Most Exclusive List

Most Exclusive List
December 31, 2012, 7:09 pm
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As a city full of power players, Washington loves a good list.

But there's one you won't find printed in the paper, on the cover of a magazine or posted online.

It's one of the most exclusive lists inside the Beltway. Technology industry lobbyist Drew Littman is behind it. And there have never been more than 85 people who get it.

For nearly 15 years, Littman has hand-picked a list of people to get his own list, of the year's best in books, film and movies. The exclusive members of his group agree to react and respond via email with their top picks, too.

How does he decide who should be in that small group worthy of weighing in? "It's really who's a culture maven, who's going to the movies every weekend like I do, who's reading the most books - and it can be any kind of books," Littman said.

"I think there are a lot of people on the list who really feel they have to bring their A game to the list."

Jody Arlington heads PR for the American Film Institute's Silver Docs and Sundance, and has been on the list for five years.

"I love reading everyone's responses and basically discovering new work … sharing things that inspired me and thought were fabulous," she said.

But who else has access? Among those on the list: the Federal Trade Commission's Jon Leibowitz, insider Gwen Mellor from the Podesta Group and Jeff Berman, general manager of digital media for the National Football League.

Littman already dropped 20 people this year, including NYC deputy mayor Howard Wolfson. "He hadn't replied in a couple of years," Littman said. "He's a brilliant guy but if people aren't replying the community can fall apart."

So what cultural milestones are on this year's list? We have the scoop:

Top 10 fiction:

1)   Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds
2)   The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
3)   Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
4)   Love Bomb by Lisa Zeidner
5)   A Monster’s Notes by Laurie Scheck
6)   Under the Banyan Tree by Vaddy Ratner
7)   The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
8)   The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
9)   The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Top 10 Non-Fiction

1)   The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power by Robert Caro
2)   The Wild by Cheryl Strayed
3)   The Tea Party and the Making of American Conservatism by Theda Skocpol
4)   Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe
5)   It’s Even Worse Than It Looks by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
6)   The Victory Lab by Sasha Isenberg
7)   Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford
8)   Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas by Rebecca Solnit
9)   Kafka by Robert Crumb and David Zane Mairowitz
10)  Why Does the World Exist by Jim Holt (thanks to Brian)

Top Ten Movies of 2012

1)   The Raid: Redemption
2)   Argo
3)   Beasts of the Southern Wild
4)   The Silver Linings Playbook
5)   The Master
6)   Skyfall
7)   Bernie
8)   End of Watch
9)   Moonrise Kingdom
10)  Lincoln

Top 2012 Year-End CDS:
(Traditionally a real CD that Littman burns to distill the best of the year in music. This year Littman burned two, one featuring younger artists and the other featuring stalwarts.)

Volume 1

1)   “One Woman Army” by Kate Earl
2)   “Bad Religion” by Frank Ocean
3)   “Glitter Ain’t Gold” by Gary Clark, Jr.
4)   “Babel” by Mumford & Sons
5)   “Live and Die” by Avett Brothers
6)   “Peace and Love” by Cat Power
7)   “My Friend the Devil” by Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound
8)   “Happy Pills” by Norah Jones
9)   “Some Nights” by Fun.
10)  “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
11)  “Werewolf” by Fiona Apple
12)  “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes
13)   “Desire” by Gaslight Anthem
14)   “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men (I'm staying on Emily Schiller's good side with this one.)
15)   “There’s a Whole Lotta Heaven” by Iris DeMent
16)   “Tomorrow is a Long Time” by Jimmy LaFave
17)   “Automobile Blues” by Justin Townes Earle
18)   “Out of the Game” by Rufus Wainwright
19)   “Traveling Alone” by Tift Merritt
20)   “Hush” by Calexico

Volume 2

1)   “Born to Sing” by Van Morrison
2)   “Duquesne Whistle” by Bob Dylan
3)   “One More” by Jimmy Cliff
4)   “Knowing What I Know” by Shawn Colvin
5)   “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by Richie Havens
6)   “After the Gold Rush” by Patti Smith
7)   “Oh Susannah” by Neil Young
8)   “What to Keep and What to Throw Away” by Mary Chapin Carpenter
9)   “I Know How to Lose You” by John Hiatt
10) “Hymns to What is Left” by Greg Brown
11)   “Stop Cryin’ About the Rain” by Graham Parker and the Rumour
12)   “Girl from North Country” by Counting Crows
13)   “When the Ship Comes In” by The Chieftains and the Decemberists
14)   “American Land” by Bruce Springsteen
15)    “Big Shot” by Dr. John
16)   “Used to Rule the World” by Bonnie Raitt
17)   “Dirty Old Town” by Bettye LaVette
18)   “Charmer” by Aimee Mann