Happy 2013, friends!
A new year, a clean slate, a new beginning. A time to reset, if you will. 2012 had some ups and quite a few downs but it's all good. It ended on a good note. I have my awesome family and my wonderful friends and I am a happy lady and looking forward to the year ahead.
With that being said, let me recount some of my favorite things (TV shows, movies, books, moments) from 2012 and some of the things that disappointed me. Let's call it my own little "Year in Review", shall we? Also, since this is MY recap of favorite/not so favorite things, it means I follow my own rules... meaning, not everything I talk about will have been released in 2012, but I read/watched it in 2012 therefore it counts.
I'll start with music since so many of my favorite bands/artists released new stuff last year. The downside of so many of them releasing great stuff all at once means I can't pick just one for my favorite, so I'll give you my top three... In no order. Because I feel bad playing favorites:
1.) Ben Folds Five- The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind. I've talked about this album at length. I love it. I helped fund it (because I'm awesome). It took 13 years for them to get together and make another record and it was so worth it. Favorite songs: "Do It Anyway" and "Draw a Crowd".
2.) The Killers- Battle Born. I love The Killers. I feel like they get better and better with every CD they put out. Brandon Flowers is so talented and has such a phenomenal voice, he never disappoints me. This album is no exception. It's great from start to finish. Favorite Song: "From Here On Out".
3.) Ed Sheeran- +. This is where my little stipulation kicks in. This record came out in 2011 but I didn't discover it until last year and once I discovered it, I couldn't stop listening to it. I love his voice and how his British accent comes through on certain words in his songs. I love that he's a ginger and that he writes his own music. I love that he's getting so popular because he deserves it. I adore this album. Favorite songs: "Lego House", "The A Team", "Give Me Love". Really though, I could have picked every song on it. That's how much I love it.
Let me give honorable mention to The Tragically Hip, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and Imagine Dragons... Gotye too because I was obsessed with that record at the beginning of the year.
Most disappointing CD? Dos! by Green Day. Releasing 3 albums in the span of a couple months is pretty ambitious. A little too ambitious. The second of those three is just not good. "Nightlife" is probably their worst song ever. The whole record is disjointed and messy and just off. I'm going to pretend like they didn't release it.
Artist I am most surprised I like so much? Bruno Mars. I love watching him perform and I love his voice. Like my Dad says, he's a combination of Michael Jackson and Prince and that is pretty awesome. I can't stop listening to his new single "Locked Out of Heaven".
I loved The Hunger Games and thought they did right by the book. It wasn't perfect but book to movie adaptations rarely are... if ever. I love Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and I loved all the behind the scenes stuff within the games. It made me appreciate the story more and it made me really look forward to Catching Fire.
The Avengers was phenomenal. C and I just watched it again yesterday and I loved it even more. Joss Whedon is a genius and all those super heroes are so very handsome. It's just a fun, enjoyable movie. So fun.
We Bought a Zoo. Yeah, this came out in 2011 but I just saw it about a month ago. I absolutely adore it and could watch it over and over and over again.
Weirdest Movie? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It wasn't bad, just weird. Real weird.
Favorite New Show(s)? Favorite new show meaning it's new to me and I just watched it this year? Firefly and Doctor Who. Firefly is adventurous and charming and the characters are so fantastic. Doctor Who is inventive and wonderfully entertaining and I still have a loooong way to go with it but I'm so happy I decided to jump on board the Tardis.
Favorite Regular Show(s)? The Vampire Diaries, White Collar and New Girl. All three are consistently good, funny and so refreshing. (Also, they all have real handsome fellas to look at. Real, real handsome).
Biggest TV disappointment? I have two:
1.) True Blood. It was a total snoozefest and they completely underused Christopher Meloni and Scott Foley. I hate the fairy storyline. The only thing that saved the season for me was Ryan Kwanten and Alexander Skarsgard.
2.) The final season of Chuck blew. It blew hardcore. I never even blogged about it because I was so offended by how bad it was. They took a super great show and demolished it in the last 3 episodes and that made me sad and angry. Angry for spending 5 years watching it and sad because I loved those characters. Boo to that!
Now... BOOKS! (Bare with me... There are a lot)
Goodreads says that I read/rated 60 books for 2012. Here are my favorites:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book had my mind spinning. I would think it was going one way and then it would take a completely different direction. The characters are fascinating and kind of horrible but also likable all at once. The story is mesmerizing and the ending is a bit controversial. I could talk for hours about this book. I absolutely, positively, 100% loved it. LOVED. Read it. Read it NOW. Then talk to me about it.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern. This one came out in October of 2011 but I read it at the beginning of 2012. This book is beautiful and gorgeous and lovely and delightful and I fell in love with it. Absolutely fell in love with it. I want to live inside of it and be a part of the night circus and everything it represents. Magic and love and friendship and loyalty. Read it and fall in love with it too.
Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. This one just made me happy. Emily Giffin is a terrific writer and makes me want to be a better writer. This story is about family and what makes a family connect. When I finished it, I had a huge smile on my face. It's probably in my top 2 of her books. Check it out!
Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson. Oh my goodness, this book made my heart explode with happiness. I waited 4 years for it and it didn't disappoint. It's part of the Enchanted Inc. series and it had everything I love about these books plus more and it made me fall in love with Owen Palmer a littler more, which I didn't think was possible. I re-read it the second I finished it.
Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos. I've read Marisa's previous two books (Love Walked In and Belong To Me) and I enjoyed them, but this one took me by surprise. I didn't want to be done with the characters after I finished it. It's a story about friendship and relationships and it made me happy happy happy.
I also read a ton of Nora Roberts books (as did my sister and my mom) and became addicted to her writing. I have had so much fun reading her stuff and the best part is I am nowhere near finished. She has so so many and that means that I have lots to get to still.
Most Disappointing Book(s)?
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. This book is a semi-true story about Frank Lloyd Wright and an affair he had with a lady named Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The ending made me furious and the worst part is that the end is the truest part of the book. It was completely crazy and had me yelling at Jeff about it at 1 in the morning when I had finished it. Ugh.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I absolutely, positively could not get into this book. I really tried. For all of you that finished it and enjoyed it, I want to give you a medal because I just didn't get it. And no, I wasn't expecting a magical story about potions and wizards. I knew going into it that it was a grown up (ha) book. I just didn't enjoy it at all and that made me sad.
So, those are my favorites and least favorites of 2012. Despite having a rough go of it for most of the year, we were champs at making the best of our situation. We had tons of fun at the Lego Fest and the RenFest and the Motor City Comic Convention, going to the park, hanging out at home, going up north, watching the Olympics, experiencing the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. The best part about all of that was spending time as a family.
I look forward to the year ahead and I hope 2013 is a fantastic year for all of you as well!
What were your favorite/not so favorite parts of 2012?