If you’re reading this, you made it to the year 2021. Congratulations! It was no small feat. Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing on this very first day of the new year:
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- 100 things that made my year: 2020 edition.
- In case you missed it: 20 great books I read in 2020. (For this week’s Bookshelf, I wrote about Charles Portis’s True Grit.)
- If you’re ambitious and you made a New Year’s Resolution other than “try to stay alive,” here’s a 31-day challenge chart to help you get started. (Just remember that February resolutions are just as good.)
- The best thing I read this week was Lawrence Wright’s “The Plague Year,” a riveting 30,000+ words about the USA’s failed pandemic response. (Even more reading: Ted Gioia’s list of favorite online essays in 2020 and Oliver Burkeman’s list of wisdom for 2021.)
- Happy Public Domain Day!
- Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much TV, but I ended up with a handful of posts about filmmaking: how Elf was shot with forced perspective, the art of the “gross ups” in Spongebob Squarepants, and how Frederick Wiseman makes his documentaries.
- Ear candy: two new Four Tet albums, Parallel and 871; a random Kraftwerk remixes album; a 1995 Arthur Russell show; BBC Radio 6 takeovers with Billy Nomates, Sleaford Mods, Iggy Pop, Robyn, and others; SFJ’s year-end list, and a pink oyster playing a modular synthesizer.
- Eye candy: My wife installed this smart LED light in my son’s noise nook and it is so cool.
- RIP to the great MF DOOM. I loved his stuff. (I was just enjoying XMAS DOOM last week.) When I lived in Cambridge, England in 2004, I used to walk to college with “Crazy World” (off his King Geedorah album) on a loop. Madvillainy, his collaboration with Madlib, is a total classic. (Time to re-read this Ta-Nehisi Coates profile from 2009.)
- Please enjoy this New Year’s message from our backyard. (Skip to the Instagram video if you don’t want any spoilers.)
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