As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time
for the last round of recommendations for the year. And it’s a bumper crop.
recommendation for a seasonal soundtrack is the new album by Jacob
Collier entitled Djesse, Vol. 1. The title track
is my favourite.
– Ezri Carlebach
My recommendation is for Hamilton,
showing at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Most things that are hyped to the hilt have
no chance of living up to it, but Hamilton does. And although the music and
movement and storytelling is brilliant, it’s the quality of the lyrics that
should be catnip to any 26er.
– Martin Lee
My friend Elisabeth Witchel works for Committee
to Protect Journalists
and recommended this
article. I think it’s a powerful read:
“We decided that instead of watching the funeral of journalism, we would
do something. When we produce many lights, even small lights, we can illuminate
a whole nation”, Maria Ressa of Rappler, one of the incredible people featured
– Sue Wilcox
Favourite books of 2018:
The Cost of Living, Deborah Levy
Midwinter Break, Bernard MacLaverty
The Rule of the Land, walking Ireland’s border, Garrett Carr
Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine,
The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey
Clasp, Doireann Ní
What the Living Do, Marie Howe
And My Heart Crumples Like a Coke Can,
Pact, Jessamine O’Connor
The River, Jane Clarke
How to Be a Poet, Jo Bell & Jane
– Therese Kieran
I was completely transfixed by Sarah
Moss’s Bodies of Light, the story of sisters
Ally and May Moberley growing up in a vividly drawn Victorian-era Manchester. Beautifully
constructed and written with such a keen eye for detail; the sequel, Signs for Lost Children, is top of my Twixtmas reading
Playful, darkly comic and an absolute
page-turner, I adored Kate Atkinson’s Transcription.
In 1940, Juliet Armstrong is recruited into an obscure department of MI5 tasked
with uncovering British Fascist sympathisers. Is she to remain shackled to her
typewriter? Or to become a spy? And who or what should she believe?
– Bridget Waters
Making an Elephant, Graham Swift
Packed with essays, interviews, poems
and memoirs, much of this is a meditation on writing – the motivations and
challenges, the barriers and moments when the light gets in. The title essay is
a touching memoir of his father.
The two and a half
hour show commemorates the Boss’s wildly successful residency at the Walter
Kerr theatre in New York, that began October 2017 and ended earlier this month.
A ticket for Springsteen’s final performance on Saturday, December 12th was
rumoured to cost around $42,000 so the Netflix show is a steal. Springsteen
knows how to play the crowds. He calls himself a magician. “Standing before you
is a man who has become wildly and absurdly successful writing about something
of which he has had absolutely no personal experience. I made it all up. That’s how good I am.” Don’t miss it.
just started listening to writer Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast series Revisionist History
headlined as “a journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood.” Gladwell
takes a fresh look at something from the past – an event, a person, an idea,
even a song – and asks whether it was understood correctly the first time
around. I chose to listen to the episode called The One Song the King Couldn’t Sing for my first foray into the series. Gladwell
looks at one song Elvis could not get right and why. The British Canadian
author argues that Elvis and other talented performers fumble repeatedly over
certain songs, the ones that matter the most to them. Those songs are all the
better for the fumbling, the mistakes revealing the performer’s vulnerability
Bhutan they say contemplating death five times a day brings happiness. I have
downloaded the app WeCroak onto my phone Five
times a day I receive a text: Remember you are going to die. With that morbid
but weirdly uplifting reminder – in that it puts EVERYTHING in perspective and
makes me live in the moment – comes a lovely philosophical quote about life and
its natural conclusion. Two goodies: “You’ll never know everything about
anything, especially something you have loved.”, Julia Child and “Don’t live
in a way that makes you feel dead”, Zadie Smith.