That was a hellscape of a year, huh?
By God's grace we're still here, Marilynne Robinson likes to say, but I'd add a lot wearier for the effort. It wasn't all bad, I have to remind myself, which I did by compiling some year end lists.
The following favorites weren't necessarily published or released in the calendar year (or millennium), but I either discovered or fell in love with them during the past 12 months of Constitutional crises, so I'm calling them 2017 favorites.
Call Me By Your Name
God’s Own Country
Runners up: Girls Trip, Your Name, Wonder Woman, and Blade Runner 2049
*OK, I lied. I see a lot of movies. All of these came out in 2017, though I'd bump one out to add Krisha if I didn't constrain myself by release dates for this category.
Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
What Light Can Do, Robert Hass
Close Range, Annie Proulx
Selected Poems, Czesław Miłosz
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante
Anything Is Possible, Elizabeth Strout
The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante
An Odysessy, Daniel Mendelson
Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
I try to read a book a week every year and came pretty close: 48, which I'll excuse for having to move four times. Anyway, wow. Have y'all heard of Elena Ferrante? G-d damn the Neopolitan series knocked me out. She replaced Knausgaard's spot as my *current* favorite author, who in turned had bumped out Marilynne Robinson in 2016. Marilynne might be back when I read What Are We Doing Here? and finish my annual consumption of Housekeeping.
Mental Illness, Aimee Mann
Martha Wainwright, Martha Wainwright
The Dreaming, Kate Bush
No Shape, Perfume Genius
Now, Shania Twain
The Valley, Betty Who
She's So Unusual, Cyndi Lauper
Live Through This, Hole
Up Where We Belong, Buffy St. Claire
Do I even read Pitchfork? (I do.) Have I heard a straight white male artist in a year? (At work, unfortunately.) Can I even talk to kids these days? (Unclear.) This list is a lot of oldies, I realize, but I'm behind on things! Courtney Love! Where were you when I was a lost child in Texas? Cyndi too, and Kate Bush, and hell all of them. I'd say this was a year for women for me, but it's always only women and a few queer boys on my Spotify history. Shout out, Janet Jackson too. I just found you and couldn't be happier.
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Local Pittsburgh drag queen, lipsyncing "All I Really Want" by Alanis Morissette
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman
Glenn Close, Sunset Boulevard the Musical
Timothée Chamalet, Call Me By Your Name
Cate Blanchett, The Present on Broadway
John Early, Search Party Season 2
Honorable mention: The moon for bringing about totality in Nashville.
This is a post script following Lady Birdgate at The Academy Awards. That film should've swept, or at least earned Laurie Metcalf one of the 700 awards she deserves. We might've seen this coming after Haddish was overlooked for even a nom, but we as a species continue to hope against hope, don't we? I will also bar-fight anyone who doesn't acknowledge Reese Witherspoon carried every minute of Big Little Lies with her microexpressions, and am now ready to go on record and say that an Alanis drag performance eclipsed the totality eclipse. (I saw both on a road trip.)