First of all, I am not even going to bother listing John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Disney World piece because it was obviously the best thing anywhere this year but everyone agrees and has read it anyway. Here is the link just in case. But this doesn’t count as one of my five.
• I thought “The Lost Yankee,” by Bill Pennington in the Times, was really quite extraordinary. The Yankees signed Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa in 2007 to a $46 million, 5-year contract. Then they sent him to the minors after several disappointing outings, where he has pitched ever since, in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, cashing gigantic paychecks and setting minor league records. His contract just expired and I hope someone else gives him a chance.
• My favorite book review of the year was Elaine Blair’s good-hearted, incredibly funny review of Nicholson Baker’s “House of Holes” in the New York Review of Books. Best part: When she advises parents to just sneak a copy to their kids, and soon. “You will have to make sure that they accidentally stumble on it soon, before they find the Internet, if they are to have a fighting chance at being wholesome and delightful fuckers instead of hopelessly depraved ones like yourself.”
• I’m really happy that many outlets (like The A.V. Club, Vulture, and others) now publish long, in-depth interview transcripts, on the grounds that someone out there is interested in them. I particularly loved this Q&A, on Ain’t It Cool News, with Steven Soderbergh, about Contagion but also about ten million other things, like his annoyance when other people’s movies go over budget.
• Any music fan who missed it the first time around should be sure to read Chris Richards’ awesome WaPo story about trying to track down George Clinton’s lost Mothership in the woods of Prince George’s County.
• And I’m pretty sure I did not laugh as long and as hard at anything anyone wrote this year as I did at “Dressing Up My Boyfriend As Marc Anthony In His Terrible Kohl’s Clothes,” by Sarah Miller, in The Awl.