The ASI's best of 2015


Madsen Song: Easy Love by Sigala.

Musician: Charlie Puth.

Movie: The Martian.

Book: Chavs (updated edition) by Owen Jones.

Restaurant: East India Club Dining Room.

Cocktail Bar: Ozone Bar of the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

Article: The New Statesman's piece on the mountain Labour must climb to regain power.

YouTube video: Anton Howes on Innovation & the Industrial Revolution.

Political moment: Waking up to learn I'd won my election bet.

Toy: Phantom 3 drone.



Song: Well it sure ain’t The Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith.

Album: I suppose after all the hype it has to be 25 by Adele but it’s pretty dreary stuff.

Musician: Neither of the above, sadly.

MoviePaddington - one of the funniest films of all time, surely (OK, it came out in November 2014, but I only saw it in on the way to Peru in March).

Book: Am I allowed to say Magna Carta – A Primer by Eamonn Butler?

Restaurant: La Rosa Nautica, perched on a pier in Lima – with the Jumbo floating restaurant in Hong Kong a close second.

Article: Matt Ridley: ‘The Climate Change Agenda is a Conspiracy Against the Poor’ in The Spectator.

Political moment: The look on David Dimbleby’s face when he opened the envelope containing the UK general election exit polls and realised the Tories had won.

Person: Charlotte Bowyer – a hole opened up in the office when she moved on



Song: Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepsen (My top 63 list is here).

Album: E•MO•TION by Carly Rae Jepsen – one of the best pop albums of all time, in fact, up there with ABC's The Lexicon of Love.

Musician: Carly Rae Jepsen (surprise surprise).

Movie: Inside Out.

Book: The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism, by J Michael Bailey – essential reading to understand one of the major debates of the year. Or the Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – I just need to apply it to my desk as well as my house!

Restaurant: The floating restaurant Jumbo in Hong Kong, followed by Megan’s Kitchen in Wan Chai, which did a (delicious) hot pot broth so spicy that I wept and spent most of the day doubled over in pain. Totally worth it.

Article: Has to be my own posts on, which Ben, Philip and I have set up to review London’s restaurants and (eventually) cocktail bars.

Political moment: Ireland legalising gay marriage in a referendum – the first country to do so by popular vote.

Person: Rachel Dolezal.



Song: Justin Bieber - What Do You Mean (a triumph for tropical house and beliebers across the globe)

AlbumThe Mars Volta - De-loused in the Comatorium (terrified warblings from ‘03)

Musician: Carly Rae Jepsen (my introduction to pop music)

Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road (if only for the Fallout 3 nostalgia)

Book: Albert Camus - The Myth of Sisyphus (assuaging my existential doubt in the least philosophically robust way possible)

Favourite sports moment: Chelsea’s decline (and, by extension, Jose Mourinho in all his petulant glory)

Political momentDave and Xi chillin over a pint.

Person: Donald Trump (for taking it upon himself to berate a Saudi prince over twitter).



SongFrank Fiedler - Transhimalaya (full list here).

Album: DJ Richard - Grind (full list here).

MusicianTuluum Shimmering - eight or nine albums in one year, all very good, is pretty impressive.

MovieQueen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry).

BookDictator (Robert Harris) or Blindsight (Peter Watts).

RestaurantShotgun, Soho.

Article / blogpostWould cracking down on guns in the US really reduce violence? (Robert VerBruggen).

Political moment: Madsen's correct prediction of the general election.

Person: Donald Trump.



Song: Wild Beasts, Wanderlust (it's 2014 but I think I only first listened to it in 2015).

Album: Maccabees, Marks to Prove It.

Musician: Laura Marling.

Movie: Slow West OR Mad Max: Fury Road.

Book: Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows.

Restaurant: Murano. Italian posh nosh. What more could you want?

Article: Hugo Rifkind: My Week: Robert Peston.

Political moment: Miliband doing "mockney" during Brand interview/Miliband pledge stone.

Person: Wiggo, for breaking the hour record.



Song: White Lightning – The Cadillac Three.

Album: Cold Beer Conversation – George Strait.

Subbing Musical for Musician: Hamilton.

Movie: TIE! Mad Max: Fury Road / Inside Out.

Netflix Original Series: Narcos.

Book: Yes Please – Amy Poehler.

Restaurant: The Dairy (Recommendation: Ben Southwood)

Article: A Bow to Charleston – Peggy Noonan, WSJ.

Political moment: Mitt Romney 2016 (any day now...)

Person: This angry patriot.



SongHouse Every Weekend, David Zowie. My school leavers’ trip to Zante (aka Baes Abroad 2K15) would not have been the same without this song.

Album: If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drake. All songs make for excellent taxi music, relaxing music, or even telephone holding music if you’re cool enough.

Musician: The Weeknd.

Movie: Straight Outta Compton

Book: Girl on a Train

Restaurant: Oblix at The Shard. Tasty food with an equally tasty view.

Article: “The Dalai-Lama is as sexy as a fungal nail infection”, Rebecca Reid. (Discussing the hypocrisy of the Dalai-Lama saying his successor should be an ‘attractive’ woman)

Political moment: When Kanye West announced that he’s going to run for president in 2020. Iconic.

Person: Shigetaka Kurita (The man who created emojis)