It’s entirely ridiculous for me to offer up an annual “best of” list. I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest. I’d rather plunder the riches of the past than fetishize the new.
Of the twenty or so books I read this past year, only one was published in 2010: The Heart of Higher Education by Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc. I could, of course, compile lists of the titles I enjoyed most regardless of when they came out: add Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry by Arthur Zajonc (2008), Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (2002), and Dark Green Religion by Bron Taylor (2009) to the aforementioned Heart of Higher Education. These were those most interesting books I read this year. I can’t help but notice that nonfiction outnumbers fiction in this short list, and there’s not a novel in sight. That’s a first. But all these books came out in the past decade — so much for “plundering the riches of the past.”
For music, my “discovery” list would be a tad more cumbersome. There would be a slew of tracks to contend with, but who really cares? So I’m sticking with the standard concept: a mix of music and audio bits from 2010.
This is so random it’s not even funny. I’m almost completely ignorant of what trends might be taking place in music over the last year. The only thing I even heard about was witch house, a.k.a. drag, (you know, the artists with the crazy black triangles ▲ and other unpronounceable names) and for all I know that subgenre is dead and buried (no pun intended).
And what about pix? I myself published 1,200+ photos online over the past year. If I could pick out the top dozen or so that might be the most meaningful list of all… but the size of the task is daunting.
I couldn’t get it down to twelve, but two dozen ain’t bad. Note that “best” in this case certainly doesn’t mean technical perfection, or even aesthetically compelling, or personally meaningful, or a cool story behind the pic. But hopefully each photo exemplifies one or two of those virtues.
Now I’ve got some driving to do, so wish us luck, and have a happy new year.