Related Reading

Updated 2018-11-30

This is an index of films, books, and pretty much anything mentioned on the site that an English teacher might call a "text", along with links to where they come up. Also: things that I just like.

Also, for stupidly comprehensive lists of everything I've ever absorbed into my porous little brain, see:

 

Books and other Writing

Arranged by author.

 
Fiction
 

The Sense of an EndingJulian Barnes (2011)

Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, Robert Brockway (2012)

  • A great little sci-fi novel by Robert Brockway, who also happens to write for one of my favourite websites, Cracked.com. It’s about a society that’s addicted to time travel, and it’s as funny as you would expect from a Cracked writer.

  • More:

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (2013)

At the Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft (1936)

  • While a bit stylistically old-fashioned, AtMoM is a great piece of cosmic horror. It gave birth to the entire ancient alien trope - for good or ill. Although Lovecraft was a horrible racist, this book steers clear of that, so use your own judgement. It's in the public domain, so it's available for free on most eBook storefronts or here.

  • More: 

Nineteen Eighty-FourGeorge Orwell (1949)

  • The dystopian novel. Orwell's ideas about total surveillance, total war as a method of control,  and the obliteration of language and history are perversely fascinating. For a time it was my favourite book.

  • More: 

    • At the start of Year 12, my English teacher told me to bring in a book that I wanted to use as the jump-off for my major work. I had just read Nineteen Eighty-Four, and was still thinking about it. Copyright came right out of that.

Ransom, David Malouf (2009)

  • A vivid, almost poetic, emotional retelling of a section of Homer's Illiad. I studied it for my first uni-level English literature class and quite liked it.

  • More: 

The Road, Cormac McCarthy (2006)

  • A resonant, beautifully written piece of post-apocalyptic fiction following the journey of a father and son.

  • More: 

    • I wrote a short story imitating the style, right here.

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling (1997-2007)

  • Harry Potter needs no introduction. I've read these books over and over and Rowling's characterisation and imagination never fail to charm me.

  • More:

The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger (1951)

  • Love it or hate it, this book definitely exists.

  • More:

The God Engines, John Scalzi (2009)

Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley (1818)

  • One of the first works of modern science fiction, and a fascinating exploration of the relationship between creator and created.

  • More: 

The Lord of the RingsJ.R.R. Tolkien (1954-1955)

  • The foundation of a genre. Tough to get through, but worth it. The movies are great.

  • More: 

    • Copyright - The Return of the King is mentioned briefly in 'Collection'.

World War Z, Max Brooks (2006)

  • A really unique, fascinating and thoroughly thought-out take on zombie fiction. It takes the form of a postwar oral history of a zombie apocalypse. Although not without its charms, the movie really didn’t do it justice.

  • More:

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Non-Fiction
 
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Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English, John McWhorter (2008)

 

 
Poetry
 
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Beowulf (c. 8th century)

 

 
Plays
 

Hamlet, William Shakespeare (1599 - 1602)

  • Despite the best efforts of the Board of Studies, I really quite like a bit of Shakespeare.

  • Read More: 

    • Copyright - Mentioned briefly in 'The Incarceration of Language, Part I'

 

 
Fairy Tales
 
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Shippeitaro

 

 
Magazines and Journals
 

Grapeshot

The Quarry

  • The Quarry is (also) a Macquarie University student publication, one that comes out every year or so - it gets produced as the final unit of the Creative Writing major. There's some awesome writing up there.
    I helped edit this current issue, and one of my stories is in it!

  • More: 

Young Writers Showcase

  • The Young Writers Showcase is a collection of the best Extension 2 English (that is, final high school year English here in NSW, Australia) major works from the year.

  • More:

    • Copyright - my major work, which featured in YWS 12.

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Cover art by Ailie MacKenzie, design by Teresa Peni

Cover art by Ailie MacKenzie, design by Teresa Peni

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Films

Arranged by title.

 

Alien (1979 - 2017)

Aladdin (1992 - 2019)

Baby Driver (2017)

Back to the Future (1985 - 1990)

  • Nothing beats a classic. Parts II & III are a little weaker than the original film, but that original still holds up fantastically.

  • More:

Beauty and the Beast (1991 - 2017)

Blade Runner (1982, 2017)

  • Blade Runner is a real slow burn that took me a couple of viewings to warm up to; but I'm now convinced that it's great. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 is just as good, and just as slow.

  • More:

Coco (2017)

The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005 - 2012)

  • Two of the best superhero movies ever, and also The Dark Knight Rises.

  • More

DC Extended Universe (2011 - present)

  • The DCEU is DC's crack at imitating Marvel's success at a shared cinematic universe. So far, they haven't had much success. I find it difficult to fully recommend the DCEU, but Wonder Woman is pretty good. And, for some deep-seated psychological trait I really don't understand, I don't hate Batman v Superman.

  • More:

Dunkirk (2017)

Get Out (2017)

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Interstellar (2014)

It (2017)

Kingsman (2014 - present)

The Lion King (1994 - 2019)

Looper (2012)

  • Far from being a standard sci-fi film, Looper explores some pretty deep morality and succeeds as a human drama, albeit with time travel and some excellent action scenes.

  • Read More: 

Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008 - present)

  • I have a taste for comic book movies which doesn't have a corresponding taste in comics - I like them occasionally but I've never been crazy about them. The series I have followed most closely is the MCU. What Marvel set out to do in 2008, a large interconnected universe of films with intertwined plotlines, had never been done before, and still has yet to be imitated in any proper sense. The MCU had its ups and downs at first, but it hasn't really had any terrible misfires, and most of the movies are at least quite good. 

  • More:

Moana (2016)

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

Planet of the Apes (1968 - present)

Rear Window (1954)

  • One of two Hitchcock movies I've seen and the only one I've enjoyed, Rear Window is a fun thriller with a surprising number of layers (visible to me only because I studied it twice in high school).

  • Read More:

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Star Trek (2009)

Star Wars (1977 - present)

  • If you're reading this, you probably know what Star Wars is. The original trilogy is a classic, while my feelings on the prequels are a mix of nostalgia (since they came out during my childhood and I adored them) and retrospective cringe. The ones since Force Awakens are pretty good so far, especially Last Jedi.

  • More:

Terminator (1985 - 2015)

  • The first two films are classics; Terminator 3 is passable; skip Salvation and Genesys if you can help it.

  • More: 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Toy Story (1995 - present)

X-Men (2000 - present)

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Television

Arranged by title.

 

Doctor Who (1963 - present)

  • I started watching this when it was revived in 2005. The quality (and continuity) of the show is wildly inconsistent, but I think it’s worth checking out the seasons 2005 onward. If you really want to chew up your remaining years, maybe it’s even worth delving back into its long, long history.

  • More: 

Star Trek (1966 - present)

  • My introduction to Star Trek came from the J.J. Abram's pseudo-reboot, which had an act of time travel cause the birth of a new timeline where everything is shinier and more lens flary. It’s pretty great - it also has almost nothing to do with Star Trek. I’ve gone back and watched some of the older stuff since then. There’s some excellent Trek, and there’s also some thoroughly mediocre Trek.

  • More: 

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Video Games

I play a lot of video games - some would argue too many. Arranged by title.

 

Age of Empires (1997)

Alien: Isolation (2014)

Animal Crossing (2001 - present)

Atic Atic (1983)

Bayonetta (2009 - present)

Braid (2008)

  • Braid is an amazing game. It's a puzzle platformer that uses time in some fascinating ways - primarily, you can reverse time whenever you want. The feeling of epiphany it gives you when you solve some of those puzzles is just outstanding.

  • Read More: 

Castlevania (1986 - present)

Celeste (2018)

  • A hard-as-nails masocore platformer with an oddly touching story, including one of the best portrayals of acute anxiety out there.

  • More:

Cuphead (2017)

Dig Dug (1982)

  • I like some old arcade games a lot, but Dig Dug isn't one of them. It's still worth playing though.

  • More:

Donkey Kong (2010)

Doom (2016)

Duck Hunt (1984)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Far Cry 4 (2014)

Final Fantasy (1987 - present)

Fire Emblem (1990 - present)

F-Zero (1990 - 2004)

Galaga (1981)

Gunfright (1985)

Gyromite (1985)

Half-Life 2 (2004)

Halo: Reach (2010)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Ice Climber (1985)

Jetpac (1983)

Kid Icarus (1986 - 2012)

Kirby (1992 - present)

Knight Lore (1984)

The Legend of Zelda (1986 - present)

Lunar Jetman (1983)

Mario (1981 - the heat death of the universe)

Mega Man (1987 - present)

Metal Gear (1987 - 2017)

Metroid (1986 - present)

Minecraft (2009 - present)

Mother (1989 - 2006)

Motherload & Super Motherload (2004 & 2013)

  • Back in the distant days of 2005, when I was in primary school, during free play time my friends and I would rush over to the computers and boot up Miniclip.com. Among the many quality flash games available there was one called Motherload. I played the absolute shit out of the game and actually finished it. At some point in recent history, I realised there was a sequel/remake, and I had to play it. No regrets.

  • More: 

NieR:Automata (2017)

Night in the Woods (2017)

The Orange Box (2007)

Pac-Man (1980 - present)

Persona (1996 - 2017)

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (2017)

Pikmin (2001 - 2017)

Pokémon (1996 - present)

Portal (2007)

Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014)

Rare Replay (2015)

Rayman (1995 - 2015)

Sabre Wulf (1984)

The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003):

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991 - present)

Space Invaders (1978)

Splatoon (2015 - present)

Star Fox (1993 - 2017)

SteamWorld Dig (2014 - present)

Super Meat Boy (2011)

Super Smash Bros. (1999 onwards)

Titanfall 2 (2016)

Underwurlde (1984)

Wii Fit (2008 - 2014)

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017)

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Music

Arranged by artist.

 

The Boys of Summer, Don Henley (1984)

  • It's a pretty good song.

  • More: 

    • Copyright - The song plays a weirdly pivotal role in the plot of the story 'Royalty'. In a ridiculous coincidence that I only just noticed, it was released in 1984, and Copyright was very much inspired by Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. I'd love to take credit for that, but I honestly don't think it was intentional.

American Idiot (Green Day)

  • A hot contender for my favourite (non-soundtrack) album of all time. When I was little I thought it only had edgy appeal, but then, once my sense of musical taste actually appeared, I realised how damn good this album is.

Bangarang, Skrillex (2011)

  • This EP is the reason I accepted dubstep into my heart.

  • RMore: 

    • 'The Devil's Den' is mentioned briefly in Copyright, the story 'Ministry', as being the favourite song of a corporate overlord supervillain. Seems about right.

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Websites
 

Cracked.com

  • My favourite source for informative humour. Full of articles and videos that provide startling insights on science, society or pop culture while being effing hilarious. Also the pioneers of the list format that became standard in the post-BuzzFeed world. The podcast is pretty good.

  • I feel that the site has gone downhill somewhat since I first wrote this - I don’t really read it any more. Maybe it’s still worth checking out.

Giant Bomb

Miniclip

  • Back in its glory days (or at least the glory days in my head), Miniclip was chock full of classic flash games. It was a favourite of my primary school cohort.

  • More:

Wikipedia

  • It somehow only just occurred to me to list this here, even though probably about 3/4 of the pages on this website have a link to it. I think i forgot about it because it's so deeply entrenched in my everyday life that it just slipped my mind that it's even a website. It's my go-to for everything, whether it's a quick overview of a subject, as a pointer to deeper research, or to check a few quick facts. The number of times I've gone on multi-tab Wikipedia sprees deep into the late night is difficult to count. I genuinely think it's the best website there is, accuracy controversies be damned - I've never found a serious error in anything I've used it for. Its goal is noble and its information is extensive. Keep on trucking, Wikipedia.