Brock Sides reminds me of the Book of Ratings, a spinoff from the now-defunct Brunching Shuttlecocks website.
Via Stay of Execution: Outer Life has a series of posts on books he should have liked but didn't. I, too, suffered through the first hundred or so pages of the Gormenghast books and made an abortive attempt to read Gravity's Rainbow. Geoffrey claims I should start again with The Crying of Lot 49, but I'm not sure if it's worth the bother. Other books I should have liked but didn't: Catch-22, Infinite Jest, The Satanic Verses, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Thomas Covenant series.
Yesterday I was quite taken with this profile of Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials series for children. The article includes a reference to the Tom Stoppard-scripted film adaptation that's in the works; I was concerned that it had been scrapped after an extended stay in development hell. It also reveals that Pullman is writing a fourth book in the series. My feelings are mixed; the ending of The Amber Spyglass is so deliciously bittersweet that following Lyra into adulthood could only be anticlimatic. I shall, however, trust in Pullman to do well by her.
I was speculating with a friend on what rating the MPAA would give to the movies based on this series. The films couldn't appeal to a sufficiently large target audience to make back the budget unless they were rated PG, I'd say, but the themes in the films are very mature and there are definitely scenes that would frighten small children. I'd like to think that Stoppard's script won't water things down too much, but Hollywood is not concerned about maintaining the series's fidelity to its principles. We shall see.