Happy Birthday, TML!

This summer has been a little hectic, and life has become full of so much enrichment — there’s books, and movies, and albums everywhere and all the time these days. That was the whole idea, and all of a sudden it’s been a whole year!

To all of you who have taken the time to submit a list, thank you! It’s no easy task to narrow down your life into ten items, but the world is better for your efforts, and lists continue to find their way to the Magpie mailbox from all over the world.   I was thrilled to receive lists this year from Europe, Australia, Pakistan, and– most surprising of all– The Republic of Congo.

It has been fun to explore the diverse selections in the lists, and ALSO fun to see the things that pop up time and time again. And so… here are the top five treasures from the past year!

1. The Wire.

The Wire aired on HBO from 2002 until 2008, and is described  by many critics as the greatest television series ever created and one of the most accomplished works of fiction in the 21st century. (I am only half-way through the second season, and I don’t disagree.)

2. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace

This book is the 1,079 page gorgeous monstrosity that keeps on giving. Here’s what I had to say back in February in  Magpie Minute #1:

3.  Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice was the most oft listed, although both Emma and Sense and Sensibility also receive repeat credit.  This 18th century novelist continues to inspire readers and filmmakers alike — many lists included both the books and the myriad of film and television adaptations. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never read any Austen, but TML has convinced me to re-prioritize my reading goals!

4. This American Life

Each week, since 1995,  This American Life features essays, memoirs, short fiction, interviews and found footage exploring the idiosyncrasies of  …well,  American life.

5. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,”  Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
This was the most surprisingly repeated “treasure,” to me and the most –before TML — unfamiliar. After giving it a listen, though, I don’t wonder why people turn to “Iz,” a Hawaiian ukulele player known for his voice and melodies, as well as his size, for inspiration

I am excited to see what kind of treasures find their way to The Magpie List in it’s second year. Thank you all again for your contributions and support, and keep checking in; you never know what is inspiring the people around you!

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