My favorites of 2021

Gotta sneak this one in under the wire, otherwise it’s just a sparkling list of things.


Summer of Soul - Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone. Heck yes.

Dune - loved the world building here and I’m willing to look past the decision to split this into two movies.

Somewhere You Feel Free - I didn’t realize Wildflowers was so pivotal for Tom Petty. Made me want to get in my car and listen to the whole thing, which I did and greatly enjoyed.


Only Murders in the Building - is there a greater showbiz duo than Martin Short and Steve Martin?

Hacks - inside baseball on standup comedy plus Jean Smart is 👨‍🍳

What We Do in the Shadows - a mockumentary sitcom expanding its world, taking chances with changing things up, and absolutely nailing the landing.


Funkadelic, Maggot Brain - hits more emotional points than I’d ever expect from a George Clinton thing.

Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain - nudging into Very Intellectual, nearly classical, jazz, Davis is at least as good as Mingus was at this.

Prince, Welcome 2 America - recorded ten years ago, but it absolutely works today.


Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon - I finished re-reading the whole Baroque Trilogy plus this one and they surpassed my recollection of how good they are.

Adrian Newey, How To Build a Car - a memoir on designing three decades of winning Formula 1 cars.

Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist - enjoyed the whole trilogy on writing motivation.

My best writing

Don’t be spooky

“Rationalize and solve” doesn’t help someone who is venting

One priority is like wind in the sails

The long game of notes

My best tweeting

On emerging from a winter storm 

On accordions

Finishing is the hardest part

The Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. no shoes/shirt policies

Proof of work is a better idea for sustaining recurring meetings than for software currency

Adam Keys @therealadam