Friday, January 01, 2016

Top 5 Films Seen and Fiction Read in 2015

Several of these don't actually belong to 2015 but this is when I saw them or read them so that's why they're here. Click links for trailers (but don't watch in full because trailers spoil it sometimes!).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InuzW58ydyUFilms:
  1. Two Days, One Night
  2. Calvary 
  3. The Overnighters
  4. Foxcatcher
  5. Birdman




Fiction:
  1. Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
  2. Marilynne Robinson, Home
  3. Dave Eggers, Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? (see my review here)
  4. Jonathan Franzen, Freedom
  5. Andy Weir, The Martian





Non-fiction:

Here I was reading from all over the centuries so it would be even more of a stretch to venture a top five for 2015. However, the best recent-vintage books I read were Scott Prather's Christ, Power and Mammon, Robert Song's Covenant and Calling, and Amos Yong's The Bible, Disability and the Church. The best old books I read were Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics. And the most disappointing books I read this year were Scot McKnight's Fellowship of Differents and Tim Suttle's Shrink. The worst book was Heaven is for Real but it was actually better than I expected.

3 comments:

Mama Bean said...

what did you think of Freedom? I really liked Franzen's The Corrections, which is the only other work I've read by him. I didn't find the characters in Freedom as compelling, I didn't care what happened to them.

Kevin Davis said...

I saw 'Two Days, One Night' on Netflix and loved it. Marion Cotillard did a remarkable job anchoring the film with her performance, but the script was particularly exceptional. It was a perfect and heartbreaking microcosm on everyday life.

Jon Coutts said...

J - I haven't read The Corrections but I plan to soon. It wasn't the characters themselves who I found compelling, but the way Franzen got into their heads (and mine) and explored this notion of 'Freedom'--showing it to be a kind of disappointing mirage. I'm happy to hear The Corrections is better. I felt like I'd have liked Freedom more if I liked any of the characters.

K - I thought so too. Not only great writing but---since the dialogue is often sparse and economical--great directing and editing too. A perfect modern parable. I watched it with my ethics class.