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Continuing a 15-year tradition (though one that’s gotten briefer with age and fatherhood), here’s a roundup of some of my favorite things experienced during the past 12 months:
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante
The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante
Lila, Marilyn Robinson
My Struggle: Book 2, Karl Ove Knausgård
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald
The Balloonists, Eula Biss
Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
Becoming Steve Jobs, Brent Schlender
Stress Tests, Timothy F. Geithner
Van Gogh: A Power Seething, Julian Bell
Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo, Nicholas Carlson
Bark, Lorrie Moore
Girl In a Band, Kim Gordon
So-so: Grace: A Memoir; I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel
While We’re Young
Magic in the Moonlight
So-so: Spectre; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Borgen: Season 3
Mad Men: Final Season
An Honorable Woman
Black Mirror: Season 1
Master of None: Season 1
Veep: All Seasons
The Good Wife: Seasons 1-6
Design Matters with Debbie Millman
Slate Culture Gabfest
The Longform Podcast
The Monocle Weekly
The Entrepreneurs (Monocle)
The Political Scene
Section D (Monocle)
The Foreign Desk (Monocle)
Mom and Dad Are Fighting
The Talk Show
The New Yorker Radio Hour
I used to make long lists of specific albums purchased and enjoyed, but since I’ve gone to paid streaming (and, maybe, since I’ve become a committed podcast listener), it’s harder for me to point to specific recordings at a year’s end. This is especially the case since Rdio shut down, and I’m now starting fresh with Spotify — my digital records are kind of a mess. While I listen to hours of classical and ambient/lush music through the headphones during work, a few specific artists I spent more time with in 2015 include Angel Olsen, Youth Lagoon, Sun Kil Moon, Sharon Van Etten, My Bubba, Jennifer O’Connor, Girlpool, Atlas Sound, Earl Sweatshirt, J Cole, Common, Pusha T, A$AP Rocky, Villagers, Natalie Prass, and Perfume Genius.
NYC + D.C.
I had the good fortune of accompanying my wife on a work trip she had to NYC, and it was incredibly culture-rich. Highlights included the new Whitney, MoMA (Yoko Ono and Bjork special exhibitions), The Drawing Center, David Zwirner Gallery (Serra show), Neue Galerie (sensational collection), the Cooper Hewitt, and “Drifting in Daylight” in Central Park (where I shot this short phone video). We also enjoyed a long weekend in D.C. with family, with pleasant dips into the National Gallery (terrific Caillebotte show) and The Phillips Collection (first time, great time).
I’m fortunate to have a great job at Forest Park Forever, and 2015 saw a few especially fun projects ship. This includes the introduction of our new brand platform, our launch of Forestparkmap.org and the formal introduction of Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future, with a new website that features a beautiful campaign video we made with the team at Once Films.
As referenced appropriately at top, so much of this year — and so much of every day — has been about Tamara and I raising our son. I’d been told that right around 2 is a fun age, and it’s true. This year had a ton of special moments, including — just to pick one, which we happened to catch on film — Leo’s changing expression during his first ride on a carousel at the Saint Louis Zoo.