Hello, and Happy New Year!
For the first week of 2007, I asked
several writers to give me their Best and Worst lists for 2006. I'll
post a new one each day this week. First up: Daniel Radosh.
I belatedly discovered Y: The Last Man, which is the best comic book since Sandman,
though not the least bit similar. As far as books without pictures, the
best nonfiction book by a friend of mine is David Shenk's The Immortal Game,
a history of chess that is fully absorbing even if, like me, you don't
give a shit about chess. Best art book by a friend of mine is Dave
Anderson's Rough Beauty.
I didn't do as much pleasure
reading as I would have liked this year because I've been absorbed with
research on Christian pop culture, but that did lead me to a book I
wouldn't have found otherwise, a delightful novel called Born Again
by Kelly Kerney, which humorously and touchingly (and given the
author's background, accurately) describes a young girl's coming of age
in a fundamentalist household and her gradual falling away from the
Like everyone else, I thought The Wire was the
best thing on television this year (decade?), and among new shows, I was
surprised to find my sports-hating self devoted to Friday Night Lights. Although lately it has threatened to cross the dreaded soap opera line.
I didn't see as many movies as I would have liked, but Superman Returns
stands out as one of the biggest turds in a long time. I can't recall
the last time I came out of a film angry at having wasted two hours of
my life. There were a handful of fluffy movies that I enjoyed– Casino Royale, Borat — but I came away disappointed by others that were overhyped — Little Miss Sunshine, The Departed. Most Underappreciated Film: V For Vendetta.
I listened to almost no new music, but I did love Bob Dylan's Modern Times (and his Theme Time Radio Hour) and Joanna Newsom's Ys.
If that makes me an old fogey, so be it. Bubblegum pop songs I didn't
buy but turned up whenever they came on the radio: Shakira's “Hips Don't
Lie” (which I didn't buy only because I'd already bought the early
version of the CD that didn't include it — bastards!), Nelly Furtado's Promiscuous, Akon's Smack That and Gnarls Barkley “Crazy.” Half Life 2
finally came out for the last throes of the original Xbox and I've
happily given over many hours of my life to it. Which may also be why I
didn't do so much pleasure reading.