2005 favorites JAN 03 2006
If you're like me, you're waiting patiently for that day in early January when you can go more than 10 minutes without seeing a reference to some best of 2005 list. If you're also like me, you love lists so much that you can't get enough of them. So, with apologies to that first part of me, here's a final 2005 lists from me: a few movies, weblogs, books, and musical selections that I enjoyed this past year (in no particular order).
Music (not necessarily released in 2005)
Ladytron, Witching Hour. This one grew on me a lot.
Kelly Clarkson, Since U Been Gone.
Bloc Party, Silent Alarm.
Royksopp, The Understanding.
Diplo, Megatroid Mix. (download)
Boards of Canada, Campfire Headphase.
Mark Mothersbaugh (and others), The Life Aquatic soundtrack.
Stars, Set Yourself on Fire.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Kanye West, Gold Digger.
Sigur Ros, Takk.
BBC Philharmonic, Beethoven's Symphonies.
Two disappointments: Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better and Broken Social Scene by the band of the same name. I enjoyed Franz's debut album and You Forgot It in People so much, but the follow-ups fell flat for me. Still trying though...
Movies (not necessarily released in 2005)
Didn't see a lot of movies this year, unfortunately.
Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami.
The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen.
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson.
Consider the Lobster, David Foster Wallace.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke.
The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan.
Pieces for the Left Hand, J. Robert Lennon.
Freakonomics, Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner.
I read a ton of non-fiction but always enjoy the small amount of fiction I do read more.
Favorite weblogs. Compare with last year's list.
Waxy. Despite a year-end Yahoo! slowdown/hangover, still one of the absolute best.
Collision Detection. Enthusiasm about technology without the irrational exuberance or Web 2.0ness of other tech/tech culture blogs.
del.icio.us inbox. Not technically a blog, but I love this ever-fresh flow of my friends' favorites.
Robotwisdom. The original weblog was back this year after a 1.5 year hiatus. Jorn still has it.
The Morning News. Also not technically a blog, but TMN has been delivering high quality content on a daily basis for a long time now.
Flickr friends. Still the most fun on the web.
Cynical-C. Can't remember where or when I found this one, but almost every single thing on there is something I'm interested in.
Scripting News. I skim most of his opinion stuff, disagree with 90% of the rest of what I do read, but Dave has his finger on the pulse of the part of the web I care most about. He gets links so quickly sometimes that I think he's actually part RSS aggregator. "He's more machine than man now." "No, there is still good in him..."
Boing Boing. There's stuff I don't care about here, but the best of BB is really good.
3 Quarks Daily. The most accessible smart weblog out there.
Marginal Revolution. Quirky economics. Interesting everyday.
Goldenfiddle. I dislike celebrity gossip, but gf makes it seem interesting somehow. Damn you!
Youngna. Rationally exuberant.
You may notice that there are few "pro" blogs on this list. The best stuff out there is still being generated by interested, enthusiastic amateurs. When you're producing media for a profit, there's a certain vitality that's lost, I think...a loss I've been struggling with on kottke.org for the past few months. kottke.org was on last year's list but doesn't appear this year...here's hoping for a better year for the site in 2006.