December 2021 media

I just wrote about Sable and Atelier Ryza 2 in my games of the year list, so I’m picking some other things for this post!

  • No One Is Talking About This: Over the past decade or so my reading has gotten more nonfiction-heavy every year, and in 2021 this was actually the only novel of the forty-odd books I finished. I’m glad I did! It’s written for (and by) people whose minds have been poisoned by social media, but the snappy tweet-length paragraphs and “it me” and “binch” and all that are really there to disarm you: there is a real, human story here, if you look for it.

  • How Music Works: This book from David Byrne doesn’t necessarily cohere into anything, but each individual chapter is fascinating. He hops from ethnomusicology to musings on the future of the record industry to music history to autobiographical details to hard figures on how much particular projects cost. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in music, even if you don’t care for or know anything about Talking Heads.

  • Kid A Mnesia Exhibition: The most surprising thing to me about Radiohead’s digital art exhibit is that it was ever intended to be anything else—it’s hard to imagine a hypothetical physical version being half as compelling. Like Byrne’s book above, I’d still recommend this to non-Radiohead fans—it’s pretty short, and while the use of their music is interesting I don’t actually think it’s integral to its appeal. If you like exploring interesting spaces, and you liked the disorientation of, say, Control’s “ashtray maze” sequence, you should check this out.