It’s that wonderful time of year, when, well…pretty much anyone with an opinion is more than willing to tell you what to think about the musical, literary, and filmic output of the last twelve months.
I’d offer up my own end-of-year recommendations for books and music, but (1) I’m lazy and (2) nobody really cares what I think. So instead I’ll point you to the inimitable Ted Gioia and his Best Online Essays of 2019, along with his 100 Best Recordings of 2019. That should tide you over for a while.
While we’re at it, Gioia’s Music: A Subversive History is getting all kinds of attention. I haven’t purchased it yet myself, mostly because I’m waiting to see if someone is (ahem) thoughtful enough to wrap it up and put it under the tree for me. Or, if it’s easier, pick it up at Auntie’s and drop it off at the office. You know, in case you’re wondering what to get me this year.