A Bit of Friendly Plagiarism and a Pentagram of Passions

I was innocently doing my daily trolling through the blogosphere the other day when I happened upon a missive from Jessica at “Branches” entitled “Five Things You Should Read/Watch/Listen To If You Want to Understand Me”. Firstly, I thought that was a great, intriguing idea. (Limit yourself to five books, movies, or songs that define and/or formed you.) Secondly, I was fascinated by her choices, an interesting amalgamation. Thirdly, I hit a roadblock with my own choices.

How could I narrow it down to just five things? Initially, I thought it would be fun and easy, but it quickly proved to be daunting. Every time a pivotal selection would come to mind, I would think of another something that might be a little bit better. The choices became overwhelming, because we all have so many facets to our lives and finding the exact prism that would reflect what we are, in an understandable way, became a challenge.

As is my nature, I was overthinking things. It didn’t have to be perfect. It just had to be an adequate and fair reflection of things that spoke to me, not a stone tablet that would delimit my persona into perpetuity. And once I relaxed, I realized that I have already mentioned certain touchstones repeatedly throughout my various blogs over the years. Why not go with what I know?

Herewith, my five things you should read/watch/listen to if you want to understand me. In a break from Jessica’s list (wherein she simply listed the items and left the reader to ponder her choices, which is actually quite savvy and intriguingly mysterious), I am going to include links to blog posts that further explicate my selections, sometimes in a roundabout, somewhat buried way. Enjoy.


1. “The Witching Hour” – Anne Rice

A richly-detailed and hypnotic epic, dripping with atmosphere.

Dreaming in Reverse: Ten Books That Made an Impact in My Life – Part I”


2. “Verdi Cries” – 10,000 Maniacs

The beauty of longing and the ache of memory.

Friday Night Clam Bake – #23: A Respite from the Madness


3. “The Hitchhiker Trilogy” – Douglas Adams

This series cemented my belief that a delicious combination of humor, unfettered imagination and heart can lead to magic in a jar. The link is a bit of a cheat, but there are references.

Past Imperfect – #347


4. “The Stairs” – INXS

From the two-minute instrumental opening to the growing power of the lyrics, this one gets me every time. The link only contains a part of the song, but it’s the most moving bit for me.

Communique from Competa – #5


5. The Movies

I freely admit this one is a big-ass cheat. I wanted to include a movie in my list of five things, but I couldn’t think of one that is a standout, as there are so many movies that I like, for a variety of reasons. So, mea culpa, here’s a link to me babbling about the lingering impressions I have from a whole truckload of movies.

51 Things about 49 Movies


Okay, that wraps up my five, at least for this particular moment in time. Now we transition to you lovely folks: What five books, songs and/or movies could possibly help others understand you better? No need to make it definitive, as I certainly didn’t, but I’m very curious about seeing what the responses might be. Oh, and feel free to run with this as a blog post of your own, if you want to expand and expound as I did. I’m sure Jessica won’t mind.

Have fun. And cheers.


Side note to Jess: Thanks again for allowing me the gentle topic-theft. I know it’s been quite some time since we chatted about it, and you most likely had given up hope that I ever would take any action, but I finally did. Things can sometimes be rather lackadaisical here at Bonnywood…

Story behind the photo: A snap in the gardens at the Catedral de Malaga in Spain. It doesn’t have much to do with our topic, but I like it, so…


32 replies »

  1. I LOVE this! I know if I try to make a post it will take forever and not even be half as entertaining, so I’m going to tweet my list with hashtag #My5Things:
    Book: GOOD OMENS (Gaiman/Pratchett)
    Movie: Bringing Up Baby
    Music: Appalachian Spring (Copland)
    Guilty Pleasure: Affogato
    Place: Isle of Arran

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m greatly intrigued by your choices, but I am overwhelmed by the photo. Is it safe for me to assume that you have purchased a moderate but spacious manor house on the shores of the depicted waters? I feel it’s the right thing that you should do… 😉


  2. Yay I’m so glad to see this here Brian! I’ve been away for a few weeks and haven’t been keeping as keen an eye on the blogosphere so I thought I must’ve missed it. Great choices (though does the last one count…?😜), and I look forward to reading up about them on your previous posts!


    • I had a great time doing this and I’m thrilled that you are thrilled. Yes, that last one was a miserable cheat, but I spent an hour or so pondering the right movie to mention, and then I realized I couldn’t limit it to just one. So I failed a bit there, but overall I’m happy with my choices. And, second yes, it’s best to not dwell on the choices and simply go with instinct…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this post, Brian! Here are just a few of my memorable favourites (at my age there are ‘way too many to include them all 😁):
    Book: The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova), The Magus (John Fowles) That Hideous Strength (C S Lewis) Music: Uncle John’s Band (Grateful Dead) Victoria (the Kinks) many operas, 1812 Overture, and lots by Van Morrison Movies: The Godfather, The Loved One, the social satire in Slap Shot (the original w Paul Newman), Fargo, Get Shorty (“Momo? Momo’s dead.”)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interestingly enough, I’m a fan of all of your choices, with the exception of the C S Lewis pick, and that’s only because I have never read any of his work. (And yes, I do consider that a failure on my part. It just never happened. Bucket List, perhaps?)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I shall re-blog in due course. Today is finding me distracted, melancholy and in no good frame of mind, so writing something I consider worthy is pretty slim. But I find the topic tres intriguing, besides of which I now know more about the enigma that is Brian… A good thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, love this! And feel I may also steal it. The thought of narrowing it down to 5 things is already giving me palpitations. Like picking your favourite artist of all time, it’s just impossible and you can – BOWIE – change your mind just minutes later. Also interesting is the fact your favourites may not necessarily – BOWIE – be the ones you’d choose to reflect who you are. Will have to give this some thought, I can’t begin to guess what may – BOWIE – end up on my list.
    And I have to comment on ‘Stairs’. Such a chuffin’ stonking song. There is a superb live version of this. I never tire of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, you have me in a bit of a predicament here. There are many Bowie songs that I cherish and admire. (And that “Lazarus” song and video he blessed us with during his final battle? Stunning and amazing.) But Bowie is also involved in the ONE TIME I actually took an album back to the music store where I bought it (okay, it was a cassette, truth be told and thereby dating the incident) and demanded that I get my money back.

      Care to guess the name of the album?

      Liked by 1 person

        • You are not going to be impressed, and this might even widen the current Tapioca Grand Canyon in our relationship: “Let’s Dance”…I just don’t care for that song, nor do I care for “China Girl”, although I do favor “Modern Love”. I realize it’s his most successful album, at least commercially, and those three songs are some of his biggest hits, at least on the charts, and some folks LOVE this album. Just not me.

          I hope this doesn’t completely sever our relationship. But I’ll fully understand if you want your friendship bracelet back… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ah. The ‘commercial years’. I’m actually in full agreement. Went off the boil for me there. And I think even Bowie said it was a commercial venture, a side previously unexplored, so he may have agreed with you too. I have warmed to ‘China Girl’, only because it happened to be playing during a meaningful moment. P.S. Unless you already have it, steer clear of ‘Low’. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

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