Monthly Archives: December 2017

As if you cared….Corey’s Best of 2017

Corey’s Best of 2017


Making no concession to release dates, all movies, cds and books are ones I encountered for the first time in 2017. Because, you know, if you haven’t read it or seen it or heard it yet, it’s new, right? All lists are in no particular order, except for books, which are listed by atomic weight.

Best books I read

Victory by Joseph Conrad

Beowulf translation by Seamus Heaney

Gone to Earth by Mary Webb

Precious Bane by Mary Webb

A Circus of Needs by Stephen Dunn

The Blood of Others by Simone de Beauvoir

Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust

Voices of the Chicago Eight by Tom Hayden

Love is a Fervent Fire by Robin Jenkins

The Riders by Tim Winton

The Dead and the Living by Sharon Olds

It Don’t Worry Me: American Films of the 70s by Ryan Gilbert

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Bellocq’s Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey

Paroles by Jacques Prévert

The Field is White by Claire Akebrand

If I had to pick one favorite read this year I’d say the Conrad.

Plus this year was an embarrassment of riches in books by friends, all of which I heartily recommend: I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone, by Jim Dickinson, From the Limbs of a Pear Tree by David Spicer, Cherry Bomb by Susan Cushman, The Unmade World by Steve Yarbrough, The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang, The Boy in the Corner by Miles Gibson, Messages to Lelia by Billy Reed, Camino Island by John Grisham, The Theoretics of Love by Joe Taylor, Even the Breath by Valentine Leonard, and A Cold Eye by Margaret Skinner.

Best movies I saw

Private Property (Stevens)

Arrival (Villeneuve)

Polytechnique (Villeneuve)

We Go On (Servente)

Morlang (Penning)

Paterson (Jarmusch)

1971 (Hamilton)

Get Out (Peele)

Death in the Garden (Bunuel)

Hitler: A Career (Fest/Herrendorf)

Snowden (Stone)

The New Land (Troell)

Swiss Army Man (Kwan/Scheinert)

Il Grido (Antonioni)

24 Days (Arcady)

Eyes of my Mother (Pesce)

Silence (Scorcese)

Train to Busan (Yeon)

Okja (Bong)

Il Sorpasso (Risi)

Dunkirk (Nolan)

I am Not Your Negro (Peck)

Lady Macbeth (Oldroyd)

Brimstone (Koolhoven)

A Ghost Story (Lowery)

Labyrinth of Lies (Ricciarelli)

The Meyerowitz Stories (Baumbach)
Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (Dunne)

Lace Crater (Atkins)

Mother! (Aronofsky)

Mademoiselle (Richardson)

Of these, the movie that hit me the hardest was I am Not Your Negro. See it if you haven’t.

And just for fun, the 10 worst movies I saw this year:

Beware! The Blob (Hagman)

Generation Um (Mann)

Scent (The Existentialist, yes the director calls him/herself The Existentialist)

The Lost Future (Salomon)

Jupiter Ascending (Wachowski/Wachowski)

Swamp Thing (Craven)

Transit (Negrit)

Kiss of the Tarantula (Munger)

Tear Gas Squad (Morse)

Mercy (Cornwell)

Best cds I got:

Infinite Tuesday by Michael Nesmith

Fight Fire: The Complete Recordings by The Golliwogs

Give More Love by Ringo Starr

Experimental Connections in the Memphis by Linda Heck

The Broken Circle Breakdown (soundtrack)

Presenting Lothar and the Hand People

Night Comes Down: 60s British Mod, R&B, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets

The Best of Q65: Nothing but Trouble

Down Today by Miriam

Nobody’s Baby by Miriam

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Deluxe 4 CD/1 DVD set) by The Beatles

In///Parallel by Dhani Harrison

Hitchhiker by Neil Young

Bluenote Café by Neil Young

Promise of the Real by Neil Young

Triplicate by Bob Dylan

Trouble No More by Bob Dylan

1967/Sunshine Tomorrow by The Beach Boys

Roll with the Punches by Van Morrison

Versatile by Van Morrison

Turn Out the Lights by Julien Baker

The Rebel Kind: Girls with Guitars 3

The Complete Goldwax Singles by James Carr

The Complete Singles A’s and B’s by The Rascals

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 giving Proust a pass and reading Les Miserables, all 1300+ pages of it. Happy New Year, y’all.  I personally had a good 2017, despite the igmo in the White House, who was and is the source of great anxiety and fear. I was able to play the holy game of pickleball regularly. I wrote a little film, called We Go On, that won the Memphis Film Prize and an award at the Indie Memphis Film Festival. My new book of poems, Among the Mensans, came out from the good folks at Iris Press. I had a poem read by Garrison Keillor on his radio show. And, I found out that I will become a grandfather in April. Blessings.


One new poem

…here at Antinarrative:

What’s the best fantasy novel ever written?

I tell you and MPR here:

One new poem

…here in The Big Windows Review: