At Years End: Our 2020 Favorites

The criteria for our 2020 favorites is simple.

What media did we revisit multiple times in 2020?

Let’s find out.


Art of Manliness podcast #587:

How to Get More Pleasure and Fulfillment Out of Your Reading with Professor Alan Jacob and Brett Mckay.

This interview rejuvenated my reading life.

Here Professor Jacobs presents reading on a Whim. The idea that one should read what interests them, rather than what “you’re supposed to”.

Professor Jacobs argues reading shouldn’t be a chore, but rather a pleasurable experience.

You don’t have to read according to an assignment or according to a list of approved texts. Enjoy your freedom. Go out there and follow your whim. And by that, I mean follow that which really draws your spirit and your soul and see where that takes you. If it turns out that you spend a year reading Stephen King novels or something like that, that’s totally fine. That’s not a problem. Read your Stephen King novels, but there are also really good novels.

But whatever it happens to be, if you’re reading young adult fiction for a year, read young adult fiction for a year. After a while, you probably got to have enough of that. But don’t go around making your reading life a kind of means of authenticating yourself as a serious person. It’s just no way to live. So, I would always tell them, “Give yourself a break. Don’t make a list. See where Whim takes you.”

Professor Jacob’s reading advice to his students

YouTube Video:

Kevin Kelly’s 68 Bits of Unsolicited advice

Kevin wrote this as a letter on his 68th birthday as a gift to his son (He practices the Hobbit tradition of birthdays).

Thankfully, he recorded and shared the advice on his YouTube channel. It is a word of encouragement for us all:

There is no limit on better. Talent is distributed unfairly, but there is no limit on how much we can improve what we start with.

– Kevin Kelly


On the Move: A Life By Oliver Sacks.

This book took 5 years to finish, not because Sacks’ memoir isn’t compulsively readable, but because there were other books I thought I should read instead.

Sack’s life is one to emulate. Not by becoming a neurologist and cultivating a British Accent. But rather by seeing life, all of life – love, career, hobbies travel, failure, success, as an adventure to pursue.

At one time, my father had thought of a career in neurology but then decided that general practice would be “more real,” “more fun,” because it would bring him into deeper contact with people and their lives.

This intense human interest he preserved to the last: when he reached the age of ninety, David and I entreated him to retire-or at least, to stop his house calls. He replied that home visits were “the heart” of medical practice and that he would sooner stop anything else. From the age of ninety to almost ninety-four, he would charter a mini-cap for the day to continue house calls.

Dr. Sack’s on his father’s career


The life of Philip Glass, by Dan Wang

Dan Wang’s article on Philip Glass’ memoir –Words Without Music was inspiring.

Learning that Glass drove taxis, and was a self-taught plumber proves there’s no shame in taking day jobs to support one’s calling.

Learning that Glass didn’t succeed as a full time composer until his forties served as a reminder.

Stamina can take one to the impossible.

Glass didn’t work just as a taxi driver and as a (self-taught) plumber. He also worked in a steel factory, as a gallery assistant, and as a furniture mover. He continued doing these jobs until the age of 41, when a commission from the Netherlands Opera decisively freed him from having to drive taxis. Just in time, too, as he describes an instance when he came worryingly close to being murdered in his own cab.


Paterson: written and directed by Jim Jarmusch

Kylo Ren’s new life as a bus driver poet?


I’m more and more captivated by movies where the stakes aren’t the end of civilization. Paterson is a entertaining example of this idea.

Paterson was also a gateway to the poet William Carlos Williams. Who somehow I’d never heard of before 2020.

Twitter Feed:

Ted Gioia, @tedgioia.

Who else can recommend 4 books they “consult often” on Duke Ellington? Next level stuff, that.

Gioia’s Annual 100 favorite albums list is a must read. Here’s 2020’s:


Rogue Three

Three Underrated Football Twitter Handles You Should Follow

Twitter is the modern day scroll. An endless papyrus roll with an inkwell that never dries.

For football supporters, long-form pieces and goal GIFs from our favorite football writers are only a log-in menu away.

Sure, you’ve got your @andybrassels, @Okwongas and @JamesHorncastles. But then there’s the hole-in-the-wall handles that only the locals know of.

Rogue handles whose independence from major media conglomerates allow them to share some of the best football content online.

Ladies and Gentlemen my top three:


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@3four3‘s posts are barbwire sharp. He never wastes any of his 128 characters.

One moment he’ll rage against the festering mediocrity of USSF. The next drop an Elon Musk quote.

He even sites Jiro Dreams of Sushi to impart the value of patience and craft to youth coaches.

@3four3 isn’t for the soft. @3four3 isn’t for the close minded.

@3four3 is for those who believe the US program can reach the global standard – if it’s willing to take action on the hard truths it faces.


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@iammoallim is a digital footballer yearbook. A curation of historic football images mixed with concise bursts of copy.

You’ll bear witness to such photographic masterpieces as Andrés Iniesta with hair or Johan Cruyff nursing a steak.

You’ll be hypnotized with GIFs of Zidane controls. And your pub quiz game will stay ripped with thought provoking stats.

But where @iammoallim keeps me procrastinating is with a slew of quotes from managers and players past. Quotes that reveal the origins and training sessions from the most progressive minds in football.

Follow @iammoallim and your mind will morph into a football oracle.


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@fantasistaTEN is the twitter temple for football’s hallowed position – the #10.

The feed verges on a Baggio overdose, but that’s understandable. It’s ROBERTO BAGGIO.

Where @fantasistaTEN excels, is in highlighting the obscure number 10. Journeymen creators such as Internacional’s Camilo and Pescara’s Ahmad Benali. Pitch wizards who don’t play for glamour sides, but enchant crowds nonetheless.

Still, former Arsenal assassin Jay-Jay Okocha makes regular appearances. Tampa Bay Mutiny demigod Carlos Valderrama too.

@fantasistaTEN will remind why football is your first love.