I’m back in Chicago tonight, much against my will, and I’m afraid I don’t have much left in the tank, figuratively or literally. Christmas was lovely but it was brutally compressed and fleeting. Can it have been only yesterday? My family was in nonstop action from ten in the morning until eleven at night, and when I awoke this morning the bags had to be packed and loaded, the kitty-cat medicated (pink calm-down pills to which she seems impervious), the road hit.
I’m kind of expecting the day at work tomorrow to shred me. But I hope and plan nevertheless to get something of some substance up here in the evening, however folded, spindled, and mutilated I may emerge. In the meantime, allow me to point you toward worthy content elsewhere:
– Cinetrix gifts us with not one, but two reviews of recent films over at Pullquote. They are David Cronenberg’s History of Violence and Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale. Baumbach’s film KIcking and Screaming recently made my Meme of Four list. (She also had a grade-A celeb sighting to ring in the holidays.)
– Quiet Bubble, a recent discoverer of Jane Austen, has posted a typically sharp review of the newest film adaptation. QB just gets better and better.
– Top-ten lists of the year’s best cultural offerings are well and good and, well, unavoidable. I prefer the tack taken by M.S. Smith at CultureSpace, a brief conversational essay that doesn’t confine itself to things that were new in 2005, but to things that were new to Smith. This has been up for a couple of weeks already, for all of which time I’ve been meaning to link to it. If I were to make a list of my top ten cultural discoveries of 2005, CultureSpace and Quiet Bubble would definitely be on it.
– More bookishly, Newsday has a round-up of several critics’ favorite reads of the year. Among the experts are ALN blogroll mainstays Maud Newton and James Marcus. Remember, many of the books named will be published in paperback right around the corner (herein, I think, lies the real usefulness of these lists, to remind us of everything we failed to read but can soon read more cheaply by virtue of lagging).
Finally, an administrative note. I owe several of you email. Thanks awfully for writing, and please bear with me one more day. I’ll be in touch tomorrow.