Andrew’s Top Books of 2013

As the end of the year dictates, I have compiled my top reads of 2013. Before we dive into the list, I feel it’s necessary to remind readers about the process as denoted last year. 1. Yes, evaluating the best in a given year is subjective so if you disagree, great! 2. I rate fiction and nonfiction differently. To me, fiction requires an element of creativity and entertainment; I want to read art. Nonfiction, on the other hand, is evaluated on its educational qualities. Did I learn and apply the principles found in the book? Therefore, I have split lists between fiction and nonfiction. 3. Reading a book is a linear process. It takes time. Thus, I read old and… Read More →

Andrew’s Top 20 Albums of 2013

I have a theory, even if it is slightly unfounded, that when Arcade Fire took the Grammy win for Album of the Year a while back, the entire music industry changed. Suddenly loner acts and those without a record label signing them became viable artists doing more than just breaking even. I tried to limit my choices to a mere ten, but couldn’t do it. There’s a lot of good music out there. So, here are my top twenty for the year. Every day the order changes, but this is where I’m at now. 20. Lady Gaga — Artpop I have always loved Lady Gaga. Her performances border on depraved artistry, wearing meat coats and the like. Nevertheless, her music is a constant… Read More →

Andrew’s Top Albums of 2011

For 2011, it felt like I listened to a lot of music. But in retrospect, I didn’t listen to that much. As a result, instead of listing my top forty albums as I did last year (on Facebook, here’s my list from 2010), I have limited this list to twenty-five artists who I feel span a vast array of genres, representing what I feel is the best of the year. 25. Cold War Kids – Mine Is Yours  Though I hadn’t previously heard much of Cold War Kids, I really thought Mine Is Yours was super catchy, singable, and really fun to listen to; it’s a good album for a road trip. 24. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead With their sixth album,… Read More →

Donovan’s Top Albums of 2011

For me, 2011 represented a transition year in my musical taste. Where music previously defined a large portion of my life, now, my relation to music, and by default, my musical consumption, diminished greatly this year. While I used to listen to everything under the sun hoping to find new artists, diamonds in the rough, and great music from bands I had previously written off, I spent most of 2011 listening to artists I have previously enjoyed. Even though my list contains some new artists, I must admit that I am less convinced about this list representing the best of 2011’s music. Nevertheless, I hereby submit my top 25 albums of 2011. 25. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light Wasting Light… Read More →

Andrew and Donovan’s Top Books of 2011

You Win! Not these Trophies Though… Photo by Snap Before we dive into our lists for the best books we have read in 2011, a brief explanation is in order. Unlike our musical tastes, the books we read span generations. Thus it makes little sense to only create a “best of list” around books published in 2011. In fact as you will see, Donovan has only read 10 books published this year. Therefore, we have separated our “best of” list into four specific lists. First, Donovan will present “Top Ten Books Published in 2011” list which will include all ten books he has read published this year. Second, he will share his ten favorite novels read this year that have… Read More →