2016: The Year That Was Anthropomorphized


Time for another year in review. Last year, my resolutions were: (1) enjoy time with Team Duvall, (2) finish my doctoral thesis, (3) run like the wind. And the results? (1) Done, (2) working on it, and (3) got a cease-and-desist from the wind.

For a guy with remarkably little in the way of responsibilities, I am remarkably busy. This year’s highlights included celebrating with the new, first Dr. Duvall (my wife) and welcoming baby number three to the team. He’s a corker!

I could get back to writing more on this blog, and this year I may, but I’ve discovered that living life is also important. If I start posting more, you’ll be the first to know (because it will be here).

A lot of people said 2016 was a “dumpster fire.” There were definitely some lowlights, but I don’t think the year has anything to do with it. And I hate to say things like, “It can’t get worse,” because then 2017 may take that as a challenge.

So, with that lighthearted introduction, here’s some stuff that was good in 2016.

Best Fiction I Read in 2016

  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. This is the only Rothfuss book I’ve read, and I enjoyed it. If you click the link, you can see the Goodreads reviews, and I agree with some of the bad ones. But I still enjoyed the book, god help me.
  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King.King could publish his grocery list and I’d probably love it. But this short story collection contains some great yarns and was perfect for a grad student who didn’t have a lot of time to devote to book-length fiction.
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I enjoyed Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven more, but this was still fascinating. It also reinforced my long standing resolution to never climb Mt. Everest.
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Not all of the twists worked, but a brilliant study of human nature and how we can (mis)remember things in order to suit our preconceptions.
  • Phoenix Island by John Dixon. I know Dixon from the writing program at Seton Hill University, but I enjoyed this sci-fi novel (it reminded me in some ways of Lord of the Flies). And any book that features boxing/martial arts is ok with me.

Best Poems I Read in 2016

  • “First Snow” by Arthur Sze
  • “The Mystery” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar
  • “March Evening” by Amy Lowell
  • “The Oak” by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
  • “Mid-Day” by HD
  • “Last Sleep Best Sleep” by Brenda Shaughnessy
  • “Collectors” by Marion Strobel
  • “The End of the Pier” by Nicole Callihan
  • “Father’s Song” by Gregory Orr
  • “Animal Prudence” by Kathy Fagan
  • “WWE” by Fatimah Asghar
  • “Come Back to Tell Us” by Matthew Thorburn

Best Movies I Watched in 2016

  • Rogue One
  • Ball of Fire (1941)
  • Room

Songs I Listened to in 2016

My goals for 2016: enjoy time with Team Duvall and earn my doctorate. And now I have to go work on my dissertation!

Unleash Your Own Crankiness

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