Enjoyable, Studying, & Gratitude 2021

A barely early glad and wholesome New 12 months!

This has once more been a really difficult yr for all the explanations I don’t have to listing right here. Nonetheless, as I’ve carried out for fairly a number of years, listed here are a few of the experiences I loved this previous yr: what I listened to, what I learn, what I watched, and extra, throughout yr two of the pandemic.


I learn fairly a number of wonderful books this yr. The most effective of them have been non-fiction:

Empire of Ache: The Secret Historical past of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe was the most effective ebook I learn. It’s an unimaginable story in regards to the despicable habits behind the origins of the opioid epidemic. (Dopesick, a TV sequence I watched this yr, based mostly on a unique ebook about the identical topic, can be excellent.) Different wonderful books: The right way to Change Your Thoughts: What the New Science of Psychadelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Dependancy, Melancholy, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan, The Sum Us: What Racism Prices Everybody and How We Can Prosper Collectively by Heather McGhee, and Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves by James Nestor.

Throughout a yr wherein I immersed myself in music much more than ordinary, I cherished studying Positively 4th Avenue: The Lives and Occasions of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina, and Richard Farina by David Hajdu and By no means a Boring Second: 1971 The 12 months That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth. (I additionally extremely suggest the 1971 TV sequence, based mostly on this ebook.) A couple of extra suggestions: Assume Once more: The Energy of Realizing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant, The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neuman, and the Nice Startup Delusion by Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell (yet one more ebook in regards to the loopy cash that flies round when buyers are misled into believing a enterprise is price excess of they need to. When you haven’t learn Unhealthy Blood, the super-fast learn in regards to the Theranos scandal, and its founder Elizabeth Holmes, who has been on trial of late, test it out. It was one in every of my favourite books of 2018.)

I did love a number of works of fiction, significantly a number of collections of humorous quick tales by the extraordinarily artistic Simon Wealthy, together with his newest, New Tooth.

To maintain up with present occasions, I scan three newspaper apps each morning and usually learn a number of newsletters, my favourite of that are “Axios AM” and Dave Pell’s Subsequent Draft, every afternoon. Pell additionally printed one in every of my favourite books of 2021, Please Scream Inside Your Coronary heart; Breaking Information and Nervous Breakdowns within the 12 months that Wouldn’t Finish, which defied my expectation that I’d by no means take pleasure in a ebook about 2020 (and early 2021), the yr all of us hope won’t ever repeat itself.


I cherished Lupin. When you watch it, achieve this in French with subtitles (vs. dubbed). After I caught up on the primary three seasons of The Handmaid’s Story, I watched the fourth season as every episode was launched. For my part, it’s finest present on tv (and the spoilers from having learn the ebook have been minimal.) Different favorites: Bo Burnham: Inside, season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, season 3 of Succession on HBO, all three seasons of Method 1: Drive to Survive (about Grand Prix racing, one of many few sports activities I beforehand knew nothing about), 1971 (as I discussed above within the Studying part), and the outstanding The Beatles: Get Again. As I additionally talked about above, I strongly suggest Dopesick.

I didn’t go to any film theaters this yr, however I cherished 1917, which received the 2019 Oscar for Finest Image. One other favourite film was King Richard on HBO Max, the bio pic about Richard Williams, his budding tennis celebrity daughters, Venus and Serena, and their household.

Listening (to Music)

I take heed to music very continuously – previous favorites and new music. I additionally love going to live shows, and whereas I went to none once more this yr, as a result of pandemic, this yr was an enormous music yr for me.

I divide my music eras as follows:

Highschool: listening to music, studying album covers, and speaking about music with my associates.

Faculty: listening to music, speaking about music, being an on-air deejay at my campus radio station and, serving because the station’s basic supervisor throughout my senior yr.

Early child-rearing years: listening to kid-friendly music within the automotive.

Later child-rearing years: again to grown-up music, largely with iTunes.

2010s: I purchased a lifetime subscription of SiriusXM after I acquired a brand new automotive so I may take heed to Howard Stern (after a handful of years not listening following his departure from terrestrial radio). The surprising profit was all the brand new music I used to be uncovered to on the Alt Nation and SirusXMU stations.

2021: Subscribing to Spotify modified my life. I found an insane quantity of music, new and previous. My favourite new album this yr was Collapsed in Sunbeams (Arlo Parks). I really like all of the albums by Massive Thief, and I’m trying ahead to their subsequent album, due in 2022. To this point, they’ve launched seven of its 20 songs and virtually all of them are excellent. I’m an enormous fan of the prolific Lana Del Rey, who launched two nice albums this yr, Chemtrails Over the Nation Membership & Blue Bannisters.

As well as, some favourite new songs embody: Serotonin (woman in purple), Brutal (Olivia Rodrigo), Savage Good Boy (Japanese Breakfast), Massive Vitality (Latto), Grumpy Outdated Man (Remi Wolf), The Finest God Rattling Band in Wyoming (No-No Boy), Rae Avenue (Courtney Barnett), Valentine (Snail Mail), Levitating (Dua Lipa), Fly As Me (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic).

Contemplating the way in which girls have needed to battle for his or her place within the music enterprise (and all companies), it’s superior that almost each album and tune I listed are from girls. (This Spotify playlist incorporates my favourite 2021 songs together with these listed above, and extra.)

Listening (to Podcasts)

Podcasts first grew to become a part of my life throughout 2015. I be taught extra from podcasts than virtually something I do. (The hyperlinks I’ve included are for the Apple podcast app. I think about you will discover most of those wherever you take heed to podcasts.)

Newsworthy is a 10-minute day by day podcast in regards to the information of the day. I hear weekly to the fantastic This American Life. Recent Air is a day by day podcast with a variety of interviews, a lot of which I take heed to. I additionally take heed to a lot of the episodes of those music podcasts: Damaged Document, Hit Parade, Tune Exploder, and All Songs Thought-about.


Journeys with household and associates, and to go to household and associates, are my single favourite factor to do, and the factor I’ve missed most through the pandemic. After getting vaccinated within the spring, we went on summer season drives for lengthy weekends, or for per week with, or to go to, household and associates in Woodstock (NY), Cooperstown (NY), Acadia Nationwide Park (ME), the Berkshires (MA), and Montreal (when Canada’s border was opened to Individuals in August).


I’ve all the time loved making lists. Going again so long as I can bear in mind, I’ve made lists of my favourite motion pictures, books, and music (and inside music, my favourite artists, albums, songs, and live shows).

I’ve typically beneficial making lists that will help you to “Be Glad” – lists of what you might be grateful for, what makes you smile, and your accomplishments. After I began posting these annual opinions, I noticed they match with the weekly happiness lists. Trying again in any respect I’ve realized, skilled, and loved provides me a way of accomplishment, a way of gratitude, and makes me smile.

Throughout this terribly unhappy and disturbing pandemic, pondering typically about every little thing I’m grateful for has helped me. I’m lucky to have a job that allowed me to shift to working from house. Extra importantly, I’m grateful for the well being of my family members. I proceed to stay up for higher instances forward.

Inform me about your yr. What did you learn, watch, be taught, take pleasure in? What are you grateful about? Please be a part of the dialog along with your feedback…

My finest regards for happiness, peace, and well being for you and your family members in 2022,


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