Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book List 2013

Since some people have been all up in our face with their book list shizznit, I guess we gotta FALL IN LINE with their fascistic listy thinking. So here's OUR book list, bubbalah. Put THAT in your pipe. And SMOKE EET.
Book List 2013
Book List 2013

  1. *7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
  2. *50 Stories - Kay Boyle
  3. 130 Projects To Get You Into Filmmaking - Grove
  4. A Concise History of Indian Art - Roy C. Craven
  5. A History of India 1 - Romila Thapar
  6. A History of India 2 - Percival Spear
  7. A Nation in Waiting - Adam Schwartz
  8. A New History of India - Stanley Wolpert
  9. A Tale Of Millions: Bangladesh Liberation War - M. Rafiqul Islam
  10. Adventures in the Skin Trade - Dylan Thomas
  11. Akbar & the Jesuits - Pierre du Jarric
  12. *Among the White Moonfaces - Shirley Lim
  13. An Advanced History of India - Majumdar, Raychaudhari, & Datta
  14. Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
  15. *Asian Dragons & Green Trade - Simon Tay & Daniel Esty
  16. Bangladesh From Mujib to Ershad, an interpretive study - Lawrence Ziring
  17. Being Wrong - Kathryn Schultz
  18. Bergman on Bergman - Paul Britten Austin, transl.
  19. Best American Movie Writing 2001 - John Landis, ed.
  20. Beyond Basic Photography - Henry Horenstein
  21. *Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
  22. Breathless - Jean-Luc Goddard
  23. Canyon Cinema - Scott McDonald
  24. Cinema, Emergence, & The Films of Satyajit Roy - Keya Ganguly
  25. Clarissa - Samuel Richardson
  26. Colonial Masculinity - Mrinalini Sinha
  27. Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
  28. Daddyji - Ved Mehta
  29. Daybooks of Edward Weston -
  30. Death in Venice - Thomas Mann
  31. Decolonizing the Mind - Ngugi wa Thiong'o
  32. *Designing A Photograph - Bill Smith
  33. Desis in the House - Sunaina Maira
  34. Dharma and Development - Joanna R. Macy
  35. *Digital Filmmaking - Mike Figgis
  36. Escape From Tyranny - Zulkifli Ahmed
  37. Essentials of Screenwriting - Richard Walter
  38. Fighting Spirit of East Timor - Rowena Lennox
  39. *Finnegan's Wake - James Joyce
  40. First Person Singular - Joyce Carol Oates
  41. *Five Screenplays - Harold Pinter
  42. Folklore of Tamil Nadu - S.M.L. Lakshman Chettiar
  43. From Word to Image - Marcie Begleiter
  44. Gandhi - Louis Fischer
  45. Gandhi's Truth — On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence - Erik H. Erikson
  46. Gangsters and Revolutionaries - Robert Cribb
  47. *Getting Organized - Stephanie Winston
  48. Gotta Have It - Spike Lee
  49. Herzog - Saul Bellow
  50. Hinduism - Its Historical Development - Troy Wilson Organ
  51. Hitchcock - Francois Truffaut
  52. *I Can Make You Thin - Paul McKenna
  53. In The Blink of An Eye - Walter Murch
  54. India Wins Freedom - Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
  55. Indian Art - Philip Rawson
  56. Indonesian Confrontation - Gabriel Tan
  57. IsvarChandra Vidyasagar -
  58. *J. Paul Getty Photo Collection -
  59. Kieslowski on Kieslowski - Darusia Stok, ed.
  60. Light in August - William Faulkner
  61. Look Homeward Angel - Thomas Wolfe
  62. Making Documentary Films - Barry Hampe
  63. Making Pictures: A Century of European Cinematography -
  64. Masters of Light - Schaefer & Salvato
  65. Medieval Mysticism of India - Ksitimohan Sen
  66. Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan - Melody Ermachild Chavis
  67. Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh - Amy Raphael, ed.
  68. Motion Studies - Rebecca Solnit
  69. Movies & Methods - Bill Nichols, ed.
  70. Movies & Methods II - Bill Nichols, ed.
  71. Mucho Sol - Manuel Alvarez Bravo
  72. My Traitor's Heart - Rian Malan
  73. *Nakshi Kantha of Bengal - Sila Basak
  74. Notes on Directing - Walker
  75. Orientalism - Edward W. Said
  76. Our Films, Their Films - Satyajit Ray
  77. Our Lady of Controversy - Alma Lopez
  78. Primitive Art - Frank Boas
  79. Punjabi Century 1857-1947 - Prakash Tandon
  80. Reading Lolita In Teheran - Azar Nafisi
  81. Rebel Without A Crew - Robert Rodriguez
  82. River of Shadows - Rebecca Solnit
  83. Rosie - Anne Lamott
  84. Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (The Biography Of A Master Film-Maker - Andrew Robinson
  85. Sayles on Sayles - Gavin Smith, ed.
  86. Screenwriting 434 - Lew Hunter
  87. Shoot Me - Simonelli & Frumkes
  88. Showdown - Jorge Amado
  89. Singapore Studies - Basant Kapur
  90. So Much Pretty - Cara Hoffman
  91. Something Like An Autobiography - Kurosawa Akira
  92. Switch - Chip & Dan Heath
  93. The Argumentative Indian - Amartya Sen
  94. The Art of the Novel - Milan Kundera
  95. The Autobiography of An Unknown Indian - Nirad C. Chaudhary
  96. The Bengal Muslims 1871 - 1906 - Ahmed
  97. The City & The City - China Mieville
  98. The Concerned Photographer - Cornell Capa
  99. The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking - Polish, Polish, & Sheldon
  100. The Devil Finds Work - James Baldwin
  101. The Discovery of India - Jawaharlal Nehru
  102. The Films of Akira Kurosawa - Donald Richie
  103. The Fine Print - Fred Picker
  104. The Forgotten Army (Indian Mutiny) - Peter Ward Fay
  105. The Gene Hunters Biotechnology and the scramble for seeds - Calestous Juma
  106. The Gift - Lewis Hyde
  107. The Great Hedge of India - Roy Moxham
  108. The Hill of Devi - E.M. Forster
  109. The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  110. The Indonesian Revolution and The Singapore Connection - Yong Mun Cheong
  111. The Men Who Ruled India Vol. I The Founders - Philip Woodruff
  112. The Men Who Ruled India, Vol. II The Guardians - Philip Woodruff
  113. The Mother Tongue - Bill Bryson
  114. The Political Economy of Social Control in Singapore - Christopher Tremewan
  115. The Rape of Bangladesh - Mascarenhas
  116. The Remembered Village - M.N. Srinivasan
  117. The Rig Veda - Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, transl
  118. The Story of Zahra - Hanan al-Shaykh
  119. Third World Filmmaking -
  120. The Unmaking of Malaysia -
  121. Theory & Practice of Film Sound - Weis & Belton
  122. Time Bombs in Malaysia - Lim Kit Siang
  123. Unmasking Najib -
  124. *Visionary Film - P. Adams Sitney
  125. Wanted: Equality and Justice In The Muslim Family - Zainah Anwar, ed.
  126. Wikileaks - David Leigh & Luke Harding
  127. Witness to an Era - Frank Moraes
  128. Women Creating Indonesia: The First Fifty Years -
  129. Writers' Workshop in a Book - Cheuse and Alvarez
  130. Yonnondio - Tillie Olsen
  131. Your Future, My Faith, Our Freedom - Chee Soon Juan
  132. Zen & The Art of Screenwriting - W. Froug

Okay, 132 books *does* seem like a lot, but I have set aside all my days to work on the film stuff, so that really ends up being, like 60 books or so. Anybody going to buy me pizza if I make all them books on my list this year? Hello? Waiting for the invite?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ice, people! Ice!!!

I was up near Chabot Space and Science Center today. It was about 4:00pm. And I pulled off the road to take photos and came across this ice puddle ... in Oakland, California!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Smokey's List of Books to Read for 2013

Here's how it works for me: this list is my guide; however, I have total freedom. I can read whatever books I want. Plus, this list is waaaaaay too many books for me. My average is about 35 books a year. I'm a pretty slow reader. What slows me down is that I often visualize scenes in books.

Well, here are the books I want to read in 2013 ...

Making Movies – Sidney Lumet

This Is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz

The Overlook – Michael Connelly

Who Could That Be At This Hour? – Lemony Snicket

1945: The War That Never Ended -  Gregor Dallas

Austerity Britain, 1945 to 1951 - David Kynaston

Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Marcel Proust and Lydia Davis

Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: Expanded Edition by Lawrence Weschler

True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney by Lawrence Weschler

Boundaries - Maya Ying Lin

Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes and Edith Grossman

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum

Stella Adler on America's Master Playwrights: Eugene O'Neill, Clifford Odets, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, et al. by Stella Adler

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones

Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 3rd Edition -  Michael Dawson

Reading Myself and Others - Phillip Roth

The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown

Tatoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion - Gregory Boyle

The Films of Akira Kurosawa - Donald Richie

Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom - José Hobday

TOTALLY TENDERLY TRAGICALLY: Essays and Criticism from a Lifelong Love Affair with the Movies - Phillip Lopate

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy D’art - Christopher Moore

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (play) - Edward Albee

From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film - Siegfried Kracauer

The Wild Trees - Richard Preston

What Jung Really Said - E.A. Bennet

Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal’s Journey from Down Under to All Over - Geraldine Brooks

The Killer Life: How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deals and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond - Christine Vachon

Decoded - Jay-Z

Five Screenplays - Harold Pinter
The Servant
The Pumpkin Eater
The Quiller Memorandum
The Go-Between 

A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan

Stone Arabia - Dana Spiotta

French Leave - Anna Gavalda

Carry the One - Carol Anshaw

The Private Diaries of Catherine Deneuve: My Life Behind the Camera with Luis Buñuel, François Truffault, Roman Polanski, and Lars von Trier

Our Town (play) - Thornton Wilder

Half-Blood Blues - Esi Edugyan

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review 2012

Books read:
  1. A History of Cambodia - David Chandler
    Excellent. Recommended.
  2. A History of Democratic Kampuchea - Khamboly Dy
    Very good, extremely disturbing.
  3. Before Kampuchea - Milton Osborne
  4. Cambodia Silenced: The Press Under 6 Regimes - Harish Mehta
    Limited interest.
  5. Cambodia's Hidden Scars - Beth van Schaak, Daryn Reicherter, eds.
    Disturbing, good.
  6. Can You Forgive Her? - Anthony Trollope
    Got into reading Trollope on someone else's recommendation, and I think this is one of those writers that I can marvel at as a wordsmith, but who leaves me pretty cold. I did give him a bash, though.
  7. Designer Genes - Chee Heng Leng & Chan Chee Koon, eds.
    Excellent. Recommended.
  8. Dubliners - James Joyce
    Joyce in imago. Recommended.
  9. Facing the Cambodian Past - David Chandler
    Excellent. Recommended.
  10. Fire In The Lake - Frances Fitzgerald
    Pulitzer prizewinner. Interesting. Good.
  11. Flower Of The Dragon - Richard Boyle
    Interesting look at the Vietnam war.
  12. Foreign Bodies - Tan Hwee Hwee
    Colossal and horrifying waste of time. I hope this lady is doing something else these days. Oops, no, she's having Christian insights. Of the smallest-minded ilk.
  13. Futureland - Walter Moseley
    Excellent. Recommended.
  14. Hell In A Very Small Place - Bernard Fall
    Fall was the kind of military historian military historians read. Fascinating, depressing, etc.
  15. Incursion: From America's Chokehold on the NVA Lifelines to the Sacking of the Cambodian Sanctuaries - J.D. Coleman
    Read this. Then read Wilfred Burchett, and you'll understand why the US lost in VietNam.
  16. Khmers Stand Up! - Justin Corfield
    Srsly? Somebody's thesis. And it kind of petered out towards the end.
  17. May 13 - Kua Kim Soong
    Limited interest, but fascinating accounts of the school riots in Singapore in the 1950s, with new information from recently released Colonial Office documents. Those colonial fuckers.
  18. Middlemarch - George Eliot
    A writer of rare weight and heft. Every book is a joy.
  19. Murder Through The Looking Glass - Mike Venning
    Very good little whodunit.
  20. Norodom Sihanouk: My War With The CIA - Wilfred Burchett
    Fascinating, and vintage Sihanouk.
  21. Phineas Finn - Anthony Trollope
    It's literature.
  22. Pol Pot - Philip Short
    Short is as unbiased as a white man can be (FWIW) and goes a long way to revealing the remarkably invisible Saloth Sar.
  23. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
    I don't think I've come across too many writers who made language their own the way Joyce did, although this makes me frown and remember that I'm not reading enough in languages other than English.
  24. Rule 34 - Charles Stross
    SF, and if you don't know what Rule 34 is, Google it.
  25. Street Without Joy - Bernard Fall
    VietNam war. Fall's a Frenchman writing about "les petits jaunes," whaddya want?
  26. Singapore The Air-Conditioned Nation - Cherian George
    You're never going to get a look at Singapore by a Singaporean that is more honest than this, although, frankly, it's a masterpiece of the two-step.
  27. Self Censorship: Singapore's Shame - James Gomez
    Is Southeast Asia suffering from a shortage of book editors, or something? This is the third or sixth book from the region I've read that started out fine and then suddenly turned into a mess of repetitive blather.
  28. The Butcher Boy - Patrick McCabe
    This is one of those rare, violent, disturbing books that stays with you for a LONG time after.
  29. The China-Cambodia-Vietnam Triangle - Wilfred Burchett
    Excellent. Recommended. Some have chosen to lob slurs at Burchett now that he's no longer around to defend himself. But where Wilfred Burchett went and the caliber of stories he got, no other white person ever touched. He was a friend to the revolutionary people of Asia at a time when most white people thought of Asians as not-quite-human.
  30. The End of The Affair - Graham Greene
    Greene's a Catholic, and I don't care for their worldview. That said, he's an excellent writer, although this is a disturbing, sick little story.
  31. The Eustace Diamonds - Anthony Trollope
    See "Trollope, Anthony, future of on tpc's reading lists."
  32. The Gate - Francois Bizot
    Bizot was one of VERY few people imprisoned at Tuol Sleng by Angkar's jailor who survived relatively intact. Most lost their lives after they had lost everything else they had. One wonders how/why he made it. Creepy.
  33. The Hatchet Man of Singapore - J.B. Jeyaretnam
    Limited interest.
  34. The Mighty Wave - He Jin (Transl: Tan Jing Quee, Loh Miaw Gong, Hong Lysa)
    A look at the student riots in Colonial Singapore from the student side.
  35. Victims and Perpetrators - Ea Meng-try & Sorya Sim
    Not for the weak of stomach. This is a chronicle of the murdered and their murderers.
  36. Viet Nam and Ho Chi Minh - Wilfred Burchett
    A photographic chronicle of two very interesting people.
  37. Vietnam: Inside Story of Guerilla War - Wilfred Burchett
    Excellent. Recommended.
  38. Into Cambodia - Keith William Nolan
    Someone very dear to me recommended this dreadful book, and I have not been able to speak to him honestly since I read it. I do not recommend it to anyone except the extremely ignorant, racist, closed-minded. It's a revolting look at the VN war written by some chickenhawk who never was there (wasn't even a zygote at the time, IIRC), and who never served his nation in any capacity except that of beating his own chest, pulling his own pud, and riling up his teabagger cohorts. This book makes me so sick, I wish I could fucking BURN it. Badly researched, poorly written, with a political agenda so obvious it made me want to choke the bastard within the first ten pages.
  39. Grasshoppers and Elephants - Wilfred Burchett
    Excellent. Recommended.
  40. Prometheus Rising - Robert Anton Wilson
    He's an interesting guy but I've lost interest in this kind of stuff. New-Age guru bla bla you know the drill.
  41. A Spy's Revenge - Richard V. Hall
    I'm sorry, this was nearly unreadable. It has now been inflicted on the public at large.
  42. The Voice At The Backdoor - Elizabeth Spencer
    Excellent. Recommended.
  43. Following Ho Chi Minh - Bui Tinh
    Bui Tinh and his family served VietNam for generations. Portrait of a fascinating human being now living in exile in Paris. Humans get trapped in the political conflicts of their day, and ground down; which was the Colonel's fate. He sounds like a gentleman.
  44. Flashbacks - Morley Safer
    You know who the guy is. He wrote a book about reporting on the VietNam war and going back afterwards. White folks go to other countries and judge them ALL based on their own limited experience. Read it if you want, it's got some juicy insider gossip about dead people.
  45. Hero And Deity - Pham Quynh Phuong
    Very interesting book about post-US War VietNam and the religious cults that now flourish there. The writer is such an insightful individual!
  46. Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia - William Shawcross
    Very good and depressing.
  47. Stress and Mental Health in Malaysian Society - Tan Chee Khuan
    Limited interest.
  48. The British Humiliation of Burma - Terence R. Blackburn
    Limited interest.
  49. Who Killed Aung San? - Kin Oung
    The writer makes a good case. Worth reading.
  50. A Journalist, A General, and An Army in Burma - U Thaung
    The writer was a journalist in Burma after the assassination of Aung San, during the rule of General Ne Win. Limited interest.
  51. Back to Mandalay - Gerry Abbott
    Abbott was in Burma before and after the rise of the military dictatorship & paints a beautiful picture of Burma.
  52. Lempriere's Dictionary - Lawrence Norfolk
    This book started out much better than it ended, somehow.
  53. Black Dog of Fate - Peter Balakian
    Not for the weak of stomach. Balakian is an excellent writer, and his subject is the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. It's not a pretty story.
  54. The Bedroom of The Mister's Wife - Philip Hensher
    A collection of short stories by another writer for whom I had such high hopes.
  55. California Photographs - Pirkle Jones
    If you're trying to teach yourself to see, this book is a tremendous help.
  56. Picturing California: A Century of Photographic Genius - Oakland Museum
    Are there any BAD photographs of California? I mean, this is intimidating.
  57. Singapore Rediscovered - National Museum of Singapore
    Wut? It's of historical interest.
  58. Siamese Cats: Legend and Reality - Martin ClutterbuckInteresting.
  59. The History of Photography - Beaumont/NewhallYour basic book.
  60. Portraits - Helmut NewtonVery good.
  61. Tete A Tete: Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson - Very good.
  62. The Emergence of Modern Turkey - Bernard Lewis
    Excellent. Recommended. Bernard Lewis is the authority on Turkish history, and rightly so.
  63. Myths About The Ethnic Chinese "Economic Miracle" - Joaquin Sy & Go Bon JuanNot very good. I haz teh disappoint.
  64. Handbook for Women - FPASLimited interest, but a very interesting look at women's rights/feminism in Southeast Asia of that period (1950s-1970s)
  65. The Rise & Fall of the Knights Templar - Gordon NapierWell-researched and written, though probably not of interest to DaVinci Code nutbags.
  66. My Friend Dahmer - John Backderf
    Excellent. Recommended.
  67. The May 13 Generation - Poh Soo Kai, ed.The Singapore school riots' history from the OTHER side. About fuckin' well time, too.
  68. Singapore Women Re-presented - Constance Singam and Audrey Chin
    Thought this would be a serious look at the status of women in Singapore. It's really just a feel-good bunch of limited-interest, er, stuff.
  69. Granta on Film
    Excellent. Recommended. If only because it's delightful to hear John Fowles grumble about Harold Pinter.

So those were the books I read this year. Pathetically few. And my book list somehow skyrocketed from 150 to nearly 300 by year-end.

I now also have FIVE BOXES full of books on China to add to my already enormous reading list on China.

It's still good, though. Having a reading list for the year forces me to stay on track, read as much as possible, and GET RID OF SHIT!! This is no joke. Not every book on my list or in my house is a keeper. And I no longer feel obligated to finish every last word. This year, I must eliminate 100 books (at least) from my enormous goddamn collection. Or else I'll be reduced to crawling through tunnels made entirely of books to get from room to room.

On the plus side, I read nearly 70 books, which makes about five books each month. On the minus side, I now know more about what happened in Kampuchea than most people want, or ought, to know.