These were the top three books and musical discoveries for me this year. They’re alphabetized and not in order of preference.
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer – Inspiring essays on preserving our ecosystem and restoring nature, written from the perspective of Native American tradition and spirituality.
- Essays One by Lydia Davis – A very rewarding and lively 512-page book, generally about the art and craft of writing. Davis discusses her own practices, and she also looks at the techniques of a wonderfully curated group of other writers. In addition, she discusses elements of visual art and photography.
- The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward – A memoir dealing with self-discovery, empowerment and family upbringing, conveyed through prose and poetry, written in a unique voice.
- Marconi Union – Innovative and masterfully rendered atmospheric music, often veering into darkish realms. Top album pick: Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol. 2)
- Miles Davis – I love old-school jazz and listen regularly to John Coltrane, the savvy drummer Elvin Jones and other pioneering players, but I only recently started listening to Miles. Top album pick: Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud.
- Susumu Yokota – Avant-garde electronic ambient with a groove. Yokota creates musical collages, often pairing seemingly incompatible elements that prompt you to ask WTF. Top album pick: Sakura.