Best “Netflix Instant” Streamed in 2011


I don't understand the outcry from some quarters that, "There's nothing to watch on Netflix Instant." I couldn't disagree more. There are currently 37 films in my "Instant" queue that -- if there were but world enough and time -- I would be watching immediately. To name only a few: Meek's Cutoff, Biutiful, Rabbit Hole, and Antichrist.For anyone unsure of what to watch next, Netflix provides tons of recommendations (click on the "Watch Instantly" tab), but most additions to my queue come … [Read more...]

Best Netflix DVDs Watched in 2011


This list is in alphabetical order (because agonizing over a precise order would take out all the fun). Also, I am limiting myself to DVDs received in the mail. I will post a follow-up list sometime this week with my favorite Netflix Instant streamed in the past year. This list also excludes some great films I saw in the theater this past year, which could perhaps be another future list.I also have to give credit to one of my favorite podcasts Filmspotting, which keeps my Netflix queue … [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Albums Listened to in 2011


This list is not the best of new releases in 2011, but rather the best of the CDs I listened to for the first time this past year.I also have to give credit to NPR's free All Song's Considered podcast, which introduced me to many of these albums, especially the ones released this year.This list is also in alphabetical order (because agonizing over a precise order would take all the fun out of making this list): … [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Books Read in 2011


The following are the top ten best books I've read so far this year in alphabetical order by the author's last name (because agonizing over a precise order would take all the fun out of making this list):Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart:I have been a fan for many years of Bourgeault's work, including her most recent book The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity and especially her … [Read more...]

Best Netflix DVDs Watched in 2010

Since I haven't had cable for years and detest commercials, you'll notice that I use my Netflix queue mostly to keep up on television shows I've missed (albeit we're always a season behind) and films that didn't always come to a theater nearby: 1. Winter's Bone 2. The Last Station 3. The Kids Are All Right 4. Dexter 5. Jericho 6. Supernatural 7. Grey’s Anatomy 8. Kings 9. Boston Legal 10. Gilmore Girls … [Read more...]

Best Books Read in 2010

1. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglas 2. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent 3. The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice from the Civil Rights Movement to Today by Charles Marsh 4. Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen 5. Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus by Ched Myers 6. Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity by Shelly … [Read more...]