Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Favorites of 2013

Favorites of 2013

So I don't really blog very often, because I just don't feel I need to.  But when it comes to Best of/ End of the Year lists, I feel like this is the only appropriate place to share them.

Favorite Books of 2013

This year I have read 65+ books.  Not as many as previous years, mostly because I spent my summer reading the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo which took a great deal of my time.  I read non fiction, fiction, children's books, comics.  Here are all my favorites in no particular order

I Am Malala
A remarkable book about a remarkable young girl.  It should be required reading in school.  

Blood Song
A tremendous work of fantasy.   On par with Rothfuss, Lynch and the like, it is engaging without being overly dark for dark's sake.  A brilliant new talent.

The most realistic depiction of New Adulthood that I have ever read.  Funny, warm, awkward.  Brilliant

My favorite comic of the year.  My favorite comic of all time.  Matt Fraction is just so brilliant with his writing and Aja just knocks it out of the park with his illustrations.  The comic book for people who have never read comics before.  The comic book for people who swore off "superheroes."  The comic for everyone.

 And the Mountains Echoed
Fantastic book about memory and loss from Hosseini.  Sweeping in its scope, but remaining intimate and small at the same time.

 The Black Count
Fascinating biography about a life forgotten by time.  Interesting discussion of race and culture.  As gripping as any adventure story, with an ending as tragic

 Ocean at the End of the Lane
Gaiman does it again.  Beautifully written, poetic, bizarre.  Love love love.

My second favorite comic.  Fantastic sci fi, great epic storytelling and gorgeous illustrations. 


Golem and the Jinni
Really stellar fantasy as well as remarkable look at 19th century American Jewry. Well executed writing, plotting and character development make this a real winner.

A different take on the superhero genre, a Young Adult book about a world where all super human characters are villains and the rest of the human population is subject to their whims.    Great world building in this one.

Favorite TV Shows of 2013

I watch a lot of TV.  A lot of it is crap.  There are a lot of shows I continue to watch despite their decline in quality, and other great shows I just haven't started to watch, but have been meaning to.  But this has been one of the best years ever of television.  The quality of most of these programs exceeds anything I've seen on the big screen.

Breaking Bad
One of the greatest shows of all time ended its run in the most spectacular way possible.  Tense, funny, thrilling, shocking, dark.  This show is just everything.  Gorgeously shot, the music is just spot on fantastic, marvelous acting all around.  It should win all the awards this year.  ALL. THE. AWARDS.   

I love this show so damn much.  When this show is on the air, I am just... happier.  Violent but so so funny, beautifully crafted details about Harlan County in general really make the setting a character in the show.  Patton Oswalt knocked it out of the park this year in his supporting role.  I can't wait for it to come back.

 Orange is the New Black
So fabulous to watch a show dominated by women.  Funny women, sad women, fat women, skinny women.  This show demonstrates that female characters can do so much more, can be so much more than the roles they are typically given.

This one was a total surprise.  I started watching thinking it would be a cheap Game of Thrones knock off or Xena-like syndicated fluff.  Instead I was rewarded with rich characters, beautifully shot episodes, and stories that really kept me engaged.

Game of Thrones
Having read the books, I was waiting for this season with much anticipation.  It certainly paid off in full.  The "Red Wedding" delivered, the acting was excellent, and the show moved the story along very well, covering a fair amount in such a dense book.  I particularly loved the Brianne/ Jaime scenes.  Really well done.

The best superhero show (live action) that has ever been on TV.  I think I can say that with no equivocation.  Those expecting light Smallville-esque frivolity are instead rewarded with interesting stories, some good character development (and some characters that could use some work, lets be honest ::cough:: Laurel ::cough::).  A show that proves that you can have fun while still going a little dark.

Favorite Movies of 2013

I have barely had a chance to get out of the movies this year.  I've rented a few, but I haven't seen any of the real award contenders at all.  Honestly I haven't even seen enough movies to make a list.  I liked Gravity.  I think Iron Man 3 was underrated.  Frozen was beautiful and This is the End was very very silly.  I fangirled the shit out of Thor: The Dark World. 


 Misc Favorites of 2013

Favorite Webcomic - Nimona
Sometimes light, sometimes very dark.  Noelle Stevenson really stretches what the medium can do

 Favorite Celebrity - Tom Hiddleston
This man can literally do no wrong.  He is perfect.  Just... too freaking perfect.  

This has been a really amazing year for me personally- I moved into my first house, I got to see my daughter grow into a real little person who can now use the potty all by herself, I got to visit Yosemite with my husband and see the stars on a perfectly clear night, I got to see my little brother graduate from college.  It has been a pretty stellar year. Bring on 2014