I decided to remember best things I’ve experienced in 2018.
Note: I finished very few books this year because of the decision to not complete books that I didn’t enjoy.
- The Iliad by Homer – I read it in Russian in which I’m more fluent than in English, and still had a tough time, but loved every page of the poem. I especially enjoyed the additional Wikipedia research I had to do to learn more about some characters mentioned. One could say I was on *ahem* an odyssey.
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – amusing, somewhat scientific look at contemporary romance.
- Pure Comedy by Father John Misty is the most complete album, musically and lyrically, that I have had a pleasure of listening to in a long time.
- Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino by Arctic Monkeys. The band gets my appreciation for being brave enough to explore the sound without conforming to mainstream fanbase.
- Con Todo el Mundo by Khruangbin has been on repeat any time I was tired of words and yearned for that instrumental bliss.
- Animal by The Changs. The album sounds derivative, in that it seems to be inspired by many artists that I like – thus, I loved Animal.
Best films (and TV shows)
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Coen Brothers time and again please with their original screenplay and the ability to tell stories that captivate.
- Manchester by the Sea – After a friend read Guy de Maupassant’s Necklace, he said a simple truth that stuck with me for ever: it is easy to ruin a life. This film shows how devastating life’s twists can be, and that time is not always a panacea.
- L’Avventura – it’s never too late to get acquainted with classics.
- BoJack Horseman – Just watch it.
- Master of None – Aziz Ansari is a master of showing what Modern Romance is like.
- Everything is Alive is a gem. My favorite is Maeve, Lamppost.
- Song Exploder – podcasts were created for podcasts like Song Exploder to exist. My favorites are Mitski, Andrew Bird, and Black Panther episodes.
- Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast – I’d love to do something like this one day – just sit and jibber-jabber about all things.
- kottke.org – I only discovered the world’s first blog this year, and it’s instantly become my go-to site for fine hypertext products.
- Expresso Newsletter is not a blog, it’s a newsletter. And it is in Russian. But it helped me to consume much less news this year.
- How to pick a career (that actually fits you) by Tim Urban – I read it in several sittings over several months, but this is one of the most well thought-out pieces I’ve read this year.
- How to Read Books by Rolf Dobelli – I have read so many books, but I do not remember most of them. Indeed, only a few dozens of books I remember well, and they seem to be the ones that effected me the most. Could Dobelli’s solution “Read less, but read it twice” have truth to it? I think so.
- RescueTime – «You can’t change what you can’t measure.» I had no idea how much time I spend in front of a screen (big or small). For now, this app helped me to realise that, but has it helped to change my behavior? Not drastically, but it’s all on me now.
- KeepassX – one great, safe, and simple password manager.