Reintroducing the Podcast

2022 Reading List

I keep track of all my reading on Goodreads, but still love to put together my end of the year book list.

As always, the best are on bold. And my favorites are starred!

  1. Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings
  2. Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings
  3. Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans
  4. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  5. Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
  6. Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings
  7. Enchanters’ End Game by David Eddings
  8. Never by Ken Follett
  9. Flying, Falling, Catching by Henri J.M. Nouwen, Carolyn Whitney-Brown
  10. The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle by Kent Alexander
  11. Comedy, Comedy, Comedy, Drama by Bob Odenkirk
  12. The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  13. The Whistler by John Grisham
  14. London by Edward Rutherfurd
  15. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
  16. The Judge’s List by John Grisham
  17. *Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel*
  18. Guardians of the West by David Eddings
  19. *Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces by Elamin Abdelmahmoud*
  20. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  21. Upgrade by Blake Crouch
  22. Beartown by Frederk Backman
  23. Us Against You by Frederik Backman
  24. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  25. King of the Murgos by David Eddings
  26. Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings
  27. Sorceress of Darshiva by David Eddings
  28. Do I Stay Christian by Bruan McLaren
  29. Seeress of Kell by David Eddings
  30. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
  31. *The Winners by Fredrik Backman*
  32. The Stand by Stephen King
  33. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
  34. Sandy Hook by Elizabeth Williamson
  35. *The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freedland*

Favourite Shows of 2022

I’ve kept a list of all the shows I’ve watched in 2022, both new and old.

It’s embarassingly long. But there’s a whole lot of good TV out there these days and TV seasons are short, so here’s some of the good stuff I really enjoyed.

  • Euphoria S2
  • Righteous Gemstones S3
  • Somebody, Somewhere
  • Our Flag Means Death
  • Peaky Blinders S6
  • Starstruck S2
  • The Dropout
  • Tokyo Vice
  • Pachinko
  • Outer Range
  • Ozark S4
  • Dark Winds
  • We Own This City
  • Under the Banner of Heaven
  • Hacks S2
  • The Staircase
  • Barry S3
  • Severance
  • The Boys S3
  • Stranger Things S4
  • The Old Man
  • Irma Vep
  • Black Bird
  • The Bear
  • Better Call Saul S6
  • The Rehearsal
  • Dark Winds
  • Rings of Power
  • House of the Dragon
  • Welcome to Wrexham
  • Reservation Dogs S2
  • Atlanta S3, S4
  • Andor
  • 1899
  • White Lotus S2

Honorable mention: I began the year watching some late 2021 releases in Yellowjackets and Station Eleven and those were both two of the best.

Favourite Albums of 2022

2022 was the year in which I pivoted mostly to Spotify for my musical needs.

This came after I somehow managed to delete my digital music files that had been collected over a number of years.

Oops.

Spotify allows me to subscribe to my favourite musical artists from today and from days of yore (you know, like the 90s). And it notifies me when they release new albums and singles!

Why I am explaining how Spotify works?

Anyways, here are my favourite albums released this year.

  • Arkells – Blink Twice
  • Ben Harper – Bloodline Maintenance
  • Caedmon’s Call (debut album re-recording)
  • Dashboard Confessional – All The Truth That I Can Tell
  • Death Cab For Cutie – Asphalt Meadows
  • Eddie Vedder – Earthling
  • Elevation Worship – LION
  • The Goo Goo Dolls – Choas in Bloom
  • Gungor – Love Song to Life
  • The Head and the Heart – Every Shade of Blue
  • Hillsong UNITED – Are We There Yet?
  • Jack Johnson – Meet The Moonlight
  • Judah and the Lion – Revival
  • The Lone Bellow – Love Songs for Losers
  • The Lumineers – BRIGHTSIDE
  • Marcus Mumford – (self-titled)
  • Passion – Burn Bright
  • Pedro the Lion – Havasu
  • Sloan – Steady
  • Soccer Mommy – Sometimes, Forever
  • Third Eye Blind – Unplugged
  • TobyMac – Life After Death

An open letter to the Boston Bruins

To whom it may concern,

My name is Ian McLaren. I’m a lifelong Boston Bruins fan living in Ontario.

A passion for the Spoked B was passed down to me from my grandmother and my father, who’d gather together on Saturday evenings to watch Bobby Orr play on Hockey Night in Canada.

This team has been a constant presence in my life since the Cam Neely and Ray Bourque days. They were my hockey heroes, and this team has been my first sports love for the past 35 years. 

It became a source of pride for me to root for a team that supposedly had been built on something different.

From the retirement of Willie O’Ree’s number to Zdeno Chara instituting his policies on how first year players are treated to Chara and Patrice Bergeron speaking out in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, these were all steps in the right direction. It gave us hope that hockey might actually be for everyone.

That all went up in smoke yesterday, though. 

At around age 14, I was bullied for being small and wearing dorky glasses and not wearing cool clothes or shoes. I still think about those guys with resentment. What Mitchell Miller did to Isaiah Meyer-Crothers is so far beyond that.

A hate crime is a prejudice-motivated crime that occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership (or perceived membership) of a certain social group or racial demographic.

This is what Miller is guilty of, and repeatedly.

By Sweeney’s own admission, Bruins players were consulted and they asked “why do this?” That should have been enough right there to quash this.

Sweeney even said “I can’t categorically tell you this was the right decision.” He also added he’s not sure he’d be able to forgive Miller if this happened to his own kid.

This signing was such an obvious pass and flies in the face of whatever the Bruins are trying to sell about their culture. Isaiah and his family deserve better than this. Not even afforded a phone call by the Bruins to get their perspective. Hockey is so far from being for everyone and I hate that my favorite team widened that gap today.

I host a daily Bruins podcast and just yesterday I talked about how I can’t remember ever having more fun being a Bruins fan. That went down the toilet so quickly.

Disappointment doesn’t even come close to expressing how I feel right now, and I feel sick that management and ownership have put the players and fans in this spot.

What can you say to fans who relate to Isaiah in light of hockey supposedly being for everyone? Second chances are cool and pobody’s nerfect but this was a case of racism and ableism, full stop.

Nobody’s interested in a Mitchell Miller redemption arc in black and gold. He’s not the victim here, and by giving him this second chance, you’re alienating a large part of the fanbase that was duped into believing the Bruins’ culture was different.

However many points Miller may record for the organization, it will never be worth it.

A Voicemail From Our Son

Um, hi. I ate a lot of mini wheats this morning and now my stomach hurts so can you book me a doctor’s appointment to see if I have an allergy. Thank you.

I’m going to make use of this space more in the future.

To begin my blogging comeback, please enjoy this hilarious and sweet voicemail I received from our oldest son, calling from the office at school.

It’s the thank you at the end that makes it great for me.

2021 Reading List

  1. The Reckoning by John Grisham
  2. The Guardians by John Grisham
  3. Regeneration by Pat Barker
  4. Willie by Willie O’Ree
  5. The Collectors by David Baldacci
  6. Norco ’80 by Peter Houlahan
  7. The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
  8. Stone Cold by David Baldacci
  9. The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell
  10. Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell
  11. Divine Justice by David Baldacci
  12. Hell’s Corner by Bernard Cornwell
  13. Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
  14. A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
  15. Faith After Doubt by Brian McLaren
  16. First Person Sungular by Haruki Murakami
  17. The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell
  18. Killing Commendatorre by Haruki Murakami
  19. Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
  20. Call Me Indian by Fred Sasakamoose
  21. Freeing Jesus by Diana Butler Bass
  22. New York by Edward Rutherfurd
  23. China by Edward Rutherfurd
  24. Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell
  25. Paris by Edward Rutherfurd
  26. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation
    by Kristin Kobes Du Mez
  27. Where the Light Fell by Philip Yancey
  28. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
  29. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  30. The Every by Dave Eggers
  31. Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  32. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  33. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  34. No Cure For Being Human by Kate Bowler
  35. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Favourite Albums of 2021

2021 has been another crazy year and once again, one thing that’s kept me going is good new music.

Here are my favourite albums from 2020 in no particular order.

  1. A Beginner’s Mind – Sufjan Steven and Angelo De Augustine
  2. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
  3. I Don’t Live Here Anymore – The War on Drugs
  4. Long Lost – Lord Huron
  5. Pressure Machine – The Killers
  6. Sob Rock – John Mayer
  7. Simon and the Island (self-titled)
  8. Van Weezer – Weezer
  9. Blink Once – Arkells
  10. Into the Mystery – NEEDTOBREATHE

Honourable mention:

  1. interrobang – Switchfoot
  2. Music of the Spheres – Coldplay
  3. Medicine at Midnight – Foo Fighters
  4. Departures – Jon Foreman
  5. Old Church Basement – Elevation Worship