University of Illinois Press Best of 2018

Every December since 2007 we have posted an annual list of our pop culture favorites. The University of Illinois Press Best of 2018 edition is in alphabetical order by staff member’s last name.  Enjoy!

Jennifer Barbee, Acct. Tech II
Favorite Book:
Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Favorite Music: What Ifs by Kane Brown
Favorite Film:  Love, Simon
Favorite TV Show: Stranger Things
Favorite live performance: Trevor Noah at State Farm Center
Website I visit every day: Pinterest

Jillian Borukhovich, Marketing Student
Favorite Book: John Green – Turtles All the Way Down
Favorite Music: Imagine Dragons – Evolve, or Panic! at the Disco – Pray for the Wicked
Favorite Film: Avengers: Infinity War

Favorite TV Show: She’s Gotta Have It (2017) or Broad City
Favorite live performance: Panic! At the Disco, Indianapolis – July 2018
Favorite Podcast: True Crime Garage

Angela Burton, Rights & Permissions/Awards Manager
Favorite Book: Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes
Favorite Music: By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile

Favorite Film: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Favorite TV Show: Finding Your Roots, The Americans (Farewell, show.)
Favorite live performance: Gathering: A Sesquicentennial Musical Celebration, Krannert, April 21, 2018. A concert of a new work by composer Dominick DiOrio and writer Richard Powers that incorporated texts from writing and speeches of University of Illinois alumni. It included performances by the University of Illinois Wind Symphony and Chamber Singers and soloists Nathan Gunn, Todd Payne, and Yvonne Redman. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. At one point, the Chamber Singers performed on each side of the hall while the symphony performed onstage, and the wall of sound was just mesmerizing. You had to close your eyes to be able to take it all in. Beautiful.
Website I visit every day: JustWatch. To find out what is new on streaming channels.
Favorite Podcast: Pod Save America

Margo Chaney, Exhibits Manager
Favorite Book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Favorite TV Show: The Crown

Favorite Movie: (3-way tie) RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and The Wife
Favorite Live Performance: P!NK
Favorite News Source: NPR or Rachel Maddow

Marika Christofides, Associate Acquisitions Editor
Favorite Book: King-Cat Classix by John Porcellino (definitely not new this year, but I read it this year!)
Favorite Music: Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour

Favorite Film: Annihilation
Favorite TV Show: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Favorite live performance: The Paper Machete at the Green Mill in Chicago
Website I visit every day: What day is it
Favorite Podcast: The Art History Babes

Alexa Colella, Marketing Manager for Journals
Favorite Book: Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Noble
Favorite Music: And Then Like Lions by Blind Pilot
Favorite Film: The last movie I saw in theaters was Black Panther… was that in 2018? I don’t know but it was good.

Favorite TV Show: Schitt’s Creek or Daredevil
Favorite live performance: The only thing live I have seen in a long time is the CBA Nutcracker
Website I visit every day:

Kevin Cunningham, Copywriter and Catalog Coordinator
Favorite Book: Dog of the South by Charles Portis

Favorite Music: Spilt Milk by Jellyfish
Favorite Film: Annihilation
Favorite TV Show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Website I visit every day: Google News – Science, for it’s perfect blend of legitimate science and British tabloid conspiracy theories
Favorite pastry: Fat Elvis pie from Hoosier Mama bakery (peanut butter-banana cream pie)

Kirsten Dennison, Desktop Publisher/Coordinator
Favorite Books: Jesse Andrews – Munmun (YA Sci-Fi/Satire); Amor Towles – A Gentleman in Moscow
Favorite Album: Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Favorite Film: Roma
Favorite TV Shows: Better Call Saul, PBS Newshour
Live performance: BACH (Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana) concert featuring Tarik O’Regan’s “Triptych”, a gorgeous and moving contemporary requiem
Website: CapitolFax
Podcast: Marc Maron’s WTF; Heavyweight

Dawn Durante, Senior Acquisitions Editor
Favorite Short Story Collection:
The Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Favorite Nonfiction: Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
Favorite Novels: Red Clocks by Leni Zumas & An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Favorite Song: “This is America” by Childish Gambino
Favorite Movie: Black Panther and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Favorite TV shows: The Good Place, 9-1-1, The Alienist
Favorite Podcast: American Beauty by Joanna Brooks

Jennie Fisher, Book Designer
Favorite Music Download:
Queen – Greatest Hits

Favorite Film: Bohemian Rhapsody
Favorite Amazon Original series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Favorite Netflix Original series: The Haunting of Hill House
Favorite Podcasts: True Crime Garage & Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

Heather Gernenz, Publicity Manager
Favorite Fiction Book: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Favorite Short Story Collection: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Favorite Nonfiction Book: Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

Favorite Music: High as Hope, Florence + the Machine (2018)
Favorite Film: Colette, but I’m pretty sure it will be beaten by Mary, Queen of Scots
Favorite TV Show: My Brilliant Friend
Favorite Live Performance: Florence + the Machine live at the United Center, 10/19/18
Favorite Podcast: Unladylike

Julie Laut, Outreach and Development Coordinator
Favorite Novel: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Favorite Science Fiction Series: The Expanse by James S. A. Corey, especially the first, Leviathan Awakes
Favorite Film: Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman
Favorite TV Show: Comedy – The Good Life

Favorite TV Show: Drama – Killing Eve
App I Visit Every Day: New York Times app
Favorite Podcasts: The Hilarious World of Depression and Reply All

Michael Roux, Marketing & Sales Manager
Favorite Album: Melange – Viento Bravo
Favorite Live Performance: Mdou Moctar at Reverberation Vinyl, Bloomington, IL, June 4, 2018

Favorite Film: The Hate U Give
Favorite Trailer for a Film I Didn’t See: Lean On Pete
Favorite TV Show: All In with Chris Hayes, The Americans, Atlanta: Robbin’ Season

About michael

Marketing & Sales Manager since 2012