Best of 2021


Plural. Because: two is always better. And, both of these are doorstoppers, too. Doorstoppers I didn’t want to go over, whose labyrinths I’m still plunging through, faster and faster:


It came out in 2020, but I only read it in January or so of 2021. Stuck with me all year. And I’ll probably be reading it again. Which is to say: I agree with the Pulitzer committee:

Fight Scene

A new category, but this scene warrants it:

runner up for fight scene on a bus? Shang Chi

Horror Film

How about a two-way tie, again? Otherwise I’ll be here all day long.

But, man, any of these, in another moment, can be in that tie:

Non-Horror Movie

Yes, these exist. Crazy, right?


Not sure when it came out, but, man, did I inhale this. I missed the Dr. J era, only started tuning into ball during Jordan times — was too busy playing to do something so boring as sit down and WATCH — but, man, to have seen him fly:

a class act, that dude. we should all strive to be Him

Also learned so much from:

News Item

This was the YEAR to be tuned in, yes? Amazing, amazing, game-changing stuff in the hominem/paleo- fields:


Plenty of excellent reads here, too:

Comic Book

Another hard call. Dug a whole lot of stuff this year. How about, for a “favorite” . . . one graphic novel, and one series? Can I slide by with that? Not looking up the dates, but I suspect these aren’t “2021,” as might be sort of proper in a 2021 list. But? I did read them in 2021. Bad Girls is so alive, in every way a comic book should be, and Black Hammer, man: can LeMire even write a bad story? If so, I’ve yet to read it.

Short Story

Man, this category is no easier for me. So: two (one of which is pre–2021, but I only read it this year)


They get us all through, don’t they? Here’s the three I dialed up the most this year:

Non-Horror Novel

Another category it probably seems like I’m making up, yes? Wrong. THIS GENRE IS ACTUALLY REAL:

(should confess: I know all these writers in this category, looks like. oops)

New-to-Me Books/Writers

Don’t know how I missed them. Don’t know what I’d do without them:

Television Show

Easy call:

But, that wasn’t the only amazing thing I caught:

Story Collection

All amazing / four-way tie:


It’s weird, but, somehow, back when it was happening, I’d completely missed out on these two bands:

So, been peeling through their stuff. And digging it. Also, for the first time, only about twenty years later than everyone else, I heard my first Papa Roach song. And liked it. May be hunting their stuff down as well. But, yeah, and again, this year was a lot of Bob Seger for me, a lot of Merle Haggard, plenty of Townes Van Zandt, and, as always, lots of Meat Loaf and Footloose and Grease. I’m thinking about retiring my “country” playlist off my phone, since it’s 24 hours long, and has a pretty big data footprint, but, first, I’m feeling out Apple Music’s country stations, seeing if they can stand in. Or, if I can up-thumb and down-thumb enough to where they kind of cater to what I want to hear, anyway. Which is pretty much just Waylon Jennings and Roseanne Cash, and all points in between.

Coming Soon

About which I’m incredibly excited:

And, though I can’t seem to dig the cover up, John Langan has Corpsemouth and Other Biographies (a collection) out in 22 as well.

And, of course—but if you’re here, this can be no surprise—I’m kind of cuckoo for coco-puffs for . . .

Author: SGJ