2010: ‘It was the best of times …’

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only’. – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Best books







Best albums

1. Officium Novum by Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble.
2. The Age of Miracles by Mary-Chapin Carpenter.
3. Foundling by David Gray.
4. Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel.
5. Sacrificium by Cecilia Bartoli.
6. Women and Country by Jakob Dylan.
7. 100 Miles From Memphis by Sheryl Crow.
8. Great and Small by Butterflyfish.
9. Downtown Church by Patty Griffin.
10. No Better Than This by John Mellencamp.

Honorable mentions: All Delighted People by Sufjan Stevens; The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens; Leave Your Sleep by Natalie Merchant; Go by Jónsi; April Uprising by The John Butler Trio; The Promise by Bruce Springsteen; The Astounding Eyes of Rita by Anouar Brahem; American VI: Aint No Grave by Johnny Cash; San Patricio by The Chieftains & Ry Cooder; In Person & On Stage by John Prine; How I Learned to See in the Dark by Chris Pureka.

Best films

1. How I Ended This Summer
2. Winter’s Bone
3. Abandoned
4. The Infidel
5. Shutter Island
6. Boy

Overrated films

Worst films

Best TV shows

1. An Idiot Abroad (Series 1)
2. Rev

Some Personal Highlights


  1. Best film I saw in 2010: Crazy Heart.
    Best TV show: ABC’s Hungry Beast.
    Best Poetry book: “Totem” by Luke Davies.
    Best book I read: “Possession” A.S. Byatt.
    A happy new year to you & your family Jason.


  2. Pam – I’ve not heard of any of these apart from Byatt, but thanks for the heads up.
    Mel – I’m a big guy … perhaps there’s two of me in this body.


  3. I love ‘Leave Your Sleep’. Did you get the full double album, with the booklet that has all the biographies? What she did to the Hopkins poem was wonderful.


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