Good Things of 2013 (

1. Icons and Idiots by Bob Lutz (2013). Stories of leaders in a car executive's life from the Marines to BMW to GM to Chrysler.

2. Vintage Clothing Stores. In Cincinnati, in particular: a place to buy modest attractive clothes for teenage girls.

3. Fellow Passengers , by Louis Auchinloss (1989). Soothing and perceptive tales of polite Manhattan WASPS from 1910's Yale to 1950's Wall Street. "We were not as rich as the Rockefellers or Mellons, but we were rich enough to know how rich they were."

4. Colin McEvedy's books. His 1961 The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History thrilled me when I saw it in 1972, and he has lots more.

5. Quo Vadis (1950) (not the re-make). Nero (Peter Ustinov) and Petronius (Leo Genn) are extraordinary characters in this movie about piety and decadence.

6. “The Letters of Mercurius Oxoniensis” (1970) by Hugh Trevor-Roper. A gem of satire on 1960's Oxford in the form of letters in the style of the 1660's.

7. Homeschooling. We're homeschooling Benjamin and Lily this year. It's a lot of work, but fun and educational for all.

8. Zenni online glasses. I have the loss-leader $6.99 glasses, and they're just fine. I like having two pairs instead of bifocals.

9. Pro se amicus briefs. These are allowed where they can have impact, below the Supreme Court level. See Marshall vs. Commissioner and Mersino v. Sebelius.

10. Queen Seon Deok (2009). Another wonderful Korean historical drama, set in Silla in the 600's, before the unification of Korea. The sympathetic though murderous villainess, is classic, and I am sure the writers have some graduate level economics and game theory training. 62 episodes, all worth watching.

11. Double Indemnity, with Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler, Edward G. Robinson, Fred MacMurray (1944). A morality drama about betrayal by murder of marriage, romance, and friendship.

12. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001). Bollywood. "Lagaan" means "tax", which can be just as interesting as insurance. Noble villagers, plus a Moslem, a Sikh, and an Untouchable, play despicable British officers at cricket for double-or-nothing taxes, with the assistance of the British captain's sister. The villagers win and the captain's next post is in central Africa.

Other Finalists: Duck Dynasty.. Meadow mushrooms (agaricus campestris). Rome: Total War. Tamales from the restaurant Feast. Pinterest. Sears's canvas toolbox. The Knight's Castle. by Edward Eager. Dr. Seuss by Kathleen Kudlinski.

Lists of good things from other years are at