BEST OF 2021

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NON-FICTION: The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together — Heather McGhee

FICTION: Gold Diggers — Sanjena Sathian

FICTION: Impostor Syndrome — Kathy Wang

MEMOIR: Beautiful Country — Xian Julie Wang

ESSAYS: People Love Dead Jews — Dara Horn

DOCUMENTARY: A Thousand Cuts — Ramona S. Diaz

MOVIE: Plus One —Jeff Chan, Andrew Rhymer

MOVIE: Rocks — Sarah Gavron

MUSIC: An Evening with Silk Sonic — Bruno Mars, Anderson.Paak

TV: Taste the Nation — Padma Lakshmi

PODCAST: The Story of America’s Founding You Weren’t Taught in School: Jamelle Bouie interviews Woody Holton on The Ezra Klein Show

Late September Word of Mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song: Turntables [Emotion Picture] — Janelle Monáe

Documentary: All in: The Fight for Democracy — Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes

Memoir: My Time Among the Whites — Jennine Capót Crucet

Mystery: Who Is Vera Kelly? — Rosalie Knecht

TV Series: Taste the Nation — Padma Lakshmi

 

April Word of Mouth

Coffins of Khnum-Nakht and Nakht-Ankh, photo courtesy of the Manchester Museum

DNA: 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummies were thought to be brothers. Genetics tells a different story — Ben Guarino, Washington Post

Non-Fiction: The Bridge to Brilliance: How One Woman and One Community Are Inspiring the World — Nadia Lopez and Rebecca Paley

Fiction: Improvement Joan Silber

Productivity: The 12-Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months — Brian Moran

Music: Blue Soul — Blue Mitchell Sextet

TV: Jessica Jones — Melissa Rosenberg

Podcast: The Good Fight — Yascha Mounck

Ancient Inspiration: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Meditations, 8.47 — Marcus Aurelius

March Word of Mouth

 

Delight: A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food — David Downie

Non-Fiction: Women and Power: A Manifesto –– Mary Beard

Non-Fiction: So You Want to Talk About Race — Ijeoma Oluo

Strategy: How life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom Garry Kasparov

TV: False Flag — Amit Cohen, Maria Feldman

 

Song: O Menina Dança –Novos Baianos

Not so ancient inspiration: A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.  Maya Angelou

February Word of Mouth

Fiction: You Know Who You Are  Ben Dolnick

Non-fiction: Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom — Thomas Ricks

Website: SorryWatch — Susan McCarthy and Marjorie Ingall

TV: Fauda –Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz

Podcast: This Podcast Has Fleas — Koyalee Chanda and Adam Pelzman

Music: Serie Platano — Los Indios Tabajaras

 

 

Not-So-Ancient Inspiration: 

“Patience is not very different from courage. It just takes longer.” — James Richardson

 

March Word of Mouth

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Music: What It Is: Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977), from the Vaults of Atlantic, Atco and Warner Bros. Records. Various artists.

Comedy:  No Can Defend — Gary Gulman

Memoir: Year of YesShonda Rhimes

Writing: The Forest for the Trees: an Editor’s Advice to Writers Betsy Lerner

Essays: 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write: on Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children and Theater — Sarah Ruhl

Movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny — Yuen Woo-Ping. Netflix.

Not-So-Ancient Inspiration: “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” — William James