My friend Carolyn circulated a list of books she'd found especially enjoyable in 2006, saying "I was hoping for a reciprocal list from a like-minded biblio-omnivore...", and it got me thinking about books and other stuff of 2006. Turns out to be quite a challenge to summarize, particularly when one strays from the printed page and tries to summarize engagement with the various media that brighten one's days.
I read quite differently than I did when I was employed --no classes to prepare, nobody to please but myself-- but the inspirations are as varied as ever. I don't seem to have stopped buying books, though the rate has slowed considerably. I re-read a lot of stuff, especially Terry Pratchett (either you do or don't understand WHY one would do that), and I'm in and out of lotsa books that I don't read cover to cover. Here's a list for the year of memorable ones that I did finish (or am surely working on as we speak).
I realized that my Netflix history would tell another facet of the media tale, so I extracted that. Anybody with a day job will be envious of the time I've clearly spent in viewing mode.
Web video has attracted a lot of my interest in the last year, mostly via YouTube, and I've grabbed a lot of Flash video files (but don't feel the need to catalog them here... but see this one for all you need to know about WHY the medium Matters). I'm also a devoted follower of Ze Frank's daily The Show .
A lot of hours during the year were spent walking or otherwise exercising, usually with MP3s in the ears, mostly talk. Radio Open Source is absolutely GOLDEN, viz: Bach's Chaconne (24MB, about 50 minutes). This American Life's archives were open for a while, and are now being podcast one at a time. And then there's WFMU, and especially Secret Museum of the Air with Citizen Kafka and Pat Conte. I download a LOT of mp3 stuff, NONE of it from the pay-by-the-drink sites.
Every day includes a couple of hours of blog reading, from a list of some 300-odd that I follow (some fall off, some fall on). Boing Boing, Language Log, Informed Comment, EatingAsia, several Google Earth blogs... those are the absolute essentials, and I'm still following IT Conversations and Stephen Downes' Edu_RSS, but getting further from the IT and pedagogical interests that used to be pretty central.
I've bought CDs during the year, probably more than I'd like to admit. Making a list would be ummmmmm dangerous... and I also acquired my late brother David's vinyl holdings, many hundreds of records across quite a few genres and including a couple of hundred Bach, and hundreds of hours of cassette tapes of Bach, Vivaldi, etc. I'm gradually thinking through what to DO with that trove (satrting with cataloging, a daunting prospect).