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by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
My primary Writing.com blog.
Logocentric (adj). Regarding words and language as a fundamental expression of an external reality (especially applied as a negative term to traditional Western thought by postmodernist critics).

Sometimes I just write whatever I feel like. Other times I respond to prompts, many taken from the following places:

         *Penw* "The Soundtrackers Group
         *Penw* "Blogging Circle of Friends
         *Penw* "Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise
         *Penw* "JAFBG
         *Penw* "Take up Your Cross

Thanks for stopping by! *Smile*
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December 31, 2022 at 4:00pm
December 31, 2022 at 4:00pm
It's the end of 2022, which means it's time to review all the reading and listening I've done over the past calendar year. Here's how 2022 breaks down:

*Star* = favorite
*ThumbsUp* = also really enjoyed

Books (click to expand full list)

For the eighth year in a row, I've averaged reading 100+ books a year and, honestly, I'm not sure I'm going to continue. Back in "2020 Reading List I told myself I was going to scale back in 2021 and then promptly read 100 books again anyway *RollEyes*, but this year I'm really going to try to hold myself to it. That sounds weird to have a resolution be "read less" but my Kindle and physical bookshelves aren't overflowing with titles, and I feel like I'm at a place where I either need to expand my reading goal, or make room for a different non-reading goal in my life. I'm going to choose the latter because the reason I read 100+ books a year is in no small part thanks to a bunch of really mediocre genre fiction that I pass the time by reading. And while there's certainly a place for that, I also have to wonder if I'm spending time reading that I should be spending on another hobby (like, oh say, actually writing books!). At the end of 2023, I'd rather say I read 20 genre fiction novels for fun and wrote one of my own (or read some other things) than that I read 80 of them and finished writing nothing. I'm also going to try to pivot to focus a little more on nonfiction next year than I typically do... ultimately, I want my reading goals to supplement and enhance my writing goals, not replace them.

Podcasts (click to expand full list)

Remarkably, I listened to almost the exact same number of podcasts as last year... just six more! Like last year, I've become much more comfortable with skipping podcasts episodes that don't interest me. This coming year, I'm curious whether the 900-ish podcasts I listened to the past two years is going to end up being a sort of equilibrium, or if it'll change significantly. Part of me wants to cut way down on podcasts to create more space for other things, but they really appeal to my natural affinity for learning things; listening to an hour-long podcast about a random topic is just enough to get the gist of something without investing the full time to read a book on the topic. Over the past couple of years I've been cutting down on a lot of "repetitive" podcasts (e.g., I don't need to listen to three different daily news podcasts, or half a dozen different politics podcasts), so there might be some room to further curate what I'm listening to so there isn't a lot of overlap or same information. My favorite podcast of the year continues to be Pod Save America because it's political/current events from hosts that share my left-leaning sensibilities, so it's nice to know that I'm not just in disbelief or confused or outraged by some nonsense in a vacuum... there are other people who are feeling the same way.

Comics (click to expand full list)

I read eleven more comics than last year. Not a huge leap, and it's certainly making me rethink my Marvel Unlimited subscription if I'm just not using it all that much to read comics. Most of the reading I did this year was work-related, or at least related to the work I was doing (I wanted to read some of the popular storylines from my favorite characters of the year to see how their film and television counterparts measured up. I really do hope to read more comics next year, because I really enjoy the medium. Maybe if I focus less on books and a little more on other types of reading, I'll add to this list in 2023.

Scripts (click to expand full list)

I only read about twenty scripts this year compared with forty-four last year. Part of that is because I had fewer projects that I had to read for work, but a big part of it is also that I've found myself really struggling with screenwriting lately. The film and television industry isn't in a great place from a writing perspective, and I've been really discouraged lately. I haven't written a thing in terms of my own screenplays which has meant there's been less of a need for me to read what else is out there to compare and keep up. I'm hoping to get back into screenwriting at least a little bit next year as part of a general effort to write more, so I'm curious if that will cause my script reading numbers to rebound again next year.

TOTALS: 105 books, 891 podcasts, 30 comics, 20 scripts

According to Goodreads, my book reading resulted in the following stats:

         Total Pages Read: 27,381
         Average Pages Per Book: 260
         Shortest Book: 20 pages
         Longest Book: 1,846 pages

That's it for my 2022 reading... time to see what 2023 has in store! *Bigsmile*
December 21, 2022 at 11:49pm
December 21, 2022 at 11:49pm
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 12 |

by AHMIR (cover)

I can't in good conscience include the original singer of this song (Justin Bieber), so I instead chose to feature AHMIR, a Boston-based R&B quartet that does a great cover of this song that isn't so... Bieberish. I do think this song is really catchy and enjoyable to listen to, but I just hate Justin Bieber (no matter how many times he shows up in my "The Soundtrack of Your Life entries over the years... *Laugh*). Anyway, this is a fun song and AHMIR is definitely worth checking out on their YouTube channel, so maybe some good will come out of this after all. *Wink*
December 21, 2022 at 11:39pm
December 21, 2022 at 11:39pm
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 11 |

"All I Want For Christmas (Is You)"
by Ingrid Michaelson & Leslie Odom Jr.

Hey, remember way back on Day 10 ("Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)) when I said that I wasn't going to include Mariah Carey's version of this song? Well, I kept my promise and didn't include her version. *Pthb* But, c'mon, it's one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time so I couldn't help but include it on my list. I almost went with the Michael Bublé version, or the one that Olivia Olson sings in Love Actually (one of the all-time great holiday movies), but I decided to include this incredible duet from Ingrid Michaelson and Leslie Odom Jr. I found this one while looking for a different cover version for this challenge and immediately fell in love with it. Both of them have stunning voices, and the arrangement is amazing. I'm definitely adding this version to all of my holiday playlists going forward.
December 21, 2022 at 11:25pm
December 21, 2022 at 11:25pm
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 10 |

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
by Neon Trees

Okay, I couldn't not include Mariah Carey on a "12 Days of "Christmas" challenge, but I'm going to mix it up a little and include a different song than you know what. I was tempted to do Darlene Love's classic original of this song, or the any number of other covers over the years (including U2, Michael Bublé, and - most recently - Keke Palmer and the cast of Sing 2, but I really do like Mariah Carey's version and thought it was worth including since I'm not going to include her version of "All I Want For Christmas (Is You)."
December 21, 2022 at 11:19pm
December 21, 2022 at 11:19pm
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 9 |

"Wish List"
by Neon Trees

I've never heard of the Neon Trees before, but I really dig their sound. It's definitely not a traditional Christmas song, but I think that's why I like it. It's a nice change of pace from the old Christmas standards and the modern pop hits. The band is originally from Provo, Utah and was formed in 2005. They rose to prominence in 2008 as an opening act for The Killers, and since their formation have released four albums, three EPs, and eighteen singles. They've also gone through a handful of band members, so I'm actually curious to check out more of their work and see if/how their sound has changed over the years.
December 21, 2022 at 11:14pm
December 21, 2022 at 11:14pm
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 8 |

"Christmas Without You"
by Ava Max

I just discovered this song this year thanks to a Spotify playlist of Christmas pop songs. It was originally released in 2020, and I've heard a couple of songs by Ava Max before (notably "Sweet but Psycho" and "Kings & Queens"), but this is the first one that I think really showcases her voice since those other two songs are so heavy on the beat and instrumentals. She actually has a pretty decent voice and this is a quality feel-good Christmas song that's a good option on a playlist during a Christmas get-together or party.
December 21, 2022 at 11:07pm
December 21, 2022 at 11:07pm
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 7 |

"Where Are You Christmas?"
by Faith Hill

While I generally think that the animated 2018 version of The Grinch is a superior version of the story compared to the 2000 live action film starring Jim Carrey, the one thing the live action version has going for it is this outstanding song by Faith Hill. The thing about this song that I think is the most fascinating is that it was actually originally written and performed by Mariah Carey (making a strong case that she really is the Queen of Christmas!), which was sung by Taylor Momsen in the film. Carey subsequently recorded a full-length pop version of the song, but a legal case between Carey and her ex-husband Tommy Mottola prevented it from being released so it was re-recorded by Faith Hill for the soundtrack.
December 13, 2022 at 1:01am
December 13, 2022 at 1:01am
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 6 |

"Here It Is Christmastime"
by Kevin Bacon and The Old 97's

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was released the day after Thanksgiving, and this is the song at the end of the movie. At first I wasn't super into the song while we were making the movie, but the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. Kevin Bacon has a surprisingly good voice that goes with the country twang of the song. It's also the perfect song to end the Holiday Special on; that last scene is really touching and a lot of fun.

"I Don't Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here)"
by The Old 97's

This other song from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is also a lot of fun, and I'm including it as a bonus. The idea behind the song is that it's an alien band writing a song about what they thing Earthling Christmas is all about from their outside perspective based on stories they've heard. It's super wacky, but kinda catchy and fun at the same time.
December 13, 2022 at 12:28am
December 13, 2022 at 12:28am
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 5 |

"Underneath the Tree"
by Kelly Clarkson

Like "Santa Tell Me, this 2013 hit from Kelly Clarkson is often considered one of the modern successors to Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas (Is You)" in terms of contemporary holiday standards. The song has repeatedly made the list of "best Christmas songs" by a variety of outlets including Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Metro, O, The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Men's Health, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, and Time Out. A 2019, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution listed it as the only new song from the past 20 years in their list of Top 50 Christmas songs.

This is one of my favorite songs to play when everyone's gathered together. Our family often makes tamales to honor my wife's family's tradition, and it's the perfect song to play in the background while everyone is working to assemble them. It's uptempo enough to keep everyone plugging along and feeling the Christmas spirit, even as we're assembling our hundredth tamale. *Wink*
December 8, 2022 at 12:58am
December 8, 2022 at 12:58am
12 Days of Christmas Logo

| Day 4 |

by Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins are a hit-and-miss band for me. I know people who absolutely love them and others who hate them with a passion, and I've always been somewhere in the middle. I'm not sure they're ever anywhere near the top of any of my playlists, but when certain songs of theirs come on, I enjoy them and wonder why I don't listen to the band more. This is one of those songs that make me wonder why I never listened to them more, because I remember it being one of the most-replayed songs I listened to on that A Very Special Christmas album it was included on. That and, of course, "Santa Baby" as performed by Reverend Run, Mase, Diddy (back when he was Puff Daddy), Snoop (back when he was Snoop Doggy Dogg), Salt-n-Pepa, etc. *Bigsmile*

I was reminded of this song after watching The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special last month, and I added it to my holiday playlist and have had it in circulation ever since. I'm probably going to have to add another entry or two from that holiday special to my list this year because there are a couple of great new songs that I'll probably end up listening to in future years.

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/jeff/month/12-1-2022