, I was captivated by Scarlett O’Hara. I totally missed the point, mind you – I distinctly remember wishing I could be her, not stopping to think about the southern plantation system that made her fabulous wardrobe and life of luxury possible.

I first read the book at the age of nine. This is a true story. I have proof, because I chose it as the subject of my very first third-grade book report. Yup. I was still missing the point. Part of the book report was a one-page summary, with an illustration. I condensed the entirety of Gone With the Wind to something which read, in part, “Scarlett O’Hara was a beautiful girl who lived in a wonderful house with her family. Then there was a war. She married a man named Rhett Butler and they got a divorce so she went home”. The illustration was her in a hoopskirt. I got an 84% because I was three weeks late handing it in due to the fact that it took bloody ages to read the whole book.

But the movie? Oh, the movie. As a teenager I still loved Scarlett. As an adult I am also very drawn to Melanie, because that character has a complexity not often seen anymore. And Olivia deHavilland does an incredible job bringing her to life and making her more complete than even Margaret Mitchell manages in the book.

I make it a point of watching it at least once a year.

Favourite Book

Not actually Gone With the Wind. Although I can see why you’d think that! This is harder. Much harder. The books I’m reading at any given time are so dependent on my mood, the available free time, whether I want to have something I can burn through in an afternoon or something that will keep me entertained for a week or more.

I love particular series of books, though. L.M. Montgomery’s Emily series are far, far better than the stupid CBC TV show would have you believe (even if Montgomery does punk out at the end and sign up Emily up for a lifetime of living with Teddy instead of the far more interesting & challenging Dean.) Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is very clever social satire with some incredible characters – NOT Rincewind, CERTAINLY Sam Vimes. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is extra-awesome, even though book four was a big giant disappointment and we’ve had to wait six years for book five instead of the promised six months. And I do love the Harry Potter books, egregious use of emotive adverbs notwithstanding. Also the Madeline l’Engle Wrinkle in Time series, even though the Christian themes cause me some trouble as an adult. Colleen MacCullough’s Masters of Rome series, while not for the faint of heart – there are seven books averaging 900 pages each – is fascinating for anyone interested in the history and eventual downfall of republican Rome.

Some stand-alone books that I will read again and again are Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Stephen King’s The Stand (unabridged version, please), William Goldman’s The Princess Bride (if you’ve only seen the movie, do yourself a favour and read the book. The movie is fantastic, but the book is hilarious – the author’s asides crack my shit up, consistently, every time)… Alex Haley’s Roots, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, Tolkien’s The Hobbit… I love books that create and then populate worlds to such depth of detail that I can see myself in them, even if being there wouldn’t necessarily be any fun at all.

Favourite Album

See, this is where I might be stumped. I don’t know that I have a favourite album. Seems like just about every one I’ve got has at least one song on it that I just don’t like. And again, it’s so dependent on how I’m feeling and what the purpose of listening is at the time that my “favourite” album can change not only from day to day, but from hour to hour.

I also am the biggest dork alive when it comes to music. I like old 70s folk music (ah, Jim Croce). I like stupid 80s pop. 50s rockabilly appeals, as does old country (not new country, shoot me in the head). I really like Eminem even though I know I probably shouldn’t because he is offensive to everybody. Wintersleep and Joel Plaskett make me dance even on a bad day.

I’d have to say my favourite music-related thing right now is Grooveshark. Because I can cherry-pick any song I want up to and including old show tunes without all that tedious buying of albums with ‘extra’ songs I never listen to. (Sorry, mate. I know you’re disappointed in me).

So – there you have it. In reading back over this I really am kind of a dork. 🙂



  1. Love GWTW. Love. The fact that my grandfather worked on casting only adds to the magic for me.

  2. Emily! I loved Emily! Remember when she fell down the stairs and injured herself gravely and DEAN was there to comfort her for the whole crappy winter and then he bought the house and THEN HE GOT THE SHAFT. Poor “Jarback”. Man, I loved those books but Teddy? Boooo.

  3. We have similar book tastes. I love Emily of New Moon, and I always read the next two books even though I find that they tend to drag a lot more, and I find Teddy a bit of a wet blanket.

  4. Another doppelganger fact: I just recently changed from this WordPress template to one of the new ones! I always liked the blue of this one! 🙂

  5. Thank you for your well-thought-out responses to my silly questions. And I take no offense whatsoever to being called a music dork; the fact that my question was taken, word for word, from Mojo The Music Magazine only goes further to confirm it (and also shows that I wasn’t feeling overly creative myself that day).

    After I posted my idea, I actually thought of a better question (though it is music-related, surprise surprise):

    What songs do you/did you sing to your children when trying to get them to fall asleep? Any particular reason why?

  6. […] readers will know that my very favourite book of all time is Gone With the Wind. I re-read it once a year. Ditto watching the movie, which I […]

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