My Year in Books, Telly & Podcasts

Continuing our series in which we ask some of our regular contributors what they've been reading, listening to and watching in 2016, here's an eclectic ten from Mikey Lynch.


Mikey says: I’ve chosen 2 top picks from each of 5 media/formats I engage with a lot. Although there are other things I have totally loved this year, I’ve tried to choose things that might not be familiar to others, in the hope of contributing something new. 

1. Books 

All These Years Volume 1: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn. Looking at the history of the Beatles up to the end of 1962, when they stood on the brink of superstardom. Only this first volume has been written so far, although Lewisohn hopes to write 3 volumes in total. If completed, this will be the definitive history of The Beatles. A great history of postwar Britain, the rise if rock n roll and music culture and an exposé of the confluence of many factors that made the Beatles what they were and made their fame possible. 

Bioethics: A Primer for Christians by Gilbert C. Meilaender. A satisfying introduction to how we should think about bioethics, from a Roman Catholic perspective. 


2. Movies 

The Lobster is a surrealist nightmare exploring both the social ‘cult of coupledom’ and the reactionary ‘cult of singleness’. Very disturbing. Viewer discretion advised. 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a heartwarming, funny and moving father-son adventure set in New Zealand. The ’Did he push you in the prickles boy?’ line makes me laugh every time I think of it. 

3. Television series 

Rectify is a very slow, sensuous series about a man being released after 20 years in prison, when the sentence that put him there as a teenager was nullified. Explores religion, family, justice, small town politics and much more. The early season also have some very realistic portrayals of contemporary evangelical church spirituality.


The Kettering Incident, filmed in my home state does a great job of creating a ‘Tasmanian gothic’ atmosphere and unfolding a very creepy plot. 

4. Podcasts 

Hardcore History was recommended to me by my friend Wilbur and I have devoured the multiple hours of the series on the Persian Empire (King of Kings) and the one on World War I (Blueprint for Armageddon). He lectures as I like to preach: using lots of primary source quotes and going down lots of rabbit trails. 

Plato’s Cave is the best film criticism podcast out there. This RRR FM Melbourne radio show digs deep into films with all the tools of literary theory but all the warmth of really likeable personalities. Something to replace the loss of Margaret and David.


5. Blogs/Blog Posts 

Following Phoebe. Laura Haines, the Evangelism Team Leader with our AFES ministry here in Hobart has started a blog that covers a range of things including, but not restricted to women’s ministry. Laura has a deep faith and is blessed with a great mind, so this is a blog worth watching.

9 Ways to be Accountable When You’ve Been Abusive”. I admired this blog post for the way it was careful and nuanced in being both hard on the abuser, while also more rounded in its analysis.