Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 favorites


Before the year draws to a close I thought I would share some favorites from 2014. It's something I have done for the past couple of years and now it is something I really look forward to.

Here are some highlights from my year in books, movies, tv, radio, and more (please share yours in the comment section too!)

Books:

At the top of my list is one I just finished days ago (way to close on a high note, right?). A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra was my favorite book I read this year and now, one of my favorite books I have ever read. The story takes place in Chechnya over the course of several years in the late 90s and early 2000s. This was a time and place I didn't know much about so I am grateful for the education. I am also grateful for the chance to fall in love with all the characters (how often does that happen?) and for the chance to read such beautiful passages and heartbreaking accounts of life in a war zone. Amazingly, this is Marra's first book (I still find that hard to believe) so the good news is that there just might be more to come from this author.

I also had the pleasure of perusing The Arrival by Shaun Tan which is an absolute masterpiece. It is packed with illustrations - so much so that there is no room left for words. And if you have seen Shaun Tan's illustrations before then you know what an incredible experience this book might be. Upon finishing it I was quite literally speechless. When I did find some words they were most likely expletives because I couldn't find anything else extreme enough to express my amazement. A beautiful story beautifully told. 

There wasn't as much non-fiction on my reading list this year as there has been in years past but I suppose that's okay. One that I enjoyed was Brian Jay Jones's Biography of Jim Henson. This was my first read of the year and also one that I read alongside my sister so we were able to compare notes along the way. What a fun way to start the year! Although it was a little longer than I thought it probably needed to be it was still extremely interesting to get a behind the scenes peek into Jim Henson's life. The world of tv and movies already seems dramatically different than it was just 30 - 40 years ago but there is still so much to learn from Jim Henson - a man who wasn't afraid of failure OR success. 

There is SO much I want to read in 2015 but I am going to try to just take it one book at a time. You can find me over on Goodreads. I would love to share good reads with you!

Movies and TV:

Once again, I didn't put a whole lot of effort in this department this year. I watched probably more than my share of tv - but maybe I should have been a little more selective. Highlights include the first half of Mad Men's last season. I watched every episode twice to be honest and may have to watch them again before the second half of the season kicks in. (if I sound like I am addicted it's because I am) I am okay with the show ending though (easy for me to say now!) I think it's time and I look forward to seeing what is next for everyone in front of and behind the camera. 

We also got hooked on a series called Orphan Black which was interesting and fun and just what we need at the time. Then there was a healthy dose of Parks and Recreation and Flight of the Conchords re-runs with a pinch of Portlandia thrown in for good measure. 

You can also count me among the throngs of people who got sucked into the Serial podcast. I didn't mean to -  I swear. But after the first couple of episodes you just had to see how it turns out. It was not until it was all over and done that I found out that tons of others fell into the Serial vortex too. 

What did you read/watch/listen to this year? Share your recommendations here and help us fill 2015 with inspiration and delight!

2 comments:

Hattie Hen said...

Hi Corinne,
I have been watching Flight of the Conchords reruns too and loving that show all over again.
Do you ever hear songs on the radio and giggle because they sound like something the Conchords might sing? I recently heard a Hall and Oates song that made me instantly picture Jemaine and Bret singing it. :)
I really want to check out that Jim Henson book, thanks for the reminder.
Sending you warm sunshiney thoughts from my part of the world.
Regards
Sandra.

Corinne said...

Yes Sandra, I have done that! My husband and I were in a store just last week when a cheesy party song came on and I felt compelled to break into "I like to rock the party" :D Those guys are so inspirational.