Monday, October 26, 2015

My Favorite Things

When it comes to things I enjoy the most, I’ve been told that I’m old-fashioned. What difference does that make? I’m the one enjoying them, not my critics.

Over the years there have been a lot of TV shows that I have liked but none have come close to the enjoyment I’ve had watching Fawlty Towers—over and over again. And I laugh and laugh each time. John Cleese only made twelve episodes but, in my humble opinion, they are twelve episodes of pure hilarious genius.

My favorite movie is Charade starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. I haven’t watched it in a long time but I can’t imagine any movie coming close to the mystery and excitement of that movie, not to mention the fabulous settings. Other favorite movies are The Seven Year Itch starring Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe, Local Hero starring Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster, Bandits starring Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton.

My favorite piece of music is Donna e Mobile from the opera Rigoletto by Verdi. The song has become such a part of our popular culture that nowadays it’s used to promote pizza! Other favorites are Jamaica Farewell as sung by Harry Belafonte, Hey Jude by The Beatles and listening to the Blue Tango played by almost anyone.

And then there are my favorite books and too many to list but I will mention the ones that have influenced my reading pleasure. I’m not sure how old I was when I first read Huckleberry Finn, probably in the 5th or 6th grade but I know I reread it in Jr. High and high school. A childhood favorite was the original Peter Pan and unlike everyone else, my favorite character in that book was Tiger Lily, simply because she was an Indian. I have no idea how many times I read and reread that book.

Gothic romance beginning with Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was my reading choice for a while. Then the Regency romances by Georgette Heyer captured my attention.

My Brother Michael introduced me to Mary Stewart and, in a way, changed my life. During my first year of teaching in Las Vegas whenever a new Mary Stewart came out, I would call in sick and read the book. I also discovered Helen MacInnes that year beginning with Decision at Delphi. International intrigue became my favorite reading, especially when a few years later I discovered Robert Ludlum.

And then humor entered into my reading foray: books by P.G. Wodehouse, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, Elmore Leonard and Ben Rehder. But there were standalones: Savages by Shirley Conran (hated the ending and not too crazy about the beginning either but loved the pages between); A Cluster of Separate Sparks by Joan Aiken; The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (I hated the ending of that one also but it influenced my Vv Tiger time travels-still to come). And I loved all of the books by Tony Hillerman.

And there are many more old favorites too numerous to mention here. Besides, I have already blogged about the ladies of the Golden Age of Mystery. I am continuously discovering new favorites but that would be another topic altogether.

And apparently books have always been my favorite things.