Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Some Favorites from 2013 (+January)

So at the end of last year, I did a year-end post about several top five things of the year. Simple, yet also satisfying to look back on. I wanted to do another one this year, but I was in the middle of reading THE BEST BOOK OF MY LIFE, and I felt compelled to include it on every other post I ever do, so here goes, the 2013 plus January '14 Best Of list:

(Disclaimer: I like superlatives.)

Books:
  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I worry that anything else I read right now will pale in comparison to the language, characterization, and story telling in this book. It is literally art on paper. Every sentence is beautiful, and you can really appreciate the work that went into making it so, so beautiful. 
  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. LOVE teaching this! Reading it for the second time in five months, and discovering new things every page. 
  3. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
  4. We Are Water by Wally Lamb
  5. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (Fun read, but.......... I guess I didn't read very much last year. #englishteacherfail)
Movies:
  1. Dallas Buyer's Club (Oscar or bust for David Wooderson.)
  2. 12 Years A Slave
  3. Wolf of Wall Street
  4. American Hustle
  5. Zero Dark Thirty
Ranking as the worst movie of the year would be Her. Why oh why oh why oh why oh why is that a movie? Anyone else have this same reaction?

How Did This Get Made?
Last year, I did This American Life episodes. Mixing it up will the much less highfalutin, but much more hilarious podcast with Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael. They discuss how awesome terrible movies are. I would link each episode, but it's a lot easier to just download from iTunes.
  1. From Justin to Kelly
  2. Howard the Duck
  3. Toys
  4. Nothing But Trouble
  5. Hudson Hawk
Meals:
Chef Kelly English is responsible for three out of five. It's official. I'm in love.
  1. Peacemaker at Bouré
  2. Bone marrow at Iris (My first foray into the marrow world. When can I go back?)
  3. Pimento cheese fries at Second Line
  4. Surf and Turf at Iris (A strip steak stuffed with blue cheese and fried oysters. Food Network's even in on it.)
  5. Chilequiles at Beauty Shop (Never lets me down.)