Personal Favorites from 2008


Best music

1. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

2. Jon Foreman – Fall Winter Spring Summer Box Set

3. Conor Oberst – ST

4. Autechre – Quaristice

5. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges

6. No Age – Nouns

7. The Killers – Day & Age

8. Deerhunter – Microcastle

9. TV on the Radio – Dear Science

10. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins

Runners Up:

Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park

Showbread – Anorexia Nervosa

Sun Kil Moon – April

Grand Archives – Grand Archives

Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer

Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs

Verra Cruz – Innocence

M83 – Saturdays = Youth

Rachael Yamagata – Elephants/Teeth Sinking into Heart

Brooke Fraser – Albertine

Radiohead – In Rainbows 

Best books

(Yes, I really did put a Bible in my list and it is not number one. As my editor pointed out, the Bible is number one on any list. I just mean, for this year, this version…)

1. Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

2. A Lion Among Men, by Gregory Maguire

3. Death by Love, by Mark Driscoll

See Also

4. Scarlet, by Stephen Lawhead

5. ESV Study Bible

6. Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell

7. Nudge, by Thaler and Sunstein

8. American Lion, by Jon Meacham

9. More Information Than You Require, by John Hodgman

10. The Snowball, by Alice Schroeder

Why no movies?

You might be wondering, why no movies on this list? The short answer is that, for some reason, I didn’t really like too many movies this year. I loved the movie There Will Be Blood, but of course that came out last year. Dark Knight — watch it again, it doesn’t hold up very well to a second viewing. Iron Man is good for a superhero movie. WALL-E violates my rule about watching animated movies ever again, no matter how good they are. I really liked the Godfather releases on Blu-Ray, the first two only. They are older than snot, though. Also, I just rented Dr. No on Blu-Ray, but that one doesn’t qualify either since it was released over 20 years ago I think.

Fact is, most of the indie movies were sort of lame this year. There were no Punch Drunk Loves, or Crashes, ot other movies that really dig deeper into the human condition (that I actually saw). I heard Man on Wire was awesome, have not seen it yet. Should I even be commenting on movies? Probably not.

Somehow, I think all the best movies were released very recently and I have not seen them yet. There was a minor celebration last week we call The Birth of Christ, so who has time for movies when you are visiting relatives who are giving you a large wrapped box that holds a Black & Decker power tool and some oven mits for your wife?

I do think The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Che, Synecdoche NY, Burn After Reading, and The Visitor all look great, but they will be Netflixed at some point in the future.

Which brings me to Benjamin Button. Wow, fantastic. If they had removed all the agonizing scenes where he "becomes a man" (in the full implication of that term) and avoided being so much like Forrest Gump with Brad Pitt, I would have picked it as a top ten. Or perhaps even made a top ten list.

Anyway, please post in comments if you have some favorite movies, because maybe I missed some good ones.

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