Odin’s 2022 End of Year Lists

Books, podcasts, board games, films, TV shows, music, and video games: here’s what I loved discovering in 2022.

Odin’s 2022 End of Year Lists
Photo by Mike Hindle on Unsplash

This isn’t a list of things made this year, it’s a list of things I discovered this year. Films, TV series, books, and music: it’s got a little of everything in it.

If you want an overview of what I accomplished this year, check out my newsletter (subscribers get free access to my Medium articles!).

Saying Farewell to 2022
Well dear friends, the end of 2022 is nigh. My next Newsletter is due on the first day of 2023. Doesn't it seem a bit…


  • I finally got around to watching the John Wick movies, and they were just as bad (and as fun) as I anticipated they would be. Sort of like a train wreck, I just couldn’t stop watching them.
  • Amsterdam was a deeply flawed, yet extremely good, gem. Not as brilliant as it could have been (or the story deserved), yet good enough to leave me thinking about it afterwards for a long time.
  • I rewatched the old RoboCop films. The first one is still the best, most subversive. The second was a way to sell toys. The third had some great stuff at its core, but censored itself too much and didn’t really go anywhere with the sort of social subversion it could have done. Still, they’re all fun.
  • Alita: Battle Angel was great. I’d seen it with Katie in the cinema when it first came out, but it was fun to watch again at home. I wish it were a series!
  • Just One of the Guys was a great blast. Loved this.
  • Wargames is always worth a rewatch.
  • Saw Monster Squad for the first time, that was fun and weird.
  • Finally, saw Big for the first time, too. Great little film.
  • Rewatched Legend. What a trippy work of genius!
  • Paper Tigers was weird and… bad… but also watchable, somehow?
  • I watched Gunpowder Milkshake, and it was brainless but fun action.
  • Bullet Train was very cleverly brainless action, and I had a lot of fun masking up to actually see this one in the cinema!


  • Okay, okay… this is cheating, but can I say that Round Table Radio was my favorite? I know, I hosted it, but still! We had so many wonderful guests for season two. I don’t know when I’ll be able to make season 3 happen, but I’m looking forward to it.
  • I love listening to Speculative Sandbox, on which I appeared as a guest! Vickie is awesome and has so many great guests on there, it’s always fun to listen.
  • Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons continues to be my favorite tech podcast — it’s perfect for beginners who want to take their Internet security and privacy a little more seriously.
  • Corey Doctorow’s podcast is one of the best around for social issues — the stuff that happens behind the technology. It’s so important, and this dude is really smart, so it’s worth your time.
  • Stories of Scotland quickly became one of my favorite podcasts, ever. I seriously want to go to Scotland just so I can be friends with the hosts.
  • The Way Out is In from Plum Village is the best mindfulness podcast I’ve found. Each talk dives deep into different aspects of mindfulness, and ends with a simple meditation you can perform anywhere you happen to be at the time.


I actually watched a fair amount of TV, and while it’s easier for me to find things I dislike about the shows everyone else has the hots for atm, I figure I’ll keep this section positive and focus on what I loved.

  • I re-watched Parks and Recreation with Katie (it’s, like, the tenth time I’ve watched the series, and it remains one of my favorite shows). There are weak points, and it’s showing its age in areas, but at its core it remains a brilliant work of art. The comedy is gold, the characters actually evolve, and for all its irreverence it ultimately comes down in favor of kindness and sweetness, and it’s got a lovely moral center. Like caramel, but better.
  • The best thing on TV I’ve watched this year was Severed directed by Ben Stiller. Totally brilliant series. Darkly funny, with an amazing interplay of emotion and philosophy under the sci-fi umbrella. I want so much more of this show, and more shows like this show. Brilliant!
  • The Good Place was a treat, recommended to me by a friend, and I binged it through December. Season one was the best, and season two was a hot mess, but it righted itself throughout season three and found some incredibly interesting and important directions. Season four made me cry, and that’s always good. I’m hard to please with TV these days, as I mentioned, so this was really nice to find. Good acting, silliness mixed with profundity… and it’s a whole series that tries to teach people that the core value of life should be mutual aid. Hells yeah.
  • Re-watching Farscape with some dear friends has been an absolute blast. One of my all-time top science fiction series, it’s been so great to share it with Katie and watch it alongside friends who love it as much as I do. Brilliant stuff.
  • Stranger Things proved itself to be the reigning king on Netflix, again. While none of its seasons are quite as good as the first, the series as a whole remains strong.
  • Cobra Kai is my personal feel-good series. I so badly want them to have Hillary Swank on the next season, she was my favorite Karate Kid growing up.
  • The Witcher is a lot of fun, and I’m generally there for its dark-yet-melodramatic fantasy styling.
  • Sandman was unexpected as only something by Gaiman could be, and even though I still need to finish it, I was really pleased by what I saw.
  • The Great British Bake-Off hasn’t been something I enjoy as much with the modern seasons because I feel like the vulgar humor’s gotten way out of control. But I really enjoyed finding The Great Canadian Baking Show to sate my hunger for feel-good bakers being kind to one another.
  • I got a little bored and didn’t keep watching it, but I’ll admit that the Netflix series 1899 had me interested enough that I’m certain I’ll go back and finish it. There are some haunting sequences and good acting in there, as well as a cool multi-lingual script.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender remains one of my all-time favorite shows, and it was great to re-watch it this year.
  • The Dragon Prince might not work for me as well as Avatar, but it’s still a great deal of fun, with some lovely moral value embedded into the scripts.
  • Moon Knight was reasonably fun, and better than a some of the other stuff coming out of the Disney-verse lately.


A good friend introduced me to the work of The Amazing Devil and I totally got hooked. Bought their albums and binge listened until their music played in my sleep. Brilliant stuff. Oh, and Joey Batey, who played Jaskier in the Netflix fantasy series The Witcher, where he sang “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher”, is the lead singer. It’s such a wild time.

I was also addicted to this particular version of Big in Japan, and totally didn’t listen to it on repeat for three days straight while working on my novel.


My favorite book of the year was Aspects by John M. Ford. I’ve enjoyed a lot of books this year, but this one took the cake. A brilliant piece of fiction from a genius who passed away before his time.

Book Review: Aspects by John M. Ford — Strand Magazine Strand Mag
John M. Ford passed away before completing this book, yet it is one of the greatest works of literary fantasy I have…

I also enjoyed Soul of Goodness: Transform Grievous Hurt, Betrayal, and Setback into Love, Joy, and Compassion by my dear friend Dr. Christopher Phillips.

You can check out a few of my other big reviews here.

I finally started reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, and it’s superb. I found myself 80 pages in without realizing it, and that’s the best kind of book.

One of my favorite books this year was This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson. This was a brilliant and easy-to-read book about the vital work librarians do in our society. It was funny, terrifying, and all-around a joy to read.

I’ve been relistening to the amazing Mortal Engines books on the library borrowing app Hoopla (only total suckers pay for the morally-bankrupt Audible, amiright?). This series is such brilliant sci-fi. Zany and dark, moody and fun; it’s the sort of work I could only dream of writing, myself, and I love it! (Even if Wren, in the 3rd book, is soooo annoying).

I’ve now listened to about 80% of everything Agatha Christie ever wrote, and it’s been a wild ride. While that’s been a couple of years in the doing, 2022 saw me continue my Poirot and Marple binge. She remains my favorite golden-age mystery writer.

All Those Moments by Rutger Hauer was a great read. Hauer has long been one of my favorite actors, and I loved seeing his life on the page.

All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners by Rutger Hauer…
He came to mainstream prominence as a machine more human than his creators in Blade Runner, terri...

Video Games

I don’t play a lot of games these days, they just don’t hold my attention as well as they used to… and I’m so dang busy that I don’t often have uninterrupted hours to play anyway! But, this year I did have fun with XCOM 2 (I love how the Epic Game Store has free weekly games), as well as Crusader Kings III, Stellaris, Civilization 6, and a little bit of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.

I believe that the game Thrive is the most promising game in years, and I wish it would get a million-dollar infusion, so the full scope could be recognized.

I also just started playing Encased (which I also got for free from Epic), and it shows a lot of promise. I love the voice-over work, story, and theme. Sadly, it feels a bit like a game that ran out of development money. It would have been nice to have full VO throughout the game, and (while I love the art style), maybe some animated portraits and the like? I’m only just starting, and I do dig it, but it could have totally blown me away with just a little more.

Board Games

  • It was years ago that Katie bought me Terraforming Mars for my birthday, but we only learned how to play it this year! It quickly became one of our favorites.
  • We bought Civilization: New Dawn and loved it so much. Takes some time to set up, but is actually really easy to play. It’s also just as much fun to mod as the video game version, and we had a special homebrew extended version going just a day after opening it.
  • We continued to play Hive throughout the year. This little strategy game is like chess on steroids, and if you get the travel-size version, you can carry it with you anywhere for a quick pickup game. It’s so great! And, the creators release new pieces with new powers every now and again!
  • Bards Dispense Profanity became our favorite party game after a dear friend recommended it. I never liked Cards Against Humanity all that much. While I can have a darker sense of humor, CAH isn’t just dark, it’s hella-hella crude and mean. It doesn’t take long for that sort of humor to become… well… boorish, at best. Bards does away with all the really unhealthy cringe in CAH. It’s got modern prompts, but all the actual cards are literally straight from Shakespeare’s plays. It’s so much dang fun.
  • We played 7 Wonders: Duel a lot this year. I really hate that the full game is min-3 players, but I love the Duel version. Quick, fun… it’s a great one to have around.
  • Tiny Epic Defenders (Second Edition) turned out to be fun. It’s not an every-week sort of game for us, but it has a nice mix of mechanics that makes it a good game to keep around for the rainy days.
  • We also had a lot of fun going out on the town and playing Scrabble at one of our local outdoor eateries/pubs. Nothing quite so fun as staying out in the crisp autumnal evening, playing a board game, eating noms, and enjoying the first sparkling lights of the holiday season.

We have the Pathfinder board game, the Star Trek Deck Building Game, a Minecraft card game, and Arkham Horror from our Christmas presents this year, too. So, 2023 should be a nice year for board games for us! I really want to get the new version of Bloc By Bloc, too.

Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, a librarian, independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for as little as $2.50 a month!

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