As is traditional here are some highlights from the cultural universe in 2015
I've become slightly obsessed with Tim Kreider, but I only got his awesome book of Essays - We Learn Nothing in 2016. But it all started here with The Summer that Never Was - a sumptuous meditation on summer. Get that audiobook too, it's seriously great, possibly the best on this list.
An essay you can taste: How to grieve with Challah bread
Movies of the year:
Force Majeure / Overnighters / Me Earl and the Dying Girl / Whiplash / Lost Gold of the Highlands / Citizen Four / Mad Max
Master of None - great stuff from Aziz Ansari, thoughtful, inspiring, diverse, odd. More of this please.
360 degree bike ride this is real trippy and I basically just want to live in this universe...
We walk together: a Syrian family’s journey to the heart of Europe – Powerful snapshot from the Refugee Crises. I've never seen Shakespeare spoken with more intensity than the gentleman at the end.
Great creativity on show here, incredible Chatroulette first person shooter
Terry Gilliam on Stop Motion animation - not new, but one of the most inspiring from last year.
This is such a fun fresh sumptuous music video
Another year where I mostly listened to podcasts over all other media. Here are some classic episodes from this years favourites:
Love + Radio still killing it with the strange stories of life...
Mystery Show - meet and love Hans Jordy
Everything is stories - Joining Forrest Fenn on a real life Treasure Hunt.
Tape Radio - if you like podcasts about podcasts...
Invisibilia on Fear
Longform - interviews with makers
We are all completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler /// So You've Been Publicly Shamed Jon Ronson
Books - Summer book Tove Jansson - beautiful book, made me want to go and live on a scandinavian Island - always the sign of a good book.
The Water Book - Alok Jha - Water is a big deal, this lovely science book takes us through hard science via philosophy which is always my favourite route.
Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy, intense, not exactly a new release, but a claustrophobic belter.
Mac Demarco - love this instrumental album and it's free for some reason, but his albums are all cool so buy them too.
Midnight in a perfect world Ben Gibbard DJ mix
Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
Beautiful music session on a (quiet) electric bus. Great idea which sells the concept, and tells the story... Seinabo Sey - Younger
Moon Hooch More of this needs to exist in the universe
In the Dark Radio was great this year, radio listening events are few and far between, look forward to more soon. Bar Shorts film night is a great source of inspiring films, Tree the play by Daniel Kitson and Tim Key was ace. Rhymes with Orange for amazing poetry as usual.
Really enjoyed Emily Haworth-Booth's awesome comic book drawing course. I am the worst at drawing, but found it really fun, and helpful, definite recommendation if you're in London.
Cycling around Europe. Spent a month doing this and it is just the best. If I was 18 I would just take the whole summer off and cycle as far as possible. People are so nice to you when you are a weird foreigner on a bike in an inexplicable part of Germany.
Staying in the woods, in shepherds huts in the middle of Winter in Dorking is so great, these guys are really lovely at the Green Escape.
As per usual in recent years, I haven't discovered enough new music/ read enough books/ listened to enough Audiobooks so please do send recommendations if you have any.
Here's to 2016!