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Book Blog #2 -- Books About the Movies

I love books. I love movies. So it's not surprising that I love books about the movies. The bookshelves around our house are filled with biographies, histories, critical studies, and picture books about the movies. For this blog, I thought I'd run down some of my favorite movie books. Maybe I'll turn someone onto something new, but most of my favorites are famous books. And they're famous for a reason: they're really good. (If I've missed one of your favorites, e-mail me and tell me.)

In no particular order ...

THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM by David Thomson – Now in its Sixth Edition, this book is opinionated, maddening, and absolutely indispensable. Named by "Sight and Sound" magazine's international poll of movie critics as the "Best Movie Book Ever Written," Thomson's 1,000+-pager is brilliantly written and a pleasure to read, wherever you open it. You may disagree with Thomson – and I do, constantly (is Julie Christie really "lantern-jawed" and "callow?") -- his love and understanding of movies will make you love and understand movies, all the more.

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Self-Predictions for 2015

"Our true home is the present moment." – Thich Nhat Hanh

Yes ... but only up to a point. People these days talk about "living in the moment." And mindfulness. Being somewhere without having to take a picture with your cell phone or a "selfie" to prove you were there.

I try to live in the moment. And yet there are things about 2015 that I already know will happen. Here are some of them:

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"Stuff" for Christmas: Given and Received

I had a really great Christmas this year.  Family, friends, good food, good drink, good weather, NO TRAVEL, and my grandson’s first Christmas.  What could be better?

Also, I made out like a bandit with gifts!  Usually I don’t get too much stuff for Christmas. We concentrated on the kids when they were young, and I concentrate on the Tiny Goddess otherwise.  Plus I am literally a man who already has everything.  But this year I got a ton of great stuff!

But before I get too materialistic, let me say that we also donated something to our favorite charities – Planned Parenthood, Reading Is Fundamental, the Sarah Lawrence College Annual Fund, P.A.T.H. (People Assisting the Homeless), Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the LA Opera, Friends of the LA Philharmonic, KCRW, KUSC, KPCC, etc. as well as our favorite local places, Five Acres, Union Station, the Montrose Search and Rescue Team, the Huntington Library and Gardens, and Descanso Gardens – and a couple of others, worth more than all the presents combined.

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