Year in Review: 2014

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Back before Tamara and I had our son in the summer of 2013, I used to keep regular lists of my “Annual Favorites” of the year — the best books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, exhibitions and so on that I’d consumed that year.

To say my rate of cultural digestion changed with fatherhood would be an understatement; that said, I still have an interest in logging the great stuff (if only for myself). So while I skipped 2013 entirely, here’s a go at some highlights from 2014: 

TheGassInterviews.org
In May, I published a project I’d been working on for some time: The Ear’s Mouth Must Move: Essential Interviews with William H. Gass. I chose to publish this on Medium at no cost to the reader, and included a range of footnotes, photos and videos. Thanks to all the contributors who made this possible. 

Books

  1. On Immunity: An Inoculation, Eula Biss

  2. My Struggle, Book One: Karl Ove Knausgård

  3. Little Failure, Gary Shteyngart

  4. Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, Eula Biss

  5. What We See When We Read, Peter Mendelsund

  6. Inferno (The Divine Comedy, #1), Dante Alighieri (Mary Jo Bang, Translator)

  7. Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips

Movies

  1. Like Someone In Love

  2. Inside Llewyn Davis

  3. Her

  4. The Grand Budapest Hotel

  5. La Notte

  6. Jane Eyre (2011)

  7. A Most Wanted Man

  8. Gone Girl

  9. Take This Waltz

  10. Enough Said

  11. The One I Love

  12. Your Sister’s Sister

Podcasts

  1. Design Matters

  2. Slate Culture Gabfest

  3. Serial

  4. The Monocle Weekly

  5. Longform

  6. In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

  7. The Entrepreneurs (Monocle)

  8. The Stack (Monocle)

  9. The Political Scene (The New Yorker)

  10. New Yorker: Out Loud

Articles & Essays
If you follow me on Twitter, you have likely already seen links to the best articles and essays I read in 2014. I use it mainly as a way to praise and recommend. 

Music
I listen to Rdio every day of the week — on my Mac, iPad and iPhone. A great deal of what I stream is classical, since I listen while I work. And on that front I do a poor job of logging what I like, as I hop quickly from label to composer, from soloist to trio. So for this post I’ll skip classical (and hip-hop, where I also jump around) and point simply to a handful of indie albums I enjoyed this year: 

  • Beck, Morning Phase

  • Low, The Invisible Way

  • Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fires For No Witness

  • Sun Kil Moon, Benji

  • Tweedy, Sukierae

Life

  • Leo turning 1, walking, saying words

  • A relative I love being brave against illness

  • Tamara earning her doctorate in art history

  • Serving as Best Man as Mike and Sarah married

  • Tamara’s birthday dinner at Stone Soup Cottage

  • Attending a 90th birthday reading by William Gass

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg