I’ve been looking through the end-of-year lists of books of the year and cds of the year, so thought I’d present a cultural round up. Save you some time and trouble, and ask for your feedback.
Cds of the year
Women have topped a few of the lists for releases of the year in the music publications lits (Rolling Stone, Q, plus the Guardian etc). The bulk of the lists are music by blokes, but some female artists rate highly, and in all lists.
Florence & The Machine - Ceremonials
Adele - 21
St Vincent - Strange Mercy
Laura Marling - A Creature I Don’t Know
Gillian Welch - The Harrow & the Harvest
Kate Bush - Words for Snow
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Bjork - Biophilia
All worth listening to, I reckon, and would make good gifts.
I’d add some more.
Rumer - Seasons of my Soul
Seeker Lover Keeper
Joan as Policewoman - The Deep Field
SMH had a little article about how well women recording artists are doing, with mention of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyonce. I reckon we’ve all heard enough abohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifut them. Others on my list are more interesting to me.
Can you tell I only buy cds by women?
Books of the year
These are the books that appear a few times on various lists. I read male as well as female writers. But predominately I read female. I haven’t read a lot of fiction this year. Studying. But these from the lists appeal. I’ve got the Ali Smith from the library.
The Stranger’s Child- Alan Hollinghurst
The Wine of Solitude - Irene Nemirovsky
There But For The - Ali Smith
A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
And two non-fiction
What is Madness? - Darian Leader
(sic) - Joshua Cody
A big year for shows
Well, I said at the beginning of the year that I want to go out more, and see shows, and I have.
I’ve seen concerts: Bat for Lashes, Joan as Policewoman, kd lang, Sufjan Stevens, tributes to Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen. I loved all of them.
I’ve seen plays: Lady Nerd, The Threepenny Opera, Motherhood: The Musical, Silent Disco, Speaking in Tongues, Mary Poppins, In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play.
I have to say it; I’m truly over the use of projected filming of actors on stage during performances. I get it, people. Move on. Threepenny Opera, I’m looking at you, but I believe Kevin Spacey's Richard III does it too. Hmmm. I don’t know that I’ll be seeing any mainstream theatre next year. It really is too expensive. I’ll try for some independent, and performance events put on by The Arts Unit, and some free talks at Belvoir and the Opera House. That might be all.
So, how have you fared with cultural events this year? Any shows or books or cds you’ve particularly enjoyed? Anything you've missed and hope to catch up on?