2008: top-fives

Some of mine…


  1. Let the Right One In (Sweden)
  2. Synechdoche, New York
  3. Tell No One (France)
  4. Milk
  5. The Dark Knight


  1. The Wire
  2. The Mighty Boosh (British import: DVD)
  3. Gossip Girl
  4. The Daily Show
  5. The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric


  1. Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
  2. Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
  3. Learning Music: The Greatest Hits So Far
  4. Hauschka: Ferndorf
  5. Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer
  6. Honorable Mention: Sara Lov: The Young Eyes EP


  1. Oysters in Philadelphia or at Comme Ça
  2. Sushi anywhere, everywhere
  3. Dim Sum at Park Asia
  4. Pho at Hong Phat
  5. Steaks with Farrell and Trixie

Regretfully missed/neglected:

  1. Books
  2. Man on Wire
  3. Wendy and Lucy
  4. Mad Men
  5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

OK, top-fives are pretty manageable, I think… So what’ve you got?

24 responses to “2008: top-fives”

  1. Top 5 books I read in 2008:
    The Cave
    The Black Book
    Never Let Me Go
    The Golden Compass (though I am not finding the other books of the series to be quite as overpoweringly great as the first)

  2. Top 5 movies I saw in 2008 (and look, I have a kid, most of the movies I watch nowadays are on the little screen; so most of these are not 2008 films ok?):

    O Lucky Man!
    Please Vote For Me
    WALL • E

  3. O sorry, I only listed 4 books because I lost count. I enjoyed In Hovering Flight a whole lot too, and as a bonus, that was even published in 2008.

  4. swells says:

    My top five everything of 2008 is an easy list to write:

    1. Barack Obama
    2. Barack Obama
    3. Keith Olberman and Jon Stewart
    4. Katie Couric interviewing Sarah Palin
    5. Pennsylvania going blue on November 4

  5. Rachel says:

    I second swells, except maybe with Rachel Maddow at #2. To see a successful, articulate lesbian represented on television, reporting the news, is so validating, so gratifying…hey, is this what straight white guys feel like all the time?

  6. Scotty says:

    The Wrestler
    Slumdog Millionaire
    Synechdoche, New York
    DVD: Hot Rod

    MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
    Hayes Carll: Trouble in Mind
    TV on the Radio: Dear Science
    The Go Team: Proof of Youth
    Black Flag: Slip it In
    (Yes, not all from ’08, but oh well)

    The Idiots Guide series books 1-5 with an honorable mention for The Idiots Guide to Irony.

    Crosswords, featuring Ruben Mancillas

    2 AM Del Taco
    J. Wood’s 7 layer bars
    Bali’s Indian takeout (eaten while watching a Lakers game)
    Patricia’s chicken mole
    The Mesa Grill’s pig

  7. Scotty says:

    Let’s be honest, the Couric interview was really the highlight of the year.

  8. Rachel says:

    Although Maddow interviewing Blagojevich made Palin look like…Madeline Albright or something. Man, that guy is dense. And crazy.

  9. Kate the Great says:

    The fried biscuits at Golden China
    Those individual servings of juice in glass bottles at the grocery store
    Dark Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars
    Omelets with bacon, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and guacamole salsa
    Lasagna with corn, tomato chunks, ground beef, and spinach

    Clean House
    Amazing Race
    Voyager on Spike
    (technically 2009) Keeping Up Appearances

    Astonishing Splashes of Colour
    The Book of Flying
    Wild Seed
    The Tree
    Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    (although books don’t really count because I can’t really rank them as most favorite. I can hardly remember what I did read in 2008)

  10. Natasha says:

    “In Bruges”
    “12” by Nikita Mihalkov
    “The Dark Night”
    “Kung Fu Panda” (what? I like cartoons)
    Heidi Happy
    Juliette Lewis “Hot Ride” (loved forever)
    Natasha Khan “Sad Eyes”
    Edith Piaf “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (rediscovered and much loved)
    Linkin Park “Given Up”
    Patricia Kaas “Mon mec à moi” (rediscovered) and “Mademoiselle Chante Le Blues”
    Oyster Shots
    Escargot (discovered and appreciated for what it is and not desired to try again)
    Tuna boat, extra spicy with blue crab, no imitation (discovered and eaten many times a week)
    The real British Summer Pudding
    Kalashnikov roll, again with blue crab
    Re-reading “The Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov, in English this time
    “Body” by National Geographic
    “Evolve Your Brain: The Science of changing your mind” by Joe Dispenza
    “All Tomorrow’s Parties” by William Gibson
    “Losers Start All Wars” by V. Panov (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/eksmo/panov/)
    Don’t watch unless it’s “Sopranos” or “Monk”, which don’t belong to 2008

  11. Natasha says:

    CNN too, which does not belong

  12. Jeremy Zitter says:

    Ah, Steph, I love your list, of course, and I would agree with Rachel and add Maddow to that list. (With honorable mentions to both Tina Fey for her Palin channeling (?) and Ben Affleck for his Olbermann impersonation).

    And, Rachel, I just went and watched that Blago-Maddow interview, and while he came off better than I anticipated, it still made for really incredibly fascinating viewing–he kept saying one thing after another that seemed like such total BS (it’s like that time I had a student who continued to deny plagiarizing an entire paper, despite being presented with actual tangible evidence)… I love Tivo, which leads me to another top-five…

    Technology acquired/purchased:

    1.) iPhone
    2.) HD TV
    3.) Tivo
    4.) A/C unit
    5.) Xbox

  13. LP says:

    I’m feeling too scattered to make any top-five lists right now, but here’s an early jump on top five videos for 2009.

  14. Cannon says:

    Aside from textbooks, the only one I was able to crack open was James Frey’s new one, Bright Shiny Morning.

    1. Dexter
    2. Election coverage (including parodies)
    3. The Office

    1. Alkaline Trio – Agony & Irony</a
    MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
    3. The Airborne Toxic Event – s/t
    4. Cansei De Ser Sexy – Donkey
    5. Nujabes – Modal Soul Classics
    Honorable mentions:
    Q-Tip – The Renaissance (“What good is an ear if a Q-Tip isn’t in it?”)
    H2O – Nothing To Prove
    The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed

    1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
    2. The Bank Job
    3. The Dark Knight
    note: These are the only movies from 2008 that I watched last year; and from home at that. I think the last time I went to the theater was for Walk The Line…

    1. Agora
    2. Fiesta Grill
    3. Sushi On Fire
    4. Z Pizza
    5. Oki Doki

    Best of:
    1. Barack Obama! (check the photo in this link!)
    2. Best waves: El Salvador (shown: Punta Mango)
    3. Best show: Common with guest appearance by Kanye (at the Anaheim HOB!), 2/14/08
    4. Best new bar: The Crosby (owned by a couple’a friends)

    Worst of/Most disappointing:
    1. Dad’s stroke
    2. Prop 8/Momos
    3. OC fires
    4. Construction in downtown Huntington Beach
    5. New Kanye album
    6. Starbucks’ new permanent fixture Pike Place
    7. This a-hole

  15. Jane says:

    Aww…I made a list and it didn’t post. Let’s try again…

    Additions to the lists above:

    Burn After Reading
    Funny games

    Boston Legal

    She & Him – Volume One

    Steak (It’s already mentioned above, but it’s too good not to mention twice)

  16. Cannon says:

    Wow… No idea how the links ended up as they did. Looks like the problem with most of them is that quotes need to be removed from the end of the link. Not the case for the Obama photo, however. Check that one here:


  17. Jeremy Zitter says:

    Jane, I just watched Funny Games the other night on TV and liked it but wasn’t crazy about it. Did you see the original (by the same director, Haneke)? I didn’t, but I was curious about the difference/s. Btw, have you seen Cache or The Piano Teacher, two other amazing Haneke films?

    Disturbing, all of them.

  18. Jeremy says:

    oki doki! i totally forgot about that place. thanks, cannon.

  19. Farrell says:

    Hey there Jeremy. yes, those are some great lists of things. All of those look very close to how my own lists would. As for music, I mentioned my faves in last weeks post, but I forgot how much i played Atlas Sound and Bon Iver quite early in 2008. They would surely be in my top 10. And the Haushka is growing on me. Thanks for that.

    A few more random things that made 2008 fun:
    1.) Amy Poehler on SNL. She was the funniest thing left on the show after Tina Fey left last year. Her Palin rap was genius.
    2.) Fun Home–the book, I finally read it this year. And didn’t read anything else as great. Out Stealing Horses was good.
    3.) Walt Wit beer
    4.) GTA4
    5.) A Macbook
    6.) Facebook
    7.) New apps: Shazam, Wikipanion, Stitcher, Urbanspoon, Zippo, what am i leaving out?

  20. Farrell says:

    Oh, and flip cameras.

  21. Jane says:


    I didn’t see the original Funny Games, though I read that the new one is shot-for-shot off the original, only in English. I actually thought it was one of the best horror films I have ever seen because it WAS truly disturbing (a task very few horror films actually achieve). I loved the fact that we never really saw any violence, we only heard it and lived it through the reactions of the other characters. And the casting for the two boys was superb. SPOILER ALERT: I also liked that evil conquered in the end. Not often to we get to watch a horror film where every main character dies, and the killers move on to the next victims. It’s brilliant and so real.

    I did see Cache, and I loved that film as well, but I have yet to see The Piano Teacher. I guess I’m going to have to rent it.

  22. PB says:

    Modesto Kid – keep going on the Pullman books – Subtle Knife may feel like an interlude, but the last book is amazing – at least for me.

    Five things from last year that I keep thinking about:

    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
    Ditto on Let the Right One In
    Dorothy Gale’s Freeway post: http://www.greatwhatsit.com/archives/2634
    Being sad about Heath Leger
    BBC TV

    (sorry no links – I can’t figure it out on this new format – poor Dave, more emails tutorials)

  23. Natasha says:

    LP, it’s a cool video. I also liked “Run Lola Run,” music video correlates with your theory, doesn’t it? Has anyone seen the movie?
    Also, cool artists discovered recently:
    Lane Twitchell
    Marijo Readey

  24. PB — zeeOhmygod you are correct about Amber Spyglass. This book is better than almost anything else. (Right now we are reading the portion where the main characters journey to the underworld.) It is just taking my breath away with the power of its imagery.