Tag Archives: Best of 2015

2015: Best Words (Books)

An alternate title for this post could be Books I Read This Year since I buy about 40 a year, start 30 and finish even less. If I finish it, I loved it.

Of course I don’t limit myself to books released in the calendar year but rather books that I get around to reading, whenever their release.

 

51r7deroPbL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

A Brief History of Seven Killings / Marlon James

Dizzying fictional epic on the real-life plot to assassinate Bob Marley. Pulls no punches.

81IWfWiI1vL.jpg

Modern Romance / Aziz Ansari

Curious comedian expounds on the paradox of choice and how technology has aided and crippled some aspects of decision making in dating.

21480734

Dataclysm / Christian Rudder

Founder of dating website OK Cupid explores the gap between what we say we want and what we actually want.

41qG1HGjJAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Several Short Sentences About Writing / Verlyn Klinkenborg

For anyone who wants to learn how to get the most impact from writing concise sentences and therefore become a better writer.

download (1)

Daring Greatly / Brene Brown

Verging on self-help, this is a great look at the psychology behind shame and vulnerability and how they work to hold us back or push us forward.

9780385527460_custom-103abf07a821169ed5fb4449c3f62da3a26ba914-s400-c85

The Beautiful Struggle / Ta-Nehisi Coates

The eloquently written first book from this year’s most celebrated writer.

20821190

The Mathematician’s Shiva / Stuart Rojstaczer

Funny and poignant look at what makes a family with all of its flaws.

44208674.cached.jpg

The Obamas / Jodi Kantor

More than just another D.C. insider book or a story about politics. It’s really a fascinating read on the work that goes into maintaining the highly visible and scrutinized marriage of America’s most ambitious power couple.

41cqe00ZzsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

On Writing / Stephen King

The best advice on writing and the sacrifice and courage needed to pursue the life you want.

4120yizU-2L

Slaughterhouse Five / Kurt Vonnegut

Classic that I never got around to in high school.

51xokNG6TvL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

How to Get Away with Murder in America / Evan Wright

Short story on the CIA, Cuban refugees and drug murders in Miami.

gilead

Gilead / Marilynne Robinson

I decided to read this book after figuring anyone being interviewed by the president must be worth reading. Robinson writes beautifully without being distracting, tackling religion, mortality and familial bonds with wonderful clarity and insight.

2015: Best Words (#Longform)

People are writing and creating more text than at any other moment in human history. We also have myriad devices that allow us to read that text — tablets, laptops and phones which are causing us to walk to our deaths and ruin our posture — but catching up on all that reading can be daunting. (I recommend an app called Pocket.)

This year was no different. There was lots of great #content to be read, through blogs, newspapers, even Twitter.

There were lots of great pieces on sports, modern relationships, celebrities, politics and music.

Of course you can’t talk about the year in longform journalism without mentioning the demise of one of the great pop culture websites: RIP Grantland. I’ll miss it but on the bright side my daily productivity has increased 57 percent.

 

1-kIjR_2W8S7MAhckRAqtvfQ

“Swipe Right on Monogamy”

Charlotte Shane / Matter

 The problem with “only fucking” isn’t that sex is dangerous or wrong outside the confines of certain social containers like the boyfriend label or an engagement ring. It’s that in 2015 and before, casual sex, as practiced by straight Americans, was routinely bereft of physical pleasure, mutual respect, and interpersonal maturity. Hook ups were supposed to be fun but they… well, weren’t.

w704

“Inside Jeremy Lin’s life after Linsanity and the New York Knicks”

Pablo Torre / ESPN Magazine

Hard to believe Linsanity was over three years ago.

usa-today-7862611.0

“Augusta National is a Fake Southern Wonderland Inspired by Trench Warfare”

Spencer Hall / SB Nation

Hilarious take on a tradition unlike any other.

fjm-grantland-1

“The Third Revelation of Father John Misty”

Sean Fennessey / Grantland

Everyone grows up eventually.

w704 (1)

“Ask Polly: Am I Too Smart for My Own Good?”

Heather Havrilesky / New York Magazine

All of Havrilesky’s “advice” columns are worth reading but this is the best of the bunch.

w704 (2)

“Has Europe Reached the Breaking Point?”

Jim Yardley / New York Times Magazine

Is the European Union experiment doomed?

w704 (3)

“The Late, Great Stephen Colbert”

Joel Lovell / GQ Magazine

Stephen Colbert on the eve of his Late Show takeover.

w704 (4)

“Ann Coulter is a Human Being”

Mitchell Sunderland / Vice Magazine

I AM VAST I CONTAIN MULTITUDES

w704 (5)

“How to Fix a Racist Frat”

Kate Dries / Jezebel

The kids are not alright.

Trump1

“What Kind of Person Would Vote for Donald Trump? These People”

Drew Magary / GQ Magazine

An in-depth look at the political base of our next president.

unnamed1

“The Broad Strokes”

Rachel Syme / Grantland

Who says stoners are lazy?

w704 (7)

“A House Divided”

Ryan Lizza / The New Yorker

Inside the plot against John Beohner and the battle for the conservative soul of the U.S. House of Representatives.

download

“The Katrina Disaster That Hasn’t Ended”

Michael Grunwald / Politico

This was the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and for the occasion lots of people wrote retrospectives. I didn’t read many of them because I suspected they were overly sentimental or about jazz and New Orlean’s resiliency or George W. Bush, which is fine of course. But this article tackles a problem that played perhaps the largest role in the death and destruction resulting from that terrible storm: the self-serving relationship between Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers.

w704 (8)

“Out of Bethlehem”

Louis Menand / The New Yorker

How the greatest writer of her generation became a radical.

imrs

“The Public Life and Private Doubts of Al Sharpton”

Eli Saslow / The Washington Post

Sharpton in Winter.

1-JxgQABwTuhSYFDK7Scys2A

“Against Chill”

Alana Massey / Matter

For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

23-kaitlin-bachelorette.w529.h352

“Praise Kaitlyn Bristowe

Jada Yuan / New York Magazine

Let’s talk about sex, baby.

w704 (9)

“How to be a Friend Indeed”

Bruce Feiler / The New York Times

Practical advice on how to be a friend to those in crises.

w704 (10)

“The True Story Behind ‘Zola,’ the Epic Twitter Story Too Crazy to be Real”

Caitlin Dewey / The Washington Post

Background on the greatest story every written 140 characters at a time.

w704 (11)

“Sea of Crises”

Bryan Phillips / Grantland

Sometimes it’s all about the journey, ya know.

9e7fc301c24011e6d40ec6dd798bf290_XL.jpg

“Da Art of Storytellin’ (A Prequel)”

Kiese Laymon / The Oxford American

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

2015: Songs of the Year (25-1)

drake-future-timetobealive
Phillips Arena on June 20, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here’s the conclusion to the year’s top songs along with a Spotify link to the playlist.

Pt. 1 can be found here.

25. “Jumpman” / Future and Drake

24. Major Lazer and DJ Snake (feat. MØ)

23. “Let it Happen” / Tame Impala

22. “Do It” / Tuxedo

21. “Hotline Bling” / Drake

Goofy, unconscious dancing and instant memability aside, “Hotline” holds its own as more than just another song about Drake holding women to standards the he would never abide himself. It’s a chameleon once again proving he can slip on any style and find gold. Drake is so plugged into the zeitgeist he can take a throw away track from a batch of internet leaks and top the charts. Praise be to the 6 God.

Continue reading 2015: Songs of the Year (25-1)