I've already covered said books, and I haven't seen enough movies to consider myself any kind of authority on the subject (like everyone else, it seems, I liked "Children of Men" and "Casino Royale"). My TV watching consisted of keeping up with new seasons of Deadwood, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Scrubs and Doctor Who (not on Australian commercial networks, of course) and finally watching through the anime classic "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" (which reminded me, in a very pleasing way, of parts of The Resurrected Man).
The only area in which I feel at all knowledgeable is ambient music, so here's my top five albums that I discovered this year (even if, in at least one case, they were released ages ago):
Steve Roach, "Proof Positive"
Carbon Based Lifeforms, "World of Sleepers"
Global Communications, "76:14"
Maneki Neko, "Auracle"
A couple of soundtracks I'm really enjoying at the moment are those to "Breaking & Entering" (Underworld and Gabriel Yared) and "The Prestige" (David Julyan). And I really liked Fourplay's new album, "Now to the Future" (not just because the title always makes me think of Devo's "Duty Now for the Future", honest). Gary Numan's "Jagged" was, of course, a personal highlight, as was Frank Zappa's posthumous CD of guitar solos, "Trance-Fusion". The only album I picked up by anyone remotely contemporary was José González's "Veneer"--not because there isn't good music out there, but because I just don't have time to listen to anything with lyrics.
So that's it. Thanks to everyone who recommended I watch, read or listen to this or that. Sorry if I didn't get to all of it. The backlog may be growing, but it's good to know that there will never be a shortage of good material to distract myself with. In fact, just today I bought the first season of Sopranos. That, no doubt, will consume any spare moment I might find in the coming weeks...