I’ll be the first to admit it: I consume a lot of entertainment. It’s more than just a way to wile away the hours for me; experiencing the magic of story through books, television and movies is my oldest and most passionate hobby. I love delving into narratives and immersing myself in their waters, surfacing afterward to ponder and discuss and marvel. It’s the primary reason I was an English major in college, and I’m never happier than when I’m extolling the virtues of a story I’ve just experienced to a dear friend. (If you’re interested, you can check out my running list of what I’ve consumed so far in 2013 here, and see for yourself just how many things I read and watch.)
I bring this up mainly because I’ve found myself battling a question lately, one that has done more mental damage than I’m willing to admit: with so many other things I could (and arguably should) be doing, why do I spend such so much time “lost” in other worlds? Shouldn’t I be out experiencing this life to the fullest right here and now instead of coming home from work, making dinner and reading a book or watching a movie?
This year, I decided to take my well-documented desire for organization and order one step further and keep a catalog of all the books, movies, music and TV I consume. I typically develop grand plans like this, adhere to them for a week or two, and then laziness sets in and the plans just fall by the wayside. But this year has been pleasantly different, and my catalog of consumables stands long and proud on that menu bar above.
As of June 30th, I have read 29 books, listened to 34 new albums, watched 51 movies and viewed 15 seasons of television this year alone. (Those figures are a little unsettling, but I promise I am also a productive member of society in addition to being a pop culture fiend. Also, most of those TV shows were not full 22-episode seasons.) I figured it would be a worthwhile exercise to whittle down the list to a few favorites in each medium, and what list would be complete with an honorable mention to the worst entry as well?
(I should note that the lists below are not made up of books, movies, shows and albums that have necessarily been released in 2012; rather, they are simply the books, movies, shows and albums I’ve read/watched/listened to in 2012.) Continue reading