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books / the resolution project

My lovely lady E. and I (whose website I’ll link to as soon as it becomes fully operational) are going to have interesting New Years resolutions this year. Here are mine:

1. Try and get the fuck away from Facebook as much as possible. From now on, the f-book will be used solely for D&D group management, sarcastic comments on my friends’ walls and as a way to disseminate funny videos and shit I find in my internut travels. Hopefully writing on this blog will take over for any creative use Facebook still had for me. Sorry marketers!

2. Here’s the one you might actually find interesting. So while eating fish and chips at our local “English” pub, E. and I discussed the insipid “BBC says you’ve only read 2 books in your entire life you stupid fuck” or whatever list going around at that time on Facebook , this being another reminder of what I need less of in my life (see resolution 1), also a complete fabrication (see this article on the meme’s creation: ).

Anyway, griping about the list, and how folk that we consider educated wouldn’t brag about how many things they’ve read because they also have the self-knowledge to know how much they haven’t read as well, we decided to challenge one another. Before the New Year is through, we will see who can get through more of the Time magazine list of stellar entries in their respective field (hers being film, and mine being literature).

Now, you might think that I’d be at a disadvantage here, as your average movie takes maybe 1.5 hours to get through while your average book is, well, a book, but we added a few caveats in order to make it fairer.

– I don’t have to read books I’ve read already (this makes my list have 86 books instead of 100), where E. needs to watch all the movies again.

– E. needs to devote all of her attention to watching a film and can’t, say, play Bejeweled for hours on end, with the rationale here being that you can’t really half-ass reading a book. Also, if she falls asleep during a movie, which hopefully Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia will do numerous times, she has to start all over from the beginning.

We’re both excited/dreading the task ahead of us. E’s list is actually more than 100 movies because there’s a few trilogies on there, and as a student she has far less free time than your humble narrator. This leads me to believe I have a chance. There’s a few killers lurking on both our lists, though. E. has the aforementioned Riefenstahl picture, as well as the Lord of the Rings saga, which she despises. I have to plow through David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, which has already defeated me once, and a couple books by Virginia Woolf, who I hate for some reason. The prize for the winner has yet to be determined, but it will likely involve me being known as “King” for the rest of my life. Here’s the lists at Time’s website:

The movies :,28757,1953094,00.html

The books:,29569,1951793,00.html

As the weeks wear on, stay tuned here, as I either ascend new heights of literary mastery or crash and burn in a sea of modernist whatever.

The Author

Matt Bowes is a self-proclaimed cultural commentator/arbiter of good taste from Edmonton, Alberta. He enjoys movies and books, and writes about them sometimes at

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