In My Own Time
I was a bit of a latecomer as regards iPoddery but can't be parted now. Despite the hundreds of albums I've downloaded, I perhaps shamefacedly stick to the same few - old dogs and new tricks and all that. Tap me on the shoulder and it's almost guaranteed I'll be listening to one of two favourites. Elvis Costello's most recent album, National Ransom is one of his best in a long time; and if you haven't discovered the soaring beauty of Richard Hawley, do it now. Truelove's Gutter is stunning.
As an English teacher and avid reader, nothing causes greater friction among fellow book enthusiasts than the Kindle, but I confess to becoming a total convert; the ability to carry around your complete library is wonderful. I've generally got two or three books on the go at the same time. I've just started Marcus Sedgwick's White Crow - it's up for the Carnegie Award in which my S2 class is taking part - and I look forward to anything new by Philip Roth. Check out American Pastoral; it will break your heart.
I used to be convinced that there were no really great movies made after 1974's The Godfather: Part II, but have begun to ease off on that. The Coen brothers consistently produce some glorious movies - the underrated The Hudsucker Proxy, a personal favourite, and until about 1997 Woody Allen never made a bad film. (What happened, Woody?) If I were pushed, I'd say Twelve Angry Men is one of the greatest - impossible to take your eyes off the screen - and Casablanca is considered a classic for very good reasons. There are more great lines in that film than any other.