It's always a bit of fun to put together "best of" lists at the end of the year and despite this being a bit late I thought I'd note a few things that moved or impressed me in 2009, for my own record as much as anything else. Best books: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Everest Disaster - Jon Krakauer, Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell, Chasing the Flame: One Man's Fight to Save the World - Samantha Power
Best live music: Infected Mushroom at Burning Man, Hallucinogen at Orb Festival, Haltya at Gaian Mind Festival, Deadmau5 at the 9:30 Club. Honourable mention: Mum at the Black Cat.
Best new artists discovered: Azax Syndrome, Deadmau5, Beireut, Beats Antique.
Best new album: Ineffible Mysteries From Shpongeland - Shpongle.
Best play: Rock’n’Roll by Tom Stoppard, directed by Joy Zinoman, at the Studio Theatre.
Best website discovery: GrooveShark
Best moments: January 20 - the inauguration of Barack Obama, September 3 - an amazing day at Burning Man, featuring chinese restaurants in the desert, giant prawns and prawn trawlers, the billion bunny march and carrot counter-protest, September 13 - our return to Sydney picnic/party with so many wonderful friends we hadn't seen in too long.
Biggest disappointments: Copenhagon, the American health care debate.