Well-readhead: I’m a sucker for a “Best Of” list
The people who run my local coffee shop must think I’m a freak. I fear I’m the only patron who ever shows up with both Who Weekly AND The Australian Financial Review. So that people won’t think less of me, I hide The Fin inside Who Weekly cover.
Even though I have a constant back stack of New Yorkers, Atlantic Monthlies, Economists and Spectators, the damned Who Weekly manages to suck me in every other week it seems. The reason is that it constantly offers lists: Sexiest People, Most Beautiful People, Skinniest Celebrities, Fattest Celebrities, Best Break-Ups, etc etc etc.
I’ve always been a sucker for a ‘Best Of’ list. This time of year is heaven because invariably newspapers and magazines rank the year’s top political scandals, celebrities, news events, films, natural disasters, photographs, books – anything you care to name. Not only do I love to read a good list, I love to write them (as the oeuvre of this blog demonstrates). And there’s no way I’m going to let the end of 2009 pass without a few ‘best of’ lists of my own.
If you’re a regular reader of Well-readhead, you’ll know that every fortnight, I publish ten interesting things to read, watch or listen to. I doubt that many people get through the entire list. But over Christmas, many of us take a break and have a chance to catch up on some reading, so I thought that this fortnight I’d give you my ‘Best of’ Well-readhead. Below are the ten items I’ve posted this year that I consider too good to miss. If you didn’t catch them at the time, I highly recommend you take a look over your Christmas holidays.
Next fortnight, I’ll be offering my hard core Christmas reading and viewing recommendations: my top five fiction books of the year, top five non fiction books and top five TV series.
So here is the 2009 Best Of Well-readhead:
1. The New Yorker published an article earlier this year on lesbian separatists in the 1970s. It was one of the most bizarre and entertaining things I’ve read in a while. I laughed out loud, although I’m still not sure if it was meant to be funny or not.
2. Mikhal Gilmore is a writer with Rolling Stone and the brother of Gary Gilmore, an American murderer who was the subject of Norman Mailer’s brilliant 1979 non fiction book The Executioner’s Song. Mikhal wrote an essay for the British literary magazine Granta about being Gary’s brother. It is riveting, harrowing and spectacularly well written. The opening sentence typifies the quality to come: “I am the brother of a man who murdered innocent men.”
3. When I posted this you tube clip on twitter, I got a flurry of comments from delighted cat owners about how hilarious and accurate it was. (The video is also featured in the main image above.)
4. The Denver Post published an extraordinary photographic essay following a young American soldier from his recruitment to his return from combat.
5. This satirical translation of a freestyle rapping contest is really very clever and funny.
6. The comedian Tony Martin appeared on Melbourne community radio this year as ‘commercial radio consultant’ Gary Sizzle. His almost six minute monologue is SO sharp.
7. The film maker John Hughes died in August prompting Alison Byrnes to write a blog about her friendship with him. It began when as a a teenager, she wrote a fan letter to Hughes and improbably, he wrote back and they became pen pals. Her recollection of their correspondence is touching.
8. This clip from the film Downfall has been parodied dozens of ways and I can’t help myself laughing every single time. This one, where Hitler is displeased with Kraft naming the new vegemite spread ‘isnack 2.0’ is very funny.
9. For those of us who suffer from insomnia, here’s a charming visual explanation of what goes on:
10. Regular readers also know I’m in danger of being the subject of an AVO by Tony Martin because I post so many links to his website. I can’t help it: I think he’s one of the funniest people around. He gave a speech in Melbourne about whether it is a city of books or bogans and argued in favour of the latter.
- You can watch Leigh Sales on ABC1’s Lateline or follow her on twitter via @leighsales.
Don’t miss: Get The Punch in your inbox every day
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…