Best of 2019

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Despite not posting much this year, I could hardly forfeit the customary (see previous year-end lists below) opportunity to compile a best-of list. Here are a few general observations from the compiling:

  • I didn’t see a single film in the cinema this year, for the first time since I can recall. The films I did see in other formats/venues aren’t worth mentioning (“Crazy Rich Asians” on a matchbox aeroplane screen, for example). The explanation for this anomaly resides somewhere in between having an adorable toddler who can’t appreciate cinematic excursions (yet!), enjoying being a homebody, and being preoccupied with several great television offerings.
  • I bought one album this year (Bon Iver’s “i,i” on vinyl, incidentally), mainly because, last year, I came to the realization that I already own albums with which I’m still unfamiliar. Generally (and somewhat sadly, I might add), I don’t listen to music as deeply – patiently, undistractedly, repetitively – as I once did.
  • This year, I read non-fiction entirely. There was no literary immersion in verse, characterization, or plot as, at the beginning of the year, my intention was to read 10-12 spiritual classics. Unsurprisingly, after completing about four of them, I needed a reprieve. I suppose you can only tread water in an ocean for so long.
  • If I actually made new year’s resolutions, going to the cinema, listening to music, and reading poetry would be a few of mine.

Television (watched though not necessarily released in 2018)
*all synopses are from IMDB, except #2 which is from FC Barcelona*

  1. Fleabag (Season Two; BBC iPlayer): “A comedy series adapted from the award-winning play about a young woman trying to cope with life in London whilst coming to terms with a recent tragedy.”

  2. Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona (Limited Series; Rakuten TV): “Narrated by acclaimed actor John Malkovich the new series consists of eight 45-minute episodes based around eight key games that the team played in the 2018/19 season.”

  3. Delhi Crime (Season One; Netflix): “Based on the Nirbhaya case, Delhi Crime follows the Delhi Police investigation into the finding of the men who perpetrated this crime.”

  4. Chef’s Table (Season Six; Netflix): “Chef’s Table goes inside the lives and kitchens of six of the world’s most renowned international chefs. Each episode focuses on a single chef and a unique look at their lives, talents and passion from their piece of culinary heaven. “

  5. Mindhunter (Season One and Two; Netflix): “Set in the late 1970s, two FBI agents are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve open cases.”

  6. When They See Us (Limited Series; Netflix): “Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.”

  7. This Time with Alan Partridge (Season One; BBC One): “Alan is handed a career lifeline – the chance to stand in (temporarily) as co-host on This Time, a weekday magazine show.”

  8. Bodyguard (Season One; BBC One): “A contemporary thriller featuring the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.”

  9. Catastrophe (Seasons Two – Four; Channel 4): “American boy Rob gets Irish girl Sharon pregnant while on a business trip to London.”

  10. Black Earth Rising (Limited Series; BBC Two/Netflix): “Kate is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide whose adoptive mother, an international lawyer, faces a case that will shake their lives.”

  11. Climate Change: The Facts (Limited Series; BBC One): “David Attenborough takes a stark look at the facts surrounding climate change in today’s world, detailing the dangers we are already having to deal with and future threats, but also the possibilities for prevention and radical political, social and cultural change.”

  12. Killing Eve (Season Two; BBC America/BBC iPlayer): “After a series of events, the lives of a security operative and an assassin become inextricably linked.”

  13. Trapped (Season Two; RVK Studios): “In a remote town in Iceland, police desperately try to solve a crime.”


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Books (read though not necessarily released in 2019)

  • Spiritual Classics
    1. The Seven Storey Mountain (Thomas Merton)
    2. The Dark Night of the Soul (St. John of the Cross)
    3. Little Flowers of St. Francis
    4. The Practice of the Presence of God with Spiritual Maxims (Brother Lawrence)
  • Ignatian / Pastoral / Contemplative
    1. The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living
      (Timothy M. Gallagher)
    2. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction
      (Eugene H. Peterson)
    3. Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation (Martin Laird)

Previous Lists

2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2013 (Film) | 2012 | 2011

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