Monday, January 01, 2024

2023: It's over

Hello! It's 2024 — how did that happen? Seems like just a few days ago I was posting about all the hits of 2022. Well ... something something something time moving faster ... something something something getting older ... you get the idea ... 

And so, without further ado ...

Music in 2023

  • Florence + the Machine: "Mermaids"
  • Sonic Youth: “Superstar”
  • The Dobbie Brothers: “Long Train Runnin’”
  • The Cure: “Lovecats”
  • LP: “One Last Time”
  • Tears for Fears: “Mad World”
  • Queen: “You’re My Best Friend”
  • OMD: “If You Leave”
  • Michael Murphy: “Wildfire”
  • Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks, “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend’”
  • LP: “Someday”
  • ABBA: “Summer Night City”
  • Peter Gabriel: “Solsbury Hill”
  • Kate Bush: “Burning Bridge”
  • Billy Ocean: “Loverboy”
  • Amanda Marshall: “Dark Horse”
  • Simon & Garfunkel: “The Boxer”
  • Cat Stevens: “Music”
  • Steppenwolf: “Magic Carpet Ride”
  • The Lovin’ Spoonful: “Summer in the City”
  • Supertramp: “The Logical Song”
  • Prince: “17 Days”
  • John Parr: “St. Elmo’s Fire”
  • Simple Minds: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”
  • ABBA: “Take a Chance on Me”

Unless your 2023 was very, very different from mine, you'll likely understand why there are so many old familiar tracks on this list. I continue to commute to work primarily by bus and use music for dopamine management. Is that strategy working? Well ... 

Here are a few runners-up ... 

  • The Beaches: “Turn Me Loose”
  • The Dream Academy: “Life in a Northern Town”
  • Loverboy: “Queen of the Broken Hearts”
  • Luba: “Every Time I See Your Picture”
  • Heart: “Magic Man”
  • Max Richter: “Summer 3”
  • Regina Spektor: “Loveology”
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees: “This Wheel’s on Fire”

And I should note two honorary mentions:

  • “My Shot” by The Roots Feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz and Nate Ruess from The Hamilton Mixtape — which, had I found it earlier in the year, would likely have made my Top 25; and 
  • “Summer Renaissance” by Beyoncé from Renaissance — which was just so clever and fun, although I played mainly away from the house.

There are now almost 27,700 items in my Music library (27,689, although that number may include some non-song files). Of these, 5,616 remained unplayed at the end of the day on December 31, 2023, roughly 20 percent.

For the record, this may be the last year I can provide a data-based breakdown of my listening habits. Today or tomorrow we are migrating my music storage to a new system. Fingers crossed!

Books in 2023

Here's the number you're all here for. My reading tally for 2023 was 120 books, not counting picture books or short Orca nonfiction.

  • • 74 books by women
  • • 37 books by men
  • • 9 books by multiple authors or by nonbinary authors
  • • 27 works of nonfiction (i.e., not fiction, poetry, or drama)

I read several books by each of Ben Aaronovitch (magic-based mysteries), Nghi Vo (Asian fantasy), and Iona Whishaw (historical mysteries set near Nelson, BC). Some of my standout reading experiences this year include Babel by R.F. Kuang, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (the Netflix adaptation, less so), and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté. Hoping for more from several of these authors in 2024.

I edited four books published in 2023: two contemporary novels, one historical novel, and one volume of poetry. I'm currently working on two more projects that will be published in 2024, and another that will be published (fingers crossed) in 2025.

My brain is very very tired, so that's all I can think of right now. I'll probably add more updates tomorrow or later in the week.

Here's to a kinder, gentler year ahead — at last!

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