It’s time for SpikeTV‘s Christmas Bondathon, and right now we’re watching the best Roger Moore Bond film, For Your Eyes Only (1981).
My favorite part of this film is maybe the opening sequence, which essentially lays to rest some of the dangling elements from the Sean Connery days: Bond’s marriage, and his old foe Blofeld (who’s filmed the way he was in the early films, without any view of his face). Despite a couple of corny lines, it’s a terrific sequence. I’d also love to get an MP3 of the incidental music from the moment that Bond yanks the cable on the helicopter, which I think is just a neat bit of adventure music.
(The rest of the film is quite good as well. It would have been a fine place to relaunch the franchise, but sadly the series spluttered creatively following this film.)
The early 80s are such a weird time to look at in retrospect: The lingering effects of late-70s fashion and pop music, but the beginnings of the businesslike conservatism of the Reagan years. FYEO navigates this territory in the bizarre manner of James Bond films, seeming both an embodiment of the period and a funhouse mirror of it. I think the fact that it remains a fundamentally serious film, and more a part of the Cold War then any other Bond film are what elevates it above the other Moore films.
Library Thing is a Web site where you can catalog your library. You can enter up to 200 books for free. Or you can buy a membership for $10/year or $25 for your lifetime. (The latter is obviously a great value in the long run.)
I’ve started entering my library, starting with the hardcovers and trade paperbacks (otherwise known in my household as “the small bookcases”). You can view my library if you’d like, although it will take a while before I get it fleshed out. (Don’t expect me to get to the humor or non-fiction for a while.)
The site has its pros and cons, although its pros far outweigh its cons.
- You can search by author, title, ISBN, and other aspects to enter a book into your library.
- Searches can be made against several sites (such as Amazon), which often come with default information and cover art.
- The editing page is very easy to use, if you want to tweak an entry in your library.
- You can link to reviews you’ve written in your journal so others can access them from Library Thing, or write a review directly on the site.
- The database doesn’t have separate fields for copyright date (i.e., when the book was first published) and publication date (i.e., the date this edition was published). Both are interesting to track.
- The database doesn’t have a way to list individual stories in a collection, or (of more interest) individual books in an omnibus.
- The Suggestions page doesn’t have a way to ask that it permanently exclude a volume from its recommendations (although “omit authors already in your catalog” gets close).
One thing that’s been interesting as I enter books is that I’ve found a few books I own which I could not easily locate via the search mechanism. For instance, I own first edition hardcovers of Vernor Vinge’s novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime, and I couldn’t find the latter, so I entered it manually. That means I’ll probably also scan its cover to add to my library.
All of this is probably not the best way to spend my time. 🙂 As Cliff said when I told him about it, I’d probably do better spending my holiday vacation writing my own fiction.