Best-Of Mania

Added 10 movies today to my Netflix queue and 7 books to my NY Public Library list.  Went on a Limewire downloading spree.  Wondered why I didn’t get tickets for that play.  Questioned how it is humanly possible to keep up.  Sound familiar?

It’s time for the onslaught of best-of lists compiled by any and every media outlet you can imagine.  I try to scan as many of them as possible, but that’s usually it — a quick scan, a nod, a click on a button, a”what were they thinking?!” shout out.  But, today, I devoured and utterly enjoyed New York magazine’s The Year in Culture 2008.

Why?  The categories are more clever than usual, I fell hard for their “Unforgettables” sidebars (it has a nice ring to it) and the writing is inspired.

Check out this excerpt from Sam Anderson’s brief description of Roberto Bolano’s 2666, which landed the #5 spot on his best books of the year:

topten081215_5_198x198

Its woolier digressions have no business on a top-ten list; its masterful stretches deserve a list of their own.  Trying to rank it is like trying to thumb-wrestle a starfish.  I’m putting it here, in the middle, purely as an act of surrender.”

Where is that list of Best Critical Writing for the Year?

Posted by: Mariela

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