Transatlantic film of the month: They forced six films on me during my two flights to/from San Francisco earlier in the month. One of films broke down, so I never saw more than the first ten minutes of Big Fish (which was good because by that time I'd already decided it was tosh). Three of the films were bland sentimental historic rubbish of the kind that airline executives like to show on planes because they keep their older female patrons happy. One film was borderline acceptable as a method for filling two hours, although I wouldn't have chosen to watch Mona Lisa Smile anywhere else. Which just leaves Paycheck to be my film of the month by default. It was alright I suppose, as sci-fi time paradox action thrillers go, but I bet those older female patrons hated every second.
Transatlantic book of the month: Plenty of time during the bland sentimental historic films to read some original books about London instead. April's third place therefore goes to Bleeding London (Geoff Nicholson), a thriller based round three loners and their obsessive addiction to the A-Z map. Didn't see myself in there, which was a relief. April's second place goes to Mortal Engines (Philip Reeve), a dazzling future-fantasy tale in which the cities of the world have been rebuilt on mechanical wheels and go round eating each other. Honest. Very creative and surprisingly violent for a children's book - barely a character survives to the final page with meeting a bloodthirsty end. But April's first place to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon). Young narrator with Aspergers fails to spot the domestic misery unfolding around him, but chronicles everything faithfully all the same. Brilliantly observed and fully deserving of all the plaudits heaped upon it recently.