Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Favourites of 2011

     It's that time of year when people take a look back over their media intake for the past 12 months so I guess I'll take a shot at some of my favourites.
Concerts - Everything I attended this year was great but my favourites would have to be:
     Randy Stonehill performing in my living room
     The "Kicking at the Darkness" book launch - featuring Steve Bell, Glen Soderholm, Mike Janzen
     Phil Keaggy/Doyle Dykes/Frank Vignola
Books - I read over 60 books this year and many of them were very good so it's tough to narrow them down to a small list. Let's try a top 10 (but in no particular order):
     Doug Pagitt: A Christianity Worth Believing
     Ian Morgan Cron: Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me
     Gary Schmidt: The Wednesday Wars & Okay For Now
     Jonathan Rogers: The Wilderking Trilogy
     Mark Hollingsworth: Embracing the Gray
     Wallace Stegner: Crossing to Safety
     Ken Follett: Fall of Giants
     Shane Claiborne: Irresistible Revolution
     Pete Peterson: Fiddler's Gun & Fiddler's Green
     Brian Walsh: Kicking at the Darkness
     I also finished reading through the Old Testament in The Message translation (usually over my morning cereal). Sad to say it took me over 10 years to accomplish this, although I have read through the Bible 4 or 5 times over the last few decades. I certainly found the last number of OT books (the prophets) to be difficult - so much judgement and negativity. I think reading it in this modern language version made it seem even darker. However I do find Peterson's introductions to each book to be quite wonderful.
Movies - I seem to go to movies as more of an escape so I certainly feel I didn't see much that helped shape or influence my worldview this year. I think the only one really worth putting on a best of list would be Tree of Life.
TV - The only shows I watch (and I do it on my computer) are Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory. Both make me laugh and that's basically why I watch them.
Music - I was often focussed on checking albums off of the comprehensive Music Listening List I created, so I feel I haven't listened to as much new music this year.
New releases that I gave some attention to were:
     Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort
     Ben Shive: Cymbal Crashing Clouds
     Jason Gray: A Way to See in the Dark
     Proto~Kaw: Forth
     Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What
     Steve Bell: Kindness
     Brooke Fraser: Flags & Albertine
     Bennett/Batstone/MacDougall - Jesus Music Again
     Burlap to Cashmere
  (P.S. I liked all of these - ie. no favourites)
New music I need to give more time to:
     Bill Mallonee: Power and Glory
     Sara Groves: Invisible Empires
     Gungor: Ghosts Upon the Earth
     Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto
     Leigh Nash: Hymns and Spiritual Songs
     Gillian Welch: The Harrow and the harvest
     Jill Phillips: In This Hour
     Randy Stonehill: Spirit Walk
     Josh Garrels: Love & War & the Sea in Between

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