Last newsletter of 2019! Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
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- My 20 favorite books I read in 2019.
- Inevitably, somebody will ask me to narrow down my list, so top 5 favorite books I read that were published this year: David Epstein’s Range, Jenny Odell’s How To Do Nothing, Susan Orlean’s The Library Book, Elizabeth McCracken’s Bowlaway, and Mira Jacob’s Good Talk. (Shameless reminder: I, too, wrote a book this year and it’s really good.)
- Want to read more in 2020? Here’s what I suggest.
- If you’re feeling broken or you’re going to see the new Star Wars, you might want to read what I wrote about Kintsugi and the Japanese art of making repair visible. (No spoilers!)
- Two recent pieces by Tim Kreider: “We Can’t See Star Wars Anymore” and “Your Life Is Not A Story.” (Tim’s essay collection, We Learn Nothing, is one of my favorite books.)
- I finally watched Booksmart, and the more I think about it, the more I like what it has to say.
- My friend Lance wrapped up another holiday season of his movie recommendations and it was so good. If you watched one movie from the archives each week it would take you all of 2020!
- I hadn’t listened to Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” in years. (My wife forbids it due to bad memories working holiday retail.) It’s way weirder than I remembered. Here’s a terrific Twitter thread about its recording.
- 2019’s best TV moment? Stephen Colbert answering Anderson Cooper’s question about grief. (I wondered how in the world I missed this clip when it went viral, but I was busy moving back to Texas and getting my own life together!)
- What a year, man. I’m checking out — gonna lie around and read and be a bum as much as possible. I wish y’all a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and I’ll see you in 2020 with my annual top 100.
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