Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of the year

My recommendations for this year include:
Listen: an interview about Syria with the surgeon David Nott and many episodes of Radiolab but e.g. Translation.
Reportage/Analysis/Opinion: James Fallows on The Tragedy of the American Military, James Meek's Worse than a Defeat on the British Army in Afghanistan, A Vision for Nature by George Monbiot and ‘Islamic State’ – Seven Impressions Of A Difficult Journey by Jürgen Todenhöfer
Fiction: Tenth of December by George Saunders (2013), Orfeo by Richard Powers (2014) and The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino (1959). I've had a copy of the last of these three on my shelf since 1986 and only got around to reading it this month.

Non-fictionThe Copernicus Complex by Caleb Scharf (2014), Indonesia etc by Elizabeth Pisani (2014), Adapt by Tim Harford (2011) and Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane (forthcoming in 2015).
Watch: Twelve Years a Slave (released in 2013), Grand Hotel Budapest, Two Days and a Night.
and more...

The least boring post on this blog this year may be A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene.

My book recommendations for 2013 are here.

Image from story by Martin Chulov about Umm Abdu, a medic in Aleppo

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