Finally, some good news: the annual meta-lists of best books, music, and movies have arrived! As always, I need to remind everyone that these are not my personal opinions – they are compilations of multiple lists published in newspapers, magazines and websites. I have not read all these books, listened to all this music or seen all these movies.
Every year, the “best of the year” lists seem to come earlier and earlier, just like Christmas music in the stores. I’m guessing this has to do with the retailers’ desire to use these lists to inspire holiday gift givers to make purchases (of books and music) and get folks out to see the movies on the lists. I just hope that movies, books and albums released in late December get considered for next year’s lists.
Another thing that is changing (i.e., expanding) is the length of nonfiction book subtitles (the stuff after the colon). The publishing industry needs to take a chill pill on this – pretty soon, the entire first chapter is going to be on the cover of the book. Maybe the worst offender this year is: BOOM TOWN: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its
Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming
a World-Class Metropolis.
The Wikipedia genre descriptions for musical acts (which I include in the Best Music lists) make me laugh. Like one band that is described as both “punk” and “post-punk” – how is that logically possible? (And how is “post-punk” different from “post-punk revival”? Is post-punk already dead such that someone had to revive it? And if so, why are some bands still referred to as “post-punk”?) Also, the proliferation of “cores.” I assume that “hardcore” was the first one, but now there are “grindcore”, “slowcore” and “sadcore” (I’m sure I’m missing some). Not to mention “shoegaze.”
Every December, like clockwork, film, book and music critics (and bloggers) publish their “Best of the Year” lists in newspapers, magazines and websites. And since 2002, I’ve been collecting those lists and collating them to find out which books, movies and albums made it onto the most lists. I’m going to publish all these lists eventually, but for now, I’ve put up the most recent ‘best of’ compilations, from 2012. Take a look:
As you may already know, I don’t just make lists, I also like to play with my lists. (Contrary to popular belief, this does not lead to blindness.) I have been wanting to take my best music, literature and film of all time lists and set them up so you can see which items I’ve checked off, and so you can do the same. If you’ve ever spent any time on listsofbests.com, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, WordPress (at least here in the cheap seats) doesn’t allow for such sophisticated programming. Undaunted, I have found an alternative ‘check-off’ method. Instead of checking off each movie I’ve seen, book I’ve read and and piece of music I’ve listened to, I have highlighted it in blue – Royal Blue, I might add. (See below.) So now, if you care (and, honestly, why would you?), you can find out which of the “best evers” I have partaken of so far. And to make the fun last longer, you can make a copy of each list and do the same. Happy listing!