End of Year Best Of…

This was the year I finally caught up on books and movies (well, as much as one can catch up). With little kids, it was harder for me to fulfill my reading and viewing goals, but this year I did! Huzzah! Here are the tops in my book:

MOVIES (my list of everything I saw is located HERE)


  1. IN A WORLD. This is the most charming movie ever. Lake Bell was great, the plot was fresh, and I loved the way it ended. I’m not sure if it’s available to rent or buy, but as soon as you see it available, DO IT. You’ll be so happy you did.
  2. THE WAY WAY BACK. You won’t have to ask me twice to see a movie with Sam Rockwell in it. Another sweet and charming movie, with another good ending. This was the summer of charming movies with good endings, I guess.
  3. THIS IS THE END. Vulgar. Offensive. Wrong. Hilarious.
  4. BLUE JASMINE. This is not a movie I would recommend. I hated it. But darn it, if it didn’t sink into my bones and not let go. Cate Blanchett freaked me out and made me want to take anti-anxiety medicine, and my stomach hurt by the end of it. I will never watch it again, but I’m glad I watched it.

BOOKS (note: I rarely can stay on top of books the year they were published. These were not books released in 2013, but books that I read and enjoyed this year. The list of everything I read is HERE or on GOODREADS):

  1. TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME by Carol Rifka Brunt – A debut novel, and one that amazed me. How does a book be heartbreakingly sad yet not feel sad? There was a portrait painting in the novel that became almost its own character. I have never so badly in my years of reading felt the need for a matching illustration so I can see this painting.
  2. HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynn Jones – This book is magic. I seriously think the author is a witch, and she charmed every copy that’s been printed, and the readers are cast under her spell. I loved every minute of this book, even if there were a lot of flaws.
  3. SERENA by Ron Rash – Holy Cow. I read this based on a recommendation, and because I’m a sucker for Appalachian-set novels. This was a modern re-telling of a Greek Tragedy, set in the 1920s logging community. Complete with evil, redemption, a greek choir, and devastating images. Plus it was a page turner (or tapper, since I was reading it on my Kindle).
  4. WONDER by RJ Palacio – There was a moment at the end of this book where I lifted it above my head and shouted YESSSS! I love this and want everyone I know, especially parents, to read it, or read it to their children. So many teachable moments and it was funny too.

SONGS: (I am the opposite of music snob. I will listen to anything regardless of whether it’s cool or not. So no judging here. None. I’m not even going to comment on each song.)

  1. ROYALS – Lorde
  2. STORY OF MY LIFE – One Direction
  3. UNBELIEVERS – Vampire Weekend
  4. LONG TIME GONE – Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones

What are your picks this year? I may have a few more lists coming down the pipeline. Because I love lists.

2 thoughts on “End of Year Best Of…

  1. Erin says:

    I don’t experience anything hot off the press anymore. So my number ones from the things I experienced this year are:
    Movie: We Need to Talk About Kevin. Hot holy ham water this movie had me thinking for days. Very disturbing and visually stunning.
    Song: macklemore – same love. I am a big cheese ball and will adore anything that’s all “love for everyone!”
    Book: the day the crayons quit by drew daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. It is tooo perfect!

    • Nicole says:

      I never saw “Kevin,” because I heard it was too gut wrenching. I LOVE anything with Oliver Jeffers. The kids didn’t really get into the crayon book, but I liked it a lot. We love Jeffers’ “Stuck.” So cute.

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