The Irrefutable Best Books of 2014, As Determined by Science*

Sorry Television

IMG_0092It’s been a trying year here at Sorry Television. Sidetracked by work—and, let’s be honest, an endless procession of binge-worthy Netflix inventory—I am set to close out 2014 with a mere 32 books under my belt, near enough to bi-weekly that I should probably rebrand as You’re Welcome Television (subtitle: Reading Books Every So Often, Like When the Power Goes Out). I’m already planning redemptive 2015 reading goals (a book a day? a book an hour?) but for the time being I’ll have to accept mediocrity, and foist as much blame as possible on a shorter commute’s ability to stymie even the most dedicated bibliophile.

But I can claim a smidge of productivity this month, which is why I’m Indiana-Jonesing under the content door that is Christmas week to bring you The Irrefutable Best Books of 2014, a master list of this year’s greatest hits, as determined by 21 other “best of”s written by people who have actually read them…

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Walking on Water

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by contributor Ty Fitzgerald, a man who has been diagnosed with Bipolar II. Ty has a fondness for Lo-fi and Lux filters because they intensify shadows, highlights and colors. Such photos visually represent the way he sees the world, a little brighter and darker than he imagines those without bipolar disorder see the world.

About this photo: “This photo was taken in New Smyrna Beach, FL at sunset. A father and son were fishing and I managed to get a shot with just the son in it. The tide was coming in and there was water pooling all around him. When I dropped to the sand to take the shot, it looked like he was walking on water. I like this shot a lot because it has that “decisive moment” that Henri Cartier-Bresson described, where just a split second sooner or later, it would not have worked. I like to take photos of people when…

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Looting is a Response, Not an Opportunity

Scott Woods Makes Lists

We need to reexamine looting.

Regarding its critics, let me start by saying that, at the level of determining solid community building options, critics of looting are right: it’s not productive. What is built from looting? Not much. Certainly nothing in the concrete world. On top of that, looting is illegal. It is against the law to break into a building and take what’s inside of it out. I don’t think anybody is confused about that, or believes that taking things out of a liquor store or burning down a Little Caesars should be confused with an urban renewal initiative. None of this, however, means that looting has no merit as an act.

Looting is a response, not an opportunity. Looting doesn’t randomly happen. Looting is what happens after something else has happened to a group of people that feel disenfranchised. There are not bands of random black people running…

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New Year: My One Word for 2015 and Why I Can’t Leave 2014 Behind

Such Small Hands

In Korea people don’t stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. Instead, they get up in the middle of the night and they hike a mountain. They climb through the dark, snowy pre-dawn hours and when they reach the top they stand with their faces to the sky to greet the first sunrise of the New Year.

What a contrast to how we in the West often enter the New Year – stumbling out of bed at noon, tired and quite possibly hungover. For many, January 1st is a day of recovery. We spend New Year’s Eve celebrating the ending of something and the beginning of a new thing. We bombard the internet with reflections on the previous year. Even the less introspective among us take a moment to declare the past year, “the best” or “the hardest” or “the craziest” year of their lives.

I can…

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Why every kid should collect stamps

HeideBlog

I admit it: I feel a bit nerdy confessing I collect stamps.

I’m not sure how it all started, but I think it’s my father’s fault. He used to travel a lot for work, so he had friends all over the planet. And occasionally these friends would send us a letter, like this one:

First letter BLOG

Within a few years I’d amassed maybe a dozen such first-day covers, and I’d saved several hundred stamps from my father’s correspondence. (I especially looked forward to Christmas each year.)

Stamp collection 1050708 BLOG

Before long I was saving my allowance for the local stamp-swaps and mail-order offers. I’m sure I got swindled a few times (I was only eight or nine). But still, it was fun.

Then my collection sat idle for a few years, largely forgotten while I attended college and married and started a career. It wasn’t until last year, in the aftermath of The Great Flood

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