Lists! And none of them are in ranked order. Also, none of the lists include the couple of handfuls of things that I forgot. Here goes:
My favorite music of 2010 (the source material for this coming Sunday’s playlist):
- Mandelring Quartett / Schumann: Piano Quintet
- Josh Rouse / El Turista
I disliked this album at first, but after about five run-throughs, I couldn’t turn it off.
- Little Silver / The Stolen Souvenir EP
Hem member Steve Curtis’ new side-project. Beautiful and moody – just how I like ’em.
- John Lennon & Yoko Ono / Double Fantasy: Stripped Down
- Laura Veirs / July Flame
The lyrics to these songs inspired several small pieces that I wrote this year.
- Ed Harcourt / Lustre
- Justin Townes Earle / Harlem River Blues
- Broken Bells / Broken Bells
- Clare Burson / Silver & Ash
- Daniel Tashian / The Lights of Town EP
The Silver Seas / Chateau Revenge
- Diane Rehm’s voice
The worst musical idea of the year was hatched by the person or persons at Sony or in Bruce Springsteen’s camp who decided that the remastered version of Darkness on the Edge of Town would only be made available within the nearly $100 super-souped up package called The Promise. Losers.
My favorite screen-things of 2010:
- The Thin Red Line (blu-ray)
My almost favorite film got better this year when The Criterion Collection added it to their roster. I doubt there is a more gorgeous, more emotional film about war and humanity that you could see, or a more perfect way in which to view it.
- The King’s Speech
The Birmingham crowd (with whom I had to endure nervous tittering and laughter through Black Swan only the night before) applauded at the end of this movie. As did I.
- Summer Hours (blu-ray)
- Sweetgrass (DVD)
Sheep herders in rural northern Montana. So gorgeous you can almost smell ’em.
- The Terrace Theatre (James Island, South Carolina)
I love this independent cinema near my Mom’s home in South Carolina. I try to make a stop there at least once every time I visit her. Why Birmingham, Alabama, doesn’t have such a place for movie lovers is completely beyond me. (They’d have to charge me rent!)
- Mad Men (cable TV)
- Temple Grandin (DVD)
Someone ought to invent a new award for Claire Danes’ performance in this HBO film. Whoever wins the Best Actress Oscar should be thankful this wasn’t released in theaters.
- The Secret in Their Eyes (DVD)
One of the most unexpected yet sensible endings in a film since The 39 Steps. And that was a really, really long time ago.
- I Am Love (DVD)
- Top Chef (cable TV)
The favorite things I read in 2010:
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I first read this book when I was in high school or earlier. This was a good year to revisit it.
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono by David Sheff
- The New York Times on the Kindle
I halted the Sunday home delivery of the Times to get it seven days a week on my new Kindle. 50% savings and news every day. <Like>
- Composed by Rosanne Cash
Which the very nice author signed for me after her Alys Stephens Center concert.
- City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s by Otto Friedrich
An older book I pulled off my shelf, about Hollywood in the old days. Fascinating and seedy.
- Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer
I’ve been writing lots of flash fiction and micro-essays this year. These stories were fun twists on those forms.
- Augustus: The Life of Rome’s First Emperor by Anthony Everitt
I watched all of the Rome mimi-series this year, and was curious about what happened after the show’s timeline stopped. This book helped inform me of that. Really well written; not dry history at all.
- The Imperfectionists By Tom Rachman
- FUBAR: Soldier Slang of World War II by Gordon L. Rottman
Plucked from the obscure depths of the Barnes & Noble bargain cart. I’ll be running to this as a reference for years to come.