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Showing posts from December, 2014

Favorites Books Read in 2014

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I normally don’t post a Best Books of the Year list because I so rarely read books that come out during a particular year.I’m not much on reading whatever the big hyped book of the moment is (in fact, all the hype usually turns me against a book).This year I read dozens of books and out of them only a handful were released this year.But despite all of that I wanted to talk briefly about the books I loved reading this year…three of which were actually published in 2014…and also about the books that weren’t published this year but that I really loved reading.
Favorite reads of the year that were published in 2014:
All the Light We Cannot See-Anthony Doerr.So many trusted friends of mine loved this book so much that I caved in and picked it up, too.I was quickly swallowed up by the world of WWII era occupied France and came to care deeply for all of the characters, but especially the main two:Werner, a young German boy who gets swept up in the tide of Nazism and loses all of his dreams w…

Favorite Music of 2014

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My top ten in alphabetical order:
The River and the Thread-Rosanne Cash's meditative travelogue of the South gets better with every listen.  

Self-titled-Hozier.  What a voice, what a songwriter.  His massive hit "Take Me To Church" was worn out this year but the album as a whole is a masterful debut and cements his place as one of the most important new artists out there today.  


Wildewoman-Lucius. My daughter introduced me to this band and I've been loving them ever since.  Seeing them live is wonderful but they're one of the rare duets who translate just as beautifully to recordings.  I love the 80s vibe mixed with soul and country.  Music that is joyous and poignant. 

Lost on the River-The New Basement Tapes.  A supergroup composed of Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), and produced by T Bone Burnett, takes some of Dylan's best lost lyric…

Favorite Movies of 2014

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Boyhood-Profoundly moving and incredibly real.My favorite thing about it is that characters like this so rarely get featured in films—working class people doing their best to make it, parents who try their best and fail anyway, kids who are better than they might appear to be.And the “trick” of it—following the same boy for twelve years of his life—is much more than a trick, managing to instead articulate what it means to grow and change and become one’s self.


Birdman, Or, The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance-I was mesmerized by this movie from the first moment until the last, wondrous shot.While giving us the illusion of one long continuous shot for almost two hours, it is more an experience than a film. Deep and thought-provoking without ever being pretentious. It is very funny, very moving, incredibly performed, beautifully-written, and I thought it was flawless filmmaking.Phenomenal.


Calvary-Besides Birdman, this is the movie I have continued to think the most about.  Rooted by a bea…