Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Discoveries of 2009: Movies and Audiobooks

I couldn't resist, especially since I've been making notes for these categories since the beginning of the year. So I dodged back in to drop some of them on y'all (oh, how I've missed doing that in the last few days). These are not necessarily new as of 2009 but things that I discovered in 2009.

Click through the links for reviews. Where there are none I made a few notes which, admittedly, are brief, but it is this or nuttin'.

So here goes ... with no particular order within the lists, except chronologically I suppose.

Top Movies
In a year in which we watched fewer movies than ever, these were the stand outs.
  • In Bruges
  • Lagaan
  • Star Trek
  • JCVD
  • Gran Torino
  • Stranded
  • Spaced: ok, not a movie but whatever. This is the television show that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) did before their movies. Somewhat slow moving it is nonetheless hilarious. Chock full of sci-fi, pop culture, and video game references, it chronicles the adventures of a guy and girl who pretend to be a couple in order to fulfill the rental requirements for a decent flat. You either will like this or you won't. We all do except for Rose who prefers to ignore it while doing soduku. But 3 outta 4 ain't bad!
Top Audiobooks
  • The Adventures of Jimmie Dale by Frank L. Packard (free from Librivox, click through for full story description): done by various readers, one of whom read two or three chapters evidently to practice his English which was excruciating to listen to. However, this tale of dashing adventure from the turn of the century set in New York's gritty underbelly took no great harm from my skipping those couple chapters. This story made me a Frank L. Packard fan.
  • Lamentation by Ken Scholes (reviewed for SFFaudio): not just the best audiobook I heard, but very possibly the best science fiction I "read" all year. Wow.
  • The White Moll by Frank L. Packard (free from Librivox, click through for full story description): the White Moll, an angel of mercy in the New York slums, is falsely accused of a terrible crime. She must now use her intelligence, grit, and knowledge of slum gangs to outwit both her accusers and the police. This story made me a fan of narrator Rowdy Delaney whose low key style proved addictive.
  • Giants of the Frost by Kim Wilkins (reviewed for SFFaudio): just when you think this is a typical romance story (enough already of the whining girl protagonist) it takes a very interesting turn for the better into Norse mythology.
  • The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (free from Librivox, click through for full story description): surprisingly Doyle considered his historical novels to be his best and I must say this book makes a strong case. A story of knight errantry, wooing a fair lady, and learning the ways of the world during England's Hundred Years War with France.


  1. Have you seen Disney's movie