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Sparrow

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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brené Brown, Karen White
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Maggie Stiefvater
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Neil Patrick Harris
Last of the Curlews
Fred Bodsworth, T.M. Shortt
Recovering for Psychological Injuries 2nd Edition 0941916510
William A. Barton Arnett J. Holloway
Garner on Language & Writing
Bryan A. Garner

Side Effects

Side Effects - Woody Allen Woody Allen has that way of writing awkward attractions and selfish motivations that is forgiving and neat. He ties up the loose ends, but then at the same time, there is always an absurdity to the tying up. The characters will probably never be content, but somehow I, as their audience, am left content through the catharsis of watching Allen’s characters self-destruct. Despite the dissonance in the character relationships, what was secret is now in the open, the bad guy is murdered or permanently tortured with guilt, the underdog had his day, the boy found a girl. It is a good combination of satisfying and dissatisfying.

This book is great. The Abraham Lincoln play cracked me up; the hospital romance was sad and smart; and the story with Madame Bovary came right while Kelly and I were having our epic battle, so that was perfect. Woody Allen is cool.

[obligatory part where I say how much I completely adore Mia Farrow until the end of time.]

I’m listing below my ranking of favorite to least favorite Woody Allen films. I only rank based on personal preference, not based on a weird guess at objective quality because I am a bad guesser. Also, admittedly, it’s been about six years since I’ve seen some of them, so it gets a little vague and messy in the middle.

1. Another Woman
2. Purple Rose of Cairo
3. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
4. Stardust Memories
5. Sweet and Lowdown
6. Broadway Danny Rose
7. Manhattan
8. Sleeper
9. Crimes and Misdemeanors
10. Husbands and Wives
11. Alice
12. Interiors
13. September
14. Bananas
15. Small Time Crooks
16. Bullets Over Broadway
17. Radio Days
18. Shadows and Fog
19. Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy
20. Annie Hall
21. Play It Again, Sam
22. New York Stories
23. Take the Money and Run
24. Love and Death
25. Zelig
26. Cassandra’s Dream
27. Match Point
28. Manhattan Murder Mystery
29. Hollywood Ending
30. Midnight in Paris
31. Scoop
32. What’s Up, Tiger Lily?
33. Hannah and Her Sisters
34. Curse of the Jade Scorpion
35. Mighty Aphrodite
36. Whatever Works
37. Anything Else
38. Melinda and Melinda
39. Celebrity
40. Deconstructing Harry

That’s how the films go for me, I think. It is a very unfair list because I basically love most of them. I think you hit the “Yeah, that was pretty good” place around Hollywood Ending, but psychosomatic blindness? Yes, please.

When I was in high school, my best friend’s family watched Woody Allen movies all the time, and I couldn’t stand him. He seemed so smug, saying, “Look, I write a couple of jokes and everyone forgives me screwing people over.” Gross.

Then, suddenly, I hit maybe age twenty-four, and I watched Purple Rose of Cairo and got hooked. I watched everything I could get my hands on. He was no longer smug voice of screwing people over, but somehow, instead, this voice of compassion – a voice saying, “Look at how shallow we all are, but that doesn’t mean we are unimportant.” And I still value that. He combines the daily, mundane dissatisfactions of life with the epic curiosities of time travel and murrrrder and true love. What a wonderful storyteller. Purple Rose of Cairo is a good place to start.