Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Top Picks of 2010

Book Pick: Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff.
Okay, I haven't even finished this yet and it's my pick. That's how much I love reading about Cleopatra, and how good the book is.  I first discovered the brainy Egyptian queen when I was seven and a grad student my parents had asked to babysit me while we were in Paris gave me a copy (in French) of Asterix and Cleopatra.  One look at her nifty falcon throne and uraeus-bedecked crowns and I was in love.
That was my gateway drug to a lifetime of obsession with both Cleopatra (who was of Greek descent) and then all of ancient Egyptian history.  So my book pick comes loaded with a backstory of personal obsession that leaves all other candidates in the dust.

Movie Pick: Winter's Bone.
This movie showed me a world I hadn't seen before (backwoods crystal meth-land, USA) and featured a teenage heroine stronger, more complex, and (in her own way) more badass than any who came before.  She willingly takes on a burden strong men would (and have) run from.

Sports Pick: Zenyatta
If you've even glanced at this blog this year, you've notes my obsession with this amazing race horse.  You can read my Goodbye Zenyatta post here to get an idea of the type of overwhelming emotion she evokes. But since she's a sports pick, I'll post the video of the race I watched in person at Hollywood Park in October.  It was her 19th consecutive win.  Just listen to the crowd noise rise as she rounds the far turn.  One of the other horses here, Switch, is a top filly herself.  Every time I watch it, I get worried, thinking Zenyatta might lose. And I know the outcome! But that's the Queen of Racing for you.  She provides drama, excitement, unmatched athleticism, and inspiration wherever she goes.

Pop Music Pick: F$%& You by Cee Lo Green.
Warning: contains multiple uses of the F word and this summer's catchiest hook.

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