A very short list of my favorite things from 2009. Mostly my metric is: What will I remember a year from now? Or ten?
- Favorite book: A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias. (Previously.) Sweet but/and harrowing.
- Favorite music: Regina Spektor’s new album. I listened to this an impossible number of times. Best tracks: “Blue Lips” and “Machine,” which is basically The Terminator narrated by a winsome girl-robot.
- Favorite movie: Coraline. Even though I saw Coraline months ago and Avatar days ago, it’s Coraline that’s more vivid in my mind. There are a few scenes that—especially having seen them in 3D—I’ll never forget. Bonus: The Coraline soundtrack is weird and beautiful.
- Favorite book(s) not written in 2009: I discovered Rosemary Sutcliff at the SFPL this year, and wow: what a revelation. She wrote a long series of YA books, set mostly in Roman Britain. Her language is tight, vivid, and direct—world-class by any standard. Strong load-bearing sentences, you know?
- Favorite movie not made in 2009: Somehow I’d seen every Miyazaki movie except Whisper of the Heart; it’s now my second-favorite. Maybe it resonated because I was writing more, and it’s a movie about writing? And actually, I think Whisper of the Heart might show the real process of writing better than any movie I’ve ever seen.
What are your picks for lasting memory from 2009?