Best Viewing of 2008

The WireI was going to split this into best movie and best TV, but the truth is there is no contest.  I saw a handful of good (though no great) movies in 2008, but I finally caught up with The Wire and it was extraordinary.

For the three of you who don’t know about The Wire, it’s a five-season-long examination of crime and corruption in the city of Baltimore.  It’s gritty, realistic, and utterly absorbing.  I can’t imagine watching it in any other format than the dvd boxed set.  I gulped down four seasons in September and am just now watching season 5. Brilliant stuff, but what next?

Best Gadget of 2008

Sony ReaderIn August I bought a Sony Reader PRS505.  I know the software is clunky, and I know you can’t buy e-books for it in Australia, but I can deal with the software and I don’t ever, ever, ever want to buy an e-book.  What I needed was a sturdy, reliable screen reader that could handle text files reasonably flexibly and that had a great screen to read on.

The Sony pretty much did all of those things right. Yes, the screen could be bigger. But I’ve read short stories, novellas and even a handful of novels on it (the entire output of one K. Scholes, in fact) and it hasn’t skipped a beat.  It’s made my job easier, and that’s made my life easier.  It also makes reading those books that I get a sneek peek at in e-format a lot friendlier to read.  What more could you ask for?  Oh, and many thanks for Charlie Stross, who recommended the Reader, and to AAron who gave me some very helpful pointers.