The Top 33 Albums From 2014 I Have In Heavy Rotation

Sunday Salon 12-21-14

33. Lazaretto – Jack White
32. Nikki Nack – Tune-Yards
31 Stay Gold – First Aid Kit
30. July – Marissa Nadler
29. Emmaar – Tinariwen
28. Becs – Fennesz
27.The Aquaplano Sessions – Donato Dozzy & Nuel
26. Will To Be Well – Dalhous
25. Xen – Arca
24. Goats – Xylouris White
23. Tomorrow Was The Golden Age – Bing & Ruth
22. Music For Heart and Breath – Richard Reed Parry
21. Atomos – A Winged Victory for the Sullen
20. Clark – Clark
19. Flatland – Objekt
18. Drop The Vowels – Millie & Andrea
17. Another Language – This Will Destroy You
16. Then It All Came Down – Wrekmeister Harmonies
15. Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything – Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
14. Mr. Twin Sister – Mr. Twin Sister
13. Broke With Expensive Taste – Azealia Banks
12. They Want My Soul – Spoon
11. Our Love – Caribou
10. Syro – Aphex Twin
9. Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
8. Atlas – Real Estate
7. Lost in the Dream – The War on Drugs
6. LP1 – FKA Twigs
5. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
4. It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
3. The Outsiders – Eric Church
2. Black Messiah – D’Angelo and The Vanguard
1. Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Sturgill Simpson

Rather than give you videos from each album, I’ll give you highlights for me from the last two albums:

“Prayer” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard

“The Promise,” the When In Rome song, as done by Sturgill Simpson, who completely reinvents it:

Update: Next Sunday, I’ll be taking a break but will back in 2015, on Sunday, January 5. I was going to leave well enough alone and not do any more reading for the year, but I have decided to wrap up the year with the last two of the Martin Beck series, Cop Killer and The Terrorists by the Swedish couple Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. I also have a few from the Department of Q series by Danish crime fiction writer Jussi Adler-Olsen that I might get to, but might save until the beginning of the year. We’ll see. Oh, and last but not least, a patron at the library where I work gave me a suggestion: Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World by Thich Nhat Hanh. He said it really made a difference in his life after serving in the military during the Korean War. My wife already has read it and has purchased a copy on her Kindle. She says it’s that good, that she has to own a copy. Again, we’ll see. :)

So what was some of your favorite music from this year or what did you listen to again and again this year? And of course, what are you reading today and over the next couple of weeks to round out 2014?

The Top 10 Books I Read In 2014

In order of when I read them this year (except for No. 11 that I added after first publishing this post):

  1. Headhunters by Jo Nesbø, read in January
  2. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, read in January too
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, read in March, a re-read
  4. The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence, read in March too
  5. All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver, read in April, another re-read
  6. The Son by Jo Nesbø, read in May, the only author to make the list twice and neither one a Harry Hole mystery, the series for which he is most well known
  7. Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry, read in June, the third of the Benny Imura series
  8. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, read in July
  9. World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters, read in July, the third of The Last Policeman series
  10. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly, the 19th in the Harry Bosch series and a good continuation of the series. Was waiting all year for this and it was worth the wait.
  11. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green…oops, somehow missed this one, but loved it. I don’t remember when I read it, just that I loved it.
  12. Yes Please by Amy Poehler, read on the day after I published this list *okay, maybe I should have waited until the final Sunday, Kristen.*

The obvious one missing: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, which while I found at least part of it influential, I didn’t think all of it was applicable to me.  Also two other books that I found parts of influential were The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The Power of A Positive No by William Ury, which I wrote about in this post “Trying to implement power from ‘power of’ books.”

Other authors I discovered and enjoyed but more overall than one particular book: For example, Michael Kortya and Michael Robotham, which I wrote about in a post called “Authors named Michael help me out of reading slump.”

Then the series: Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö for their series, The Story of a Crime, which consists of 10 books, and which I’ve read seven so far. I guess I’m not wanting to finish them too soon or too quick. James Lee Burke with his Dave Robicheaux series; Jussi Adler-Olsen, his Department Q series; Tim Dorsey, his Serge Storm series.

So what are some of your favorite books that you read this year? What are you reading today? I’ve saved Amy Poehler’s Yes Please which came in on hold on ebook earlier in the week. I’ve heard good things from several book bloggers plus I like Poehler.

Next Sunday, I’ll be reviewing my favorite movies/TV shows watched this past year; the following Sunday, Dec. 21, my favorite music released in 2014. On Dec. 28, I’m taking a break and then will return in 2015.

Rewind/Fast Forward: 2014/2015

I know it’s not the end of the year, but I thought I’d look back at my goals from the start of the year and see how I’ve done this year, and how I possibly can do better this coming month and next year than I have done so far with some of the goals.

Here were my goals as outlined back in January:

  1. Personal goals: Lose 20 to 30 more pounds. Be assertive but polite. Go to church weekly.
  2. Blog goals: Continue to use the six formats available in this theme and post daily, whether it be a standard post or a “microblog” post that might include only a quote, video or image.
  3. Goals for my reading: Que sera, sera. No challenges. No number of books to read. Just read whatever I want, from books on shelves to library books to purchased books.
  4. Social media plan: Less chatter, more substance. Use all social media that I use minimally, meaning not necessarily every day, with focus on Big Three: Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, but ironically add Facebook page for this blog.

Here’s how I did:

  1. Personal goals: Didn’t lose 20 to 30 or more pounds. Maintained weight but barely. Sometimes too assertive and need to be more polite than assertive. Didn’t go to church weekly, sometimes didn’t go to church even once a month.
  2. Blog goals: I changed themes so don’t have the formats I had and I’m now posting only once a week, on Sundays.
  3. Goals for my reading: For the most part over the year, I have kept to no challenges, no number of books to read, and reading whatever I want. This past month, I read eight books (Hammerhead Ranch Motel and Orange Crush by Tim Dorsey, The Burning Room by Michael Connelly, Falling Sky by Rajan Khanna, The Terror of Living and The Carrion Birds by Urban Waite, The Keeper of Lost Causes and The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen, the latter two which along with the Connelly were the best of the lot this month) and now have completed 61 books this year, which is about where my average usually is.
  4. Social media plan: This past week, as I was off, I didn’t keep to “less chatter, more substance” as I “chattered” away on Twitter about Thankfully Reading Weekend in which I was participating. I completed the last four books that I mentioned during the weekend. I also didn’t stay off Facebook as planned for the week as I was chatting (this time, not chattering) with my sister on Messenger on my laptop so saw posts there. For the most part, though, I’ve limited my time on Facebook this year and also limited those people I follow, not that I’m not “friends” with them, just that I don’t “follow” them so don’t see their status updates all the time.

So what slightly more realistic goals can I set for myself next year?

  1. Personal goals: Lose 15 pounds this year, which seems a bit more realistic. Be polite AND assertive. Go to church once a month.
  2. Blog goals: Post weekly.
  3. Goals for my reading: Stay the course.
  4. Social media plans: Once a week, on Sundays. Continue plan for removing the apps from my phone and signing out of platforms during week.

As always, though, this is a moving target…so we’ll see.


On Dec. 7, I’ll look back at my favorite reads for this past year; Dec. 14, my favorite movies/TV shows watched this past year; Dec. 21, my favorite music released in 2014. On Dec. 28, I’m taking a break and then will return in 2015.