Nancy’s Favorites of 2012

We love making lists. This is a restrained list of my favorite things about 2012, not necessarily the bests in any category. Politics, music, movies, theater, TV, books. Wanna argue? Write a comment here.


  • Constant political coverage, which annoyed everyone but political junkies like me
  • The reelection of President Obama
  • Bruce Springsteen campaigning for the President and riding on Air Force One.
  • Crowning of Nate Silver as King of Stats (others who did much the same, like Sam Wang of Princeton, unfortunately were not recognized)

Music – the Bruce Springsteen factor

  • Release of Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball album (yes, I still buy them). Excellent, substantive story songs even though the music is better played live
  • The Wrecking Ball tour and the six fabulous concerts I attended in Greensboro, New York (first time at the Garden!), Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago (yay, Wrigley Field)
  • Taking my grandson James to his first Springsteen concert at Wrigley Field (see my September post)
  • Taking a road trip to Detroit with my nephew Brad and friend Craig to see Bruce at the Palace in Auburn Hills, with several dynamite food stops
  • Bruce’s keynote speech at South by Southwest. Regretted not going to Austin but I watched him streaming live. He gave us a history of rock and roll through his own career in music  

Music – the all-others factor

  • Leonard Cohen’s new album, Old Ideas. So sorry I didn’t get to see him live on 2012 tour. We were never in the same city at the same time
  • Tom Morello at the Woody Guthrie 100th birthday concert at Metro
  • Tom Morello generally especially when he played a fiery guitar duet with Springsteen on “Ghost of Tom Joad”
  • David Byrne with St Vincent at the Chicago Theater
  • The 12-12-12 concert (see my December review)
  • Saturday Morning Flashback on WXRT
  • Jimmy Page
  • The Talking Heads

Films (not in ratings order)  

  • Not Fade Away (my favorite; review coming up this week)
  • Lincoln
  • Seven Psychopaths (see my October review)
  • Searching for Sugar Man
  • Argo
  • Margaret
  • Killer Joe
  • The Gene Siskel Film Center and its dedication to excellent, rarely seen films


  • Venus in Furs at the Lyceum Theatre in New York
  • Death and Harry Houdini at House Theater
  • Good People at Steppenwolf Theater
  • Hamlet at Writers Theatre
  • Timon of Athens at Chicago Shakes


  • Netflix streaming and my Apple TV
  • Palladia, the 24/7 rock music channel (see my December post)
  • Breaking Bad on AMC
  • The Good Wife on CBS
  • The Newsroom on HBO
  • Lilyhammer with Steve Van Zandt, streaming
  • Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers (who could be well-informed without them?)
  • Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Chuck Todd, Scott Pelley


  • Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Rock by Legs McNeill and Gillian McCain
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • How Music Works by David Byrne
  • Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
  • Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • Bruce, the biography by Peter Ames Carlin
  • Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield (see my August post “I Love Type”)


  • New baby grandson in North Carolina, born in June
  • Glory Days symposium on the Jersey Shore (see my September post)
  • Getting together with my book group and Nation discussion group
  • Tortilla soup at Frontera Grill at Macy’s on State Street (the tortilla soup made me forgive Macy’s because it’s not Marshall Field’s)
  • Retirement; it’s a fine thing

8 Comments on “Nancy’s Favorites of 2012”

  1. Melinda Power says:

    I really liked Good People, I didn’t like Timon of Athens that much; I love the Good Wife; I want to read the Jennifer Egan book. Thanks for putting this up Melinda


  2. Sandra Matson says:

    Love this post. Makes me think we should all do this at the end of the year.


  3. June says:

    Great idea. Would require keeping notes during the years so I’d know what to say at the end. Nancy, I’m really enjoying your Blog. Thank you.


  4. Steve the Scrivener says:

    I enjoyed your blog quite a bit last year, and look forward to more great stuff here in the new year.

    My sole quibble has to be with The Newsroom. The Aaron Sorkin soup comes to be more and more watered-down with each series that he launches. The same bloody tropes — One man coming forth to reclaim a once-noble thing! The once and future exes, thrown together in the workplace! A bunch of socially inept workaholics struggle with the most basic of life’s challenges! The suits who only care about ratings/filthy lucre! — combined with a Monday Morning Quarterback approach to news reporting are a recipe for cringeworthy dreck.

    YMMV. 🙂

    Happy New Year!


  5. jjmgaunt says:

    Argue with you? (As you offer on Twitter). Very hard to (although Springsteen has always left me a little cold – not that I hate him). Jon Stewart, yes. Obama, yes, The Good Wife, yes, Argo, yes. Leonard Cohen, yes.


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