My year in lists 2021

There is less to list this year so I've consolidated films, books and games into one big post. Having done these end of year accounts for a while, it looks like I've continued to lose interest in films and books while trying to expand my knowledge of games. The below is ordered roughly by preference.


I did manage a couple of trips to the cinema this year – of which the experience of Dune at an empty screening at my local indie beat the classics I saw at the BFI Southbank and the Prince Charles. The links below go to what I've managed to write about on here, but I've also set up a Letterboxd account where I jot down stray thoughts. The platform has been a good way to find new things I'd want to watch, alongside the weird and wonderful items discussed in the Savage Beast podcast (the best film podcast).

Denis Villeneuve - Dune

John Fawcett - Ginger Snaps [link]
Olivia Wilde - Booksmart [link]
Robert Eggers - The Lighthouse [link]
Anthony Minghella - The Talented Mr Ripley
Michael Mann - Heat [link]
Kathryn Bigelow - Point Break
Rob Reiner - A Few Good Men [link]
Boots Riley - Sorry To Bother You
Akira Kurosawa - Drunken Angel [link]
Kenji Mizogouchi - My Love Has Been Burning [link]
Russell Mulcahy - Highlander 


I got a bit sick of reading science fiction after finishing off Gene Wolfe's 'Solar Cycle' – he's one of my favourite authors but I really needed a break after 12 books. I picked up some contemporary fiction (by women for a change) as a bit of a palate clense, and there was enjoyment to be hand. Having avoided non-fiction for most of the year, I tore through some slim but potent pamplets on politics and culture in the winter months. The links below go to reviews on Goodreads, where I tend to write up most of the things I read even though the site is a bit garbage. I'm poking around Storygraph here, but while I like the data there's less of an emphasis on reviews, so I'm not sure how much I'll persist with it. 

Felipe Pepe (ed.) - The CRPG Book: A Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games [link]
Dan Ozzi - Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore (1994–2007) [link]
Kit Mackintosh - Neon Screams: How Drill, Trap and Bashment Made Music New Again [link]
George Orwell - The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius [link]
Roger Scruton - Conservatism: Ideas in Profile [link]
Christopher Bigsby - Viewing America: Twenty-First-Century Television Drama [link]
Mark Bould - The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture [link]

M. John Harrison - The Course of the Heart [link]
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness [link]
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Tombs of Atuan [link]
Sally Rooney - Conversations With Friends [link]
Anne Carson - The Beauty of the Husband [link]
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah [link]
John Crowley - Little, Big [link]
Poul Anderson - The Broken Sword [link]
Raymond Chandler - The High Window [link]
Susanna Clarke - Piranesi [link]
Gene Wolfe - The Book of the Short Sun [link] [link] [link]

Dan Schaffer - The Scribbler [link]
Joseph Michael Linsner - Angry Christ Comix [link]


Gaming is still where I'm mostly at though. Last year I exclusively played CRPGs, whereas this year I branched out a bit and tried an adventure game, some puzzle games, an action-platformer and a JRPG for the first time (all on the iPhone). My heart is still set on the CRPGs genre however – the New Vegas playthrough that stretched over the winter months and into spring was in aggregate the most transcendent experience of media I've had in a very long time.

Obsidian Entertainment - Fallout: New Vegas [link]
Larian Studios - Divinity: Original Sin 2 [link]
Firaxis Games - XCOM: Enemy Within
Konami - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night [link]
Valve - Portal / Portal 2
Square - Chrono Trigger [link]
Playdead - Inside
Capybara Games - Grindstone
thatgamecompany - Journey
Double Fine Productions - Day of the Tentacle Remastered [link]
ConcernedApe - Stardew Valley

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