Believe It Or Not, There is Still Joy to be Had in Retrospecting 2020

An animated gif illustration of a dumpster in an alley that is burning, but it's all very cute

Usually, I get really excited about year-end roundups every December. I love lists! What's better than a season of LISTS???

This year seems a weird one for that, and I'm sure magazine editors spent the last month freaking out about how they would do year-in-review listicles without bumming everyone out, but there are already three that have come out.

Some of it's a real bummer, which is to be expected, but there are some funny, quirky little news stories that I had completely forgotten about (or not noticed). Like Dr. Phil's mansion that "looks like it was decorated by a teenage energy drink tycoon" and the deadline for which George R.R. Martin said he could be imprisoned if he hadn't finished his recent book passing, with the man still walking free.

This one features popular books with their titles adapted to become relevant to the year that's passed: Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere is now Enormous Fires Everywhere, Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude is One Hundred Beers in Solitude. It's a real hoot. I would probably buy a notebook set with these faux book covers.

Three: Tom Whitwall's 52 Things I Learned in 2020

Mr. Whitwall publishes a list every year of 52 things he learned that year. It's always got some delights and deeply interesting facts in it. Like the different ways emojis are perceived across cultures, the fact that the inventor of the pixel has always regretted making them square, and in 2017, researchers turned dragonflies into human-controlled drones.

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