One question my psyche compels me to ask people each December is, "What was the best book/CD/movie of 2006?" It's proof that I inhabit a media-saturated world. I confess, the first section of the NY Times I read after the front page is book review, and then sometimes Arts & Leisure. I'm a sucker for the indie music and movie complex, and books, well, they're like water for a fish for our household.
So as not to overwhelm my readers (all ten of them!) with long lists of movies and books and CDs I recommend, I'm going to list just one item in each category. So here goes:
Best movie of the year: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. We saw this at the Wisconsin Film Festival last year. Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely Romanian man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives the doctor decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him to another hospital and then yet another... As the night unfolds and they can't find a hospital for Mr. Lazarescu, his health starts to deteriorates quickly. He dies. The movie is riveting from beginning to end.
Best CD: The two disc set by Jonathan Rundman, Protestant Rock Ethic. Especially the 7 songs of his Heartland Liturgy, and a son we sing to our son all the time, Hey Hey Samuel.
Best book: Lay of the Land by Richard Ford, although I almost said The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Best theological volume: Peter Leithart's commentary on 1 & 2 Kings.