Best of 2015

As in years past (best of 2013, best of 2014), I’d like to share some of the things I enjoyed this year, based on Eve Tushnet’s annual list.

Best non-fiction read for the first time

The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott

The Book of My Life by Teresa de Ávila

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Best fiction read for the first time

The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich

Emma by Jane Austen

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Best movies/TV watched for the first time

I hardly watched any movies this year, mainly because I love to experience movies by actually going to the cinema, which didn’t happen much for me this year. In Buenos Aires, movies are fantastically cheap (eighty cents!) but slim pickin’s (mostly American movies, six months late); here in Virginia, movies are expensive and inconvenient. That said, three stood out: the touching, tragic La jaula de oro (2013); the brilliant, fierce Mad Max: Fury Road (2015); and the delightful, surprising The Martian (2015).

I watch a lot of TV these days, though. The best thing I saw this year was CW’s Jane the Virgin, which is now my favorite show of all time. Telenovela drama with heart, religiosity, tenderness, and spunk. It’s wonderful in every way.

Best performances

Beauty & the Beast at Synetic, Arlington, VA
January 9, 2015

Let the Right One In at St. Ann’s Warehouse, NYC
January 24, 2015

Hamilton at the Public, NYC
January 25, 2015

Mariinsky Ballet (Hodson’s Le sacre du printemps, Fokine’s Le Spectre de la Rose and The Swan, and Petipa’s Paquita Grand Pas) at the Kennedy Center, DC
January 28, 2015

Lecture by Santiago Porter at NYU Buenos Aires
April 21, 2015

DC United 3-1 Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium, DC
June 3, 2015

Royal Ballet (Don Quixote) at the Kennedy Center, DC
June 12, 2015

Arcadia (reading) at the National Academy of Sciences, DC
June 29, 2015

Once at the Kennedy Center, DC
August 16, 2015

The Aliens at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
September 19, 2015

Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers, NYC
October 24, 2015

Honorary mention: watching Lionel Messi cut down Jérôme Boateng, on a loop, for months

Best exhibits/museums

Experiencia infinita” and “Intenciones secretas/Annemarie Heinrich,” Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marino Marini: do arcaísmo ao fim da forma,” Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brasil

Museo del Presidio, Ushuaia, Argentina

Permanent collection, Museu do Arte do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil

Qorikancha/Convento de Santo Domingo, Cusco, Perú and gardens

Stations of the Cross at Catedral de San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Honorary mention: though it did not present itself as such, República de los Niños, La Plata, Argentina is an incredible museum of Peronism; and the whole of Casa Cavia, Buenos Aires, Argentina is a work of art

This would be cheating: the ruins at Sacsayhuamán, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu, Perú were also ok

Best posts or articles by other people

“Addy Walker, American Girl” by Brit Bennett

Hamilton and the End of Irony” by Alexandra Petri

“How to Decolonize Your Diet” by Shelby Pope

“Loving Books in a Dark Age” by Michael Pye

“Noma” by Jacob Mikanowski

“On Pandering” by Claire Vaye Watkins

“‘Rampant, Systemic, and Deep-Rooted’: A Sting in Zurich Finally Targets FIFA Corruption” by Brian Phillips (#RIPGrantland)

“There Is No Pro-Life Case for Planned Parenthood” by Ross Douthat

“Unfollow” by Adrian Chen

Honorary mention: The best article I read this year wasn’t published this year, and it was “The Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison.

Best posts or articles by me

Academic: “Dios y los Diez: the Mythologization of Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi in Contemporary Argentina” (senior honors thesis), “Crime and Crisis: the Films of Fabián Bielinsky

On this blog: on anxiety and Patagonia, on starting over and media habits, on judging character

at TAC: “How to Stop Brutality-Adjacent Policing,” “What Cuba Means for Latin America,” “Celebrating American Catholics

Cool things that happened this year, not mentioned elsewhere in this post

Published by Catherine Addington

I am a translator from Spanish to English and a writer on saints, myths, and icons in both religious and secular contexts.

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