What a year it’s been.
Here are a few of my favorite things I enjoyed consuming this year…
A small disclaimer, there are books I’ve read from July 2016 (when I first started my monthly wrap-up posts) to July 2017 (when I originally published an annual reading wrap-up). I will include the books I read for the remainder of the year in another later post.
Without further ado, here are the five books I enjoyed the most:
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert: This book follows several different species and their decline as evidence for a colossal, man-made extinction that is dramatically altering life on earth as we know it. I got this book at a lecture given by the author, who also signed the book when I met her. Books like these have inspired me greatly to write scientific literature to reach a wider audience and inform the public of the damage we are doing.
- The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason
- Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson: This creative book explores different, out of this world examples of sexual selection. A fun read through and through for even the evolutionary layman.
- The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult: This is without a doubt the best book I read this year and one of my new all-time favorites. Sage, granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, is asked to aide in the suicide of her former SS soldier friend. The book focuses on the story of the Holocaust survivor and the SS soldier as she makes her decision to help him die or let him live with what he’s done.
I don’t watch much TV, but here are some new discoveries I’ve really enjoyed…
- RuPaul’s Drag Race (season 7-9) and All Stars
- Louis Thereoux: I’ve recently fallen in love with Louis Thereoux and his documentaries. I’ve been watching BBC Two specials on Netflix and I can’t get enough.
- Impractical Jokers: I jumped around several seasons, particularly the later ones, of this show and it has me in stitches every time! A prank show where friends compete to embarrass each other and those who refuse get an even worse “punishment.”
- Peep Show: This has come to be one of my favorite shows of all time! The pinnacle of British humor where polar opposite borderline sociopaths Mark and Jez think what we’re all thinking but are too afraid to admit.
- The Inbetweeners: At first, this show was not one of my favorites for some reason, but it grew on me after a few episodes. Another British series takes us through the painful adolescence of four teens we’re all too familiar with.
- Black Mirror: Another one of my new favorites! A dramatic series about alternative realities and their dark truths and unexpected twists. I can’t wait for the new season in a few days.
- Shameless: So great! Each new season brings new personal, academic and professional challenges (with no help from drunk father Frank and absent mother Monica) to the Gallagher family in the South Side of Chicago.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Diego showed me this program and I love it! The slapstick humor and drama are just up my alley.
I’m not super into movies either, so I spent this year trying to catch up with some classics!
- Oldboy (Korean version): This is most certainly one of my new favorite films of all time. A man imprisoned for 15 years is released and given the task to figure out the reason for his imprisonment as he exacts revenge.
- Neerja: An amazing hidden gem on Netflix. Based on a true story about a single airline pilot who saves hundreds of lives for terrorists.
- The Iron Giant: Why did it take me so long to watch this? An unlikely friendship between a giant robot and a young boy stands the test of fear mongering amongst locals.
- Kill Bill: Again, what took me so long to see these films? Bride exacts revenge on every person who contributed to her attempted murder and loss of her unborn child.
- The Departed
I watched quite a few documentaries on YouTube on a range of subjects, but these ones really stood out to me:
- Secret of the Wild Child: One of my favorite documentaries of the year. A child was imprisoned for the essential early years of her live and struggles to walk, talk and otherwise make a human connection. It’s so interesting to see psychologists and social workers wrap their heads around this case for the first time and what becomes of “Genie” as they try new techniques.
- Before the Flood: Another great documentary from this year on climate change brought to us by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Photo by Her Campus.