I don’t quite know how it’s happened, but we’re already halfway through January of 2018! The future is uncertain, but here are some personal favorites of last year (whether or not they were released in that year).
Lilly Hiatt – Trinity Lane (my review of the title track)
John Hiatt’s daughter is a great songwriter with a sweet/tough voice and highly relatable lyrics. This is a sing-along album for sure.
Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry
These Canadian indie rockers continue to deliver interesting music, meshing their two frontmen’s complimentary songwriting styles.
Mystery Actions – Mystery (2015)
I caught this Chicago band at The Rainbow and really loved their look and their own spin on the 70s punk sound.
The Jam – Setting Sons (1979)
This one has so many of my favorites that it’s easy to just let it spin round and round.
Sisters of Mercy – First and Last and Always (1985)
Brooding, romantic, dark rock n’ roll that I never seem to get tired of.
Blondie – Blondie (1976)
The classic that brought us “X Offender” has played in my car a lot this past year. “In The Sun” is a new favorite.
Blade Runner 2049 (Joan’s review)
I was hesitant to go see this because the original is one of my favorites, but it really delivered. Great story, gorgeous visuals, and excellent cast.
I watched this on a plane and was riveted the entire time. It’s a clever take on a realistic alien life form that fights relentlessly to survive, in a manner that means death to humans.
I was just so relieved that this turned out well! We finally got our Wonder Woman movie and it was smart, classy, and had a big heart.
American Fable (2016)
Dreamy, dark story of a fanciful farm girl who discovers that someone is being kept a prisoner in her father’s silo. Is he magical or does her family have a dark secret?
Tales of the Night (2011)
A beautifully animated French film featuring six fairy tales that bring together history and fables.
The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber (2014)
A Christian missionary travels to an alien planet in the near-future and nearly loses himself in the native way of life. Faber is excellent at creating believable alien races.
The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty (1971)
I enjoyed this as much as the film, probably because it was a very close adaptation. The book offers more on what the Catholic church considered to be demonic possession.
Boneshaker – Cherie Priest (2009)
A solid steampunk adventure in which Seattle is a walled-off city of poisonous air, underground gangs, and zombies.
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (2011)
Soon to be a new movie, the book chronicles a young man’s race to win a very important contest in a virtual reality universe. It’s a bleak near-future where everyone stays plugged in.
Shadows of The Dark Crystal (2016) and Song of The Dark Crystal (2017) – J.M. Lee (review)
These prequels to the both the movie and the upcoming Netflix series are very enjoyable adventures, featuring new Gelflings as main characters.
The Name of The Rose – Umberto Eco (1980)
Extremely dense, detailed and filled with religious debate, but still a suspenseful mystery, tackled by a master-of-deduction monk in a 14th century monastery.