My Weekly Top 10 :: Week of July 13, 2015

I think its time to bring this back again.

1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

1Three chapters in and I find myself enchanted by the fantastical world of Ava Lavender’s family history. Tragic and full of loss, but also overflowing with magic and a mysterious aura of something I can’t quite name yet. The book also makes me miss the Pacific Northwest an awful lot.

2. The Last Bookstore
Downtown Los Angeles

2I’d read about it and heard friends talk about it, but I’d never been until yesterday early afternoon. More than a bookstore, it is a literary experience, from the book-inspired art, to the people scattered about with books in their hands, or on some of the overstuffed chairs reading, to the enormous selection of new and used books, including an entire wing of $1 books. I have not fallen this hard for a bookstore since Powell’s in Portland, Oregon. I left with the new book of short stories by Chuck Palahniuk and Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim, and some eerily haunting and beautiful postcards from a local LA artist that I got to meet in one of the upstairs galleries.

33. Music For Airports :: Brian Eno

1/1 :: Brian Eno

I discovered this ambient album while reading Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum, who mentioned the album often within the book (he even wrote me back a little about the album via goodreads when I asked him if he still enjoyed it). I started listening to the album while I read the book, and then found myself turning to it whenever I read. Listening to it now I think I may try writing to it, as well.

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4. Mister Robot

5I don’t even remember how I heard about this show, or what I thought it was going to be about, but it was NOTHING even close to what this show is. A little bit Fight Club, a little bit Ex Machina, a little bit Black Mirror (UK Twilight Zone type program for the tech age, if you’ve not seen it, go now go), a little bit early Danny Boyle, and something more, much more, that you just have to see. The characters are incredible, especially Elliott (Rami Malek) who sometimes breaks the 4th wall (as we, the audience, become a made-up/imaginary friend to him), who is not completely stable, and who we are not certain is seeing the things he shares with us, or is not completely delusional and living out an elaborate conspiracy theory; he is an unreliable narrator to the extreme. The writing, too, is exceptional, the kind usually only found in books.

Extended Trailer

5. All We Do :: Oh Wonder

“All we do is lie and wait.
All we do is, all we do is lie and wait.
All we do is feel the fade.
All we do is, all we do is feel the fade.”

Moody and melancholic, haunting, and chill-inducing, this song has been following me around aurally for weeks on end. Sometimes it makes me cry, sometimes it makes me want to drive until I don’t know where I am anymore, sometimes it makes me want to write for hours and hours, and sometimes it just makes me want to hit replay, again and again. I love when a song casts that kind of spell.

56. Ely and Naomi’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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Back in April I read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist over a couple of late afternoons before going to a couple of Pete Yorn gigs, and I fell in hard for the book, even more than I did the film. I then went on a quest to read the other two “and” books by co-writers Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Naomi and Ely were the next duo, and though it took until about the halfway mark for me to care as much for them as I did for Nick and Norah, I eventually did, big time, as well as the bonus of their co-stars, who in some ways I loved more than the leads (especially Bruce the Second and Gabriel). Searching now for a photo for the book cover I found out that over the weekend, at Outfest, the movie (!!!) of this book was premiered – I had NO IDEA.

8The cinematic Naomi and Ely

7. Rain

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Outside, right now

As I sit here writing the rain is pouring down outside, and it is such an amazing sound to hear. We’ve had quite a well-publicized drought here in Los Angeles and we certainly need this gift of water that we are getting right now, and also came down a lot yesterday, too. I could get used to rainy July weather, I really could.

7Yesterday, in Hollywood

8. Jeff Buckley

10I’ve had Jeff Buckley on my mind lately. He has seeped into Rae, one of the three main characters I am writing, and into her music she listens to, he has seeped into my dreams twice this week, once blowing on a hot cup of coffee as he listened to me talk about a poem I was trying to write, a word I was stuck on, and then he looked up at me and said the word I was searching for, and another dream, that I was watching him play Grace on my late husband’s guitar that he said he’d borrowed from him, and who knows, maybe in some afterlife they’ve met, or maybe it just means I miss both of them, in different ways. I wonder what that missing word was, and I wonder what Jeff took in his coffee.

Grace :: Jeff Buckley

9. Jamie Marks is Dead 

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Home sick on Thursday and I stumbled on this movie rather accidentally, not knowing anything about it, not even what genre of film it was. I was half paying attention when it first began, but was immediately drawn in by both Liv Tyler and Cameron Monaghan, both actors I like quite a lot. The story is haunting (literally), compelling, unusual, thought provoking, and full of emotion, a take on a supernatural adolescent friendship and love that reminded me of how I felt watching Let Me In – this is much more than a horror film (not that I don’t love horror films).

10. Hollywood Wax Museum

12Speaking of horror, it was the “horror” hall that I loved the most at the Hollywood Wax Museum yesterday. A terribly “tourist” thing to do, we had the best time there, so much so that when we got to the end we circled back and went through the entire thing again, and took a ton of pictures (see above and below at two of my favorites of the bunch I took). Sometimes its great fun to play tourist in your own backyard.

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