This year, I started a number of self-improvement projects. With major events like grad school, finding a job, and getting married out of the way, I found that I once again had time to my various hobbies. I started listening to more music; I began actually recording my own music. I started studying Chinese again, and learned new techniques for playing guitar. I began to pay attention to my diet, and joined a gym. Perhaps more than anything, I caught up on TV shows and finished several video games.
It’s been a pretty good year: not too exciting, but not very boring either. Going into next year, I would like spend a little bit less time in front of the TV, and more time on music and language. I would also like to revive this blog.
Somewhere, the purpose of the Tingle Review was lost. Initially, I saw the Review as a purveyor of how I experience culture. As time went on, however, it diminished to this sparse wasteland of lists. I’m hoping to change that in 2015.
Here are a few books, games, and albums that gave me inspiration that I’ll carry into whatever I do next year:
Book – The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
I’ve read a few of Mitchell’s books in the past. This one wasn’t my favorite, but I still really enjoyed the way this book seamlessly wove several different points of view and unique plots around the common thread provided by the main character. Maybe this has been done before and I have simply never read another book like it. Regardless, I found Mitchell’s style to be refreshing, and clever. Increasingly complex worlds and characters are built in a way that feels completely organic.
Book – Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Unfortunately, I haven’t read many of Murakami’s books. This one was great, though. This book perfectly captures the feeling of being isolated by friends, as well as being vindicated by the discovery of new friends. The loneliness Tazaki experiences is inherent in human relationships, even successful ones.
Music – Casualties of Cool by Casualties of Cool
Devin Townsend really outdid himself with this collaboration. Having delved more into acoustic music and ambient music lately, this album came out of the woodwork and knocked me flat with its genre defying style. I know for sure that Townsend’s empty, ambient folk is going to be a huge influence on any music I make on my own.
Game – Mario Kart 8
If for nothing else, for at least reminding me that games can be simple games and still just as fun as the big-budget interactive movies you see on the other next gen consoles.