Well read-head’s best of 2010
I could lay some line on you about it being that time of year again when I go to the great effort of trawling through twelve months of this blog to painstakingly figure out the best items of 2010 so that if you missed them the first time around, you won’t now.
But the simple fact is, like an ageing rocker with no new hits and a great back catalogue, releasing a “best of” compilation at Christmas is just too easy an opportunity to pass up. Apparently I have more in common with Rod Stewart than just a penchant for blonde tips and women half my age.
That was a joke people.
The only thing I actually have in common with Rod Stewart is a disturbing tendency towards patterned jackets. I present Rod as Exhibit A and myself in the Rod Stewart stylings as Exhibit B (above).
Seriously – as if Rod Stewart isn’t serious – if you missed a single one of these items below during the year, please bookmark this blog and catch them all when you can over the Christmas break. You won’t be sorry.
Next fortnight’s Well-readhead will be the final for 2010 and it will be my favourite fiction and non-fiction books of the year as summer reading recommendations:
1. Here’s what happens when you ask a graphic designer to come up with a poster for your missing cat.
2. The comedian Tony Martin wrote a fantastic piece about the reaction in a Melbourne blood bank to Carl Williams’ death and the blurring of real life with Underbelly. This was easily the best thing I read relating to Williams’ demise.
3. This is the most touching website I saw all year. Recall a favourite photo of yourself as a kid. Now pose identically. Welcome to ‘Young Me , Old Me’
4. I thought long and hard about linking to this article because it is possibly the most gut-churning, heart-wrenching thing I’ve ever read and it was so difficult to get through that I don’t know if I want to recommend the experience to others. It’s not gory or graphic but it is deeply emotionally stressful. I decided eventually to include it because it’s such a phenomenal piece of journalism. The article is called ‘Fatal Distraction’ and the sub-heading is ‘Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?’
5. The Beatles crossed with juggling - what’s to not love? Seriously, this is pretty amazing – imagine the performance anxiety.
6. Christopher Hitchens wrote several stunning articles this year about his cancer. This one for Vanity Fair was outstanding: ‘In whatever kind of race life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist.’
7. A year ago, Sydney woman Louise Hawson set herself a mission to photograph 52 suburbs of Sydney. She wanted to learn about the ‘non-tourist’ side of the city. She wound up with a truly stunning website that’s being turned into a book.
8. This New York Times story about a gravely wounded soldier and his family was one of the most affecting pieces of journalism of 2010.
9. In 2008, the Harry Potter author JK Rowling gave a brilliant commencement address at Harvard University about the value of failure in life and also the usefulness of imagination.
10. A brilliant editor cut together dozens of movie dance sequences to the song ‘Footloose’.
Leigh Sales anchors Lateline on ABC1 and is on twitter @leighsales.
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