Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 "YEAR IN REVIEW" & Random Thoughts

Top 10 FILMS of 2010 (in no particular order)
1. Winters Bone
2. Mesrine/Killer Instinct
3. Animal Kingdom
4. The Aura
5. The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo & Played With Fire
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop
7. The Wild & Wonderful Whites of West Virginia
8. The Killer Inside Me
9. True Grit
10.Black Swan

Honarble Mention:
* Red Riding Trilogy, The Fighter, Stone, Leaves of Grass

Top 10 Discovery's of 2010

1. Noir@Bar (St. Louis Style)
2. Frank Bill and Matt McBride
3. Old Crow Medicine Show
4. Howard Finsters Folk Art
5. Blake Crouch
6. Knob Creek
7. John Rector
8. Jim Tully
9. Chris Offutt
10. American Pickers

Honarable Mention:
Crimefactories, "THE BEST OF WHATEVER"
P&M Presses "Switchblade series"
Mulholland Books website
Tyrus Books/Busted Flush Press merger

Top Books Read in 2010

1. The Devil by Ken Bruen
2. Desert Places & Locked Doors by Blake Crouch
3. Pike by Benjamin Whitmer
4. The Cold Kiss by John Rector
5. Think of A Number by John Verdon
6. No Heroes by Chris Offutt
7. Savages by Don Winslow
8. Don't Quit Your Day Job by Sonny Brewer
9. Innocent Monster by Reed Farrel Coleman
10. Johnny Porno by Charlie Stella

* Note..the best thing I read all year, I can't even talk about. Someday maybe !!

Others of Note:
Print the Legend by Craig McDonald
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
The Poachers Son by Paul Doiron

2010 Favorite TV Series

1. Sons of Anarchy
2. Boardwalk Empire
3. Breaking Bad
4. The Walking Dead
5. American Pickers
6. Bored to Death
7. East Bound and Down
8. Justified
9. Storage Wars
10. The Glades

Honorable Mention:
True Blood, Oddities, Dexter, Billy the Exterminator


2010 was a pretty good year, not a great year, but a good year. Afterall, I got to meet two of my literary heroes ( Daniel Woodrell in April & William Gay in Nov. ). Then there was good times at Murder and Mayhem in Muskego, the Delta Blues Book Launch in Clarksdale,Ms. and Ebertfest. I also met Morgan Freeman and I started this website "Signs & Wonders" on Jan 3 and soon we'll celebrate 1 year. During that time I conducted 21 author interviews and man was that a treat. Each & every one was a blast to do, and I will always be grateful to those who shared their insights & time with me, ( as a matter of fact...the interviews were probably the highlight of 2010 for me personally). On the down side, my reading slipped quite bit in 2010. For the past 2 years I had read 65 + books a year, but it fell to 45 this year. I'm sure some of that has to do with this blog, but I'll make that trade and I'll bet in 2011 I'm back on pace. 2010 was also a terrible year for music in the area, especially after a super strong 2010. My only musical highlights were seeing Tom Russell,Gretchen Peters & Nanci Griffith perform together in Nashville, and catching Chris Gay, John Hammond, Blind Boys of Alabama and Loudon Wainwright III. The lowest point of 2010 was losing David Thompson and Barry Hannah. The older we get, the more people we lose and there ain't a thing we can do about it. But the spirit's of those we lost never leave us and are a constent source of comfort.

2011...Well it looks like it has lots of promise. How can we go wrong with the 2011 Bouchercon set right hear in our neck of the woods ( St. Louis, Mo ) in Sept. That alone is enough to keep a guys spirits up. In the coming days it looks like we got some great interviews coming your way as well. John Rector, Blake Crouch & Michael Lister, will all help to kick off the New Year in grand fashion. Hopefully we'll soon be finally getting that amazing interview with Guiness world record holder Martin Strel up & posted. Great things indeed. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year and I'll see you in the year ahead.