2013 Miscellany

I promise we won't drag this 2013 list-making out much longer into 2014. But when Rachel, Annie, and I Google Hungout to discuss the things that we liked from 2013, we had a lot to say. Drinking was involved - when I brought up the new James Blake album for our music list, Annie threw her support behind it having thought I was talking about the Nike Drake album that came out in 1972. Full disclosure: Annie has not listened to the new James Blake. (Number seven on our list, and it's a lie!)

Well, anyway. We're not going to post the lists we had for podcasts or webseries, but I did want to share a smattering of stuff, from 2013, that was excellent and wonderful. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

Maria Bamford, Ask Me About My New God (comedy, stand up) – She’s my favorite comedian. She does a host of different voices. Her new album touches on mental illness and belief in God, among other things, and gives the double gift of making you laugh AND think. This might be my favorite thing to come out this year, period.

Kumail Nanjiani, Beta Male (comedy, stand up) – This is another great stand up set from this year. Kumail talks about the new Call of Duty being set in his home town and of defending himself and his roommates while wearing a colander. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half: unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened (book) - This is Brosh's book version of her blog. She does stories and (brilliant) pictures in a stick-figurey style in something like Microsoft Paint. Her book talks a lot about her dogs and herself as a child, and it also includes a two-part series on depression that's honest, insightful, and deeply personal. I don't think this is a work that will fade from the public consciousness any time soon.

George Saunders, The Tenth of December (book of short stories) – Saunders is the best. His stories range from bizarre sci-fi-ish to funny to cold real-life calamity. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m jealous because you still get to read it for the first time.

Caitlin Moran, How to be a Woman (book) – This isn’t quite the manual the title suggests. Brittish comedian and music journalist, Moran, writes in more of a memoir style. She’s funny and poignant. Her book is accessible and fairly light.

Richard Herring’s Comedy Podcast, guest: Stephen Fry (podcast episode) – I've heard Stephen Fry be called a British national treasure, which I think fits. On this podcast episode, Fry talks about his time in prison when he was a young man, about ongoing depression - I suppose we could call this list "Amy likes various media in which depression is discussed - and about whether or not he's ever tried to suck his own cock. Rush right out and listen to it.

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