We thought we might have some kind of new introduction this year, again, but how can we, the year is the year it is, and was, and so in an otherwise not terribly great year in so many ways, for so many people, there was still good, because there is always good, and there were books, and television, music and movies. Though not enough, never enough, of any of it. But we did what we could, and here we are, ignoring so much of the year, if only for a moment, to look back, and share what there is, and what there was, with you, now, totally.
Memoirs that sing. And also explore sickness, nostalgia, pop culture and everything in between.
Love Sick/Cory Martin, Old Records Never Die/Eric Spitznagel, Harbors/Donald Quist
Short story collections, so many, and so wonderful.
Staggerwing/Alice Kaltman, Superman On The Roof/Lex Williford, mesogeios/Steve Karas, Maybe Mermaids and Robots Are Lonely/Matt Fogarty, Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone/Sequoia Nagamatsu, I'm Not Supposed To Be Here And Neither Are You/Len Kuntz, When I Return To You, I Will Be Unfed/Christopher Bowen
Books as collaboration which continues to be a thing we totally support.
Rift/Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan and and turns still the sun at dusk blood-red/Christopher Cunningham and Hosho McCreesh.
Novels too. A lot. And wonderful.
The Fugue/Gint Aras, Single Stroke Seven/Lavinia Ludlow, The Reactive/Masande Ntshanga, The Revolution of Everyday/Cari Luna, The History of Great Things/Elizabeth Crane, Swarm Theory/Christine Rice, Anamakee/Garret Schuelke, The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong/Leland Cheuk, The Good Divide/Kali VanBaale, Above All Men/Eric Shonkwiler
Only one graphic novel, unfortunately, but wow did it kick-ass.
The Incantations of Daniel Johnston by the Ricardo Cavalo and Scott McClanahan.
The movies we are happy we got to see during a year where we did even better than last year, though still didn't see enough to satisfy our movie Jones.
Midnight Special, Hidden Figures, Don't Think Twice, Deadpool
Movies we are happy we got to see because our children wanted us to.
Captain America: Civil War, Dr. Strange, Edge of Seventeen
Documentaries that jammed. Not that we saw enough of them.
O.J.: Made in America, Weiner
Documentaries that we are sure jammed and must see post-haste.
Movies just bad that our children really wanted to see. Sadly.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, X-Men: Apocalypse
More movies just bad that our children really wanted to see, though yes, we did too. Sadly. That said, Margot Robbie and Will Smith still killed.
The best crafted movies of the year that weren't quite our favorite movie of the year.
Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Fences, Arrival, Hell or High Water
And a well-crafted movie that just might be our favorite movie of the year.
Movies we still hope to see.
Jackie, Nocturnal Animals, Sully, Loving
Books published by Curbside Splendor that we quite dug and may have only been partially biased towards as we read them.
The Dead Wrestler Elegies/W. Todd Kaneko, The Telling/Zoe Zolbrod, Juventud/Vanessa S. Blakeslee
Books we had the pleasure to blurb and hope you have the pleasure to read.
Apocalypse All The Time/David S. Atkinson, Massive Cleansing Fire/Dave Housley This Is Not a Confession/David Olimpio
And one more by the David S. Atkinson, because you know, he's the David S. Atkinson.
Not Quite so Stories
Also, two by the Sam Slaughter, because, again, you know, he's the Sam Slaughter.
God in Neon and When You Cross That Line
New music which we yet again listened to not much of this year, but we still listened to these.
RTJ3/Run the Jewels, Coloring Book/Chance the Rapper, Midwest Farmer's Daughter/Margo Price, True Sadness/Avett Brothers, A Sailor's Guide to Earth/Sturgill Simpson
Music we got to listen to live, which was more than last year, though still way too little, mostly at Riot Fest, and sadly not with the lovely Debbie Pritzker.
The Hold Steady, NAS and Smoking Popes, among others.
Television shows we kept on watching, that were actually good, and got in the way of reading, thinking, and sometimes sleeping, but ultimately made us very happy.
Game of Thrones, Girls, Orange is the New Black, Homeland, Orphan Black, Rectify, The Affair, Bloodline, Daredevil
Television shows we lovingly re-consumed, again, because our older, and now younger, son said it must be so, and annually at that.
Freaks and Geeks
Television shows we lovingly consumed, or continued to consume, because our younger son said it must be so.
Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, The Goldbergs
Television shows we stopped watching and are not sure why.
Television shows we stopped watching and we are sure why.
The Walking Dead
New television shows we quite happily consumed.
Atlanta, Better Things, Love, Master of None, The Night Manager, Stranger Things
Television shows we somehow didn't watch until this year and now can't understand how that was physically possible.
Silicon Valey, Mr. Robot, American Crime
Television shows we continued to watch, and love, that no one else seems to watch.
You're The Worst, Casual, Catastrophe, The Fall
The television shows we watch and love so much we are tearing-up now just thinking about them, though that is because we have something caught in our eye, so fuck you.
As well as the television shows that fit all of the above qualifiers, but is now quite sadly departed.
Podcasts we still listen to again and again.
WTF with Marc Maron, Other People, The Slate Culture Gabfest, Serial, StartUp, The Moment with Brian Koppelman, You Must Remember This
Podcasts we will miss.
Podcasts we will sorely miss.
New podcasts that must have replaced the above podcast and were really fun.
New podcasts we quite dig.
And one-off podcasts, for now, apparently, that just killed.
In The Dark
Poetry, which we didn't read nearly enough of. Again. Most of which involved the Shaindel Beers.
A Brief History of Time and The Children's War/Shaindel Beers and The Voyager Record A Transmission/Anthony Michael Morena
Dock Street Press books we loved without (much) bias.
Communion/Curtis Smith, Naked Me/Christian Winn, Mesilla/Robert James Russell
Books we just didn't quite finish by year's end. But we will. Soon. Promise.
Kill Marguerite/Megan Milks, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Philip K. Dick, Patricide/D. Foy, June/Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, I Am Barbarella/Beth Gilstrap
Also, the Cubs, so much joy, and so very much appreciated.
Most finally, there are many people to thank for making this a good year in spite of all that has been going on and feels like still will be. And we are most definitely overlooking some, a lot maybe, and we apologize for that, but there you go.
Matt Rowan, Jacob Knabb, Dave Housley, Jason Behrends, Anna March, Victor David Giron, Jason Pettus, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, Moeses Soulright, Nathan Holic, Ryan W. Bradley, Steve Lafler, Lavinia Ludlow, Rob Funderburk, Greg Olear, William Walsh, John Barrios, Joseph G. Peterson, Michael Seidlinger, Gabino Iglesias, Adam Lawrence, Dave McNamara, Mike Smolarek, Beth Gilstrap, Duncan MacKenzie, Andrew Keating, Jodi Paloni, Joseph Bates, Paul Luikart, Shay DeGrandis, Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Matty Byloos, Naomi Huffman, Brad Listi, Loren Kleinman, Michael Czyzniejewski, Ken Wohlrob, Myles and Noah Tanzer, Joani Reese, David Masciotra, Clayton Smith, Mel Bosworth, Benoit Lelievre, Todd Summar, Megan Stielstra, Hosho McCreesh, Catherine Eves, W. Todd Kaneko, Jim Warner, Mathieu Cailler, David S. Atkinson, Debbie Pritzker, Peter Schwartz, BL Pawelek, James Yates, Kristin Fouquet, Citizen Lit, Eric Obenauf, Clayton Smith, Seth Berg, James Goertel, Vanessa Blakeslee, Amber Sparks, Robert Vaughan, Michael Gillan Maxwell, Meg Tuite, Robert Duffer, Brian Alan Ellis, Keir Graff, Meghan Lamb, Joanna Topor MacKenzie, Anthony Michael Morena, Brad Wolff, Joanna Shroeder, Masande Ntshanga, Johnny Misfit, The Book Cellar, Gretchen Kalwinski, Michael Paige Glover, Jennifer Banash, City Lit Books, Art Edwards, Judith Tanzer, Kimberly Ann Southwick, Erika T. Wurth, Leesa Cross-Smith, Brian Gresko, Garret Schuelke, Chris L. Terry, Richard Thomas, Adam Tanzer, Patricia Ann McNair, Sean Beaudoin, James Tadd Adcox, Sean H. Doyle, Chris Oxley, John Reed, Jerry Brennan, Lauren Becker, Robert James Russell, Brian Gresko, Lori Hettler, Christian Winn, Spencer Dew, Carlos "Dzine" Rolon, Steve Karas, Aubrey Cox, Barry Graham, Bud Smith, Jennifer Steele, Wendy C. Ortiz, Matt Micheli, Donald Quist, Christine Rice, D. Foy, JH Palmer, Rhymefest, Cari Luna, Angela Vela, Steve Luna, Rachel Slotnick, Behn Reza, The Mooney's, Eric Shonkwiler, Cyn Vargas, Allison Joseph, Sara June Woods, Sara Lippman, Mikaela Shea Fowler, Bud Smith, Ariel Rudolph, Giano Cromley, Zoe Zolbrod, Kali VanBaale, Tom Williams, Jennifer Pastiloff, Joshua Mohr, Amy Danzer, Patrick Wensink, Alice Kaltman, Susan Messing, Rick Kogan, Amy Guth, Shaindel Beers, Volumes Bookcafe, Rebecca George, Robert James Russell, Davis Schneiderman, Ray Charbonneau, Sam Slaughter, Gina Frangello, Steph Post, Rachel Hyman, Nick Ostdick, John Tribble, Len Kuntz, Scott McClanahan, Pete Anderson, Jill Howe, Amy Eaton, the Tomaloff's, Paula Bomer, Cory Martin, Wyl Vilacres, Brandon Will, Melissa Faliveno, Timothy Moore, J. Bradley, Jason Fisk, Gint Aras, Mark Schwab, Yogi Roth, Eric Spitznagle, Beth Gilstrap, Ryan Ridge, Lisa Fay Coutley, Jeffrey Pfaller, Dane Bahr, Lee Krecklow, Keidra Chaney, Rob Funderburk, Christopher Bowen, Liz Mason, Chris Tarry, Al Kratz, Leah Angstman, David Olimpio, Jessica Kashiwabara