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"Pick of the Crop" Books and Movies

These are some my favourites - the "pick of the crop" in various areas - ideas, books, movies that if we had coffee together, I'd tell you about - sooner or later!

Books

The Colour of Magic  by Terry Pratchett The first of a delightfully warped set of stories set in the Discworld. You'll either love or hate these, but if they appeal to you, they're great!
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards Do your drawings look like they were done by a four year old? Mine did too, until I read this book! The author, a drawing teacher at a Canadian nightschool, was really disturbed by the fact that, although some of her students could control a pencil to within fractions of a millimetre, they couldn't draw. Why?

Her answer came in the realisation that it wasn't their drawing ability that was lacking but that they weren't seeing correctly. The transformation, once started is remarkably fast.

If you've ever wanted to draw, you really need to check this out!

Mere Christianity
     by C.S. Lewis

 

If you thought Christianity was an easy option or something with no philisophical underpinnings, have a look at this. It's an analytic look at Christianity, starting from the premise - "Let's assume there is no God" ...

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason A classic little treasure on financial planning, written as a story. It starts off in a yard in ancient Babylon with a digruntled chariot maker, disgruntled  because the best  there is and yet he's broke. 

He can't understand why. He works hard and yet some of those he went to school with don't work any harder, aren't any brighter and yet have lots of money (sound familiar?) Why? He decides to ask them ... (A great book for teenagers)

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus by John Gray A modern, easy to read, parable of how and why men and women communicate, or more generally - don't. In the immortal words of Professor Higgins "Oh why can't a woman be more like a man?" Well they're not and, while this book's style is a little flippant for my taste, the information it contains is something I wish I'd known when I was a teenager, not found out twenty five years later!

Movies

Schindler's List This is one movie that I knew I should see but didn't want to. As it turned out, I was right on both counts. One of the most powerful movies I've ever seen - Don't miss this one.
A Fairy Story In England in 1916, two twelve year old girls took a photo that apparently showed fairies in the bottom of their garden. This came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, and then the national newspapers.

This is a delightful story of wonder and belief. While it is about children, it is definitely not just for children!

Flight of the Navigator Two brothers are playing in the woods behind their house. One tumbles out of a tree and is momentarily knocked unconscious. When he returns home, it's twelve years later ...

A kid's movie with a quirky sense of humour, good for adults too!

The Never-ending Story A young boy is given a book to read, in which, paradoxically, he is part of the story. This too is a movie about belief, and while aimed at children, is suitable for the whole family. 

 

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