My Favorites

Favorite Movies
Favorite Books

      This section of my website is a dedicated to some of my favorites.  Like most people, I frequently refer to a movie or a song as "one of my favorites".  So, in 2003, I decided to create this web page as a kind of tribute to some of these favorites of mine.

      This idea was spurred on by two unrelated events.  The first was a friendly debate among members of my family during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2002.  It began when one of my relatives claimed that the John Wayne movie, "The Searchers", was the best western movie of all time.  Of course I had to respond (since she was so obviously wrong) and that began a discussion about the best movies of every genre: westerns, dramas, comedies, etc.  That discussion evolved into one about the best songs ever -- rock songs, country songs, love songs, etc.  It got to the point that we decided to write down our lists.  Those early lists were the first draft of the lists that created this web page of my favorites.

      The second thing that inspired this page was simply a growing awareness on my part of the increasing number of television shows related to lists of things.  I don't know exactly when I first noticed it, but sometime during 2001 or 2002 I became aware of a tremendous increase in the number of television shows that are concerned with the Top Ten of this or the Top Twenty of that.  One night in 2002 I came home and was eating dinner and flipping television stations while I ate.  The following programs were all on at the same time: The American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Songs in American Movies (on CBS), The 25 Worst Teams of the Last 25 Years (on ESPN), The 100 Greatest Songs of the Last 25 Years (on VH1) and The 40 Sexiest Country Music Videos (on CMT).  I couldn't believe how prevalent this type of show had become.

      Of course all the music video stations (CMT, VH1 and MTV) do it -- countdowns and rankings are something we have long associated with popular music.  But now these shows about lists are everywhere.  The Travel Channel has them.  Even the History Channel has them.  There are lists for everything!  I have seen a show on the History Channel that has a panel of “experts” discussing the Top Ten events, or groups, of a certain historical category.  One of them was the Top Ten Most Important American Military Units of World War II.  The more common that these "list shows" become, the more specific (and often strange) the topics of these lists will undoubtedly become as well.

      But who makes these lists and ranks these selections?  I have seen shows where the lists were created by some official body of people, but then presented and counted down by a single host.  I have seen shows in which the lists were created, and then presented by, a group of "experts" who also participate in a panel discussion of their collective choices.  And I have seen shows in which the studio audience itself was able to vote for items within a particular category throughout the show and, thereby, help determine the final countdown list.

      These shows can be very frustrating to watch.  Because, if you are like me, you will always find yourself arguing with the television and denegrating the choices on the list.  So, I have created my own lists of some things that I enjoy: movies, books and music, for example.  These lists are simply my personal favorites.  I don’t expect them to be everyone else’s favorites, nor do I expect everyone to agree with my choices.  Furthermore, I have not ranked the selections within each category (they are listed alphabetically) for, in most cases, I just found that too difficult.

      Eventually, each of these personal favorites of mine will be a link that you can select to obtain further information including text, photos and possibly even some audio files.  However, it may take some time to complete that for every entry, so I beg your patience with regard to that.  In the meantime, enjoy the selections I have chosen.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you would like to comment on any of my selections or share with me some of your own personal favorites.  Thanks for visiting!

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