Annual Favorites: 2009

New Books
1. The Pleasures & Sorrows of Work, by Alain De Botton
2. The Paris Review Interviews IV
3. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick
4. The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes
5. Speak Low: Poems, by Carl Phillips
6. One D.O.A., One On the Way, by Mary Robison
7. The Uncrowned King, by Kenneth Whyte
8. Say Everything, by Scott Rosenberg
9. The Conqueror, by Jan Kjaerstad
10. John Milton, by David Hawkes

Other Books
1. The World Is What It Is, by Patrick French
2. Nothing to Be Frightened Of, by Julian Barnes
3. Angels & Ages, by Adam Gopnik
4. The Dark Side, by Jane Mayer
5. The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman
6. The Sacred Depths of Nature, by Ursula Goodenough
7. Cartesian Sonata and Other Novellas, by William H. Gass
8. Making Sense of Wine, by Matt Kramer
9. The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon
10. The Billionaire’s Vinegar, by Benjamin Wallace
11. A Hedonist in the Cellar, by Jay McInerney
12. Czeslaw Milosz: Conversations , ed. Cynthia L. Haven
13. Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947-1963, by Susan Sontag

Theater Movies
1. Where the Wild Things Are
2. A Serious Man
3. Fantastic Mr. Fox
4. (500) Days of Summer
5. An Education
6. Inglorious Basterds
7. Summer Hours
8. Star Trek
9. Up in the Air
10. Slumdog Millionaire
11. Food, Inc.
12. A Christmas Carol

Rented/Streamed Movies
1. Man on Wire
2. Wall-E
3. Zidane: A 21st-Century Portrait
4. Paranoid Park
5. Synecdoche, New York
6. Rachel Getting Married
7. Frost/Nixon
8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
9. In Bruges
10. Julie & Julia
11. Adventureland
12. Doubt
13. Tell No One
14. The Reader
15. Hamlet 2
16. Away We Go
17. You’re Welcome, America
18. Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger
19. Alien

(Disappointments: The International; I Love You, Man; Whatever Works; Funny People; Invictus.)

Music
Again, another lame year w/o real engagement in finding/listening to new music — getting by with my library of old. Bought almost nothing new (I really liked David Bazan’s new stuff that he offered online, but didn’t pull the trigger on the record) and went to only a few shows. Bonnie Prince Billy (finally) was the year’s highlight on that front, followed by a few SLSO performers at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts for ‘Ideal (Dis) Placements.’ 

TV
1. In Treatment (HBO, via Netflix)
2. Mad Men (HBO, via iTunes)
3. Damages (FX, via Hulu)
4. 30 Rock (NBC)
5. The Office (NBC)
6. Foyle’s War (PBS)

Exhibitions
1. Cezanne & Beyond, Philadelphia Museum of Art
2. Ideal (Dis-)Placements, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
3. Five Centuries of Japanese Screens, Saint Louis Art Museum
4. Strange Bodies, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
5. Louise Bourgeois, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
6. Power and Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty, Saint Louis Art Museum
7. Chance Aesthetics, Kemper Art Museum

(Plus memorable introductions to the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art (though much of it was closed for renovation), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (!), and the National Gallery.)

Wines
1. L’Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, WA (home)
2. Nicholson Jones Selec. Cabernet Sauv., 2005, California (Robust)
3. Colosi Nero d’Avila, 2006, Sicily, Italy (Acero)
4. Eric Ross Struttin’ Red, 2007, California (home)
5. Nicholson Jones Selec. N. Valley Cuvée, 2005, California (Robust)
6. Lucien Albrecht Gewürztraminer Reis., 2006, Alsace, France (ME’s)
7. Château Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes Bordeaux Blend, 2003, France (M’s)
8. Casa Lapostolle Sauv Blanc, 2008, Rapel Valley, Chile (home)
9. Hahn Estates Syrah, 2007, California (Robust)
10. Urban Uco Torrontes, 2007, Argentina (not sure)
11. Errazuriz Carmenère, 2007, Chile (Robust)
12. Real Stones, 2007, Bordeaux, France (home)
13. Alain Jaume Cotes du Ventoux Les Gelinottes, 2007, S. Rhone, France (home)
14. Adelsheim Auxerois, 2006, Oregon (WG’s)
15. Broadbent Vinho Verde, 2007, Portugal (home)
18. Jed Steele Shooting Star Syrah, 2007, California (Roxane)
19. Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, 2007, Spain (ME’s)
20. Carramimbre Crianza, 2004, Spain (home)
21. Domaine de la Bastide Syrah, France (home)

Technology & Software
Among my favorite tech offerings that I used for the first time in 2009:

1. iPhone
2. Things
3. Instapaper (especially the iPhone app)
4. Evernote
5. DEVONthink
6. Tweetie (for Mac and iPhone)
7. Backblaze
8. Caffeine
9. Droplr

Cheers also to 37Signals for their perfectly executed Lanchpad, which has only improved my daily interactions with Basecamp, Highrise, and Backpack.