December 2011 Archives

Best of 2011: Albums

This year, I listened to more new-to-me music than I probably have in a decade. Between new releases, going through David Bowie’s discography and discovering the awesomeness that is The Church, my ears have been busy. Not to mention starting the year by listening to every song on my mp3 player.

For new releases, this was the year of the grower for me. Out of all the albums I heard, only two I actually liked the first time I listened to them (21 and Kaputt). There were a number of albums I was ready to write off before giving them one final listen and having the songs click for me. I think overall this was a good but not great (or particularly deep) year for music. My top album is hands down the best album of the year for me, although I really love all the albums in my top 5

10. Bright Eyes: The People's Key
Favorite songs: Haile Salassie, Shell Games

9. Okkervil River- I Am Very Far

Favorite songs: The Valley, Show Yourself

8. Emm Gryner- Northern Gospel
Favorite songs: Heartsleeves, Fast Exit

7. Sondre Lerche: Sondre Lerche

Favorite songs: Ricochet, Domino

6. Adele- 21
Favorite songs: Rumour Has It, I'll Be Waiting

5. Destroyer- Kaputt
Favorite songs: A Savage Night at the Opera, Kaputt

4. St. Vincent- Strange Mercy

Favorite songs: Dilettante, Chloe in the Afternoon

3. Beirut- The Rip Tide

Favorite songs: Port of Call, The Rip Tide

2. EMA- Past Life Martyred Saints

Favorite songs: Red Star, Butterfly Knife

1. PJ Harvey- Let England Shake

Favorite songs: The Colour of the Earth, In the Dark Places

Dishonorable mention:

Tune-yards: First, the alternating capitalization is just stupid, second, they're just a worse version of Vampire Weekend with a female singer.

James Blake: Boring with borderline awful singing

2010 album that should've made last year's list:

Twin Shadow- Forget

Looking forward to in 2012:

Isidore, Janelle Monae, Twin Shadow, David Usher

Best of 2011: Books

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an end of year book list, but with getting a Kindle and a library card this year, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I've split the list in 2 parts, one for books released this year and the other for other books I read for the first time this year.

2011 Favorites:
  1. The Art of Fielding- Chad Harbach
  2. Poke the Box- Seth Godin
  3. 1Q84- Haruki Murakami
  4. The Marriage Plot- Jeffery Eugenides
  5. Headhunters- Jo Nesbo

Other Favorites:

  1. The Likeness- Tana French
  2. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest- Stieg Larsson
  3. After Dark- Haruki Murakami
  4. In the Woods- Tana French
  5. Middlemarch- George Eliot

Best of 2011: Things

Time to wrap the year up with a neat little bow. What better way to do that than with lots of lists? Today's list is all the random things I enjoyed this year.

Nail polish: best cheap diversion

Tumblr: best way to keep my sanity

A month in Texas: best trip

Blue Bell Southern Blackberry Cobbler: best ice cream

The Church: best new old band

PJ Harvey's first 2 albums: best albums I should've listened to sooner

"A Month of Sundays": best new favorite song

Homeland: best new show

Misfits: best streaming show

Portal 2: best game to play

Skyrim: best game to watch

Unfocused: best thing I made

Glitter berries: best cross stitch I wish I'd come up with

Friday Five

I'll be posting my favorite albums list next week. PJ Harvey released an album that may or may not be my favorite of the year. In honor of that uncertainty, here's 5 of my favorite PJ Harvey songs.

  1. Shame
  2. Dry
  3. Cat on the Wall
  4. Catherine
  5. The Piano

Happy Holidays!

Book It!

Been spending a lot of my time reading in the last month, partially because I can't get motivated to do much else at the moment. Luckily there are always books to read.

Just Read:

Faithful Place- Tana French

I enjoyed this one, although not as much as her first 2 books. Definitely looking forward to the next book.

The Art of Fielding- Chad Harbach

I've seen this book everywhere for the last few months. Finally decided to read it and it was definitely worth it, one of the best books I've read this year.

After Dark- Haruki Murakami

I really enjoyed this one. Liked it more than Norweigan Wood.

Currently Reading:

1Q84- Haruki Murakami

Up Next (probably):

The Snowman- Jo Nesbo

The Corrections- Jonathan Franzen

Friday Five

I'll be posting my favorite albums list in a couple of weeks. Sondre Lerche released an album that may or may not be my favorite of the year. In honor of that uncertainty, here's 5 of my favorite Sondre Lerche songs.

  1. Sleep On Needles
  2. Easy To Persuade
  3. No One's Gonna Come
  4. She's Fantastic
  5. (I Wanna) Call It Love

Friday Five

Things I've been doing during my stitching sabbatical:

  1. Reading
  2. Cooking
  3. Knitting (unsuccessfully)
  4. Making Christmas cards (thinking about it anyway)
  5. Debating the merits of The Walking Dead