Best of 2019

To close out the year, here are some of the things I most enjoyed in 2019! (Find previous years here.)


  1. the Confessions of St. Augustine
  2. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang
  3. El divino Narciso by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  4. S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
  5. All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership by Darcy Lockman


  1. Olga Tokarczuk’s Nobel lecture
  2. Anna Gát on Despacito
  3. Dara Horn on an Auschwitz exhibition
  4. B.D. McClay on consent
  5. Maciej Cegłowski on ambient privacy (see also: the NYT Privacy Project)

Honorable mentions: Anne Thériault on Geel & St. Dymphna ◆ Mychal Denzel Smith on Virginia ◆ Anne Helen Petersen on millennial burnout ◆ Jose Mena on the socialist essence of Catholic social teaching


  1. The entirety of This Land
    by Rebecca Nagle
  2. With Friends Like These, “Consequences Waiting to Happen
    by Ana Marie Cox & E. Jean Carroll
  3. Know Your Enemy, “Gunpower
    by Sam Adler-Bell, Matthew Sitman, & Patrick Blanchfield
  4. Accentricity, “Learning to Talk” by Sadie Durkacz Ryan
  5. Rough Translation, “The Search: Part 1 and Part 2

Honorable mentions: Reply All, “The Roman Mars Mazda Virus” ◆ 99 Percent Invisible, “He’s Still Neutral” ◆ Radiolab, “The Punchline” ◆ Outside/In, “Pants on Fire


  1. Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912
    Freer/Sackler, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  2. Jeanine Michna-Bales: Photographs of the Underground Railroad
    The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
  3. #VivaLaVida 2019: Día de Los Muertos & Community Altars
    Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX
  4. Beyond Dreamings: The Rise of Indigenous Australian Art in the United States
    Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Artists whose work meant a lot to me this year: Christ the Teacher by Ann Chapin ◆ Bl. Laura Vicuña by @baglette ◆ my childhood home by @amandagorozco ◆ Creation of the World by Danylo Movchan


  1. Jonas Brothers: Happiness Begins
    August 16, 2019
    Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
  2. Julius Caesar (…and Potter Party 2019)
    September 29, 2019
    American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, VA
  3. The High Kings
    March 10, 2019
    The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
  4. The Winter’s Tale
    June 8, 2019
    American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, VA


  1. Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig (2019), is the entire reason I kept this category in my best-of rather than deleting it entirely because I barely watched movies this year. This movie makes me remember why I love them. It’s perfect. Don’t tell all my friends who grew up loving this book and would be personally insulted by my saying so, but this movie is better than the book, and Louisa May Alcott would agree with me.
  2. A Hidden Life, directed by Terrence Malick (2019)
  3. Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson (2019)
  4. Shoplifters / 万引き家族, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (2018)
  5. Cold War / Zimna wojna, directed by Paweł Pawlikowski (2018)

Things I made

The best thing I made this year is the beginning of my translation project of St. Rafael Arnáiz’s writings. It’s not in a state yet where I can share it publicly, but it’ll also be the best thing I make next year, and the year after that. So, honorable mentions:

Moments I had 

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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