My 2016 Year-in-Review: Entertainment Edition

At the beginning of the year, I bought a planner made of (gasp!) actual paper. I just thought I would like it. And I do. One of the unusual manifestations of this purchase was that I decided to keep track of everything I watched or read throughout the year, in the notes section at the top of each page.


Check marks next to things I finished.

Now I’m glad I did that because I can compile the list below. I love lists, don’t you? (Especially ones that tell you what you have already done, not what you have yet to do.) This will be a two section list: shows and movies watched, and books read. There are no dates, but the list is more or less in chronological order. This is only a list – no reviews or opinions. Anything that I particularly liked will show up in my forthcoming best-of post. A few caveats: My record-keeping was not perfect. I only finished reading Funny Girl this year, having started it early in 2015. (I almost always inhale Hornby books at an alarming rate; this one was a disappointment.) Also, I did not read every essay in the Shirley Jackson collection, Let Me Tell You, just the autobiographical essays.

You might not be able to tell it from the titles, but my reading list certainly has a theme. I like autobiographies/memoirs, and another genre that you might call cultural non-fiction. Well, that’s what I’m calling it, but I just made it up*. In fact, if you look at the titles of the books that I abandoned, they’re almost all fiction. I still have several fiction books on my to-read list, and I hope to read more fiction and find more fiction authors that I like next year. Having said that, we are who we are, or we are what we read, so read what you like.

Series and Movies Watched:

Making a Murderer

Narcos (Abandoned)

Better Call Saul (season 2)

The Good Dinosaur


Steve Jobs

The Big Short

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Halt and Catch Fire (season 2)

The Americans (unfinished but maybe not abandoned…)

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Star Trek: Beyond

Hail, Caeser

Mr. Robot (unfinished and probably abandoned…)

Parks and Recreation (all 7 seasons)

Angry Birds


The Secret Life of Pets

The Jungle Book (2016)

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Halt and Catch Fire (season 3)

Ghostbusters (2016)

Orange is the New Black (seasons 1-4)

Project Runway (season 15) (in progress)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (season 2) (in progress)

Jane the Virgin (season 3) (in progress)

The Mindy Project (season 5) (in progress)

Big Eyes

The Crown (season 1)

Finding Dory

Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60

Gilmore Girls (revival)

Fed Up



Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief


Into the Woods (abandoned around the 90-minute mark)

American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson


Still Alice



Books Read:

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Fire in the Hole (short story) by Elmore Leonard

Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub

Death of Friendship (essay) by William Deresiewicz

Life Among the Savages by Shirley  Jackson

100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl

Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery (short story) by Shirley Jackson

Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I Know I Am But What Are You? by Samantha Bee

Bucky F-ing Dent by David Duchovny (abandoned)

Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn (abandoned)

A Short Autobiography by F. Scott Fitzgerald

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, et. al (abandoned, almost immediately. It’s really not even worth putting it on the list.)

I Want My Epidural Back by Karen Alpert (abandoned – so sick of this genre that makes fun of the so-called elite, put-together mommy with self-depreciation. There are so many of these books because somewhere in the culture we’ve been lead to believe that these women exist, but as far as I can see, they don’t.)

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff, and Guests by Chris Smith – Foreward by Jon Stewart

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Fowl Language by Brian Gordon

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai (in progress)


*Okay, having now looked up “cultural non-fiction” I find that it is a real term, and Pollan and Gladwell turned up on a list of popular books from the genre, so I guess I hit the nail on the head.


About suitejen

Writer. Video Editor. Mama.
This entry was posted in Life, Movies, Reviews, Television, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My 2016 Year-in-Review: Entertainment Edition

  1. Pingback: My Best Of 2016 | Suite Story Productions

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