The Paolini Family’s September Favorites

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“Current Favorites” is a new monthly series featuring diverse media that members of the Paolini family have recently enjoyed.

The Paolinis consume more media than you could imagine. Their daily routine includes watching a movie together during dinner; each day brings a different genre, ranging from Bollywood spectaculars or Italian who-done-its, to old Hollywood classics, to modern box office hits. Films aren’t the only pastime for the Paolinis. Hundreds of books have accumulated on their many bookshelves over the years, each representing a different journey through a world of its own. Other interests include listening to music and playing various Xbox 360 games.

We hope you enjoy this new article series!


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind — One of the best sci-fi films ever made, and one of the best epics. In some ways it reminds me of Dune.

Spirited Away — A true fantasy, and with a wonderfully sweet core. Plus, it has a great dragon in it.

My Neighbor Totoro — As close to a perfect film as there is. Perfect for a three-year-old, and perfect for an eighty-year-old. So I’m only recommending Miyazaki films; so what! They’re masterpieces!

The Beginning Place by Ursula K. Le Guin — An underrated classic that takes a somewhat different approach to a standard coming-of-age story. It’s still and cool and eerie and reminds me of walking in the forest at dusk.

The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton — Gorgeous, muscular writing that just sweeps you along. The story is a bit fragmented in places, as it’s based on a series of disparate legends, but Walton’s writing more than makes up for it.


I’m currently listening to an unabridged audiobook of the The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, and am enjoying it immensely. The characters are unforgettable, the plot ingenious, and I’m really looking forward to discovering the fruits of the Count’s revenge.

Coincidentally, my family and I are watching a peculiar Japanese anime miniseries, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, an adaptation of the classic story, which is set in the distant future and begins on a lunar colony! The design elements of the film are bizarre, spectacular, and beautifully rendered. The story begins partway through the book’s narrative and combines elements of science fiction and fantasy. It’s a fun ride . . . but my poor brain!


Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (aka Gingerhaze), is an awesome webcomic about a shapeshifting girl and the not-so-bad supervillain she decides needs a sidekick. The setting is a delightful blend of fantasy and sci-fi that pokes fun at a lot of clichés. The story is funny, dramatic, and full of unexpected twists. Nimona started in 2012 and concluded just a few days ago. You can read the whole thing for free online or wait for the book that will come out next year.


Christopher got me into playing games in 2007. Since then it has been a fun hobby. I am a completionist with games I like. I prefer FPS and RPGs.

Here’s a current short list of some of my favorite video games:
Borderlands 2
Saints Row IV
Saints Row The Third
Far Cry 3
Far Cry: Blood Dragon
Just Cause 2
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Halo 2
Halo 3
Halo Reach
Halo 4
Tomb Raider
Gears of War
Gears of War 2
Gears of War 3

We encourage you to check out the suggestions above and to swap recommendations with friends and family. You never know what new story you’ll discover together!