Monday, December 22, 2008

the most wonderful time of the year…

…for armchair-critic geeks like me is when we get to make our top-ten(-ish) lists. Same qualifiers as last year: These aren’t necessarily the best-with-a-capital-B, just my favorites, and the books aren’t necessarily ones published in ‘08, just ones I read this year.

Top ten books I read in 2008:

1. Tie: The Second World by Parag Khanna and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. The former rocked my paradigm and the latter reminded me of how humanity plays out in that new paradigm.

3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Post-colonialism can be sly and funny.

4. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Lifted me up when I really needed it.

5. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers. Once again, he tied it all together.

6. The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty. Kind of like Prep for poor girls.

7. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. I didn’t want to like it as much as I did, but few voices have stuck with me as much.

8. Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender. These short stories are like 15 magical little prose poems.

9. Veronica by Mary Gaitskill. She writes about beauty without seeming shallow.

10. Waylaid by Ed Lin. Way funny.

Top ten-ish movies I saw (in theaters*) in 2008:

2. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
3. Happy-Go-Lucky
4. There Will Be Blood
5. Slumdog Millionaire
6. Changeling
7. Hancock
8. Rachel Getting Married
9. Sweeney Todd
10. Penelope
11. Milk

*A couple of which, yeah, came out in 2007, but I’m not Oscar and the second-run theater near me is super cheap especially on Wednesdays, okay?


Michael DeAntonio said...

You put WALL-E above Sweeney Todd and There Will Be Blood? What, are you on dope or something?

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

Love love love love love love love love and want to marry Nick Hornby. Dave won't mind.

Cheryl said...

M: Possibly. I also realized how many good movies are out right now, which I'll probably see this week, so I made the list way too early. I thought WALL-E was pretty perfect, but I've already revised my movie list five or six times in my head, so I'm quite open to my own fallability.

SK: Dave is a good man.

CC said...

I agree that Wall-E was the best movie I saw this year, but I didn't see There Will Be Blood this year. And never saw Sweeney Todd, because...c'mon.

Fightin' words?

Misty Harris said...

I think there is a mistake on this post. You listed Hancock in your top-10. Say it isn't so!

Cheryl said...

CC: It's on!

MH: It's so--because it was one of the best portrayals of a nontraditional relationship (millennium-spanning threesome!) I've seen, because it was funny and surprising and well-acted, and because, well, I don't want to be one of those predictable snobs who only likes indie movies.

Misty Harris said...

Well, I definitely never thought about that movie that way before! Fair enough. It still wasn't my cup of tea though. Maybe Charlize just needed more rubber apparel...

Have a Happy New Year, Cheryl :)