I spent a precious half hour yesterday morning curled up in bed reading the New York Times' end of year cultural round-up. I don't know about you, but I love reading these retrospective features and the way they put the year into context. (I know how hard they are to put together, too - when I worked on a magazine and we had to sum up our 'top 10s' from the year come December, no-one could remember a thing and we had to rack our Christmas party-addled brains to recall what had actually gone on in the industry. There was always something major that got left out and, naturally, people complained about it in January.)
So, anyway, this year I thought I'd put together my own personal roundup. I can't give you any kind of meaningful comment on art, dance or sculpture - I'm just not THAT cultured, I'm afraid - but I can give you films, books and TV. Without any further ado, my top cultural picks from 2010 are:
1). The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. The greatest living writer in my opinion, and still at the top of her game.
2.) The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A gripping read, and a real eye-opener about life in the Deep South in the not too distant past.
3). The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. I love this writer. Black Swan Green is fabulous but this story set in 19th century Japan, though long and complicated, is also rather brilliant.
1) An Education. Entertaining and thought-provoking coming of age story. I loved it.
2) The Social Network. Very clever and laugh-out-loud funny - whatever the veracity of its potrayals.
3. Toy Story 3. Still brilliant - and now the boys know who Woody and Buzz are too.
1) Mad Men. Season 4 was superb - particularly the scenes between Don Draper and Peggy. Still far more nuanced and intelligent than anything else on TV.
2.) The Ugly Betty finale. I always enjoyed this series, and was sad when it was cancelled. But I think they got the ending right (UK viewers, I don't know if this has aired, so I won't spoil it).
3.) Sherlock. I only caught this recently, but thought it was great - make some more, please. So much better than the dreadful Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film, which I also saw this year.
So what were your favourites? Was 2010 a vintage cultural year for you?