a few of my favorite things – 2016

As midnight approaches bringing an end and beginning, these are a few of my favorite things from 2016.

Books

Essentialism by Greg McKeon – A tremendous look at the ‘disciplined pursuit of less.’ I recommend to anyone with demands placed on their time.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – A fabulous memoir by the founder of Nike. Fascinating accounts of how close Nike was to failure time and time again alongside terrific business ideas.

Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan – Recommended by an ad agency creative director, full of endless wisdom on effective messaging.  Just terrific!

Porcelain by Moby – Another terrific memoir detailing the author’s personal struggle and rise to fame.

Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance – The author, a product of broken home and society in Appalachia describes his way out and the cyclical effects that impoverish many in the region.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – A dying surgeon chronicles his battle against a terminal illness. Heartbreaking and beautiful.

Befriend by Scott Sauls – A beautiful picture of how and why we should love people groups of all kinds.

A list of all the books I read this year.

Songs

Burn the Witch – Radiohead

Heavy – Birdtalker

Laser Gun – M83

Send Them Off! – Bastille

Somebody Else – The 1975

Something to Believe in – Young the Giant

Albums

Home of the Strange – Young the Giant

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it – The 1975

Signs of Light – The Head and the Heart

Why Are You OK – Band of Horses

Films

13th – A sobering documentary on race relations and decisions which have led to an American incarceration explosion.

Amanda Knox – Another documentary, this one detailing the back story around the murder investigation into an American abroad.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – A franchise that always seems to deliver. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was very good.

Television

American Crime – A short-run series, this show features as accurate a portrayal of prep school life as I’ve seen.  Strong acting, and tough issues tackled without melodrama.

The Americans – Season 4 – For my money, television doesn’t get any better.

The Catch – Replete with hyper-stylized kitsch.  Sort of Ocean’s Eleven meets Scandal. I like it anyway. Fun storytelling and Mireille Enos is always good.

Love – Judd Apatow’s maiden foray into the world of Netflix binge is not for everyone.  This rough around the edges show is crass and, at times, crude.  But to move beyond the surface is to observe a very human story.  A search for meaning found in broken people longing for community and connection.  Outstanding writing.

Stranger Things – This E.T. meets The Goonies hybrid is a throwback to early 80’s nostalgia.

There you have it. Some of my favorites.

What moved you in 2016?

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