Year’s Best List: 2010

1 01 2011

As always, items on this super-subjective list may have first appeared in other years; 2010 is just the year I enjoyed/found them. I list them in no particular order and try to represent a broad, eclectic range of genres on each list (only fitting since my personal tastes tend to be strange and eclectic). Some items below may not have necessarily even been the “best” in terms of overall quality but were influential in some way on me over the course of this year:
Books – It was a good year for me as a reader. Tons of good stuff to choose from, and as always, very hard to pick just five. I feel like I’m leaving a lot of great reads off this year, but here’s the five that popped into my head:  
The Devil’s Alphabet
by Daryl Gregory
The Tel Aviv Dossier by Lavie Tidhar and Nir Yaniv
Fungus of the Heart by Jeremy Shipp
The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford
The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell
Music – While my 2009 list was composed primarily of bands who had been around 20-plus years, 2010 brought some relatively new bands onto my radar (MGMT, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire). While I had heard some of these bands’ singles before, I had never sought out or listened to their albums, and I am now kicking myself for waiting so long to check them out. Except for my old favorite, The Flaming Lips, most of these bands were not recording until the last decade or so.
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (Also, their Beach Boys influenced follow-up, Congratulations, is worth noting.)
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Coheed and Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning, Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow
Arcade Fire — The Suburbs
The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
Movies – I watched a ton of movies this year thanks to Netflix. For my list below, I tried to capture as many genres as possible (a drama, a comedy, science-fiction, a steampunk-ish and adventurous mystery, and a family movie). I’d also like to note a pair of odd movies — odd because I don’t know if I loved them or hated them but found them extremely memorable all the same: Valhalla Rising (gory, trippy, disturbing, thought-provoking, but EXTREMELY slow-moving mythic Norse adventure with virtual buckets of horrible CGI blood tossed in for good measure) and Gentleman Broncos (trippy, surreal, coming-of-age movie about wanna-be SF writers that tried to be funny — and was funny at times — but was so awkwardly sad it was hard to laugh).
Little Children
Get Him to the Greek

Sherlock Holmes
Toy Story 3*

*Also, in the “family movie” category, I need to note Ponyo is truly excellent. For the first 100 viewings. I saw it so many times this year — my youngest would watch it every day over and over again for a period of about three months — that I grew a little sick of it.




One response

5 01 2011
Jeffrey Ford

TJ: Thanks for reading Shadow Year. Glad you enjoyed it.

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