What I read, heard and watched in 2018

New York City, September 2018

When a year comes to an end, many blogger seem to have this urge to do one of these “Best of 2018” posts. The blogosphere is full of lists, thoughts, personal accomplishments and idiosyncratic meditations and resolutions. It is almost too much. Yet, I have to admit that I quite like to scroll through at least some of them, thereby realizing someone’s personal taste and likes as well as finding common themes and topics in their lists. This is why I started this little post and I have to say: I had quite some fun compiling this list as it led me to revisit some of my favorite reads, listening experiences, and movies from last year.

There are a couple of observations that I would like to share: First, I realized that I read a lot less books than any year before. Instead, however, I read a lot more stuff online. Although I do not really feel that this is a fundamental change in my reading pattern, I nonetheless would like to pay more attention to reading books again in the new year. Second, I always thought of myself as a person who does not like series (even after recommendations I had problems to continue series I started, e.g., game of thrones). But this year, I got really hooked on at least two. Third, the lists below are really just the first 4 to 6 pieces that came to my mind. A more thorough reflection might have brought up other stuff. Furthermore, the order does not imply a ranking. There were so many other things that I found inspiring, interesting, mind-boggling, or moving this year.

This posts is once again more for myself and to keep track of some of the things that I really liked reading, listening to or watching. But maybe someone else will become interested and thereby discover a new piece of art, music, literature he or she did not know of…? If you do, let me know!

Some scientific papers and articles I found inspiring:

  1. Saving Science – Daniel Sarewitz
  2. Investigating Variation in Replicability Across Sample and Setting – Klein et al.
  3. Unpacking Medium Effects on Social Psychological Processes in Computer-mediated Communication Using the Social Relations Model – Wang, Bazarova & Yuan
  4. Screens, Teens and Psychological Well-Being – Orben & Przybylski
  5. The Accuracy of Self-Reported Internet Use – Michael Scharkow
  6. Smartphones as Metamedia – Humphreys, von Pape & Karnowski

Essays or cultural pieces that left a mark:

  1. How Millenials Became the Burnout Generation – Anne Helen Petersen
  2. Die Sintflut kommt  – Tobias Haberkorn
  3. How to Get Most Out of College – Frank Bruni
  4. Die Kinder, die Kirche und ich – Johannes Schneider
  5. What is good science? – Adam Becker
  6. How two trailblazing psychologist turned the world of decision science upside down – Michael Lewis

Some of the few books I read this year:

  1. Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari (Check out also the great and critical comment by Jeremy Lent)
  2. 100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
  3. Essays in Love – Alain de Botton
  4. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
  5. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  6. Ein Leben ist zu wenig – Gregor Gysi

Music I heard a lot this year:

  1. Djesse Vol. 1 & In My Room – Jacob Collier
  2. Singularity – Jon Hopkins
  3. 22, A Million – Bon Iver
  4. Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe
  5. Jetzt & Heute – IMA KYO

Movies I saw this year and liked a lot:

  1. Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
  2. Stalker – Andrej Tarkowskij
  3. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind – Michael Gondry
  4. Lincoln – Steven Spielberg

Series I couldn’t stop watching:

  1. Bodyguard
  2. First

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