Like most personal blogs by pseudo-intellectual hipster types, I feel it’s necessary to recap some of my favorite things of 2010. I’m hardly an expert in any of these categories, everything listed below is my personal opinion only. I’m going to try to stay to one favorite with one runner up in each category.
Best Movie of 2010
Best – The Social Network
This was a hard choice between The Best and Runner Up. I enjoyed both films immensely, but The Social Network stuck with me longer. I found myself discussing Mark Zuckerberg for weeks after seeing the film. Powerful, entertaining, inspiring and totally captivating,this was a great film.
Runner Up – Black Swan
I’ve been a big fan of Darrin Aronofsky since Requiem for a Dream and my visit to his New York office in 2001. The pacing of this film was terrifying and gripping. While it was well acted, especially by the beautiful Natalie Portman, it’s Aronofsky’s direction that made this film.
The King’s Speech, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Inception
I love to read. I usually try to read 10 to 20 books every year, both fiction and non-fiction. Most of my categories will focus on something that was released in 2010. However, books are the exception. I’m going to focus on the best that I read in 2010.
The Best – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
This novel blew me away. I think it may be the best written novel I’ve ever read. I was turned onto it because my brother teaches bass guitar lessons to Mr. Chabon’s son in Berkeley California. It’s the story of two young Jewish men in New York around World War II and the birth of the comic book. Yeah, I wasn’t that excited about the topic when I picked it up, but this book has everything. Adventure, love, history, magic, political and sexual themes. Michael Chabon definitely deserved the Pulitzer for this one.
Runner Up – The Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
OK, so this really shouldn’t count. This was my third time through this novel almost fifteen years after my first reading. It was still great. I’m also listing it here because it helped me get through a little rough reading patch last year when I was having a hard time relaxing and getting into anything. I can’t wait for the TV series this year.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest – Stieg Larrson, A Reliable Wife – Robert Goolrick, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon
I’m not a music snob. I’m not going to lecture you on why what I like is better than what you like, I would prefer to simply list some albums that I found myself listening to this year. Overall it was a down music year for me, I didn’t pick up a ton of new stuff, but what I did, I really enjoyed.
The Best – The Wild Hunt – The Tallest Man on Earth
I love this guy. Great album.
The Runner Up – I And Love And You – The Avett Brothers
This was actually released at the end of 2009, but close enough. Another great one.
The Suburbs – The Arcade Fire
Best Non-fiction Book
The Best – The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
So as you can see, I fell in love with two Berkeley-based writer Michaels. This book is an eye opener, and I think every eater should read it. You can read my full review at on my infrequently updated food blog, Fast Food Reviewed After reading this book last year, I became another Pollanite, lecturing all on the dangers of processed food and the benefits of the locavore movement. Well I’ve lost a lot of my passion, I’m still buying local and organic as much as possible. Now if I could just eat less meat.
The Runner Up – On Writing – Stephan King
I really enjoyed this glimpse inside the mind of one of the greatest novelists of all time. He gives excellent tips on the writing process and grammar. I found it to be a big help to me as a writer. It’s also a fascinating look at how Stephan King became the Stephan King we know and love today.
Best TV Show
The Best – Mad Men – Season 5
Oh man, this was some good TV. After a few seasons of decline, Mad Men was back with it’s best season yet. If you don’t watch this show, you should.
The Runner Up – Breaking Bad – Seasons 3
This is the best show that I had never heard of. I binged on this over the last month or so. The ending to Season 3 was epic, and I can’t wait for Season 4.
Honorable MentionThe Walking Dead – Season 1
Let’s hear it for AMC! They’ve really been leading the way with dramas over the last few years. All three were great TV dramas. Highly recommended.
I love gadgets. Especially ones with Apple logos.
The Best – iPad
I love my iPad. It does everything I could ever want something to do. Movies, books, TV shows, video games, news, magazines, music, the web, all on a reasonably sized screen with great battery life. If I could marry my iPad, I would.
The Runner Up – Canon PowerShot S95
This is the best point in shoot on the market. I love this camera. Manual controls like a DSLR, except pocket-sized, half the price of a DSLR, and none of the “I bought an expensive camera I never use” guilt. The The New York Times even wrote a blog post framed as a love letter to this camera.
Honorable Mention – Apple TV Generation 2
This thing just works. And it’s fun. Since getting this in late 2010 I barely use my cable anymore. With all the TV shows and movies to be found online, I’m not sure that I need cable.