It’s wrap-up time!
As the year comes to a close, I like to look back and consider the things that made the year rewarding, enjoyable, interesting, understandable, or just plain bearable. In past years I’ve reviewed the books I read, but this year I decided to expand my retrospective to include movies, TV, music and other things I enjoyed.
Looking at everything together, trying to pick out themes, I came to a realization: I need to keep better track of what I do. I have a notes app list of all the books I read, but when I tried to remember every movie, TV show and album, I came up blank. So, top of the to-do list for next year: better notes.
But another theme that came through was auteurs and subversion. I found myself drawn to projects where creators took the reins and took big swings, trying new things with old genres, properties and formats. A sheer joy and excitement about creativity also came through, whether that’s talking about the creative process or going all-out with ideas that shouldn’t work but somehow do.
Here’s the list of some of my favorite things that I experienced in 2022 — not all from this year, but all speaking to me this year. Hope you find some new things here to add to your various lists, queues, subscriptions and notes apps.
Happy new year!
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
In April I decided to reread the five Song of Ice and Fire novels, and that 4,200-page project probably kept me from reading many new or new-to-me novels this year. I did manage, however, to squeeze in one additional doorstopper fantasy: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. I’d read some of Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, which is a fun bit of hardboiled urban fantasy, but this story about airships, magic and talking cats was wholly unexpected — and loads of fun. The world Butcher weaves, with multiple unique character viewpoints and inventive and exciting action setpieces, cooks along at a rapid, page-turning clip. It’s not really groundbreaking, it’s just fun. And he seems to get his novels out much more…