Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why December Stresses Me Out

I have a tiny panic attack each time I see a headline like “The Top 10 Books of 2010.” You see, my eyes process those words correctly, but my brain interprets them as “READ THESE BOOKS NOW, YOU UNCULTURED HEATHEN.” So, “The Most Awesome Movies of the Year” becomes “THE CINEMATIC EXPERIENCES OF A LIFETIME YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON, SLACKER.”

It gets really bad around December when everyone and their mother’s blog puts out a year-end list. Though I can usually find some consensus, there’s enough difference in opinion to populate several more lists. (Some people like to disagree on purpose, like those perverse human beings who write “The Top 10 Best Things Not Found On Anyone Else’s Top 10 List.”) There are also the overachievers for whom “Top 10” isn’t enough. So we get Top 20, Top 50, Top 100…Top 500. (Pitchfork, you’re on notice.)

Of course, I still read them all every year. It’s the same impulse that compels me to check out the return carts in the library: “Did I read that? Yeah, I did! I have great taste. I'm aweso...Oh, that looks good! Wow, there’s a lot of Stieg Larsson there. I should really get around to those.” Ultimately, I love keeping up with what other people are reading and watching and listening to, even if my already-stuffed “to-see” and “to-read” lists start to bloat uncontrollably come December.

Now that I’m a blogger, I know I should jump on the bandwagon. (Who am I to deny other people their voyeuristic thrills?) Still, I have my reservations. I’ll just get those out of the way.

Top 3 Reasons I’m Not Qualified to Write a “Top 10 Books of 2010” List:
  1. I barely read for pleasure during the first half of the year. I was busy with school books and requirements and exams and my internship and a 170 page thesis. (My friends fit in there somewhere.)
  2. I didn’t read for pleasure all summer. You can blame job applications and a 5 season backlog of How I Met Your Mother for that. (I regret nothing.)
  3. I only started reading for pleasure again in September. I tore through a ton of books, but I was primarily playing catch-up with my personal list. (Some of the books I read were published in this year, most were not.) 
Now that's cleared up, here is my (absolutely no pressure) 10 Books that Made an Impression in 2010.


  1. Haha, it's funny that you take top 10 headlines that seriously. (Sorry. Your pain is my laughter. =P) When I see lists of this kind, I enjoy noticing items that I recognize and concurring with the list's choices. Sometimes I don't agree with everything, but I'm a half-full person. ^_^

    WOW! You have an internship at Walden Media?! That's so friggenly cool and awesome! Some of my favorite books and movies come from that company!!! I hope you'll talk more about this in your blog! ^___^

  2. Heh. Well, I'd be totally cool with Top 10s if I had all the time in the world. Is there a pause button?

    Maaayybbeee. We'll see. If there's someone relevant, of course I'll share. Did you see Dawn Treader yet? It's on my list. :)