Here are my picks in books, movies, and music.
This is the best evocation of growing up in the 1970's that I have ever read. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE. It's hilarious and heartfelt and also has a madcap family dynamic that reminded me of Cheaper by the Dozen. The only thing that I think Rushin missed is how obsessed kids were with space back then.
You think you’ve had some bad ex-boyfriends? Mary Miller will make you feel better with her gorgeously written tales of love gone wrong.
This novel explores the dangerous feeling (and reality) of being a teenage girl.
As you know if you’ve seen David Sedaris in person, the diary entries are always the best part of the night.
This one will be coming out in January 2018, and don’t worry if you don’t like the description. I thought it was a little bit Kavalier & Clay, a little bit Goldfinch.
This was my favorite movie of the year (and I don’t even like Robert Pattinson!), but its anti-hero vibe won’t be for everyone. If you can deal with unlikeable characters, though, this story’s relentless pace and surprising twists make for an exhilarating viewing experience.
A totally compelling documentary about the people who work at the New York Times’ Obituaries desk.
My favorite comedy of the year until I saw Lady Bird, which should be on order soon!
My final movie pick is a tie between two music documentaries: Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.
My music find of this year is the Honeycutters, a band from Asheville that I think you'll be hearing more about in 2018. Amanda Anne Platt's songwriting has been compared to that of Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell, and Margo Price; her voice calls to mind Natalie Merchant; the music is so consistently good that you can listen to the albums over and over and over. See also their 2016 release, On the Ropes, which has the best version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah that I have ever heard.