As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list - I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.
Here’s a reminder of the books that I read this year that appeared on earlier lists: Becoming by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne Educated by Tara Westover Factfulness by Hans Rosling Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti The Return by Hisham Matar Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Warlight by Michael Ondaatje Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
Here are my other favorite books of 2018: American Prison by Shane Bauer Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday Feel Free by Zadie Smith Florida by Lauren Groff Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark There There by Tommy Orange Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
My favorite movies of 2018: Annihilation Black Panther BlacKkKlansman? Blindspotting Burning The Death of Stalin Eighth Grade If Beale Street Could Talk Leave No Trace Minding the Gap The Rider Roma Shoplifters Support the Girls Won’t You Be My Neighbor
And finally, my favorite songs of 2018: Apes••t by The Carters Bad Bad News by Leon Bridges Could’ve Been by H.E.R. (feat. Bryson Tiller) Disco Yes by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha) Ekombe by Jupiter & Okwess Every Time I Hear That Song by Brandi Carlile Girl Goin’ Nowhere by Ashley McBryde? Historia De Un Amor by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein) I Like It by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin) Kevin’s Heart by J. Cole King For A Day by Anderson East Love Lies by Khalid & Normani Make Me Feel by Janelle Monáe Mary Don’t You Weep (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version) by Prince My Own Thing by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp) Need a Little Time by Courtney Barnett Nina Cried Power by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples) Nterini by Fatoumata Diawara One Trick Ponies by Kurt Vile Turnin’ Me Up by BJ the Chicago Kid Wait by the River by Lord Huron Wow Freestyle by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar) And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: The Great American Songbook by Nancy Wilson
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