Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016: the lists!!!

For the past few years I have been doing Lists of my favourite things of the year. I do know lists are annoying, but I also know as a Librarian, film buff etc people will ask me what is my here they are.

I'd love to know yours too, so please share!!!

Top 10 Books of 2016

1. The Boy Behind The Curtain – Tim Winton
- stunning writing and subject matter, memoir based essays.
2. Everywhere I Look – Helen Garner
 - perfect writing, interesting subject matter, essays.
3. The View From The Cheap Seats – Neil Gaiman
- huge tome of his NF writing, inspirational and intelligent.
4. The Hate Race – Maxine Beneba Clarke
- her outstanding memoir of growing up black in suburban Sydney.
5. Odd Woman and the City – Vivian Gornick
- fascinating vignettes of life as an older woman in NYC.
6. Dying: a memoir – Cory Taylor
 - heart breaking yet insporational memoir of a woman dying of cancer.
7. Talking to my Country – Stan Grant
 - must-read for all Australians about race in Australia.
8. The Strays – Emily Bitto
- fabulous novel about artists and their intertwined lives in 60s Melbourne.
9. Use Your Words – Catherine Deveney
- wonderfully entertaining AND instructive book on writing.
10. Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms – Anita Heiss
- fictional love story set against the backdrop of the Cowra Breakout.
The Top 10 Books from other years
1. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
- outstanding novel about Missionaries in Africa (seriously one of the most remarkable novels I have ever read!!!)
2. Pictures from Italy – Charles Dickens
- travel book from the 1846 by that Dickens!
3. The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
- story of Chicago World Fair, 1893, and the serial killer on the loose.
4. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
- Ultimate classic, perfection to re-read.
5. My Salinger Year – Joanna Rakoff
- a young student in the mid 90s working at Salinger's publisher.
6. Searching for Schindler – Thomas Keneally
- the fascinating story behind finding Schindler's story and getting it told.
7. Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver
- Fictional history of Kahlo and Riveria and Trotsky.
8. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
- remarkable story of one woman hiking to find herself.
9. Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
- classic noir story
10. A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
- Bill and friend hilariously decide to hike local woods without training.
Top 10 DVDs
1.Broken Circle Breakdown
 - beautiful Belgium drama about an unconventional romance.
2. Beginners
- story of a young man pulling himself together after his father passes.
3. Youth
- older men having one last creative go at life.
4. Bellier Family
- rural French family whose daughter is accepted into a Parisian music academy.
5. Force Majeure
- Swedish film about what happens to a family after a near-miss tragedy.
6. Tangarines
- Estonian film about a man who remains behind during war and cares for the wounded of the other side.
7. Inside Out
- lovely animation about feelings.
8. Deadpool
- hopelessly wrong Superhero film, hilariously excellent!
9. Sing Street
- gritty film about a group of young boys putting a band together in the 80s.
10. Son of Saul
- heartbreaking film set in the Holocaust, where a man finds his lost son.
Hon. mentions: Sicario, The Lobster, The Daughter
Top 10 Documentaries
1. Everything is Copy
- All about Nora Ephron, directed by her son. Brilliant!
2. Runnin’ Down a Dream: Tom Petty
 - 4 hours long, directed by Bogdanovich. Everything Petty!
3. I am Big Bird
- the melancholy film about the man who IS Big Bird.
4. Supermensch
- fabulous story of the life of Shep Gordon, Hollywood Manager.
5. Iris
- lovely look at Iris Apfel, elderly fashion guru.
6. Blackfish
 devastating look at killer whales in captivity.
7. Being Evel
- all about Evel Knievel, nuts but fabulous.
8. Wolfpack
- odd story of a family who never left their Manhattan apartment.
9. Dream of life
- Great story of Patti Smith, featuring interviews and music.
10. Salt of the Earth
- Wenders follows world photographer, Sebastiao Selgado. Stunning!
Top 10 Movies

1. Eight Days a Week
- the story of The Beatles' tours. Goosebump raisingly good.
2. La La Land
- actress meets jazz muso and magical music is made.
3. Hitchcock Truffant
- the documentary of this famous meeting between two great minds.
4. Spotlight
- Oscar film of the year, busting open the church and their secrets.
5. Brooklyn
- young Irish girl moves to Manhattan in the 50s to find her way.
6. The Martian
- Astronaut, thought dead, left on Mars and how he tries to survive.
7. Marguerite 
- French drama/comedy about a famous singer who cannot sing.
8. Maggie’s Plan
- unconventional romantic comedy, written by Rebecca Miller.
9. Hello My Name is Doris
- Sally Field is Doris, elderly and a little lost after her mother dies.
10. Rogue One
- great stand alone Star Wars film
Hon. Mentions: 45 Years, Carol, Valley of Love, God Willing.
Top 20 Television
1. Game of Thrones
 - truly gets better and better, this season was perfection
2. Walking Dead
- just when you think you know it all, they change it up!
3. Please Like Me
- melancholy, funny, real, wonderful writing, sheer perfection.
4. The Family Law
- great family comedy courtesay of Benjamin Law and his hilarious family.
5. Divorce
- clever drama/comedy about a couple going through a divorce.
6. Veep
- great subversive comedy, just gets better and better.
7. Leftovers
- what happens after an incident where 10% of the population just disappear!
8. Raised By Wolves
- hilarious story of a large family growing up poor in London.
9. People Vs OJ SImpson
- stunning presentation of this real life story.
10. Kettering Incident
- mystery/drama set in Tasmania, great acting and story.
11. Rake
- best season yet, cheeky, dramatic, clever, Cleaver.
12. Penny Dreadful
- Victorian Fantasy with stunning sets and designs.
13. The Night Of
 - wonderful murder mystery, where you think you know what's happening...
14. Secret City
- mystery and intrigue in Canberra.
15. The Durrells
- lovely mini series based on Durrell's magical books of growing up on Corfu.
16. Masters of Sex
- subversive, sexy, dramatic, funny, this is a great series.
17. Rosehaven
- lovely, comedic, sweet story of a boy/girl friendship.
18. Silicon Valley
- hilarious story behind a start up company with dopey dudes.
19. Gilmore Girls
- it wasn't perfect, but by god it was lovely to see all those familiar faces!
20. Broad City/Inside Amy Schumer
- both great feminist comedy shows, with great gals and fab gags.
Top 10 Albums/Music
- how could this not be the year of Bowie!?
- or Prince!
3. 70s Radio
- discovered this on Fox, plays 70s music, no ads, all day!
4. Hopelessness  - Anohni
- devastating, beautiful, nurturing, healing.
5. 25 – Adele
- that voice, those songs, she's brilliant!
6. Porridge and Hot Sauce – You Am I
- kick arse rock and super poppy ballads.
7. American Tunes – Allen Toussait
- jazz and blues standards done beautifully.
8. Pure McCartney – Paul McCartney
- a double album of the best from the best.
9. Eternal Return – Sarah Blasko
- blissful album in that unique voice.
10. Sorry I let it Come Between Us – Saskwatch
- put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the funk.

Hon. mentions: Podcasts: Here's the thing (Alec Baldwin interviews interesting people), Women of the hour (Lena Dunham interviews interesting women and discusses women's issues), West Wing Weekly (Joshua Malina discusses his show, episode by episode with special guests).

Top 10 Concerts
1. John Paul Young
- blew my mind, he had us from the first beat and never let go!
2. Madonna
- what a show and she actually sounded great too.
3. Rodriguez
- stunning, he sounded great, sentimental too.
4. Steve Smyth
- always outstanding, overdue for more.
5. Violent Femmes
- been a long time, but they have lost nothing!
6. Sunnyboys
- outstanding performance, made me teary.
7. Morrissey
- Morrissey, in Newcastle, who would have thunk it, loads of fun!
8. Russell Morris
- just gets better with age.
9. Vince Jones
- sublime, jazz at it's best.
10. Hoodoo Gurus
- always great, no matter how many times I have seen them!
Special Mention: Sydney Symphony
Hon. mentions: Died Pretty, Kate Cebrano, Jon Stevens, Trancemission, Custard.
Other shows: David Sedaris, Matilda, Hello Stranger, Alvin Sputnik.
Top 10 Art Exhibitions
1. Frida and Diego
- because they are so very special and important.
2. John Olsen
- inspiring, made you want to draw and paint and create.
3. David Hockney
- remarkable output, also inspiring.
4. Banksy
- sheer and utter joy to see this one.
5. Bulgari Jewells
- stunning, beautiful, items of fantasy.
6. Degas
- pretty, beautiful, huge range of styles over time.
7. Grayson Perry
- fabulous, huge pieces, important culturally, hilarious, dramatic.
8. Rock Photography by Tony Mott
- culturally important, huge collection of print and film.
9. Mambo
- surreal, funny, clever, bright.
10. Nigel Milsom
- intriguing display and interview, heart wrenching cleverness.
Hon. mentions: Nudes, The Greats, Impressions of Paris, Scorsese.

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