5 Favorites



The Ties That Bind

Confession time: It makes me crazy when people ask me to list a specific number of “favorites.” It doesn’t matter whether it is books, movies, music or foods the constraints of being limited to listing a set number of items rubs me the wrong way. So you might wonder why I used a headline like 5 Favorites instead of something that didn’t use the limits I hate. Well, read this post on improving readability and you will see that Marianne makes some excellent points about how numbers are visually pleasing to people.

Since I want you to participate in this it made sense to me to try to pull you in. Just to be clear, I still think that headlines are overrated. BTW, I reserve the right to list more than 5 or less than 5 entries as the case may be.

5 Favorite Movies

  1. Casablanca
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. Star Wars
  4. Unforgiven
  5. On The Waterfront

5 Favorite Musical Artists/Bands

  1. Ray Charles
  2. Johnny Cash
  3. Bruce Springsteen
  4. U2
  5. The Beatles

5 Favorite Authors

  1. Mark Twain
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. George R.R. Martin
  4. Nelson Demille
  5. Stephen Donaldson

Now it is your turn. Who do you like to read/watch/listen to?

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  1. rivkisilver July 28, 2011 at 6:02 am

    @TheJackB Grafton uses letters. Her detective is Kinsey Millhone. It’s funny, but I found her because I needed a novel once, the library was already closed, so I went to the grocery store and flipped through some books (to check for language and raciness), settled on her latest book, then liked it so much that I went to the library and read all the previous ones! lol

  2. TheJackB July 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

    @rivkisilver Carlebach was great. We lost him far too soon. I like Beethoven and Brahms. It is cliche, but I like to listen to Moonlight Sonata before bed.

    I haven’t read Grafton, but I have heard good things. Is she the one who uses numbers in her titles?

  3. rivkisilver July 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm










    Sue Grafton

    Jane Austen

    G-d (cliche? what?)



    the King’s Speech




  4. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    @buckley.topher Gladiator is a favorite. “Upon my command, unleash hell.” That is one of my all time favorite lines. I like Hitchcock movies and Rear Window is among his best.

    U2, Cash and Mingus are all in my playlists.

  5. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    @shimon I just watched Speed again. I like it but damn if Keanu can be a star so can I. Come on Hollywood, give me the script and pony up a few bucks for a personal trainer and chef. I’ll be ripped in six months and ready for battle.

    I just finished listening to Morrissey sing How Soon Is Now- good song.

    Rowling is in my top 20. I appreciate the world she created and the improvement over time of her writing.

  6. buckley.topher July 27, 2011 at 10:23 am

    5 Favorite Movies

    Rear Window


    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

    Tommy Boy

    5 Favorite Musical Artists/Bands


    Van Morrison

    Duke Ellington

    Charles Mingus

    Johnny Cash

    5 Favorite Authors

    Mark Helprin

    John Steinbeck

    Wallace Stegner

    Grant Morrison

    Isabel Allende

  7. shimon July 27, 2011 at 8:43 am

    better late than never. reserve the right to change the list at any moment.


    1) Pretty Woman

    2) A Few Good Men

    3) Groundhog Day

    4) Speed

    5) Eight Men Out

    musical artists:

    1) Regina Spector

    2) Elton John

    3) The Smiths

    4) Brian Adams

    5) U2


    1) JK Rowling

    2) JRR Tolkien

    3) TS Eliot

    4) Conan Doyle

    5) John Green

    I think I need to watch field of Dreams again as I seem to remember not liking it the first time.

  8. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 12:08 am

    @SeattleDad I liked Glory. I find the Civil War to be an interesting topic. Casablanca is one that we obviously share in common and as mentioned before, I like Field of Dreams.

    I like Pearl Jam and The Black Keys, but they probably wouldn’t make my top ten, top 20 though.

    Bradbury, Tolkien and Hemingway- that is a triumvirate of significant talent.

  9. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 12:05 am

    @Leon Blazing Saddles is definitely one of my favorites. I liked A Beautiful Mind quite a bit and can’t quibble with any of the other listings.

    Getz and Armstrong both grab my attention as does Mark Twain. You are certainly right about indulgence.

  10. SeattleDad July 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm


    1. The Shawshank Redemption

    2. Glory

    3. Hero

    4. Casablanca

    5. Field of Dreams

    Musical Artists:

    1. Pearl Jam

    2. The Avett Brothers

    3. The Black Keys

    4. Band of Horses

    5. Johnny Cash


    1. Ray Bradbury

    2. Bernard Cornwell

    3. TC Boyle

    4. JRR Tolkien

    5. Ernest Hemingway

  11. Leon July 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm


    Singin’ In The Rain

    Blazing Saddles

    Rear Window

    Ben Hur

    A Beautiful Mind

    Musical Artists

    Louis Armstrong

    Coleman Hawkins

    Oscar Peterson

    Jo Stafford

    Stan Getz


    Mark Twain

    Grahame Greene

    Raoul Dahl

    Peter Carey

    David Malouf

    I just couldn’t fit in “Stranger On a Train”, Earl Hines or Len Deighton.

    Aint indulgence wonderful? Ask me again tomorrow…….



  12. MimiMeredith July 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    @TheJackB Say it isn’t so! I grew up thinking I was Maria.

    I love the responses this post generated!

  13. TheJackB July 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    @MimiMeredith Mimi, you haven’t seen my posts where I talk about how watching the Von Trapp family is like torture have you. 😉 Shawshank is excellent- I wish that it wasn’t on cable constantly, but I still love it.

    I like Carole King and James Taylor and am listening to The Silk Road with Yo Yo Ma right now.

  14. TheJackB July 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    @bullishink Don’t know if I have seen Shoot ‘Em Up. Really like Sarah, just a tremendous voice there.

    Martin is in my top 5- reading Dances With Dragons right now- and McCafferey I like- got to go ride some dragons now. 😉

  15. MimiMeredith July 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    @TheJackB @vic39first Shoot. I left LOTR off my list and we watch the entire unedited collection back to back at least once a year!

  16. MimiMeredith July 25, 2011 at 9:54 am


    1. Sound of Music

    2. Shawshank Redemption

    3. The Kings Speech

    4. It’s A Wonderful Life

    5. Philadelphia Story


    1. Carole King

    2. James Taylor

    3. Train

    4. Yo Yo Ma

    5. Christine Dickinson and Matthew Lyons


    1. Annie Proulx (Shipping News)

    2. Marilynne Robinson (Gilead, Home)

    3. Jonathan Safron Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

    4. Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose, Crossing to Safety)

    5. Ivan Doig (virtually everything he writes!)

  17. bullishink July 25, 2011 at 8:47 am


    1) Raiders of the Lost Ark

    2) Princess Bride

    3) Die Hard

    4) Shoot ‘Em Up

    5) Pirates of the Caribbean


    1) Joe Henry

    2) Annie Lennox

    3) Sting

    4) Sarah McLachlan

    5) Everlast


    1) Alistair MacLean

    2) Elmore Leonard

    3) Jane Austen

    4) Anne McCaffery

    5) George R. R. Martin

  18. TheJackB July 25, 2011 at 7:50 am

    @SoloBizCoach Hi Fred. So I can start shouting “Wolverines” and be confident that at least one person will get the reference. 😉 I never get tired of watching Rudy, which is good because it is the favorite movie of one of my nephews.

    I like Brad Paisley a lot. Whiskey Lullaby, Mud on the Tires and Waiting on a Woman show up on the blog in a bunch of places.

  19. TheJackB July 25, 2011 at 7:48 am

    @vic39first I wish that I had seen him in concert- that would have been great. I have always heard that he was better live.

  20. SoloBizCoach July 25, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I love these kind of posts Jack. Here are my favorites.

    5 Favorite Movies

    1. Braveheart

    2. Red Dawn

    3. Dumb and Dumber

    4. Space Balls

    5. Rudy

    5 Favorite Music Artists

    1. Guns N’ Roses

    2. Lynyrd Skynyrd

    3. Brad Paisley

    4. Gin Blossoms

    5. Nirvana

    5 Favorite Authors

    1. Thomas Sowell

    2. James Rollins

    3. J.R.R. Tolkien

    4. Jonah Goldberg

    5. Friedrich Hayek

  21. vic39first July 25, 2011 at 3:17 am

    @TheJackB We watch the movies over & over again as well. They’re so beautifully made. I feel like there is some new detail I hadn’t seen before. We just picked up the Blu Ray of the director’s cut, so we have another reason to watch them all over again!

    I had the good fortune to see Stevie Ray Vaughn in concert the summer he died–maybe two weeks before. Truly a show I’ll never forget.

  22. KimDavies July 25, 2011 at 1:22 am

    @TheJackB If there is a guy I would want on my side defending me from something, that would definitely be John Clark. 😉

    It is actually hard to find a firm favorite from S&G. 😀 Their songs are great. I even like At the Zoo and Mrs. Robinson. 😀

  23. TheJackB July 25, 2011 at 12:10 am

    @KimDavies Without Remorse was great. Don’t cross John Clark. 😉 I like Bookends and America best for S&G- but El Condor Pasa is still very good.

  24. KimDavies July 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    @TheJackB Stephen King is one of the best ever. 🙂 I’m reading one of his latest books now, Under the Dome. It is great. 😀

    My favorite Simon and Garfunkel song is El Condor Pasa. 🙂

    And, I love John Clark and Jack Ryan. Have you read Clark’s story in Without Remorse? 😀

  25. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    @KimDavies The Green Mile is a story that I wish I had written- damn that Stephen King. 😉

    I really like Simon and Garfunkel which is probably why you see me quote/link to them so often.

    Tom Clancy is another guy that I love to read. Big fan of Jack Ryan and Mr. Clark.

  26. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    @cathy.reaves I haven’t seen all of It’s A Wonderful Life but I like what I have seen. Love the scene in Tombstone with Doc Holliday talking smack, “I am your huckleberry.” Been known to wander around muttering Redrum- good way to make people avoid you. 😉

    I do like the Dead- some great live tracks have found their way into my hands.

    You have a nice list of poets and authors- some of my favorites.

  27. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    @girlygrizzly I didn’t catch it. Send me the link or leave it in the comments.

  28. KimDavies July 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    This is fun, Jack. 🙂


    1. I Am Sam

    2. The Green Mile

    3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

    4. The Notebook

    5. Notting Hill and 50 First Dates 😀 (can’t resist adding that one – I hate limitations, too!)

    Musical Artists/Bands

    1. The Beatles

    2. Simon and Garfunkel

    3. Stevie Nicks

    4. Coldplay

    5. Gin Blossoms and Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam and Paramore (LOL!)

    5 Favorite Authors

    1. Og Mandino

    2. Paulo Coelho

    3. Tom Clancy

    4. John Grisham

    5. Nicholas Sparks and Stephen King and Jodi Picoult and Mitch Albom (Teehee!!)

    A list of five is so limiting. 🙂 But, I just had to play the game. Thanks, Jack! I had fun. 🙂

  29. marianne.worley July 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    @girlygrizzly The plot of Prometheus is a big secret, but everything I’ve heard about it makes me think it will have the same style as the original Alien. And, we’ll probably learn more about where the aliens came from.

  30. girlygrizzly July 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    @TheJackB I’ll find a really sweet pic for you! I loved the movie Avatar, the idea, the concept and the story! The entire movie, the beautiful critters, it bowled me over! Speaking of Dean Koontz- I used a portion of his latest, Breathless for a post last week, did you see it? It was a beautiful book, as always but with a little extra.

  31. girlygrizzly July 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    @marianne.worley I don’t know! Am I? Is it another Alien? Prometheus?! What’s that?! I also like the Alien – vs- Predator movies!! My kids were weened watching Aliens! (They aren’t afraid of ANYTHING!)

  32. cathy.reaves July 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm



    It’s a Wonderful Life

    The Shining

    Star Wars – the originals

    Star Trek – the Wrath of Kahn

    Musical Artists/Bands

    Sheryl Crow

    Led Zeppelin

    The Grateful Dead

    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Bill Squier

    Authors (Poets)

    Sue Grafton

    Stephen King

    Robert Frost

    Tennessee Williams

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  33. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    @Mitchell Brown I know. Every time someone shares their list I find myself making like Homer and shouting “doh!”

    I like this because it is a mixture of serious and light fare. Just food for thought.- Kind of fun to play with.

  34. Mitchell Brown July 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    @TheJackB I’ve thought of at least a dozen movies, 20 authors and 50 musicians that I could have probably included since I wrote my lists, but there are some in each category that are unquestionable (Tool, Roots, Primus, Jerk, Rear Window, Twain, Vonnegut, Palahniuk). Fun to do, Jack.

    As for Ludlum, I certainly wouldn’t include him in a list of inspirational writers or ones I most admire, but for sheer entertainment I love him. I could read Road to Gandolfo 50 times and dig it as much each time. To include him on a list with Vonnegut and Twain, though, I should probably just turn my keyboard and my library card in.

  35. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    @vic39first I am such a Tolkien geek I can watch them all over and over again. Loved LA Confidential- Russell Crowe seems to be a bit of an ass, but a fine actor.

    Been a fan of U2 for a long time, but The Joshua Tree will always be among my favorites. It came out my senior year of high school and I have some great memories attached to it. Stevie Ray Vaughn was taken from us far too soon- simply fabulous music and musician.

  36. vic39first July 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Okay, I’ll play along. Music was the toughest one for me because it depends on my mood. My favorite books or movies I could hang out with anytime.

    Movies: 1.) LOTR (counting the trilogy all as one movie), 2.) LA Confidential, 3.) Heathers. 4.) Dogma, 5.) Braveheart

    Music 1.) U2, 2.) Paul Simon, 3.) Sugarland, 4.) Stevie Ray Vaughn, 5.) Ben Harper

    Authors 1.) Margaret Atwood, 2.) Isabelle Allende, 3.) Robertson Davies, 4.) Neil Gaiman 5.) Edith Wharton

  37. marianne.worley July 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    @girlygrizzly Another friend who likes Alien! Are you excited about Ridley Scott’s pre-quel, Prometheus?

  38. marianne.worley July 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    @TheJackB McCullough also won the Pulitzer for Truman–I actually read that one first. Reading John Adams definitely opened my eyes to how important our #2 was in our history.

  39. marianne.worley July 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    @jetts31 Do you have a Jaws story that keeps it at #1? I saw it at the movie theater when I was 5, and have been obsessed with it ever since. (Just watched it again yesterday!)

  40. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    @NancyD68 Hi Nancy. The Blues Brothers is another one of those movies that I probably should list in my top 5. I bet I have seen it a 100 times and never gotten bored.

    Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Learning to Fly are part of my regular rotation on iTunes.

    Anne Rice surprised me with her books. I didn’t think that I would like her writing and then found myself devouring all of the Vampire books. She really made me want to visit New Orleans.

  41. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    @jetts31 Empire will always hold a special place in my heart. That whole “Luke I am your father” line has become an iconic scene. Hoosiers is something I quote a lot too- every time we play ball I yell something about running the picket fence or being Jimmy Chitwood.

    And Airplane, well that is the mother of comedies.

    My first Steinbeck story was The Pearl. I read it in 6th grade and didn’t like it- but Of Mice and Men really grabbed me. I really liked that one.

  42. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    @marianne.worley Every time I watch “Bridge” I stare at Obi-Wan and wait for him to use the force. Very good movie, just a pleasure to watch and whistle along with.

    I grew up in Encino and used to see Tom Petty at the drugstore and other random places. Full Moon Fever has all sorts of songs that name streets from my childhood.

    I have John Adams sitting on my shelf- have to read it and see how David McCullough writes.

  43. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    @Mitchell Brown Part of the reason why these lists make me crazy is because I feel like I am missing someone/thing and can’t decide who to substitute, replace or switch.

    Holy Grail is something that my friends and I quote on a regular basis. Put that alongside Princess Bride as comedies you have to like to be friends with me. 😉

    Twain is just stellar- I only wish that I had a tenth of his ability. Ludlum stuck to formulaic writing, but I still like him.

  44. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    @danny.strelitz Shawshank was good, I liked it very much. LOTR 3 is classic. The first time I remember reading Return of the King was on a bus from Tahanat Mercazit in Yerushalayim on the way to Masada.

    Dylan is probably in my top 15, maybe top ten- I have to think about it. Shogun was excellent- Clavell is solid.

  45. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    @bdorman264 I loved the idea behind Field of Dreams. How cool would it be to play ball with some of the all time greats. Instead I just have to write and hope they will come.

    The Bourne movies were good- Matt Damon did a good job.I have read all the books, so I had a different image of who Bourne was, but they worked for me.

    Like all of the bands you listed and probably should add Zeppelin to my top 5. I probably have 150 of their songs on iTunes. Heroes by Bowie just finished playing on iTunes.

  46. TheJackB July 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    @girlygrizzly I don’t have a great answer to your question. People have short attention spans which is why so many argue for the need to create a great headline. It is not without merit but there isn’t any guarantee that they’ll stay once you bring them in.

    That is why I advocate building your community around you. I could spend more time working on my headlines and hope that more people visited because of that but I don’t see the benefit.

    In my experience building my community works better for me. The people that hang out here most frequently tend to be more dedicated or at least that is what it looks like to me.

    There is no right answer here- it really depends on what is most comfortable for you.

    BTW, I really like Koontz. Have always been impressed by how quickly he pump out the content. Avatar was much better than I expected, I thought that I would appreciate it but was surprised that I liked it.

  47. marianne.worley July 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    @NancyD68 1,000 Splendid Suns was such an amazing book…I should read it again.

  48. girlygrizzly July 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    ok, ok… This one shouldn’t hurt my brain, I can do this!

    Movies- Shining Through, Avatar, Tangled, Tank Girl, 5th Element & (all) Alien(s)

    Music- BB King, James McMurtry, Warren Zevon, Don Williams, Hank WIlliams III

    Authors- JD Robb/Nora Roberts, Oswald Chambers, Dean Koontz, Laurell K. Hamilton

    ~I have a question, pal. I (and most everyone else I am sure!) know how you feel about headlines and titles, but I’m still lost when it comes to finding that “right” title for posts to grab folks attention. You, we know, I, on the other hand folks don’t know …yet (!) so I have to consider the facts…busy people, limited time, “who will I read this morning?” type of stuff. In your experiences and travels on line, have you found a good helper for this?

  49. bdorman264 July 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Movies – 1. Field of Dreams; 2 & 3. Bourne 1 & 2; 4. The Matrix; 5. The Sixth Sense

    Old School music was Beatles, Zeppelin, Tull, Black Sabbath, David Bowie; my tastes are too diverse now to list a top 5.

    Authors – I read too much to be able to zero in on a top 5. I guess I would put you number 1………..:)

  50. danny.strelitz July 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    @jetts31 Sailor?

  51. danny.strelitz July 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I will play along:

    5 movies I watched more then once:

    1. The Shawshank Redemption 2. LOTR 3. The bourne identity 4. Animal house 5. fight club

    5 favorite musicians / bands / poets I like:

    1. Tom Waits 2. Leonard Cohen 3. Bob Dylan 4. Issic Hayes 5. Eddie Vedder

    5 Autors that had an impact on my life:

    1. James Clavell (king Rat, Shogun) 2. Aldous Huxley (Brave new world) 3. Gabriel Garcia Marquez 4. Nicholas Meyer (Confessions of a Homing Pigeon) 5. Paul Auster

    This list was much harder then I thought originally. I am still not sure about half the candidates.

  52. Mitchell Brown July 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I’m sure I will second guess myself at least 50 times, but…

    Movies-Rear Window, Usual Suspects, South Park Movie, The Jerk, MP’s The Holy Grail

    Music – Tool, The Roots, Primus, Mike Doughty, Thelonious Monk

    Authors – Twain, Chuck Palahniuk, Ferrol Sams, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Ludlum (don’t judge)

  53. marianne.worley July 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Movies: 1. Alien 2. Bridge on the River Kwai 3. What About Bob? 4. To Kill a Mockingbird 5. Jaws

    Music: 1. Duran Duran 2. Beatles 3. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 4. The Cranberries 5. Def Leppard

    Authors: 1. Jane Austen 2. David McCullough 3. Cormac McCarthy 4. Anne Tyler 5. Michael Crichton

  54. jetts31 July 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Movies: 1. Jaws 2. Empire Strikes Back 3. Hoosiers 4. Rocky 5. Airplane

    Music: : 1. Beatles 2. Jimmy Buffet 3. Zepplin 4. Jason Mraz 5. CCR

    Authors: 1. John Steinbeck 2. Poe 3. Erma Bombeck 4. Bill Bryson 5. Robert Fulghum

  55. NancyD68 July 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I love lists. Here are mine Jack

    5 Favorite movies

    1. The Blues Brothers

    2. The Shawshank Redemption

    3. Shindler’s List

    4. Grease

    5. Moonstruck

    5 Favorite Musicians

    1. The Beatles

    2 Led Zeppelin

    3. Pink Floyd

    4. Kiss

    5. The J Geils Band

    5 Favorite Authors

    1. John Irving

    2. Stephen King

    3. Anne Rice

    4. Seth Godin

    5. Khaled Hosseini

    There is my amazing list! 🙂


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