Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2013:
The Great Gatsby. When I first saw the preview for this, I squealed with delight. Everything about this movie made me excited to see it (even Tobey Whiny-Face Maguire, and that is a feat right there so kudos on that, Baz Luhrmann). Normally when I anticipate a movie as much as I did this one, I end up leaving the theater slightly disappointed, but, luckily, Gatsby did not disappoint. The film itself was visually extravagant and captivating and the cast was, for me, perfection. Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance made me fall for him like it was 1996 all over again. The way he played Jay, constantly walking the line between cocksure and desperate, made me wish all throughout the film that the ending would magically change and he could have his happily ever after with Daisy. And don’t get me started on Daisy. I’m already on the books as a Carey Mulligan fangirl, and this role only solidified it for me. This is also possibly when I began to obsess over going crazy and chopping off all my hair…
Some close runner ups: This Is The End, for the pure, nonsensical, belly laughs that were had at this. Prisoners , for the exact opposite of This Is The End– pure, stress induced seat gripping was all that happened at this. Brilliant performances though (and, come one, it’s Jake. Of course I loved this). The Wolf of Wall Street. Again, crazy good performances. Leo ftw this year. And finally, Drinking Buddies and Francis Ha for giving me some female characters to relate too (Olivia Wilde talking about her imaginary cat had me yelling at my TV ‘OMG, ME TOO!’).
Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys both released new albums this year, so this was a definitely a great year in music for this gal. Both Mechanical Bull and AM were on heavy rotation in my iPod. After falling off the radar (for some rehab time, I’m guessing) for awhile, I was extremely happy to hear KOL’s newest and LOVE. IT. As for Arctic Monkeys? They’ve always been a band I’ve enjoyed, but AM took it to a whole new level. Talk about hot sex on a disc. It just oozes sexiness. Even just hearing the intro to “Do I Wanna Know?” gives me good feelings. God bless, Alex Turner. May you never lose that swagger!
Some other notable albums I’ve been going a little crazy for: Tegan and Sara Heartthrob, JT The 20/20 Experience, The National Trouble Will Find Me, Arcade Fire Reflektor, and Bastille Bad Blood. (Y’all, I listen to music ALL DAY, EVERY DAY at work. Thus, there can’t be just one favorite album of the year!)
The Goldfinch. Almost a decade ago I read The Little Friend and The Secret History and was blown away by Donna Tartt. The Goldfinch was no exception. Damn, that woman can write a novel.
Some other goodies: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. While techincally published in 2012, I think it being done so on December 31st makes it acceptable for a best of 2013 list. Moyes writes a funny, touching, bittersweet story that left me in both sad and happy tears. And since this is my list, I’ll throw in another 2012 published book because, damnit, I can do what I want! (And also, it took me forever to get a Kindle copy of this one from my library.) Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I absolutely loved the way the stories intertwined. So much so that it took me all of two days to finish this book. I highly recommend all three. (And can I just say how much I love having all these insanely talented female authors to choose from?)
Favorite TV Show:
Drama- Sons of Anarchy. Holy hell, y’all. Shit got real this season. I would go so far as to say there was no better drama on TV this fall, and yeah, I’m even taking the final season of Breaking Bad into account when I say that. Seriously, best season of SOA by a landslide. (Bonus points for multiple un-clothed Jax scenes.)
Comedy- The Mindy Project. Mindy joins the list of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as women I really need to be best friends with, like, immediately. Plus? Any show that gives me Chris Messina brushin’ a little dirt off his shoulder to Aliyah is a-okay in my book.
Arctic Monkeys. Remember when I said the intro of “Do I Wanna Know?” gives me all sorts of good feelings? Well imagine being in a packed theater, lights down, those first few chords playing with nothing but a red light flooding the stage and the silhouette of Alex Turner and his guitar are all you can see. Yeah, those good feelings increased times a million. The show was one just ear-gasm after another.
Umm, you mean aside from a flight to Europe?! Pretty much everything I purchased on the trip! I came back from England and France with cute clothes, delicious wine, and countless memories.
A close runner up is my new bed. Ohhh, the hours of sleep I have enjoyed on you, super firm bed. You have now made me a person who can sleep in again!
Foie Gras, perfectly cooked steak, giant cheese plate, and the world’s most divine chocolate mousse. The things dreams (and chubby tummies) are made of.
See above. Easily the nicest meal I’ve been out to in ages and my date was amazing. Because my date was ME! One of the best lessons I’ve learned in 2013 is learning to truly be able to enjoy spending time with yourself. After all, if you don’t, how will anyone else? (Also, it didn’t hurt that this date took place in Paris. I mean, I’ve had some good dates here in KC, but come on, it takes quite a bit to compete with PARIS.)
Okay, this category cannot be limited to just one, because the answer to this is BRITISH BOYS. Yep, lots of them. Of course there’s Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hardy, but there’s also all the lovely boys I met and saw while actually IN THE UK! They are lovely. They are beyond lovely. They are cheeky and handsome and stylish and full on swoon-worthy.
So that, dear readers, was my 2013 in a nutshell. Books, bands, and boys from across the pond. Here’s hoping 2014 looks as good as this…