2017: In Word and In Film

I usually try to keep a pretty accurate record of everything I read and watch during a calendar year. I have a little black journal that I use to write down the books I read and the movies, TV shows, etc. that I watch. It’s nothing fancy, but I like to look back on a year and see what I’ve consumed.

This year, I did that for the first two months of the year, and then things kind of went to shit. I’m trying to recreate this year anyway, since I’d like to at least try to remember, and I’d like to get back into the habit of writing these things down. I like to write things down. Here are the things I know I read in 2017:

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Letters to Wendy’s – Joe Wenderoth
Ordinary Genius – Kim Addonizio
Book of My Nights – Li-Young Lee
View With a Grain of Sand – Wislawa Szymborska
Roy Spivey – Miranda July
Still Life With Oysters and Lemon – Mark Doty
The Revenge of the Baby-Sat (Calvin and Hobbes) – Bill Watterson
Hark! A Vagrant – Kate Beaton
It’s All Absolutely Fine – Ruby Elliot
The Four Questions of Melancholy – Tomaz Salamun
Horses Horses Horses Horses – Paul Hamlyn
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce – Morgan Parker
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson
The Book of Ho’oponopono – Luc Bodin, Nathalie Bodin Lamboy & Jean Graciet
Things That Are – Amy Leach
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
The Art of the Story – ed. Daniel Halpern
* The Fat Man in History – Peter Carey
* The Courtship of Mr. Lyon – Angela Carter
* The Old Man Slave and the Mastiff – Patrick Chamoiseau
* Night Women – Edwidge Danticat
* The House Behind – Lydia Davis
* Ysrael – Junot Diaz
* Reflections of Spring – Duong Thu Huong
* The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor – Deborah Eisenberg
* Midnight and I’m Not Famous Yet – Barry Hannah
* The Canebreak – Mohammed Mrabet
* Mark of Satan – Joyce Carol Oates
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times – ed. Neil Astley
Hunger – Roxane Gay
They Say / I Say – Graff/Birkenstein/Durst
The St. Martin’s Handbook – Andrea Lundsford
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Brawl & Jag – April Bernard
American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath – Carl Rollyson
The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
Big Sur – Jack Kerouac
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Walden: A Life in the Woods – Thoreau
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Next Life – Rae Armantrout
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

That’s just 34 books. The starred entries are the short stories I read from The Art of the Story, which is a collection of international short stories. I’m sure I read other books but didn’t document them in a meaningful way. Next year I’d like to be better about this. I discovered Audible this year: I use it to listen to books in my car while I drive. Right now I’m listening to a Great Courses lecture on the twelve greatest presidents of the United States. It’s fascinating. I’d like to continue to use it in 2018.

Here comes the shameful part. Unfortunately, Netflix keeps track of almost everything I watch, though I’m certain this list is not comprehensive. Here are the things I know I watched in 2017:

Freaks and Geeks (season 1)
Broadchurch (season 3)
Jerry Before Seinfeld
Stranger Things (seasons 1 & 2)
The OA (season 1)
Saw II
The West Wing (season 1)
How I Met Your Mother (season 1)
Raising the Bar (didn’t finish: it was awful)
Field of Dreams
The Good Place (season 1)
The Village
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 3)
The Number 23
New Girl (seasons 1, 2, & 3)
Arrested Development (season 1)
That 70’s Show (season 1)
The Killing (season 4)
The IT Crowd (season 1)
Beauty and the Beast (remake)
Inside Out
Despicable Me 3
American Horror Story: Roanoke
Dark (sesaon 1)
Forrest Gump
Police Academy
The Prestige
High Fidelity
Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret
Bad Moms
The Big Wedding
Ocean’s Eleven
Are You Here

In sum: I watched eighteen seasons of TV shows and twenty movies (more or less) (okay, more).

It’s been worse.

Next year, good or bad, I’d like to at least keep track again of what I read and watch. I’ve been doing that since 2014. This year was a bit of a bonker, so things got off the rails. It’s time to steer this car back in the right direction.

Love to you all in the new year. Be good to each other.




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