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2011 in Review: Books, Music, Movies and Television

This being the time of the year when we reflect on the past year in the rear view mirror, I thought I would reflect on my favorite media choices.

Books

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – Having worked for Apple Retail and hearing stories of what it was like to cross paths with Steve, I was excited to read what he was really like. He was a flawed human being like all of us but in spite of those flaws he was a relentless genius.
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – I just devoured this trilogy over the holidays. It tells the story of Katniss, who is an angst teenage girl who is thrust into the spotlight of competing for her life in a post-apocalyptic world. I can’t wait for the first movie in the series coming out in March.
  • Weird by Craig Groeschel – Hillary and I love Craig’s honest, practical and biblical wisdom. This book was no exception. In Weird Craig challenges Christians to go against the lifestyles of those around us and live like Christ even if it means being weird.
  • The Restless Heart by Ronald Rolheiser – My counselor recommended anything by Rolheiser and this book was definitely thought provoking and soul stirring. Rolheiser dives deep into explaining the soul stirrings that we all have to connect with others and ultimately God.

Music

I’m only including full albums because I firmly believe that artists should be judged by their full albums not just one catchy song that gets radio play.

  • Gungor (Ghosts Upon the Earth) – by far the most innovative and beautiful worship music I have heard in a long time
  • Civil Wars (Barton Hollow) – a group that features a former CCM artist and a Johnny Depp look alike just has to be good
  • Mumford and Sons (Sigh No More) – thanks to Spotify I haven’t had to buy this album yet but once I get the cash I’m springing for it
  • Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto) – the song Paradise is so addictive I keep coming back again and again to listen to the full album
  • The National (High Violet) – The National is my soundtrack for deep thought moments while I drink coffee

Movies

  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – you can’t go wrong with former Pixar director Brad Bird in charge of this movie
  • The Way – Emilio Estevez’s beautiful description of the spiritual journey is well worth seeing
  • I Am – Tom Shadyac’s documentary journey of finding out what’s wrong with our world and how we can fix it
  • The Beaver – I love stories of redemption and this one had an interesting connection to the real world as Mel Gibson played the role of a depressed man trying to find himself
  • Ides of March – this rather depressing and hopeless take on politics played into my current view of selfish, people pleasing politicians who deserve to be unemployed

Television

  • White Collar – my brother-in-law works on the show and we love the intrigue and team dynamics of this show about a FBI agent and “former” white collar criminal working together to solve crimes
  • Parenthood – though Sarah Braverman annoys the heck out of me and I play with my iPhone during scenes with her in it, Hillary and I still love the family dynamics and raw emotion of this show
  • Friday Night Lights – we miss our favorite coach and long for the small town life of Dillon
  • Modern Family – we are in danger of giving up on this show as most of the characters are venturing toward the extremes of their archtypes
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Books I’m Currently Reading

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius

Here are the books I am currently reading: