The year that was 2019 has (thankfully) gone away, leaving us to start anew in 2020. While 2019 wasn’t as great entertainment wise as 2018, it still had a lot of incredible things worth checking out. If you want to see what I liked last year, you can click here.
Just like last year’s piece, instead of giving each media form an article, I’m just going to sum everything up in this instead! So buckle up and let’s dive in…
My Favorite Movie of the Year
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
I’m not shocked that this has earned the spot. Quentin Tarantino’s newest feature is a love letter to a bygone era. It’s got a dynamite cast and all the Tarantino style that you could ever want. This is also the director’s most mature work. While it’s violent and loud, we spend a lot of time just hanging out in this world. I could spend another ten hours with Clint and Rick.
Honorable Mentions: Doctor Sleep, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Marriage Story, Us, Annabelle Comes Home
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch a number of well regarded films. Parasite and Little Women being up there. Doctor Sleep was my second favorite, which proves that Mike Flanagan can do no wrong.
My Favorite Video Game of the Year
Pokemon Sword & Shield
I just hit 100 hours and I don’t think I’m even close to done yet? Pokemon Sword & Shield loved up the promise of our first console entry. Even though it’s release was met with some controversy, I think it has since proved itself as a fantastic entry. The Galar region is one of the best maps in ages, the new Pokemon are instantly iconic, and the Wild Area is extremely inspired.
Honorable Mentions: Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Death Stranding, Control, Days Gone, Super Mario Maker 2.
The moral of the story for gaming in 2019: Nintendo is back in a very big way.
My Favorite Book of the Year
In a year where I devoured short story collections like sinister candy, I found this choice particully diffucult. I read a whole boatload of excellent fiction by authors both new and old to me. I’ve added multiple authors that I will will always be on the look out for now.
Wounds: Six Stories from the Abyss by Nathan Ballingrud
Wounds deserves the top spot. I’m in awe of this collection. It’s all at once haunting, grotesque, stunningly original. I said in my Goodreads review that it is a testament to what a horror collection should look like. As I acculimate publications and look to build a collection of my own, it’s books like this one. Also: I got a chance to meet Nathan at NecronomiCon Providence, and I can confirm he’s a super nice guy. Read Wounds. You won’t be sorry.
Honorable Mentions: Into Bones Like Oil by Kaaron Warren, Full Throttle by Joe Hill, Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson.
Though I don’t have a catergory for it, I also read a handful of older books that deserve to be talked about as well. The Elementals by Michael Mcdowell is an undersung masterpiece, and is my favorite novel of the year. It released back in 1981, so it did not qualify for the top spot here. In anticipation for HBO’s adapation of Stephen King’s 2018 book The Outsider, I read that as well. It felt like vintage King filtered through his more controlled approach to story-telling.
And that’s it! Happy 2019/2020 everybody!