Media

A log of my long-form media consumption
Media

I set goals to get through a certain number of long-form media pieces each year.

I've italicized media that I completed in part but put down or come back to as reference. I've bolded media that I'd especially recommend.

Note on video games: The ones I'm counting are the story-driven/finite ones. See the rationale here for reference. Also, in video game land, I count a "finish" as completing the main storyline or quest. I'm not a completionist with respect to the sometimes hundreds of side quests in the types of games I like. My "Video games I've completed before 2023" list is absolutely not exhaustive, but I only started recording them recently so there are many I don't recollect.

Note on my film/TV record: It's a work in progress. I haven't tracked my movie watching as religiously as books and other aspects of my life.

2024

Books

June

  • We are Legion (We are Bob), Dennis E. Taylor - good stuff. Entertaining. Like a more amusing Ancillary Justice.

May

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien - read on Denali

February

  • Love is a Dog From Hell, Charles Bukowski - reading samples of poetry here and there. Bukowski is best paired with a beer
  • On Writing Well, William Zinsser - Blinkist summary
  • The 5am Club, Robin Sharma - Blinkist summary. A little crazy that there's a whole book about waking up at a specific time of day, but there you go. There're a few other nuggets in here, such as the notion of the four "interior empires": Mindset, Healthset, Heartset, Soulset and the 20/20/20 rule. Upon the recommendation of a coworker, I decided to give Blinkist a shot. Not kidding myself that this counts a full "read" cover to cover, but I'm counting it toward my media goal since I'm absorbing the idea framework of the book. I figure this is my goal in reading non-fic anyway--get the distillation of the ideas so I can commit them to memory. I'd never do this with fiction because the experience is in the way the story is told. The bias that made me try out Blinkist is that I think most non-fic (especially business/psychology/self-help) is fluffy and repetitive, often reinforcing the same ideas through different stories.
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin - Broken Earth Book 2.

January

  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin - The Broken Earth Book 1. Outstanding. The writing and dialogue and characters (pretty much everything) is so refreshing after Sanderson's high-schooler novel-writing style.
  • Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson (30%)- I find Sanderson's dialogue to be awful and the characters very cardboardy. I couldn't bear it all the way through book two of this series and put it down

Film/TV

June

  • The Bear, Season 3 - Not as compelling so far as the first two. It's pretty backward-looking and character-studyish
  • Hit Man, Richard Linklater - Very good
  • Fall Guy - Fine

April

  • The Tourist (Netflix) - Alright. Pretty slow
  • Argylle - We shut this one off early. Really terrible!
  • Sugar (Apple TV) - Excellent. Really cool LA noir throwback. Not a huge fan of the bizarre twist at the end of the third to last episode. Seems unnecessary.

March

  • The Three Body Problem, Season 1 - A confusing and bizarro mess, but entertaining at points
  • Dream Scenario - A big-time bummer and not what I expected
  • The Green Knight - Hard to follow
  • Dune Part One - Rewatch after seeing Part Two
  • Dune Part Two - Fantastic. In my opinion, the Villaneuve Dune series is the best book to movie adaptation since Lord of the Rings
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me - Rewatch
  • Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet - Intense French courthouse drama
  • Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos - That was a wild ride
  • Tokyo Vice, Season 2 - Excellent

February

  • Tokyo Vice, Season 1 - Like The Bear, this is another fascinating series that's been going a while that I only just discovered
  • Mad God (Phil Tippett) - One of the most lunatic films I've ever seen. It's a claymation horror show, but there are moments of intense beauty
  • Dodgeball - Rewatch. Still holds up, maybe not as funny as I remember
  • Reacher - The Amazon Prime show. It's so bad, but interesting enough to hold attention.
  • Zoolander - Rewatch. Infinitely quotable
  • American Beauty - Rewatch. Cringey, but so compelling. Bags are beautiful
  • Leave the World Behind - Solid. Ends super abruptly. Would recommend.

January

  • True Detective: Night Country - Pretty good so far (on episode 2). Compelling. Still not living up to season 1 imo.
  • The Bear, Season 2 - chef's kiss.
  • The Bear, Season 1 - how did I sleep on this for so long? So well shot and acted. I love the underlying theme about striving for excellence.
  • Saltburn - wild, intense, but pretty good in my opinion.

Video games

January-April

  • Baldur's Gate 3 - Excellent. One of the best games I've played.

2023

Books

  • Overreach: The Inside Story of Putin and Russia’s War Against Ukraine, Owen Matthews
  • Putin's Wars, Mark Galeotti
  • The Witcher: The Last Wish, Andrzej Sapkowski - alright Covid reading
  • Minus 148: First Winter Ascent of Mt. Mckinley, Art Davidson - intense, emotionally draining at times
  • Denali's West Buttress, Colby Coombs
  • Invincible, Issues 26-53, Robert Kirkman/Cory Walker/Robert Ottley
  • Invincible, Issues 1-25, Robert Kirkman/Cory Walker/Robert Ottley
  • Beyond the Mountain, Steve House - a solid memoir from another climbing legend
  • Kiss or Kill, Mark Twight - intense, dark, contemplative
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Gabrielle Zevin
  • A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles - Just a delightful, cozy read
  • Reamde, Neal Stephenson (8%)

Film/TV

  • Tombstone (1993)
  • The Killer, David Fincher - A little predictable, but solid
  • Invincible (Season 2) - Love it
  • Scavenger's Reign (Season 1) - Crazy compelling and good writing
  • Nightmare on Elm Street - Tis the season (October). 80's cheesy; surprisingly good.
  • True Detective (Season 1) - rewatch. SO rewatchable. 
  • Peak Obsession - a Cody Townsend Fifty Project production
  • The Shining - Just a great rewatch
  • Eyes Wide Shut
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Fargo (1996)
  • Oppenheimer - magnificent
  • Barbie
  • Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse (2018) - pretty decent; spectacular animation
  • The Hunted (2003) - so bad. Also watched during Covid
  • Honest Thief (Liam Neeson) - cheesy movie watched while in Covid recovery
  • The Marksman (Liam Neeson) - cheesy movie watched while in Covid recovery
  • Memory (Liam Neeson) - cheesy movie watched while in Covid recovery
  • Invincible (Season 1) - watched on Amazon Prime; amazing
  • Lethal Weapon (1987) - whacky, nonsensical plot, but lots of explosions
  • Enter the Dragon (1973) - Kitschy, extremely fun
  • Big Trouble in Little China - Exceptional
  • M3gan - pretty funny
  • Cocaine Bear - I was expecting laughs like Sharknado, but it did not deliver
  • Yellowstone (Season 4) - it's so bad but so addicting
  • Yellowstone (Season 3) - we hate the writing but can't stop
  • Yellowstone (Season 2)
  • Yellowstone (Season 1)
  • Bloodsport (John Claude Van Damme) --also hilarious
  • First Blood (Rambo)--hilarious
  • Prospect (2018) --Pedro Pascal is great
  • The White Lotus Season 2
  • The Last of Us Season 1 (fantastic)

Video games

2022

Books

  • Murderbot Diaries: Exit Strategy, Martha Wells
  • Murderbot Diaries: Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells
  • Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition, Martha Wells
  • Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, Martha Wells
  • The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins (50%)
  • Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson - fine. The dialogue sucks
  • Fairytale, Stephen King
  • No Shortcuts to the Top, Ed Viesturs
  • Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete, Steve House, Scott Johnston (Reference text)
  • Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills 9th Ed. (This is a textbook and intended for ongoing reference. Apparently required reading for many aspiring mountain guides.)
  • In the Shadow of Denali, Jonathan Waterman
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman
  • The Paris Apartment, Lucy Foley
  • The Guest List, Lucy Foley
  • Endurance, Alfred Lansing
  • Eiger Dreams, Jon Krakauer
  • Where Men Win Glory, Jon Krakauer
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking (15%)
  • Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
  • Bunker: What it takes to survive the apocalypse, Bradley Garrett (48%)

Film/TV

  • Triangle of Sadness
  • Three Thousand Years of Longing
  • The Northman (excellent)
  • Guns Akimbo
  • Everything everywhere all at once
  • Fresh (Mimi Cave)
  • Free Guy
  • Kimi (meh)
  • 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible
  • Pig (Nicolas Cage)
  • Don't Look Up

Video games I've completed before 2023

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Half Life: Alyx
  • Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 4
  • Far Cry 5
  • Far Cry 6
  • Portal 
  • Portal 2
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild - maybe blasphemy, but I just don't go for the kiddy-feel of many Nintendo games

2021

Books

  • 2034, Ackerman & Stavridis
  • Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell
  • Empire of the Summer Moon, S. C. Gwynn
  • Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell
  • With the Old Breed, Eugene B. Sledge
  • Skunk Works, Ben R. Rich
  • Under the Banner of Heaven, John Krakauer
  • Eagle against the Sun, Ronald H Spector
  • In the Woods, Tana French
  • Memories, Jack Scrivener
  • Manhunt, Peter L. Bergen
  • Ghost Wars, Steve Coll
  • Hogs in the Sand, Buck Wyndam
  • Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
  • This is how you lose the time war, Max Gladstone
  • Ghost Fleet, PW Singer
  • Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
  • Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  • Rebel Yell, S.C. Gwynne

2020

Books

  • For the Soul of Mankind, Melvyn Leffler
  • The Odyssey, Homer
  • The Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Eswaran
  • So Good They Can't Ignore You, Cal Newport
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
  • Shoe Dog, Phil Knight
  • The End is Always Near, Dan Carlin
  • Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, Eric Schlosser
  • The Bomb: Presidents, generals, and the secret history of nuclear war, Fred Kaplan
  • Red Storm Rising, Tom Clancy
  • On Writing, Stephen King
  • The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
  • The Stand, Stephen King
  • The Cold War: A New History, John Lewis Gaddis
  • Return with Honor, Scott O'Grady
  • Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss
  • Principles, Ray Dalio
  • The Art of War, Stephen Coonts

2019

Books

  • Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit
  • The Iliad, Homer
  • The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray
  • The Monster of Florence, Preston and Spezi
  • Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari
  • Shape Up, Ryan Singer
  • Amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
  • Originals, Adam Grant
  • 10 arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now, Jaron Lanier
  • Deep Work, Cal Newport
  • E-Myth, Michael Gerber
  • Atomic Habits, James Clear
  • 12 rules for Life, Jordan Peterson
  • Waking Up, Sam Harris
  • Life, Keith Richards

2018

Books

  • Make Time, Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky
  • Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
  • The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy
  • 40 ways of looking at Winston Churchill, Gretchen Rubin
  • House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski
  • Getting Things Done, David Allen
  • The Thirst, Jo Nesbo
  • The Snowman, Jo Nesbo
  • Inferno: The World at War 1939-1945, Max Hastings
  • The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
  • Make, Pieter Levels
  • Ancillary Justice, Anne Leckie

Film/TV I remember watching before 2018 when I started tracking

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • The Godfather Part II
  • The Dark Knight
  • Schindlers List
  • Every Harry Potter film
  • Inception
  • Se7en
  • The Green Mile
  • Parasite
  • Terminator
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • American History X
  • The Departed
  • Rear Window
  • Django Unchained
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Kill Bill Vol.1
  • Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • Natural Born Killers
  • Fight Club
  • WALL-E
  • Princess Mononoke
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Aliens
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • The Avengers
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Iron Man
  • Iron Man II
  • Iron Man III
  • Black Panther
  • Shang Chi: Legend of the 10 Rings
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Thor
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • American Beauty
  • Toy Story
  • Toy Story II
  • Toy Story III
  • Braveheart
  • The Patriot
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Amelie
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Die Hard
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Monty Python: Life of Brian
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • Every Daniel Craig James Bond movie
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • The Seventh Seal
  • The Truman Show
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Lost World
  • Jurassic Park III
  • V for Vendetta
  • Bladerunner
  • Bladerunner 2049
  • Trainspotting
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Gran Torino
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Room
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Logan
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Into the Wild
  • The Princess Bride
  • Jumanji
  • Rocky
  • Nobody
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions