Best CDs: I already posted an extensive list of my favorite tunes from 2006. My top 3 albums were Gnarls Barkley “St. Elsewhere”, Gomez “How We Operate” and Golden Smog “Another Fine Day.”
Best Gigs: I saw a lot of great shows in 2006, including Lollapalooza. Trying (desperately) to narrow it down, I’d say the two tied for “funnest” were Gnarls Barkley and Beck (hello, puppets!). The best was Joan Baez. And runner-up was The Raconteurs on December 30. Sadly I did not keep a list just by 2006, but you can see a (supposedly) comprehensive list of what I’ve seen live here.
Best Books: [Limiting myself MOSTLY to books published and read this year, as opposed to all the books I read this year.] The best NON fiction books I read this year were “Guests of the Ayatollah” by Mark Bowden and “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion. The best novels I read were “Black Swan Green” by David Mitchell, “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn and “Towing Jehovah” by James Morrow [that one was not pub this year]. The best short stories I read were “In Persuasian Nation” by George Saunders and “When the Messenger Is Hot” by Elizabeth Crane (not from this year either). The best poetry was “Strong Is Your Hold” by Galway Kinnell. You can view the entire list of what I read here and you can read my last mini-reviews here (reviews will be posted to Snip from now on).
Best Films: By far, the best film I saw this year was “The Departed”. For drama, I also highly recommend “Inside Man” “The Queen” and I personally loved “Marie Antoinette”. For a smaller film “Come Early Morning” was very well done. For comedy “Scoop” and “Clerks 2” were both quite funny, in their own ways. “Casino Royale” was the Best Bond, perhaps ever. And “The Prestige” was a good movie about just how horrifically awful human beings can be. So you’d have to keep that in mind, should you choose to see it. There were other movies I liked also.
I’m pretty good at not going to movies I can tell I’m not going to like, in my old age. I’d have to say “Last Kiss” (yuck) and “Match Point” (“Scoop” is so much better!) were my least favorite movies in the theater this year and “The DaVinci Code” was about how I expected: not good, but not as bad as I had heard. Average. Middling.
For Keanu lovers like myself, there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with “The Lakehouse.” You can see the whole list of what I saw here or you can view Snip by category “Flicks”; although I oddly forgot to write up a LOT of the concerts I saw, I pretty consistently reported back on movies.
And I’ve already seen my first movie of 2007 although I haven’t written it up yet. Soon! 🙂