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10 Books That Stayed With Me

I've seen this meme passed around on Facebook, and while I hate propagating those things, I was intrigued by the question, so here goes. In no particular order and without thinking about it too much, here are ten books that "touched" me.

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

This is the only book that I've ever read in a single sitting. I finished it at four in the morning. "Single sitting" is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, because I tried a few times to put it down and go to bed, but I couldn't. This was before I had kids, obviously.

The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy

Hunt more or less invented the genre of techno-thriller. Clancy's later oeuvre tends to, ahem, disappear up its own ass, but this one is still highly readable. It features Jack Ryan when he was a lovable, well-meaning data-nerd who turned out to be the only person who could solve a submarine crisis. And the movie's pretty great too--Alec Baldwin is the best Jack Ryan, as far a…

The Painting

So I've been teaching myself French. I'm still nowhere near fluent, but I'm picking things up. I use Duolingo and Coffee Break French, and I also wanted to try and find some French-language children's programming on Netflix.

Turns out pickin's are pretty slim on Netflix. But I did find one movie that was purported to be for children ages 11-12, and it was called The Painting. In English, anyway. In French it's Le Tableau. Well, the characters spoke too fast for me to keep up. As a language-learning tool, it was kind of a bust. I need something for younger children.

But as a film, I found it totally charming. It's colorful, imaginative, and delightfully strange. And I was impressed by how it refused to talk down to its audience. This was ostensibly for 11 to 12 year olds, but it had some (animated) nudity and didn't seem the least bit squeamish with sexuality. The main themes are class struggle, prejudice, and the search for God (the movie is unabashedly…