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 →

Donovan’s Top Books of 2012

As the end of the year dictates (December is a grumpy and demanding month), I have compiled my top reads of 2012. Before we dive into the list, I feel it’s necessary to give brief notes about the process. 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,… Read More →

Andrew’s Top Books of 2012

This year, both Donovan and I decided to break out lists up into separate posts.  As it turns out, we both read quite a bit. I’ve broken my top books up into three categories. First, books that I read that were published in 2012 (both fiction and non-fiction). Second, fiction books that I read that weren’t published in 2012, and lastly, the top non-fiction books that I read this year. Top 10 Books (Fiction and Nonfiction) I Read Published in 2012: 10. Blueprints of the Afterlife: A Novel by Ryan Boudinot 9. Calico Joe by John Grisham 8. The Newlyweds: A Novel by Nell Freudenberger 7. Waiting for Sunrise: A Novel by William Boyd 6. The Round House by Louise Erdrich 5. Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich 4. The Casual… Read More →

Andrew’s Top 20 Albums of 2012

No, there’s no Kesha, Maroon 5, or Carly Rae Jepsen on this list, and that’s how I like it. This list, at the moment anyway, reflects what I feel to be the best albums released in the year 2012. I’ve listened to a ton of albums this year, so this represents just a small smattering of what I feel to be the best. Most of these albums have an in depth review on this very blog, so check it out! Also, many of these albums appear on Donovan’s top ten list, and rather than re-inventing the (idler) wheel, I copied his descriptions for those albums because he’s right.   20.  Ben Folds Five – The Sound Of The Life Of… Read More →