High points of 2010, in no real order:
Several close friends survived, and thrived, after serious illnesses. What could be better?
I learned that Susan Rogers’ book would be published. Yahoooooooo!
Landed the tenure-track position at SUNY Oswego. (Giant sigh of relief, still exhaling.)
And, although I said these were in no order, this one outranks everything: my brother came home from
Fiction: Well, I didn’t read a LOT of fiction, but I really enjoyed a novel called The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larsen, which I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who a) likes graphic novels; b) loves maps; c) likes intelligent and quirky narrators. I’m not sure it’s rightly called a graphic novel – it’s just a very creative and charming novel. So yeah – that’d be my favorite of the year, although like Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, below, I wouldn’t have expected to like it so much.
Poetry: My favorite poems this year were written by my students. What would have been my favorite book was Nox by Anne Carson. Unfortunately, my copy was lost in transit, so I’m deferring my utter enjoyment of this book until 2011.
Nonfiction: Generally I read a lot of good nonfiction, so in no particular order:
Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
Reality Hunger, David Shields
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
About a Mountain, John D’Agata
Vanishing Point, Ander Monson
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Amy Krouse
Best American Essays 2010 (special mention to Ryan Van Meter’s essay, “First”)
Movies: I don’t see a lot of first-run movies, but the one movie I adored this year, and recommend to all artists, is The Beaches of Agnes, a documentary by and about Agnes Varda, the French filmmaker, and so much more. Loved it from start to finish and can’t wait to view it again.
(On a related note: I felt a couple of widely-praised movies were really over-rated. 1) The Kids Are All Right; and 2) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Good performances, yes… but beyond that?? If anyone cares to explain, please do.)
TV I enjoyed: Men of a Certain Age, Damages, Friday Night Lights, and Modern Family. And although I usually fall asleep in the middle of it, and couldn’t explain the show if I had to, I’ve really come to like Fringe a lot.
Last but not least: High Points of Facebook: It’s actually hard to choose – I have a lot of writer friends and a lot of friends who don’t post about their endless fatigue, break-ups, hangovers, random whininess, etc., but here are some that stood out:
- Susan Rogers’ posts from
and Tasmania ; Wyoming
- All of Kimi Eisele’s blog posts and gratitude posts;
- A short video featuring my nephews’ home-made game, the infamous “Sting Pong.” I rarely get a kick out of stupidity, but that one made me laugh.
If you have any year-end high points of your own, please feel free to comment here or on Facebook. And thank you, sincerely, to anyone who’s been reading these blog posts. I really appreciate it.