Lifted from Salon’s Their Favorite Things, in which a variety of writers, filmmakers, and other notable figures say what stuff most excited them in 2007:
Book: “The 4-Hour Workweek.” We all know that workaholic America could never embrace European-style idleness. So Timothy Ferriss does it by packaging it as a do less, get-rich, self-help regimen, kind of like eat yourself thin. A fabulous heresy that dares to declare e-mail is pointless, shopping a waste, and modern life rubbish.
Music: “Blackout” by Britney Spears. This is not a perverse choice. “Blackout” is a near-perfect concoction of Disco Noir and is a record you can actually listen to and — if so moved — write a thesis about. With a lurid self-exploitational feel that’s compellingly icky, it explores the Matrix-like layers of Hollywood narcissism. An album I bet that both the Pet Shop Boys and Madonna wish they had made.
Movie: “Julia Attacks!” is a TMZ video in which Julia Roberts chases down and gives a telling off to a paparazzi. Julia — absent from our screens for too long — is completely convincing in this role as an angry mom. The car chase is excellent and the cinematography visceral and immersive. Some moviegoers might be disappointed that this movie is less than a minute long because Julia has her costar turn off the camera before she delivers her speech about children and paparazzi, but most movies are too long anyway.