For the last few years, I’ve made an habit of writing a short list of the best things I’ve experienced in the last 12 months.
This is something I write mostly for myself, to be able to revisit these posts (and, previously, tweets) in the future and maybe rediscover contents I enjoyed, but hopefully something I liked so much to be listed here will be enjoyable to whomever reads my blog too. Yes, the three of you ;)
For 2018, I’m mostly keeping the same categories of 2017; choosing podcasts was extremely easy, as it’s the media I consumed the most. I’ve watched very little TV and read an embarrassing low number of books, so those categories were a bit harder, but I can live with my picks.
Best album: A Star Is Born Soundtrack, and I haven’t seen the movie yet.
Best book: after loving the movie, I finally got around reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed and it was even better. A part of me would love to walk the PCT sometimes during this life, but another part is sorely aware that it would also probably be the last thing happening in said life 👻…
Best TV show: I think this year has been pretty terrible for TV shows, and actually the best thing I’ve watched, and the one I feel the most to recommend, is from 2008… John Adams was truly a revelation and you should not miss it.
Best podcast: I’m going with an obscure choice here 😝… Serial’s season 3 was very, very good and I don’t care if it’s everyone’s favorite of the year; if you, like me, didn’t love the first two seasons, give this one a chance, end especially to episode 2 and episode 8.
Best tech podcast: I am an admirer of Brent Simmons and The Omni Group makes my favorite app (see the Mac app category below), so it’s not a surprise that the short interviews to Omni people by Brent in The Omni Show were really enjoyable to me; I recommend 3 episodes to start, if you never listened to it: Tami Snyder’s interview, How we built OmniFocus for the web and Tim Wood’s interview.
Best investigative reporting podcast: Serial would obviously fit here too, and this was a competitive category with both In The Dark’s season 2 and Bundyville being really interesting, but I found Bag Man the most surprising, because I didn’t know anything about Spiro Agnew’s uncanny story.
Best news article I read: The Patrician President and the Reporterette: A Screwball Story. I miss the times when Americans chose great human beings for the higher office in their land and, therefore, in the world.
Best Mac app: OmniFocus 3 is an obvious winner for me: my day starts and ends in OmniFocus, and all the work that happens in between is mostly organized there; this new version with Tags and Dark Mode really makes me happy every day. I also have a runner up: Xcode 10 is an amazing IDE and I love it, every year it gets better and is a pleasure to use!
Best iOS app: Another competitive category… my most used app is by far Overcast, and I am positively impressed by Working Copy, that I started using a few weeks ago, but I have to give the award to Shortcuts: Apple showed us a compelling version of the automation future and, while I haven’t used it much so far and I don’t see replace the automations I have running on my Mac, the app is so well executed and promising that deserves the first spot.
Best videogame: I have played almost zero videogames during most of the year, but in the first few months I remember I was still enjoying Super Mario Odissey, so yes, I’m picking the same game for two years in a row… but there’s a good chance that, if I had more time to play with it, this year’s best game would have been Ori and the Blind Forest: the intro I’m linking to is a masterpiece and almost made me tear up, and I really want to play it in 2019.
Best video: This category had an oddly specific name in the previous years, “Most moving TV moment”, so I’m renaming and expanding it’s purpose… but it’s still pretty hard to pick just one thing with all the content, fun, serious and useful, that’s available online. I’m choosing something inspirational, since we’re starting a new year: Simone Giertz’s TED Talk Why you should make useless things
And these are my choices for 2018, a year that honestly I won’t miss. Let’s all have an amazing new year instead!