☕ The list of lists

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December 23, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

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Good morning and Happy Festivus! In lieu of the traditional "Airing of Grievances," we are going to kick off a series of special end-of-year newsletters that aims to give 2023 the proper send-off Game of Thrones never had.

From today through Dec. 30 (but not including tomorrow or Christmas), you'll be treated to a variety of special editions, including a blueprint for setting New Year's resolutions and our annual Golden Mug Awards.

To begin the series, we bring you…the List of Lists. There are so many "Best of 2023" lists swirling around the internet that you don't have time to read, so we read them (it's our job) and curated the most valuable lists from many categories.

Hope you enjoy. Have a Merry Christmas, and we'll see you back here on Tuesday.

—Adam Epstein, Matty Merritt, Cassandra Cassidy, Molly Liebergall, Dave Lozo, Neal Freyman

ENTERTAINMENT

The best culture of 2023

scene from HBO's Succession Succession/HBO

2023 will forever be remembered as the year of Barbenheimer and Taylor Swift. But it was a lot more than that. It also gave us the Flamin' Hot Cheeto movie and Kendall Roy shouting, "I'm the eldest boy!" And for that, we're grateful.

Here are the best best-of lists to help you figure out what's worth your time.

Movies

Spoiler alert: There's going to be a lot of Oppenheimer on these lists. Christopher Nolan's historical epic headlined a great year for cinema and is poised to win mucho Oscars.

TV

Succession ended its four-season run this year and should be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. But Reservation Dogs, The Last of Us, and The Bear made it a banner year for TV.

Music

You'll find lots of SZA, Boygenius, Zach Bryan, and Olivia Rodrigo here. You won't find any Creed, but we maintain that "Higher" is the song of the year.

Books

Sure, you can read these on the beach, but there aren't any saucy romance plots among these lists. We know what you really want: memoirs, a well-researched history of hot dogs, and pages full of urban planning facts to impress your friends with.

Video games

It wasn't the best year for original games, but it sure was a good year to be a sequel. Baldur's Gate 3, Alan Wake 2, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom dominated the gaming discourse in 2023 and might also be the reason why your electric bill was higher this year.

—AE

     

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READ

The best long reads of 2023

tbd tbd

We know you come to us for the short blurbs we deliver to your inbox every day, but sometimes a morning is best spent ignoring ClickUp tasks and consuming a 5,000-word New Yorker investigation into the Dyatlov Pass incident. Here are some lists you'll want to bookmark for the slow days.

Best long read lists

This year felt like a real L for internalizing the lessons sci-fi writers tried to teach us.

Best reads about things we couldn't explain in 300 words

Sometimes we want to cover topics that have us begging our editors to let us raise the word count. Thankfully, for everyone's sake, they usually say no. But here are some long reads that provide additional context for several stories we covered this year.

Best in arts and culture

It was a wild year for watching and we didn't even have Colin Jost or Michael Che to half-heartedly comment on it. Here are our favorite reads to comb through with a Tiny Desk Concert in the background.

Best company deep dives

We wouldn't let you leave here without a collection of the good, bad, and ugly of the business world this year.

—MM

     

TECH

The best tech of 2023

Mark Zuckerberg does jiu jitsu @lexfridman on YouTube

Artificial intelligence ruled the tech industry this year. We can only assume that, as ChatGPT and DALL-E gained traction, people realized asking AI to make a photo of Pope Francis in a big white puffer is an excellent use of advanced technology.

Speaking of ChatGPT, it won the user's choice award in Apple's App Store Awards, although it wasn't the best new app—that was AllTrails, a fitting champion for an era where telling someone they need to "touch grass" is an insult.

Apps of the year

Aside from the usual favorites (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), these apps captivated iPhone/Android users in 2023.

Inventions of the year

We get it—the LG OLED TV is good.

Notable people in tech

It's hard to make it through a list of tech CEOs that doesn't include Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Sam Altman. And Sam Altman a second time, thanks to November's OpenAI fiasco.

Notable tech companies

Something new in 2023: Alphabet toppled Apple's seven-year reign as the world's largest tech company.

—CC

     

TOGETHER WITH CURRENCYCLOUD

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License and regulation, please. Fintech, it's time to make compliance a priority. While the US doesn't have an overarching license or legislation for fintech companies (yet), the industry is growing—which means higher scrutiny and oversight. Currencycloud's ebook digs into everything you need to know about getting and staying compliant. Get it here.

SOCIAL MEDIA

The best social media of 2023

Planet of the Bass @kylegordonisgreat on YouTube

Another trip around the sun, another era of internet trends to romanticize. We spent this year looking inward at our beige flags, looking outward at possible alien sightings, and slapping the word "girl" onto math and dinner. Amid all that, you still had time to read the Brew every morning.

Here are the highlights of 2023 online-ness from some chronically online people.

Top tweets/xeets

Despite one of the cringiest corporate takeovers in history, the platform formerly known as Twitter is still, as Rusty Foster put it, "limping along with its new Mountain Dew ass name."

Best viral videos

This year, we paid livestreamers to say "ice cream so good," yelled about creators misusing the term "POV," and probably spent too much time on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube, and maybe even Facebook.

Catchiest internet songs

The world listened to a lot of Tay and Bey this year, but we got a bunch of viral ditties stuck in our heads, too.

—ML

     

LIFESTYLE

The year in wisdom and wellness

Street sign that says Francis Scialabba

Who doesn't love getting some good advice? Who isn't interested in having wisdom bestowed upon them? Note: This does not make it OK for men on Twitter to reply to women who are experts in their field to say, "Well, actually…" So, don't do that.

Here are some assorted lists that offer insights into lifestyle and work areas where you could maybe use some assistance. Remember—no one is forcing you to click these links, as we know nobody wants unsolicited advice. Click if you feel like it. No pressure.

Learning

As they say, learning leads to growing. And we want to grow, don't we folks?

Work/productivity

Love your current job but want to become more efficient? Want to learn how to cheat your company's vacation policy and take nearly two months off? We've got you covered.

Investing

We won't tell you what to do with your money—we'll let the experts do that. And many of them are suggesting some form of circumspection in the new year.

Life hacks

There's usually a better way of doing the things you do. Here are a handful:

Health

Take some time for yourself to learn about wellness trends, which are mostly about taking some time for yourself.

—DL

     

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Crossword: It's Festivus, and yada yada yada…here's a crossword.

List trivia

In the spirit of today's newsletter, here's a question that asks you to create a list.

Spanish is an official language of 20 sovereign states and one territory. Can you name them?

RECS

Saturday To-Do List graphic

This week, we're bringing you the most-clicked links from the Recs section across the entire year.

Inflate: A neat visualization showing how far $1 in 1999 would go today.

Watch: The secret to the success of Costco's Kirkland Signature brand.

Think different: This reusable, one-page calendar could change how you see your year.

Buy: A bunch of random little gadgets to make your life easier.

New year, new you: Wanna conquer more in '24? Vitafusion's delicious gummy vitamins can help you do it. Resolve to rule your day the Vitafusion way.*

*A message from our sponsor.

ANSWER

The countries are Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Uruguay, and Equatorial Guinea. The territory is Puerto Rico.

         
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