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I’ve seen three Shakespeare plays this year so far, two of which were amazing, but the most recent one was quite disappointing really – although something on the same evening kind of made up for it! I admit that one of the appealing things about going to see these plays is who has been in them – although I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, as getting famous people to play these parts introduces people who would never have usually gone to the theatre to seeing plays and then hopefully they’ll go on and see other things without famous people in them. I have quite a lack of knowledge of Shakespeare, which I feel quite bad about – as far as I can remember we only studied two plays at school (Macbeth in year 7 and Twelfth Night in year 11) so I don’t know the details of many plays beyond these. However I have seen more plays recently, both at the theatre and on TV, which I’ve mainly enjoyed, so I will keep looking out for more. In the theatre I’ve seen The Taming of the Shrew (years ago, because I love the film 10 Things I Hate About You, which is based on the play), Macbeth (at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1999 – it was a bit scary!), Richard III (with Kevin Spacey – amazing!), Much Ado About Nothing (with David Tennant and Catherine Tate, they were great!) and The Tempest.
Now, I think out of those The Tempest is the most “fantasy” one, and its also the one which I didn’t like. It had Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Lyndhurst in it, and I thought Ralph Fiennes would be just as good as Kevin Spacey was, but he really wasn’t. I didn’t really feel that he had any “presence” on the stage, and didn’t really bring anything more to the role than any other actor would. I suppose I tend to think that film actors are somehow “better” than “just” stage actors, but that’s not necessarily true. After all, film actors can do each scene 20 times, whereas stage actors have to get it right straight away! With regards to the Tempest, I found the story quite confusing, and it really dragged at the end. None of the characters really caught my attention (like, for example, Kevin Spacey as Richard III did), and I didn’t really like the fantasy type bits. Also it seemed to have songs in it, which I didn’t realise, haha, and the person singing them couldn’t sing…I don’t know if that was the point, but it wasn’t very nice. In contrast, I also didn’t really know the story of Much Ado About Nothing, but the characters were engaging and kept your attention. David Tennant and Catherine Tate have a really great chemistry between them, and so you could really believe that they were the characters they were, and that they secretly loved each other and were tricked into admitting it!! That was great, and so funny. Kevin Spacey in Richard III was just such an imposing presence on the stage, and the whole play was really put together very well with some very striking parts, for example the use of drums by the whole cast at one point was great.
Actually, I think I’ve also seen Hamlet and Macbeth on TV, both with quite minimalist sets and with good actors in them – David Tennant in Hamlet and Patrick Stewart in Macbeth – so I think it must have been more the structure and story of the Tempest which I didn’t like, rather than Shakespeare as a whole, which is good! I really need to read up on more of his work though, and go to see more, as whenever I go I feel really uncultured, haha!

ooooooooooohh........and I also forget to say what made the night we went to see the Tempest amazing.......we following Vivienne Westwood down the street for about 500 metres :D :D I first saw her crossing the road near to Trafalgar Square, at first I was drawn to her hair (which is bright orange!) and then I realised who it was...i think I went a bit star struck!! It was so amazing to see her, just walking down the street like a normal person, I mean I know she's a normal person, but I would have thought that she would have had people looking at her or something, but it didn't look like anyone had noticed. Apart from me and my friend anyway! It was so great. I'm kind of glad I didn't get into any situation where I had to speak to her though, as I think I might have been a bit speechless!! :)
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Yet another list of books for me to see how many I've read...bold is I've read them, italics I want to read them, crossed out I disliked it, the " ü", which was a tick when I did it in word, means I loved it. 

 1    To Kill a Mockingbird    Harper Lee  
2    Pride and Prejudice    Jane Austen  
3    The Book Thief    Markus Zusak  
4    Jane Eyre    Charlotte Bronte  ü
5    The Time Traveler's Wife    Audrey Niffenegger  

6    The Lord of the Rings    J. R. R. Tolkien
7    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy    Douglas Adams  
8    Wuthering Heights    Emily Bronte   

9    Rebecca    Daphne Du Maurier  
10    The Kite Runner    Khaled Hosseini  
11    American Gods    Neil Gaiman  
12    A Thousand Splendid Suns    Khaled Hosseini  
13    Harry Potter Adult Hardback Boxed Set    J. K. Rowling
14    The Shadow of the Wind    Carlos Ruiz Zafon  
15    The Hobbit    J. R. R. Tolkien  
16    One Day    David Nicholls   
17    Birdsong    Sebastian Faulks   
18    The Help    Kathryn Stockett   
19    Nineteen Eighty-Four    George Orwell  ü

20    Good Omens    Terry Pratchett   
21    The Notebook    Nicholas Sparks  
22    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo    Stieg Larsson 
23    The Handmaid's Tale    Margaret Atwood  ü
24    The Great Gatsby    F. Scott Fitzgerald   
25    Little Women    Louisa M. Alcott   ü
26    Memoirs of a Geisha    Arthur Golden   
27    The Lovely Bones    Alice Sebold   
28    Atonement    Ian McEwan   
29    Room    Emma Donoghue  ü
30    Catch-22    Joseph Heller 
31    We Need to Talk About Kevin    Lionel Shriver  
32    His Dark Materials    Philip Pullman  
33    Captain Corelli's Mandolin    Louis De Bernieres 
34    The Island    Victoria Hislop 
35    Neverwhere    Neil Gaiman 
36    The Poisonwood Bible    Barbara Kingsolver   
37    The Catcher in the Rye    J. D. Salinger 
38    Chocolat    Joanne Harris  
39    Never Let Me Go    Kazuo Ishiguro  
40    The Five People You Meet in Heaven    Mitch Albom   
41    One Hundred Years of Solitude    Gabriel Garcia Marquez
42    Animal Farm    George Orwell  
43    The Pillars of the Earth    Ken Follett  ü

44    The Eyre Affair    Jasper Fforde   
45    Tess of the D'Urbervilles    Thomas Hardy 
46    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory    Roald Dahl   
47    I Capture the Castle    Dodie Smith   
48    The Wasp Factory    Iain Banks   
49    Life of Pi    Yann Martel  
50    The Road    Cormac McCarthy   ü

51    Great Expectations    Charles Dickens  
52    Dracula    Bram Stoker   
53    The Secret History    Donna Tartt  ü
54    Small Island    Andrea Levy   
55    The Secret Garden    Frances Hodgson Burnett  ü
56    Lord of the Flies    William Golding
57    Persuasion    Jane Austen  
58    A Prayer for Owen Meany    John Irving   
59    Notes from a Small Island    Bill Bryson  
60    Watership Down    Richard Adams   

61    Night Watch    Terry Pratchett  
62    Brave New World    Aldous Huxley   ü
63    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time    Mark Haddon   
64    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell    Susanna Clarke
65    The Color Purple    Alice Walker   
66    My Sister's Keeper    Jodi Picoult 
67    The Stand    Stephen King  
68    Cloud Atlas    David Mitchell 
69    The Master and Margarita    Mikhail Bulgakov   
70    Anna Karenina    Leo Tolstoy  
71    Cold Comfort Farm    Stella Gibbons  
72    Frankenstein    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley   
73    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society    Mary Ann Shaffer   
74    The Picture of Dorian Gray    Oscar Wilde 
75    Gone with the Wind    Margaret Mitchell  
76    The Graveyard Book    Neil Gaiman   
77    The Woman in White    Wilkie Collins   
78    The Princess Bride    William Goldman  
79    A Suitable Boy    Vikram Seth
80    Perfume    Patrick Suskind 
81    The Count of Monte Cristo    Alexandre Dumas   
82    The God of Small Things    Arundhati Roy  
83    Middlemarch    George Eliot   
84    Dune    Frank Herbert   
85    Wolf Hall    Hilary Mantel   
86    Stardust    Neil Gaiman   
87    Lolita    Vladimir Nabokov   
88    Midnight's Children    Salman Rushdie   
89    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone    J. K. Rowling   
90    Shantaram    Gregory David Roberts  
91    The Remains of the Day    Kazuo Ishiguro   
92    Possession: A Romance    A. S. Byatt   
93    Tales of the City    Armistead Maupin   
94    Kafka on the Shore    Haruki Murakami   
95    The Magus    John Fowles   
96    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas    John Boyne   ü

97    A Fine Balance    Rohinton Mistry  
98    Alias Grace    Margaret Atwood 
99    Norwegian Wood    Haruki Murakami   
100    The Wind-up Bird Chronicle    Haruki Murakami

I can never remember if I've read Alias Grace, so I'll say I haven't...Cloud Atlas was so awful that I only read half of it, I couldn't get very far in Dune but I want to keep trying. I've started Midnight's Children and couldn't get into it, but I'm definitely going to try that one again. I'm confused as to why the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and My Sister's Keeper are in the list - they're just mediocre, in both their genres, and Jodi Picoult has better books than that one.
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Cherish these days - these are the best days of your life! You have nothing to worry about (apart from which Chalet School book to buy and read next!), you have good friends, and you have a loving family. Enjoy being a teenager as well - the friends will get more unreliable, but you'll still have a great time.

Oh, and when you hear about Michael Jackson playing in London, *please* go, go with Uncle Paul (as he bought you your first Michael Jackson cd anyway!) as you will get tickets for the next time Michael Jackson plays in the UK, but he'll die before you get to see him!!
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Lots and lots of books for sale, and a few dvds. Books £3 each (unless stated), with discounts if you want more than one, dvds £2. I accept paypal. I will be posting on Saturday. If you'd like a picture let me know and I will take one (although it will be later today as I'm at work at the moment!) :)

All books are in good condition, some only read once, some are ex-library and some a bit aged (the pages are yellowed a bit, but are in otherwise good condition).

Some classics, crime, books like the Female Eunuch etc. Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Will trade for Chalet School books, an Opeth tshirt (large) or a maglite torch :)

Cross posted to some other places.

The Books! )

I also have many other books, lots of "classics", popular fiction and historical fiction mainly, so if you're looking for anything let me know and I will see if I have it :)

DVDs )
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Books from 8th July to 21st July )

I’m currently just about to start the second volume of Michael Palin’s diaries “Halfway to Hollywood: 1980 – 1988”, which should be quite good! My goals in my reading seem to have changed a bit now – I haven’t read any books from the 1001 list for a while (apart from 1001 nights, I think that’s probably on it) and have been mainly reading books which I have bought this year, I think my goal will be to read all the books I buy or receive this year, then there should be time left after that to read some more “great novels”, haha. So far this year I’ve bought or received 53 books (mainly from charity shops, and including 10 that I got for Christmas), and have read 26 of them (among other books of course), so I should probably be able to get that done. I must stop going into the Pound shop and buying books though, as they’re usually not that great, even though they are only £1!

Got a bit of an interesting / scary thing coming up tomorrow...will know the outcome in a couple of weeks, so that will be interesting / scary!! The outcome will hopefully be all good though!! :)
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The Lives of Others (german) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405094/

Amelie (french) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0211915/

The Edukators (german) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408777/

My Neighbour Totoro (japanese) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096283/

They're the ones that immediately spring to mind, probably quite obvious choices, but they are really brilliant films. I don't think any of them should be remade (although I'm disgusted to see a IMDB page for The Lives of Others with a 2013 date on it which I hope isn't a remake...). The Lives of Others is about something which is specifically german and related to Germany, the secret police and their activities, it just wouldn't be as good in English. Amelie I think works really well with subtitles, as a lot of what is said is in her mind anyway, so it is like you're reading her thoughts, which is great. The Edukators shouldn't be remade as they will probably dumb it down for an american audience and that would just be rubbish. For Totoro, I've watched it dubbed and the english children's voices were incredibly annoying...so it shouldn't be made again in English! It would just lose its charm if it became americanised.

I don't understand why people are so eager to remake films which are in a language other than their own. People should broaden their minds and take the chance of watching something outside of their comfort zone.
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I've posted this on whatwasthisbook, but that always takes a while to post, so I thought I'd ask here in the meantime! :)

I keep thinking of lots of picture books I read in my childhood that I'd like to read again! I think this one was illustrated, and maybe also written, by Posy Symmonds, but I couldn't be sure. It was probably out mid 80s to mid 90s kind of time. Its kind of softly illustrated, not blurry but with soft pencil strokes. Its about a little girl, who I think is at a wedding and eats too much cake, or pudding or something, and then somehow ends up flying through the sky - like through the milky way, but all over the sky was chocolate buttons and marshmallows and things like that. I'm not sure what she was flying on - something flat like a flying carpet maybe! But I think she does have a friend with her, but I'm not sure if this was another child or a teddy or something. And I can't remember what else happens in the book!

Does that ring any bells with anyone? :)

Also, My mum remembers a book from when she was young (no later than late 60s, probably early to mid 60s) which involved a koala bear, who had come from Australia - she remembers a picture of him walking down a gangplank - and who at one point ate the soap and spoke in bubbles! I *think* the illustration was similar to Sherwood walks home: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_JR5iLzMobys/S9pGVQPQqTI/AAAAAAAACYc/jzeGn_CkdoA/s1600/Sherwood_chain.jpg but I couldn't be certain on that. If anyone knows what this is and it leads to me buying the book for my mum I will be eternally grateful :D
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Books from 9th June to 7th July 2011 )

I haven’t really read that many great books recently, apart from the Chalet School ones, which is a shame. Everything has been a bit disappointing really! But at least I have them out of the way, and my pile of books for the car boot sale is growing! I’m currently reading a book which I have seen to be quite badly reviewed previously, but its ok so far…and next I’m going to try Midnight’s Children, which I’m looking forward to. Just in time for my parents to come back from India with all their photos as well! I haven’t done too well with reading books from the 1001 books to read before you die recently, so that will be a start again. I think I might just concentrate more on reading the books I have that I haven’t read, and then go back to the library to get more books in September.

As for general life things…I’ve started the next OU course I’ve signed up for, its just psychology this time, and its been interesting so far. Just waiting for the mark from my first essay now! The next one isn’t due until September, although I want to get it done before Bloodstock in August really. And talking of Bloodstock I’ve met a few more metallers recently, so I’m getting increasingly excited about that, (Bloodstock I mean, not the metallers, though they are cool, haha!) even though I keep forgetting what bands are playing! I know when I go I’ll find loads to go and see though. It’ll be great :D I don’t have any more gigs to go to until September apart from that, which is a bit of a shame!

I hope everyone reading this has been well and been doing fun things! :)
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I really really wanted one of these:

because everyone else seemed to have one! well they had one at playgroup anyway :D But instead, my parents got us this:

which was actually, I realise now, so much better as you could do so much more with it :) I don't think I'd get one of them now though...mainly because I don't know where I'd put it, haha :)

I also really really really *really* wanted on of these:

(although I don't remember her being quite so staring!) and I remember one year getting everything on my Christmas List apart from this...haha. I wasn't spoiled at all (it wasn't a long list!) just lucky to have parents who were able to buy lovely things for us, so thats why I think these two things stand out, because we were generally satisfied with everything else! Plus our cousins seemed to have every toy - every My Little Pony, every Sylvanian Family, every Keepers toy (does anyone remember them??) so we always had fun playing with all their toys every time we saw them.

oh and then there were all the big cars and bikes that you always had to play on when you went to Toys R Us...but that was never a realistic want! :)
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I haven't done a question thing for ages, so....here you go! )
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Russia. I'd love to visit there! It seems like a fascinating country with a fascinating history. Plus Vladivostok is just a great name for a place, I want to go there :D

I really want at some point to go by train from London to Beijing, going through Russia, I'm hoping I can get to a point in my life where it can be one of those "holiday of a lifetime" type things and I can take 4 weeks off work to go on it (or more!). I'm not keen on flying, but I love travelling by train, it would be so interesting! I looked up the price of the train to go from London to Moscow the other day - and it was between £300 - £400, which is a lot cheaper than I expected - considering it costs about £100 to get from London to Glasgow.

Its kind of a dream, but I know it can be a reality, I am capable of saving up enough money for something like this - so its quite exciting to think about really! :)
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I don't think I can say my favourite - they are all good for different reasons! In terms of acting, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Benny and Joon are really excellent - I didn't even know it was him in Fear and Loathing at first! In terms of the character he plays, Edward Scissorhands and of course Pirates of the Caribbean are really good. For the worst, but also best, haha, accent, watch From Hell. For proof that when he has short hair his films are less good - watch Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies! Public Enemies especially - with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale starring, this film should have been amazing, but it just was quite disappointing. Oh, and how could I forget Chocolat - which is just a lovely film! :) Thats one of my films that I watch when I'm having a bad day - its just so nice and gentle :)

I'm just looking at IMDB and his list of films - theres loads I keep forgetting about! Totally forgot about The Libertine, might have to watch that again soon. And Finding Neverland. He's done such interesting characters over the years - one of the only "normal" type people he's played was recently in the Tourist, which most people seemed to dislike, but I quite liked it. The last scene was just fantastic, haha :)

But anyway, better stop thinking about Johnny Depp and get back to work!! :)
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Books from 31st May to 8th June )

I’m now planning to read “I’ll go to bed at noon”, which is a book by a Booker Prize nominated author (so may or may not be good!) and I’ve had it on my shelf for a long time so I’m glad to get rid of it!

In other news – I think I might be doing this job search thing wrong somehow, as I now know two people who have got jobs straight away after their interviews! (Well done Rob! :D ) I haven’t even got any interviews yet! But I will keep on trying, I’ve applied for some interesting jobs this week, so hopefully I’ll get something soon. I keep going between *really* wanting to move up north, and really not wanting to...but I need to have a change in my life, and unless I win the lottery I can’t change my life down here, so I need to move. Katie has a lovely house in Huddersfield so hopefully I’ll be able to get one of those!

Friends are still being slightly rubbish…well some more than slightly. But there are still bright spots, despite the people who I most like to talk to being far away, its always nice to text them. Oh and I saw the March Violets the other night and they were brilliant, as normal! So that was fun. And gives me another reason to want to move up north – so many goth nights!! :)
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The longest book I've ever read is probably A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I've also read Pillars of the Earth and Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, both of which are very long. I've also got 1/3 of the way through War and Peace, which I am quite pleased about...but then the "war" bits just got too boring so I stopped! I am definitely going to try again though, hopefully this year.

As for the shortest - I really don't know. I suppose it would be a children's picture book, well that would be the book with the least words anyway! In which case I will say either the Hungry Catepillar (colouring in version!!), or a book about a slug trying to find a shell...can't remember what that was called though!
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I've been meaning to complete these questions for a while actually after seeing them in [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel 's journal...expect to see them filled in over the next few days / weeks / months!!

30 Book Questions )
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Book 92 - In Their Footsteps by Tess Gerritsen - an extremely average crime thriller - I was surprised it wasn't better, as her medical crime books are really excellent. Not recommended.

Books etc.

May. 27th, 2011 03:42 pm
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Books from 9th May to 26th May 2011 )

Wow. Well it does look like that I’ve read 91 books this year – but not 91 “proper” adult books! I’ve read 91 books in total, but “proper” adult novels is a lot less, as a lot of them were childrens or poetry, which aren’t any less good than adult novels of course, but they do take me a lot less time to read. I’m pleased I’m getting through so many books though, as I now can actually tell that I’m getting through the piles of books I have to read in my bedroom, which is good!

In terms of other “media”, I still haven’t got round to writing reviews of all the films I’ve seen so far, but the last one I saw was Pirates of the Caribbean 4, in the cinema, which was actually great! I really enjoyed the first three and the new one is just as good. There haven’t been many films which have come out recently which I have wanted to see, so I’m glad it was good. Plus I’ve also just discovered the series “Are You Being Served”, and it is so great!! So funny, I love it! :D Can’t believe I’ve never got into it before. I think its because the characters are so well drawn and have such distinct, erm, characters, its really good. I’m really into “characters” at the moment, as I’ve read some books with some really good characters in as well.

In terms of general life things, generally happy at the moment…going to Slimelight for a friend’s birthday tomorrow, which should be great! Also another friend who has only recently got into EBM / industrial music is coming along with their friends, which should also be great, I haven’t seen them for a while. Oh and I’ve just started my next OU course, its one which is just psychology, and from what I’ve read so far is really interesting! I’m really looking forward to working through it. The last essay for the previous course was incredibly boring, so I’m really glad I’ve got that all done now!
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"style" over substance.

and to expand slightly: In 50 years, will people remember her songs? Or just what she used wears? Or neither?

to expand even more (and defeat the point of the question!!) :

i was listening to the Beatles the other day, and it just makes me think, they were just four ordinary boys from liverpool, and they changed the course of music, really. Is there anyone around today who is having the same effect and changing history like they did? I suppose you can only tell from a distance, and maybe we're not far enough away from it, but from the 90s / 00s there hasn't really been any big, amazing musicial movement which is liked by the majority and has changed the face of music. I know I am looking at it from the perspective of "alternative" music, but if you consider the main genres that are popular in the mainstream at the moment - pop is just forgettable, indie even more so, and RnB / rap doesn't really seem to be doing anything different. The majority of the "alternative" genres that I like are old genres anyway (e.g. goth), so it kind of makes it seem like, to me at least, there are not really any bands / genres which are that good now. When I say things like this and people recommend bands for me to listen to, I usually can't really hear in them what makes them so different and so memorable. But even when you listen to the Beatles now, after all this time, you can still hear what it was in them which made them so different, both then and now.
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Probably the majority of things in my wardrobe would shock the "fashion police", whoever they are! Who cares what they think anyway? If you like something, wear it, if you don't like it, don't own it! :)
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