Sunday, July 20, 2014

Romantic comedy

As you know by now Sunday is the day where we discuss procedural matters on clerkmanifesto. Just how dedicated a reader you are is fully illuminated when we discuss our flexon algorithms and the curious retention rates we are experiencing among new readers in Madagascar. It is also a day where we get very self referential. During the other six days of the week I refer to myself or to my blog a scant 98.2 percent of the time, but on Sunday this jumps wildly to 99.1 percent of the time. The figure is even larger than that if we don't count the time I unintentionally left the text body blank one Sunday. Did you know that the reddit "minimalism" page linked to it, and to this day it is still my most heavily viewed page? It has over 14 million thumbs up.

Today we will discuss my recommended books page. I am honestly not sure why I bring this up so much. Trust me that I say this utterly without recrimination, but almost no one visits that page. It is too complex, probably, for newcomers, who we don't really have around here anyway, and it is mostly old hat for, well, you. Hi. Plus it's ramshackle and constantly under construction. But strangely I feel like one day it will suddenly be, if not done, than at least highly presentable. It will come into its own. So I keep picking at it, fiddling, improving, connecting, all in little ways, but with bits of forward momentum that I tell you about on many Sundays, as if you'd be far more interested in that than in another tale of a deranged person at my library.

The newest change to my recommended books list was precipitated by a moment of jealousy. One of my favorite co-workers (I know, there are many), who is no longer around much, told me about being out shelving in the DVDs and being asked for recommendations on Romantic Comedies. I'm afraid I no longer remember the rest of that story because I was so overcome with jealousy from not being asked that question myself that I was no longer thinking clearly. I have an absolute thing for Romantic Comedies and the only other things I am as keen to offer my opinion on are Caravaggio, Mysteries, Science Fiction, Jasper Fforde, Videogames, Bob Dylan, CDs, Anarchism, Ursula K. LeGuin, late Tolstoy, Messi, The Kinks, the 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers, drug legalization, tomatoes, coffee drinks, Bernini...

Oh, sorry. It turns out that I was trapped in a list that actually, technically, had no end whatsoever. But that being said I am very keen to recommend Romantic Comedies. Indeed, I was so keen at the thought of someone else being asked for a recommendation that I decided to open the floodgates and breach my limit of only recommending books on my recommended books list. So I am going to add a Romantic Comedy section. As always it will harbor within it links to appropriate blog posts. Off hand (pun intended), the only immediate link I can think of is to a post called "Anger" that will be linked to from the recommendation of Moonstruck ("I lost my hand!"), but there may be more out there.

So what's on the list? Am I going to make you go to the dreaded Recommended Books page to see?

No, I'm not going to make you go there. I'm not even going to give you the link. You'd have to really work for it to go there. And as to what's on the list, it turns out this whole post is a bit premature. I haven't even started to add this new section yet. But for starters my obvious choices of the Romantic Comedies I love and recommend include:

Notting Hill
Love Actually
Music and Lyrics
French Kiss
Tin Cup
Two Weeks Notice
50 First Dates
New in Town
About Time

Well, I'd have to think about all the other ones some more, what with the high standard there is for love.

After Romantic Comedies, now that the wall is down, I'll no doubt be adding albums.

I will say this though:

My recommended books list will be and is clever, engaging, diverse and idiosyncratic.

My list of loved albums (CDs) will be overwhelmingly accurate and brave and deep and wide ranging and critically astute.

But I must confess that this list (possibly any list), but definitely my list, of Romantic Comedies will be a bit treacly, oddball, giddy, and hopelessly aesthetically and politically unsupportable in every way.

I just thought you should know.


  1. For your consideration: Defending Your Life with Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks.

    1. Liked, but did not love, but liked enough to try again.

      Most of the ones on the list I have seen 11 or more times and so am pretty sure of.

      No, seriously, 11 or more times. Love Actually and Holiday are more or less memorized.


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