Nobody likes to do it—to have to list their favorite 10 or 100 anything—because it exposes you in the worst way. Suddenly on display is your lack of knowledge, experience, sophistication, education, not to mention memory. But I love when people do it—make these crazy lists—because of what it tells me about a person. We judge each other—often fairly, often harshly—all the time, anyway, but when it comes down to it, when you're doing the judging, that says more about you than the person you're judging. Do you judge with disdain and contempt, or with understanding and love? Anyone is qualified to make a list of their “favorites”—yet people shy away from it. I can understand that, I suppose. But there are very few geniuses making lists, really, and even the geniuses have tremendous gaps in their knowledge and experience, and even more so in their taste. “Taste” is a funny word because it implies—or it has come to imply—“good taste”—when really it just means a person's individual preference. I think people realize that Good Taste sounds really pretty pretentious, because that implies that you are proclaiming to have better taste than everyone around you. Okay, you've just got to get rid of all these hang-ups, people, and make some lists! There's no right and wrong, and even if there was, so what? So put your money where your mouth is (I just like saying that) and make some damn best-of lists!!
This is a list of books that I'm currently reading. I always read more than one book at a time because it often makes me so sad to finish a book I'll do anything to put off finishing it. So it's a much better strategy for me to read several at a time. I also re-read a lot of books. I realize that I will not have enough time in my life to read all the books I want to read, but still, it's important to me to re-read many books—sometimes I feel like reading is re-reading—so what are you gonna do?
An ongoing journal of books I have recently read with brief thoughts about them. I am limiting myself to one paragraph (so that I will actually keep up with it – the rules I make for myself are usually designed to motivate me and not allow me to get bogged down in my self-appointed obligations). I started writing these mini-reviews when I started this website (2016). I have actually finished books before this time, but I am not writing about them here. Occasionally, I'll include an entry of books that I have started and abandoned, for whatever reason (and maybe I'll give a reason). Also, I will occasionally post a list of the best / my favorite / most influential books / novels / works of non-fiction / children's books / etc.
A long list of places to eat tacos in the Milwaukee area. This is an incomplete resource, as it constantly changes, and as a ranking, it's a work in progress, as I slowly try to eat at each of these establishments.
All of my vinyl record reviews are contained on another site - here is a link to it - it's called DJ FARRAGINOUS.
Occasional review of individual songs - for no good reason other than I heard the song somewhere and love it! (Or do not love it.)
Currently my favorite 31 flavors of ice cream, along with copious footnotes - on the Dessert page.
A long list and ever-continuing examination of various bar soap - see the Soap Exotica page.
An article about every movie I see at the theater - from the beginning of 2018 onward.
A ranking (and explanation) of all of the Coen Brothers movies, in order.
Currently writing about (and ranking) every Steely Dan song.
More lists! Including and possibly including: 100 Favorite Movies, Skeeter Davis songs, Hardy Boy books, favorite Diners of all time, Hitchcock movies, Lou Reed songs, Shit List, National Highways, Robert Altman movies, Jobs ranked, Thelonious Monk recordings, Children's books, Ethelyn M. Parkinson books, Series Books, Mickey Newbury records, Richard Harris songs, Sinatra albums, words and phrases I hate, Kubrick films, Cat Power songs, mix-tape lists, Daniel Clowes books, favorite musical performances, picture postcards, food metaphors, novels, short stories, egg preparations, and on and on... and including my latest and most all-consumingly passionate obsession: Rice Pudding.
© 2019 Randy Russell