10 things that gave me pleasure in 2012 by Alec Soth

Since my list posted on the Walker Art Center (a) doesn’t work on iphones and (b) has a god-awful picture of me, I’m reposting it here:

“Joy” by Zadie Smith

In her short essay on the difference between joy and pleasure in the New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith changed the way I think about everything from parenting to the writing of Top 10 lists.

As a die-hard fan of soft-serve ice cream, I’m thrilled about the new, self-serve frozen yogurt craze. It seems like every town has at least one of these new outlets. Gaudy and overpriced, yes, but so damn good.

Juergen Teller’s Pictures and Text
I’m always looking for books that combine text and image in interesting ways. My favorite in this category was this aptly titled book by Juergen Teller. Teller’s naturally gifted prose is as sweet as his pictures are crude. The result is laugh-out-loud funny and strangely moving.

Photography In Abundance by Erik Kessels
I wonder how many millions of pictures I looked at online this year? My favorite was an installation shot of Erik Kessel’s show of every photograph uploaded on Flickr over 24 hours.

Elementary Calculus by J. Carrier
My favorite purely photographic book of the year was this uniquely understated reflection on migration, exile, and the longing for connection.

AMC’s Breaking Bad
When I watch an episode of Breaking Bad, I feel like I’m going to church. This year they only gave us a half season, but it was enough to keep me faithful.

Frank Ocean on Saturday Night Live
I’m not sure I saw a single live musical performance in 2012, but I felt like I was sitting right next to Frank Ocean when he sang “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” on SNL.

The Queen of Versailles by Lauren Greenfield
In a year where the buzzwords were 99% and 47%, Lauren Greenfield’s documentary of a 1% family ended up being the most potent portrayal of recession economics I’ve seen.

Romka Magazine
Described as “a collective photo album in which both amateurs and professionals archive their memories,” Romka Magazine sounds really cheesy. But great curation and beautiful design make this a truly endearing publication.

Brad Zellar’s The Envoy: A Christmas Serial
People throw around the term “genius” a little too loosely, but writer Brad Zellar is the real deal. This December he posted a 60,000-word story on his blog that was not only as good as any novel I’ve read in ages, but I’ll be damned if I can find a single typo. Somebody get this guy a MacArthur grant, pronto.


6 Replies to “10 things that gave me pleasure in 2012 by Alec Soth”

  1. Lester, could you tell our friend Alec that his portrait on the Walker site may not be up to his standards, but it’s amiable enough for the masses.

    Also, that I can’t believe the Walker would use a Facebook plug-in for its Comments. Bah, phooey to that!


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