50 Books. 50 Movies. 1 Year (2014).

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unrenowned

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May 24, 2009
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Update

Finished my first book of 2014, Relentless by Simon Kernick. Picked it up at a supermarket so I wasn't expecting much. I really enjoyed the first half of the book when you didn't know what was going to happen. Second half I felt was pretty unimaginative by the author with few meaningful surprises and the ending was, in my opinion, unsatisfying. Was hoping for more of a plot twist but everything played out like you expected it to. Decent but I wouldn't recommend it.

Got a few books arriving next week (Takeshi Kovacs trilogy and the latest book in the Dresden Files series). Will probably dip into the Halo universe until then with Halo: Evolutions (I've read the first series of books previously).

Movies I've watched are Olympus Has Fallen (which was quite entertaining as long as you switched your brain off), and Grown Ups 2 (which had a few funny jokes but otherwise felt way too childish in its humour).

And damn you peeps are way ahead already, please pace yourselves and let the slow ones catch up :)
My 1.5 year old won't let me read during the day, he prefers picture books and they don't count :(
 

Zippedpinhead

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Jun 27, 2012
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Update

new Movies:
The Score ★★★ - alright heist movie, Brando's Final movie and the only one where both he and DeNiro are on screen together.

Gone With the Wind ★★★★★ - Utterly fantastic movie, well deserving of the praise,

Yeah children's books do not count, I was just trying to be funny. And I was speaking generally, I only read children's books to my own child.
 

Tragicomedy

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Tragicomedy - 4/50 Books | 2/50 Movies

Finished HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean. Fun story tracking the dangerous journey of the namesake vessel as it escorts merchant vessels through the Arctic. They face U-boats, enemy aircraft, and frozen storms from hell. The book has a bit of everything, but really emphasizes the relationships and camaraderie of the crew, which I dug. The only negatives are that it starts off slowly with lots of naval jargon and it feels slightly dated (1955, after all).

I'm not sure if I'll finish Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die. His first book, Casino Royale, had some sexist moments that were offensive and distracting. This book is unequivocally racist to the extreme. Chapters with the n-word in the title, references to "strong negroid jungle arms," horrific jive talk dialogue, and Bond's observations about the primitive (and overly sexual) mindset of the residents in Harlem. It's very shocking stuff and is ruining the book. Fleming = racist asshole and to think I spent money on his books.
 
Sep 13, 2013
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2nd film down. Finally got around to seeing Gravity. Really, really good. Easily my favourite film of 2013, though The Wolf of Wall Street isn't out in the UK yet.

★★★★★
 

Mumei

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Dec 31, 2005
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Update: 3/50 Books; 3/50 Movies

I finished reading No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, by Estelle Freedman today. It was quite good. I was familiar with a lot of the material because I've listened to a lecture series by the author, but much of it was new, too.
 

Strobli

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Jun 4, 2012
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1/50 books | 3/50 movies

Watched the second episode of Sherlock season 3 yesterday, The Sign of Three. It was an improvement of the first entry for sure. I was a little worried for the first 20 minutes or so because it was shaping up to be another "fanservice-y" episode, but boy did they ever bring it together at the end.
It was great how all the seemingly independent stories linked back in the end. Also the parallels between Watson's and Mrs. Hudson's weddings have were great
. That being said, I do share the notion that the show seems to be getting a little too full of it self. It's becoming more and more like Doctor Who, and not in a good way. If the trend continues, I can see my interest starting to wane. Still, I fully enjoyed this episode for what it was. Better than the previous episode, but not the best entry in the series. ★★★★
 

Teptom

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Apr 3, 2012
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Teptom - 2/50 Books | 2/50 Movies

My first update!

Books

Agatha Christie - Murder at the Vicarage - As a introduction to the character of Miss Marple, the book did a good job of making me want to seek out other stories involving her. Otherwise, it was a pretty unremarkable mystery and one I'm sure to forget by the year's end.

Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None - I was completely with this one...until the last few pages. I can't explain without spoiling the entire book, but it just completely killed my enjoyment of it.

Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street - This movie was a lot of fun, but it really didn't need to be three hours. Other than that, The performances were great and I think I can easily take Jonah Hill seriously now (I haven't seen Moneyball so maybe that feeling could have come earlier).

Eyes Without a Face - Man, there's a lot I liked about this film: The creepy carnival-esque music used as the theme for the doctor's assistant, the operation scene, the poetic justice of the ending. I only checked this out of the library because of the DVD cover, but I'm glad I did.
 

Nachos

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Jun 17, 2013
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Update: 3/50 Books; 3/50 Movies

I finished reading No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, by Estelle Freedman today. It was quite good. I was familiar with a lot of the material because I've listened to a lecture series by the author, but much of it was new, too.
I might have to give that a shot. I've been coming to the Takashi lately that even though I support feminism in theory, I really don't know all that much about it and could certainly benefit from educating myself on the subject.
 

Exypher

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Dec 6, 2004
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Updated my list.

Movies

The Internship - I thought it was alright, but nothing special - it drags on for a little too long and never tries anything too exciting or original. Also felt like I was watching a really long Google commercial at times.

Moon - Finally got around to watching this film after being on my radar for a while. I thought it was very good, and it was nice to see a (modern) sci-fi film that doesn't rely on special effects at all.

Books

Inferno (Dante Alighieri) - really, really impressed by this book. The way Dante lays out his view of the structure the universe (or in this instance, Hell) is incredible. Glad I read it annotated, since the text references a lot of things I otherwise would have missed. Not sure if I should dig into Purgatory right away or read something else first.
 

Atrophis

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Sep 24, 2007
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First update at last.

First book of the year is complete. The Long Earth by Baxter & Pratchett. Enjoyed it a lot, very funny and an interesting set up that reminded me of one of my favourite books (Eon by Greg Bear). The reviews on Amazon aren't as positive for the sequel but I will pick it up at some point.

Made a start on Flowers for Algernon last night. It's pretty incredible so far.
 

Mumei

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I might have to give that a shot. I've been coming to the Takashi lately that even though I support feminism in theory, I really don't know all that much about it and could certainly benefit from educating myself on the subject.
Well, this is less 'in-depth feminist theory' and more 'This is historically what the goals have been in different areas for different feminist movements, and here is what motivated those feminists to make those issues a priority / come to those conclusions.' There are some (minor) inaccuracies at the very beginning with regards to really early human pre-history, but it gets much better as we get to recorded history.
 

EvaristeG

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Jun 24, 2011
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Another update with a movie. Les garçons et Guillaume, à table (2013). Pretty good french comedy without any PC agenda which is a plus to me, given the topic.
 
Apr 7, 2011
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Finished the entire season of Sherlock season 1. It was amazing, I want to thank GAF for introducing me to such a brilliantly great and well written show.

Almost done with Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. This is a great book that should be at the top of every persons reading list that enjoys a bit of fantasy with a great background in history. I have a lot of respect for Susanna Clark and want more stories from her.

I am really glad I joined this thread. I am an avid reader but the fact that a lot of books and movies being read and watched by others have spiked my interest that normally would have flown under the radar.
 

Arcticfox

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Jun 9, 2004
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Updated my post with my first book, Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson. It has been a good read but it is just the start of seven book sci-fi series. It was a good enough start that I will try to complete the series during this challenge. The book is structured a little oddly as each chapter is only 3-5 pages and from a different characters vantage point.

I think I will need to read a couple shorter books if I want to complete 50 this year, though.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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Saw Anchorman: Legend Continues and LOTR: Desolation of Smaug. Anchorman was decent but was surprised with how good Smuag was. I never seen a LOTR and was dragged by friends and was at first dreading it but damn I was wrong. I'm almost finished reading Fifth Assassin.
 

Weapxn

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May 10, 2008
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Totally forgot about this thread. Oops. Just updated my post.

I just finished "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn today. I've had it for ages but kept putting off reading it.

Also since the new year, I've seen Frozen (Tangled was better; sorry not sorry) and Dallas Buyers Club (Jared Leto better win an Oscar for that shit).

Next up book-wise: I need to read the fourth Game of Thrones book. I started it ages ago but was so bored with it, I didn't make it more than 30 or so pages. I also have "Red Dragon," "The Silence of the Lambs," and "Hannibal" waiting for me. And there's also Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" now that I've read her other two. Plenty to choose from. I just need to commit to one and read/finish it.

Next up movie-wise: I'm going to try what I did last year again and attempt to see all of the Oscar-nominated films. The noms aren't out yet, but I can guess based on other awards shows what I should watch: Her, Philomena, August: Osage County, Blue Jasmine, American Hustle... I also want to see The Hobbit.
 

daffy

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May 1, 2009
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Daytona Beach!
Totally forgot about this thread. Oops. Just updated my post.

I just finished "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn today. I've had it for ages but kept putting off reading it.

Also since the new year, I've seen Frozen (Tangled was better; sorry not sorry) and Dallas Buyers Club (Jared Leto better win an Oscar for that shit).

Next up book-wise: I need to read the fourth Game of Thrones book. I started it ages ago but was so bored with it, I didn't make it more than 30 or so pages. I also have "Red Dragon," "The Silence of the Lambs," and "Hannibal" waiting for me. And there's also Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" now that I've read her other two. Plenty to choose from. I just need to commit to one and read/finish it.

Next up movie-wise: I'm going to try what I did last year again and attempt to see all of the Oscar-nominated films. The noms aren't out yet, but I can guess based on other awards shows what I should watch: Her, Philomena, August: Osage County, Blue Jasmine, American Hustle... I also want to see The Hobbit.
How are Dark Places and Sharp Objects? They've been on my list since I read Gone Girl but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
 

Tragicomedy

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Nov 12, 2011
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I've updated the master tracking list as of this post, and should have all the latest arrivals. We have 276 participants so far, which I'll file under "unprecedented demand." It will make the monthly updates a bear to put together, but I'm committed to getting it done.

I'm fallible, so I'll ask once again that folks check the link in the master list to make sure everything is correct for them. This is particularly important for folks who have signed up in the last 2-3 days. Shoot me a PM if there's anything wrong or if you're not on the list and should be.

Happy book reading and movie watching!
 

Dec

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Feb 21, 2013
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update

Unfortunately got hit with a real bad flu at the start of the new year. Only got around to watching Raiders of the Lost Ark thus far.

Yes, I've never watched the Indiana Jones movies for some reason. Guess my parents didn't have interest in them so they weren't around the house.

I liked it. Will watch the sequels next.
 

X-Frame

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Jan 13, 2009
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I've updated the master tracking list as of this post, and should have all the latest arrivals. We have 276 participants so far, which I'll file under "unprecedented demand." It will make the monthly updates a bear to put together, but I'm committed to getting it done.

I'm fallible, so I'll ask once again that folks check the link in the master list to make sure everything is correct for them. This is particularly important for folks who have signed up in the last 2-3 days. Shoot me a PM if there's anything wrong or if you're not on the list and should be.

Happy book reading and movie watching!
I just wanted to let you know that I certainly appreciate all your hard work in this thread and your commitment to keep it going!

I've been off and on reading for the past few months, and then I stumbled upon GoodReads which I didn't know existed before but seemed perfect for my sort of personality of logging and tracking things, and then when I saw this thread soon after you created it, that pushed me over the edge to also commit to a year of reading more books than I ever thought I'd want to. I have so many that I want to read, I really may surprise myself.
 

Tragicomedy

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Nov 12, 2011
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I've been off and on reading for the past few months, and then I stumbled upon GoodReads which I didn't know existed before but seemed perfect for my sort of personality of logging and tracking things, and then when I saw this thread soon after you created it, that pushed me over the edge to also commit to a year of reading more books than I ever thought I'd want to. I have so many that I want to read, I really may surprise myself.
That's the spirit! For me it was a combination of last year's thread (danke, Xyla!), Goodreads, and purchasing a Kindle Paperwhite. I went on a reading binge like never before and really enjoyed it. I, too, have a massive reading backlog.

The tough part for me is hitting 50 movies. I probably watch an average of 10-15 a year, so I really have to force myself to stay on track. I'll likely struggle again this year. Unless my wife is interested in watching something, I usually end up reading instead.
 

igotpaid

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May 28, 2013
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2/50 Books 0/50 Movies

Books

The Hobbit - Having enjoyed the films well enough, I had to see what all the fuss was about in regards to changes from the book. Indeed, there were changes. Having seen the Hobbit films first, I filled in the gaps as I read and came to agree that most of the changes were unnecessary. There is a lot to wrap up in the final film, and if Jackson takes the same liberties he has so far, it's going be an interesting finale.

Twelve Years A Slave - Fantastic read. I love Solomon's writing style and his way of perfectly illustrating what he experienced as a freeman from the north, kidnapped into slavery. The book and film compliment each other amazingly well, and unlike The Hobbit, the film follows Solomon's accounts almost true to form. Such a fascinatingly horrific story, with an almost unbelievable conclusion. Leaves me wondering what great work he may have created in those twelve years had he not been kidnapped.
 

Ashes

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Dec 11, 2008
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I've updated the master tracking list as of this post, and should have all the latest arrivals. We have 276 participants so far, which I'll file under "unprecedented demand." It will make the monthly updates a bear to put together, but I'm committed to getting it done.

I'm fallible, so I'll ask once again that folks check the link in the master list to make sure everything is correct for them. This is particularly important for folks who have signed up in the last 2-3 days. Shoot me a PM if there's anything wrong or if you're not on the list and should be.

Happy book reading and movie watching!
It'll get easier mate. Then again I did think we'd have monthly updates. Good luck avoiding the op curse!
 

Pau

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May 3, 2010
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Update: 1/50 books; 2/50 movies

Danger: Diabolik!
My boyfriend brought over one of his favorite movies which turned out to be a 1968 adaptation of a European comic. It's incredibly stylish and wonderful to look at. It's hard for me to root for a villain protagonist when they kill people though. :( Also of note, the character was created by two women.

Update: 3/50 Books; 3/50 Movies

I finished reading No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, by Estelle Freedman today. It was quite good. I was familiar with a lot of the material because I've listened to a lecture series by the author, but much of it was new, too.
I know I said my reading list wasn't going to be copy and pasted from yours but I wanna read this!
 

lastflowers

Banned
Mar 21, 2011
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lastflowers - 4/50 books | 7/50 movies

Her - 2013 - ★★★★
Ted - 2012 - ★★½

Her was a really solid film that explores the definition of a relationship, and how we define human interactions. It's a little goofy and corny in places, but it kept the story and focus fairly tight. The cinematography is very well done. It paints an elegant, for the most part, picture of a near future America. joaquin phoenix lives the role, the camera focuses on his face for nearly half the movie. Surprisingly, it doesn't tire.


Ted, was...well, it was an okay movie.
 

mfiuza

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Jun 11, 2013
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mfiuza - 12/50 books | 20/50 movies


Books

1. Game of Thrones - A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin ★★★★ (01/19)
2. Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet Annottated, Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★½ (01/22)
3. Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four Annottated, Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★★ (01/28)
4. The Sixth Column (The Day After Tomorrow), Robert A. Heinlein ★½ (01/31)

5. Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1), Joseph Delaney ★★★ (02/06)
6. Dan Brown's Inferno ★★★½ (02/19)
7. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman ★★★★★ (02/26)
8 The Lazy Project Manager, Peter Taylor ★★½(02/26)

9. The Prince of Mist, Carlos Ruiz Zafón ★★★½ (03/17)
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★★ (03/23)
11. The List of My Desires, Grégoire Delacourt ★★★½ (03/26)
12. Miss Marple's Final Cases, Agatha Christie, ★★★½ (03/31)

Movies

1. Sherlock - The Empty Hearse ★★★★★ (01/02)
2. The Conjuring ★★★ (01/03)
3. The World's End ★★★½ (01/05)
4. Sherlock - The Sign of Three ★★★★★ (01/07)
5. Pacific Rim ★★★½ (01/09)
6. Sherlock His Last Vow ★★★★½ (01/13)
7. Reservoir Dogs ★★★½ (01/17)
8. Les Miserables (2012) ★★★ (01/18)
9. The Bling Ring ★★½ (01/24)
10. The Shawshank Redemption ★★★★★ (01/24)
11. The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★★★ (01/26)
12. The Grabbers ★★½ (01/31)

13. Robocop (1987) ★★★½ (02/05)
14. Scarface ★★★ (02/13)
15. Thor: The Dark World ★★★½ (02/24)
16. Los Ojos de Julia ★½ (02/28)

17. Frozen ★★★★★ (03/03)
18. Gravity ★★★★★ (03/04)
19. Kick Ass 2 ★★★½ (03/07)
20. Easy A ★★★★★ (03/24)

I'll go ahead and list my finished games too:

Games

1. Spec Ops The Line ★★★★★ (01/23)
2. Tomb Raider Definitive Edition ★★★½ (02/27)
3. Bravely Default ★★★★½ (3/25)
 

sgossard

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Jan 26, 2012
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I started watching Game of thrones (TV series). Each season is 10 hrs. I just finished season 2. 20 hrs total.

Can I count a season as a movie? 2 movies? none at all?
 

Tragicomedy

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Nov 12, 2011
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Can I still participate in the thread? Im a bit late xD
Sure thing! I don't have access to my Google docs folder from work but I'll update and add you when I get home this evening.

I started watching Game of thrones (TV series). Each season is 10 hrs. I just finished season 2. 20 hrs total.

Can I count a season as a movie? 2 movies? none at all?
I also finished season two a couple of nights ago but am not counting it. The average episode is 54 minutes long, which is too short to qualify as a film in my view. The show has top tier production values, but it's still designed to be an episodic television series. There isn't a rule in place in the contest to sum up 10 separate episodes and count them as a single film.

There are gray areas. Last year the consensus was to count the Sherlock Holmes show because each episode is 90 minutes in length and with only three episodes per "season," they are packaged like film trilogies. I'm currently counting those on my list, but might choose to drop them later depending on how my film watching is coming along.

Bottom line: use your judgment.
 

Karu

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Jun 22, 2013
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Let's do this!

Karu - 3/50 books | 12/50 movies

Books
01 Aka Morchiladze - Journey to Karabakh ★★★★
02 Nino Haratischwili - Zorn ★★★★
03 Nino Haratischwili - Radio Universe ★★★★

Movies

01 Tatort: Franziska ★★½
02 21 Jump Street ★★★★
03 The Wolf Of Wall Street ★★★★
04 Evil Dead (2013) ★★★½
05 My Bloody Valentine ★★★½
06 Terror Train ★★★
07 Prom Night ★★½
08 Sleepaway Camp ★
09 Slumber Party Massacre ★★★
10 The Prowler ★★★
11 The Burning ★★★
12 April Fools Day ★★



Tatort: Franziska on the other hand is a fairly mundane television crime drama from one of the longest running crime series in germany. This particular episode Franiska though managed to break through the typical formular&offered actually something worthwile. (To specify since I saw a discussion about this some posts above - it's similar to Sherlock a series of self containing crime cases with a running time of 90 minutes, so I guess that should be fine.)
 

Calvero

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Aug 28, 2013
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First update at last.

First book of the year is complete. The Long Earth by Baxter & Pratchett. Enjoyed it a lot, very funny and an interesting set up that reminded me of one of my favourite books (Eon by Greg Bear). The reviews on Amazon aren't as positive for the sequel but I will pick it up at some point.

Made a start on Flowers for Algernon last night. It's pretty incredible so far.
Flowers for Algernon is amazing!

Sorry, just had to say that!
 

Necrovex

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Jun 7, 2010
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Master List

On a whim I decided to watch Untouchables. I was browsing Netflix, and I saw this supposed classic. Why not watch it? So I did. This was a solid film, filled with charming characters, a faithful recreation of the Prohibition era, and a stellar OST.

That baby scene. Now I understand all those references.

★★★★
 

Necrovex

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Jun 7, 2010
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Once I finish Angels in America, which will probably be tomorrow, I am following Mumei's (and another TinyGaffer's) suggestion to read The Ways of King. Though I'll read another paperback of Gotham Central before entering that long journey.
 

Cindres

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Jan 27, 2009
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Finally been able to get started.

Books: 0/50

Movies: 1/50
  1. Frozen.

Really enjoyed Frozen. Massively cheesy at times but still a fun ride. Preferred it to Tangled.
 

mfiuza

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Jun 11, 2013
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First Update - 0/50 Books | 3/50 Movies

My first update. Finally I watched the World's End, a movie that unfortunately didn't made it to Brazil (at least not that I saw). Pretty good movie, with solid and funny moments, but I didn't quite liked the ending.

And Sherlock... Oh my, this is by far my favorite show. Don't really care if the episodes focus more on the character developments than mysteries themselves. Amazing dialogues as always and great acting. Expecting great things next sunday.
 
Apr 26, 2013
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Update.

Finished End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad. This was a charming story about an old ship captain trying to support his impoverished daughter in Australia. Structurally a clever device was employed that took me a while to notice. Descriptive passages got longer and more sluggish as it endeavored to
reveal the captain's onset of blindness.
I enjoyed it quite a bit.
 
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