This is the fourth year I’ve given myself a target of books to read (since giving a push to start reading more books in 2019), but unfortunately, I didn’t make it. Like last year, I had given myself a target of 20 (which I completed last year), but fell short at 16. I found myself going long periods, sometimes months, without making much progress this year. As the year was coming to a close, I was actually planning on trying to give a huge spurt during the last 1-2 weeks, but I ended up getting sick and wasn’t really in a state to read much. Oh well. I did also feel a bit bad because a few of the books I did get through were quite short, but looking at the stats on Goodreads, my total page count is in keeping with previous years (even similar to last year), so looks like I read a few bigger books that balanced out with the short ones.
Below is the list of those 16 books I did read, with links to my mini reviews on Goodreads. And yes, I’m again giving myself a target of 20 for this coming year, which I hope to surpass.
We’re still 2022 for a couple of days, and I’m glad I was able to finish my latest movie marathon, for 1992, before year’s end — and now joining all of these other year-based marathons I’ve done in recent years: 1967, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991. As always, my list of movies to watch was quite a bit longer than what I ended up watching, but I usually stop when I feel like I’ve had my fill and that I watched the stuff that I wanted to watch the most (and sometimes there are movies that I watched not that long ago). So the final count for 1992 was nineteen films, which are listed below with links to my mini reviews on Letterboxd (and here’s the original Twitter thread, where I screwed up the numbering near the end). Next up, I’ll be looking to do marathons for 1983 and 1993 in 2023.
Oh how I love it so, taking time to think about all of the wonderful media I enjoyed over the past year, this time for the 12th consecutive year (following 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021). Yes, this is a highly subjective list of my favorite things I took in this year, and it’s not exhaustive, as it is only based on what I was able to consume throughout the year. The only strict rule is that it must have come out during 2022 (with a little wink to my annual movie marathons), which is why I don’t include board games or books, as I’m not as “of the year” for those. Each category is made up of a top five (in alphabetical order), followed by a few honorable mentions if warranted.
Here we go.
Favorite Games What surprised me while making this list is that although I played tons of games over the past year (many via Game Pass or picked up on the Nintendo eShop on sale), I didn’t actually play that many proper 2022 releases — and I also saw myself embarking on an Assassin’s Creed kick by replaying both Origins and Odyssey a second time. If I were to pick an absolute favorite game for the year, it would be Vampire Survivors — even though it’s not a type of game I usually gravitate towards, I found myself absolutely obsessed with it, needing to complete all the achievements (which I did for the DLC as well). I also include Mario Kart 8 due to the track DLC released this year, and would have liked to include Cyberpunk 2077, which I finally played this past year following the latest patch, and it ended up being one of my favorite games played in recent years.
Grid Legends (Xbox Series S)
Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo Switch)
Marvel Snap (Mobile)
Pentiment (Xbox Series S)
Vampire Survivors (Xbox Series S)
Honorable Mentions: As Dusk Falls (Xbox Series S), Immortality (Xbox Series S), Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope (Nintendo Switch)
Favorite Movies This was certainly a great year for movies, and I got to see more new releases than I normally would due to the accelerated digital releases we get these days. And as with previous years, I include top 5s for some of the movie marathons I did (1982, 1992, Zhang Yimou), just for fun.
Decision to Leave
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Honorable Mentions: Apollo 10 1/2, Barbarian, Jackass Forever/Jackass 4.5, Men, Metal Lords, Pearl, Prey, Studio 666, Terrifier 2, The Batman, Watcher
Favorite Movies of 1982
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Favorite Movies of 1992
A Few Good Men
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Favorite Films of Zhang Yimou
Raise the Red Lantern
Favorite TV Every year I include the AEW pro wrestling shows Dynamite and Rampage in my top 5 because I love them so, although I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t include them since everything else are scripted shows. I think Irma Vep, Better Call Saul, and Severance were absolutely my other favorite shows this past year, and the last spot could have been taken up by any number of shows included in my honorable mentions — but She-Hulk was a fun surprise, and a joy to watch.
AEW Dynamite/AEW Rampage
Better Call Saul
Honorable Mentions: Andor, House of the Dragon, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Primal, Peacemaker, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Sandman, Tales From the Territories, That Dirty Black Bag, Tokyo Vice, We Own This City
Favorite Anime Series This category comes and goes, as there are years where I don’t watch much anime, but this past year has been quite a strong year, and I’ve found myself watching many of these (everything in the top 5 except Cyberpunk) with my wife, who loves them as well.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury
Pop Epic Team
SPY x FAMILY
Honorable Mentions: Ghost in the Shell, Summer Time Rendering,Uncle From Another World, Vampire in the Garden
Favorite Web Series/Channels This category has pretty much turned into nothing but pro wrestling related content — the various AEW series, plus Being the Elite and KanaChanTV — except for Formula 1 racing, which I watch via a subscription to the F1 TV website/app.
Favorite Music My list of honorable mentions is a bit extensive here, but hey, no music no life. Although I always just include albums, there are certainly songs I’ve specifically enjoyed a lot this year, but I’m not able to properly track them. And my most listened to album this past year is easily Maki Nomiya’s New Beautiful. And yes, three albums by Guided by Voices, so what.
Household Name (Momma)
Mahal (Toro y Moi)
New Beautiful (Maki Nomiya)
Talk Talk Talk (The Paranoyds)
Honorable Mentions: Alpha Zulu (Phoenix), Back on the Music (Paul Cherry), Barbara (Barrie), Cheat Codes (Danger Mouse & Black Thought), Counterpoint (Tomggg), Crystal Nuns Cathedral (Guided by Voices), Domestic Fantasy (Hook-Ups), Du haut du 33e étage EP (Bertrand Burgalat), Dutronc & Dutronc (Thomas Dutronc & Jacques Dutronc), Get Back: The Rooftop Performance (The Beatles), Golden Apples (Golden Apples), Growing Up (The Linda Lindas), Happy Now (Thick), Hello (μ-Ziq), Hello, Hi (Ty Segall), Here with You (Tahiti 80), In Cinerama (April March), Laurel Hell (Mitski), Let England Shake – Demos (PJ Harvey), Multitude (Stromae), Plasma (Perfume), Pompeii (Cate Le Bon), Scalping the Guru (Guided by Voices), Sexy (Coco & Clair Clair), Slight Variations (Fujiya & Miyagi), Steady (Sloan), Strata Records: The Sound of Detroit (Jazzanova), Teatro Lucido (La Femme), Tremblers and Goggles by Rank (Guided by Voices), World Wide Pop (Superoganism)
Favorite Podcasts The two new entries this year are also my current favorites: the TokyoScope spinoff series Pure TokyoScope, that brings together Patrick Macias and Matt Alt (the episodes they did together on the original TokyoScope podcast were always the best anyway), and Video Archives, the new movie discussion podcast with Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avery.
All Songs Considered
Pop Culture Happy Hour
Favorite Comics I feel like I slowed down a bit when it comes to comics this past year, and so no honorable mentions — and the Usagi Yojimbo mention includes both the ongoing new series, as well as the color reprints of old material.
Do a Powerbomb
Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to be Kin
The Human Target
Favorite BDs Although I consistently read a lot of BDs (bandes-dessinées, or French language comics), in the past year or two I didn’t include the category because I wasn’t reading a lot of new releases, but this past year I was able to include a few choice titles that I quite enjoyed.
Cuba, où tout a commencé (XIII, Tome 28)
La mort de Spirou (Spirou et Fantasio, Tome 56)
Neptune – Épisode 1, 2
Scotland – Episode 1 (Kenya – Saison 4)
Tom & Lisa 1910 (La Fortune des Winczlav, Tome 2)
Favorite Magazines The biggest change in the list this year is that I finally stopped buying/subscribing to the physical edition of Monocle, and switched over to a digital subscription (due to my move to China). Everything else I continue to read though my Apple News+ subscription.
As I was preparing my annual “favorite media” post, I just realized that I forgot to post a recap of my 1982 movie marathon, which I finished in September (joining 1967, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991). It was a pretty fun year I think, and I quite enjoyed a lot of these. Below, a list of the films I watched, with links to my short reviews on Letterboxd — and here’s the Twitter thread.