In 2016, we lost many iconic, influential, and inspiring figures. From Harambe, to Prince and Muhammad Ali, 2016 took many legends from the world. Nonetheless, 2016 was still a great year and one that we will remember for a long time.
2016 gave us lots of great new things when it comes to the arts. Great books. Great music. Great movies. On my not-so-consistent blog I will take you on a tour of my favorite things that I read/listened to/watched this year.
Rule: Not everything on my list was released in 2016. All items on my list were things that I enjoyed during the calendar year. There were some great works released this year in all aspects of art, but my list reflects only what I enjoyed during 2016. I will give you my top 3 favorite books, TV shows, and Albums from 2016 along with a few honorable mentions.
- Between the World and Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates
This book was very intriguing to me for many reasons. I picked up a copy because I had heard that it was a great book, and went into reading it not knowing exactly what it was about. Having not read a lot about racial issues, this book was not an easy read, nor something I was accustomed to. It was very helpful, though, to see life from another persons point of view. Although it is a relatively short book, what it lacks in the number of pages is made up for in the quality of writing. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to get out of their comfort zone and explore what life is like in someone else’s shoes.
2. The Power of Habit: Charles Duhigg
This book was one of the most interesting books of my 2016. Duhigg digs deep into why we do what we do, and the motivations behind it all. While “The Power of Habit” is loaded with lots of information and the analysis of, it does not read like a textbook. Well written, often humorous, and full of helpful ideas about how to form or change habits, this book easily made its way onto my favorites list this year.
3. When Breath Becomes Air: Paul Kalanithi
I don’t know why, but I am not much of a crying person. Sure, give me a video of a soldier returning to his family at halftime of a football game: Tears. But show me, “The Fault In Our Stars”: No tears. Not one. When I finished this book I was wiping the tears out of my eyes. This book is a biography of a neurosurgeon who finds out he is plagued with the cancer he has worked his whole life to cure. Because of his unfortunate defeat to cancer, Kalanithi’s wife decided to finish his story by writing the final chapter. I cried like a baby. An intriguing story with a sad ending, this book is well worth your time and provides an interesting perspective on death.
Honorable Mentions: Books
- My Dangerous Year of Running-Tom Foreman
- Quiet-Susan Cain
- What Men Live By-Leo Tolstoy
- H is for Hawk-Helen Mcdonald
- The Revenant-Michael Punke
- NOT JANE EYRE
Like the rest of the world in the summer of 2016, I was instantly sucked into the world of Stranger Things. This show is only 8 episodes long, making it short enough to watch over a weekend, and will leave you on the edge of your seat the whole way through. With so many questions left unanswered in the finale, there is no one more excited than me for season 2 to release sometime in 2017.
2. Last Chance U
If you are as big of a football fan as me, this show is for you. Taking you down to eastern Mississippi, “Last Chance U” gives you a behind the scenes look at a division 2 school known for producing some of the most notable college football stars in the game today. Sometimes it seems like a comedy show and others like a drama series, “Last Chance U” is every football fans new favorite show.
I came across this show on Netflix in large part because of my love for BBC’s “Sherlock,” and I’m glad I did. This show is split up into 4 seasons of varying length, and kept me captivated the whole way through. With the release of 2 episodes after a 3-year hiatus, all the questions that seemingly went unanswered are drawn together. I figured that another BBC mystery show wouldn’t let me down and “Luther” did not disappoint.
Honorable Mentions: TV Shows
- The Flash
- Parks and Recreation
- Currents-Tame Impala
“Currents” is probably my most played album of 2016. Before it’s release I had never heard any of Tame Impala’s music except for the song ‘Backwards’ on the Divergent movie soundtrack. Not only does this album have some of the coolest artwork you’ll ever see, it is equally incredible in the quality of music. With equal parts of rock and electronic mixed in with some 70’s type vibes, this album was my go to for a big part of 2016. Make sure you check out records like, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” and “Eventually.”
2. I Forget Where We Were-Ben Howard
Ben Howard is a new artist to me as of 2016, but when I heard the song, “Small Things” I was instantly hooked. I used this album mostly for study music, but it is good enough to enjoy on its own. This is not an album that you can get up and dance to, but is very much worth a listen on a long study day, a rainy day, or a day where you just need to relax.
3. Awaken, My Love-Childish Gambino
The second I listened to the opening track, “Me and Your Mama” I knew this album was gonna be good. There were few albums released in 2016 that I was crazy about, but this one fit the bill. Gambino gives us an album full of funk, soul, and impressive singing that matches the vibe of it’s cover. This was one of my favorite projects this year and will definitely be revisited this summer.
- A Seat at the Table-Solange
- Ghost Stories-Coldplay
- The Very Best of Otis Redding-Otis Redding
- Bon Iver-Bon Iver
2016 was a great year and I’m looking forward to what 2017 has in store!