The editors at www.andrewforrest.org (best blog on the internet™) have been working long hours and our fingers to the bone to get our 1st annual best-of list together. Yes, we didn’t make it by 12/31, but it’s not too late to look back at 2015, right?
Best Book I Read in 2015
The Amazon description calls Kristin Lavransdatter “the turbulent historical masterpiece of Norway’s literary master.” I agree that it’s a masterpiece (though certainly an overlooked one): Sigrid Undset’s 1100 page historical novel is a book that will stay with me for years to come. It’s about the life of the title character in 14th century medieval Norway, and I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. Highly recommended.
Best Movie(s) I Saw in 2015
Walking down the stairs of the theater afterwards, I realized that I’d been keeping my entire body rigid and tense throughout the movie–it’s that kind of film. It’s really well done: terrifying, honest, brutal, and resists the urge to clean-up everything at it’s end. Highly recommended, though not for the faint of heart.”
Thinking back on it 9 months later, I stand by that assessment. ’71 is one of the best movies of the year.
Meanwhile, on the complete other end of the movie spectrum….
On the complete other end of the spectrum, the British claymation film Shaun the Sheep: the Movie is also one of my favorite movies of the year. It’s wordless, really funny, and touching and sweet as well. Recommended.
Best Reason Not to Visit Seattle
Kathryn Shultz wrote a long article in The New Yorker‘s July 20 issue called “The Really Big One,” about how the Pacific Northwest is overdue for a massive earthquake. One of the memorable quotations from the piece comes from the region’s FEMA director when he says (and subsequently stands by his remarks): “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.” Her follow-up piece 8 days later addressing some FAQ’s won’t make you feel any better.
I’ll stay in Texas, thank you.
My wife and I made a decision to never share pictures of our son on social media. However, our extended family is far-flung and lives on 3 different continents, and sharing pictures is an important way to feel closer. Enter Togethera, a photo sharing app that allows you to create closed groups. We’ve been using it since the summer and love it.
That’s like asking me to choose which one of my kids is the best. The answer is obvious: I like them all, except the ugly ones.
Best Everyday Carry Accessories
I never leave the house without the following in my pants pockets:
Best State Fair
Too easy: The State Fair of Texas, fool! (September 30 will be here before you know it….)
Finally: Best Hanukkah Song
I know, I know: with so many to choose from, how do you narrow it down to just one? But, this year’s winner (which, being held hostage by our house’s resident kindergartner, we played on repeat in our household 1,000 times in the month of December) is Jewish reggae rapper Matisyahu’s 2012 single “Happy Hanukkah.” The video ain’t my favorite, but I defy you not to be happy with the audio turned way up.
My favorite part is the “Lion of Juuuuudah” part of the refrain.
Auld Lang Syne
2015 was a great year; here’s to an ever better 2016.
(To ensure you have a great 2016, click here to subscribe to my blog updates, delivered right to your inbox 3 days a week.)