25 books, 25 albums & 10 places to eat for 2014

I’m back for another roundup of books, albums, and eats that I would highly recommend you experience for yourselves.  Per usual, these lists are of things that I personally experienced for the first time in twenty-fourteen, and not strictly books, albums, and places to eat that debuted this year.

Please enjoy.

books | albums | eats

25 books for 2014


st lucy's home

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (2006)


safety of objects

The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes (1990)



Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison (2001)



The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker (1988)



10:04 by Ben Lerner (2014)


elect mr robinson

Elect Mr. Robinson For a Better World by Donald Antrim (1993)


wise blood

Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor (1952)


rachel papers

The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis (1993)



Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky (2010)



Birds of America by Lorrie Moore (1998) *


rise and fall of great powers

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman (2014)



Lucinella by Lore Segal (1976)



The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon (1988)


vampires of the lemon grove

Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories by Karen Russell (2013)


one more thing

One More Thing: Stories and More Stories by B.J. Novak (2014)


who will run the frog hospital

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore (1994)



Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (2014)


cant and wont

Can’t and Won’t (stories) by Lydia Davis (2014)


countdown city worldoftrouble_final

Countdown City (2013) & World of Trouble (2014) by Ben Winters


dud avocado

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy (1958)


your fathers where are they

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers (2014)


third policeman

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien (1967)


magic christian

The Magic Christian by Terry Southern (1959)


dept of speculation

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (2014)

25 albums for 2014, with audiovisuals

NOTE: 2014 was my second year as co-proprietor and curator of my own donation-dependent traveling library.  We had several hundred albums donated to us this year, and I (at least cursorily) listened to most of them.  So while I did do my fair share of music exploration independent of that, several of the items on this list are a direct result of the kindness of my community.


st vincent

St. Vincent by St. Vincent (2014)

* In an interview with Salon, Annie Clark explicitly stated that she read Birds of America while creating this album, and phrases like “birth in reverse” and “bring me your loves” were lifted directly from those stories.  Learning this (not to mention seeing St. Vincent live twice this year) enriched this album for me, as well as my reading of Birds of America.  Both, obviously, are highly recommended.


salad days

Salad Days by Mac Demarco (2014)



Here Come the Warm Jets by Brian Eno (1973)


black moon spell

Black Moon Spell by King Tuff (2014)



Sunbathing Animal by Parquet Courts (2014)



Marry Me by St. Vincent (2007)



Taking Tiger Mountain by Brian Eno (1974)


they want my soul

They Want My Soul by Spoon (2014)


tom petty and the heartbreakers

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1976)



Nikki Nack by Tune-Yards (2014)


held in splendor

Held in Splendor by Quilt (2014)


hit vibes

Hit Vibes by Saint Pepsi (2013)



Shotgun Willie by Willie Nelson (1973)



We the Common by Thao & the Get Down Stay Down (2013)


real estate atlas

Atlas by Real Estate (2014)



The Milk-Eyed Mender by Joanna Newsom (2004)



3 Feet High and Rising  by De La Soul (1989)



The Unseen by Quasimoto (2000)



The Private Press by DJ Shadow (2002)



Run the Jewels 2 by Run the Jewels (2014)



Logos by Atlas Sound (2009)


meters rejuvenation

Rejuvenation by The Meters (1974)


mumps etc

Mumps, etc. by WHY? (2012)


rising down

Rising Down by The Roots (2008)


red headed stranger

Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson (1975)

10 places to eat for 2014




My love for the guys behind The Bird House (and H-Town StrEATs) is nothing new, but Bird House gets the number one spot due to the sheer volume of fried chicken I’ve eaten since they opened.  “Fried chicken & badass sides” indeed.  Where else are you going to get shrimp and grits balls?




I implore you to leave Cuchara in a worse mood than when you walked in.  Great food, vibrant atmosphere, incomparable art, and (at least both times I’ve gone) roving live music.


urban eats


I recently celebrated my (twenty-ninth) birthday at Urban Eats on the second day of their soft opening.  It was probably the single best dining experience I have ever had in my life.  And while that experience will be difficult to replicate, I fully intend for Urban Eats to become one of my go-to places to eat around town.




pita bites


Everything I’ve ever had from Pita Bites has been amazing, but the chicken shawarma and grape leaves lead the pack.  And the husband and wife who run it are two of the nicer fellow truckers I’ve encountered.




Go for the pizza and Friday night flights.


wokker tx ranger


ninfas on navigation


local foods




Thanks for reading.  2015’s lists should look a little different, so make sure to come on back.  Hell, I may even write something else between now and then.



One thought on “25 books, 25 albums & 10 places to eat for 2014

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