The Best of 2015

Corey’s Much-Anticipated Best of 2015


Making no concession to release dates, all movies, cds and books are ones I encountered for the first time in 2015. Because, you know, if you haven’t read it or seen it or heard it yet, it’s new, right? Lists are alphabetical.



Best books I read


Alley, Richard: Five Night Stand

Balzac, Honore: Cousin Bette

Bermant, Chaim: Diary of an Old Man

Bernhard, Thomas: The Loser

Camus, Albert: Notebooks, 1935-1942

Carpenter, Don: Hard Rain Falling

Coyote, Peter: The Rainman’s Third Cure

Gifford, Barry: Out of the Past

Gray, Alasdair: Lanark

Grossmith, George and Weedon: Diary of a Nobody

Haruf, Kent: Our Souls at Night

Harvey, Matthea: If the Tabloids are True, What are You?

Kooser, Ted: Delights and Shadows

Mitchell, David: Slade House

Modiano, Patrick: Honeymoon

Orr, Gregory: Gathering the Bones Together

Pagnold, Marcel: Jean de Florette/Manon of the Springs

Rilke, Rainer Maria: Poems from the Book of Hours

Ryan, Kay: Erratic Facts

Sagan, Carl: Contact

Stern, Steve: The Pinch

Strand, Mark: Blizzard of One

Thoreau, Henry David: Walden


I am also slowly making my way through the complete Leaves of Grass. It’s so rich I can only read a few pages a day.  I’m halfway through.




Best movies I saw


Across the Bridge (Annakin)

Bon Voyage (Rappeneau)

Brighton Rock (Boulting)

End of the Tour (Ponsoldt)

Eva (Maillo)

Force Majeure (Ostlund)

Miss Julie (Ullmann)

Night Moves (Reichardt)

Night Will Fall (Singer)

Nightcrawler (Gilroy)

One Way Pendulum (Yates)

Reprise (Trier)

Stars in my Crown (Tourneur)

Sundays and Cybele (Bourguigon)

The Confession (Costa-Gavras)

The Fanny Trilogy (Korda/Allegret/Pagnold)

The Great Beauty (Sorrentino)

The Outlaw and His Wife (Sjostrom)

The Thief (Vhukhray)

The Universe of Jacques Demy (Varda)

The Well-Digger’s Daughter (Auteuil)

While We’re Young (Baumbach)

Young Torless (Schlondorff)


Top cds:

Abel & Rawls: Down along the Coast

Babe Ruth: First Base (reissued with bonus tracks)

Bob Dylan 1965-1966: The Best of the Cutting Edge

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell: The Traveling Kind

Garage Band Tribute to The Monkees

Jason Isbell: Something More than Free

Julien Baker: Sprained Ankle

Leon Bridges: Coming Home

Leonard Cohen: Back in the Motherland

Leonard Cohen: Can’t Forget

Memphis Dawls: Rooted in the Bone

Nick Lowe: The Brentford Trilogy

Powder: Ka-Pow

Roxy Music: For your Pleasure

Silver Monk Time: A Tribute to the Monks

St. Vincent: Strange Mercy

Take Me to the River (Soundtrack)

The Strangeloves: I Want Candy

They Might be Giants: Why?



And, at the end of every year, or at the beginning of the next year, I read a BIG classic that I’ve always meant to read. It helps chip away at that “Must-read list” and it helps to slow me down amid or after the tumult of the holiday season. This year I am making another run at Remembrance of Things Past. I make no promises. I tried reading it way back in the dim regions of young adulthood and stalled after book one. This time I am preparing by first reading Harold Pinter’s The Proust Screenplay. Wish me luck.


AND, finally, I am thankful at the conclusion of this fertile year, for all my friends in what we call the real world, or on Facebook and beyond, for being so sweet and supportive of my modest publishing successes in 2015. During this year, in which I turned 60, my novel, Memphis Movie, was published to some small acclaim; a poem of mine appeared in Poetry, perhaps the finest literary journal still ticking; I made one of my favorite actresses, Judy Greer, laugh on live TV; and I took up the drums again, for no good reason except the joy of bashing on them.  I close 2015 truly grateful. And to end the year, I offer you also this one sacred word: Pickleball.




9 responses to “The Best of 2015

  1. Fascinating and provocative. and how do you find time to read all these books, watch all these movies and listen to all this music when you write so prolifically? I am in awe, my friend.

  2. Mostly I feel very lazy. I have a lot of free time.

  3. Ha. Yes, now that all the kids are out of the house.

  4. I sincerely wish we could take one or two. Saskia would take us to court.

  5. I’ve had Don Carpenter’s novel on my list for some time. I can’t remember how it got there, but your recommendation is good enough for me to pick it up.
    On another note, I think Memphis Movie is a wonderful novel.

    • It should be in the running for The Great American Novel. And, thanks for your kind words about Memphis Movie. They cheer me.

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