2012 in review

  • Dec. 31st, 2012 at 8:44 AM
notemily: (hunger games - the mockingjay)
Well, I know I haven't made a LiveJournal post since (*checks*) July, but today is December 31st, and to let the year end without a year-in-review post on LJ just feels wrong. So, without further ado:

Media things

Best book of 2012: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. Hands down. Granted I didn't read many books this year that were actually released this year, but this book speaks to me on a level few others match, to the extent that my therapist suggested using it in our sessions. It also gave me a completely new appreciation for Fire, which I had previously been meh about.
Best book of 2012 not written in 2012: The only other new read I gave five stars to this year was Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It's pretty amazing, but my enthusiasm for it has been dampened by how disappointing the sequels, especially the "Glass" series, were. The world had so much promise, and the subsequent books rarely lived up to that potential, and sometimes had really unfortunate implications. So if you're going to read the book, do yourself a favor and stop there.
Authors of the year: I read 14 books by Tamora Pierce this year and 12 by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. They both have series(...es?) that are extremely addictive, and though they write for different age groups, I recommend their books to all fantasy fans who like kickass female heroines. My favorites: Squire and Emperor Mage by Pierce, and the heart-wrenching short story In Sea-Salt Tears by McGuire. And yes, those are all later books/stories that you have to read the earlier books in the series to get to. Muahahahaha.
Chapter of the year: Chapter 26 of Feed. LIFE-DESTROYING.

Also: This year I finally finished my Goodreads Challenge of reading 50 books! I think next year I'll up it to 75. I would like to thank the awesome women who write addicting fantasy series for this achievement.

Musical artists listened to most: According to last.fm, they were Fun., the New Pornographers, Florence + the Machine, Tegan and Sara, and Neko Case. This year was the year I really got into Tegan and Sara, who are amazing.
Favorite songs of 2012:
- Look, I really like "Gangnam Style". It's fun and dancey and strangely subversive once you research the lyrics. Plus, PSY just looks like he's having so much fun. Video: Eeeeeey, sexy lady!
- My love for it has faded a bit due to overexposure, but I can't not mention "Some Nights". The fact that a song I loved this much got so popular warms my heart. You mean regular people really like harmonies and power-pop and Nate Ruess's voice? ME TOO! Let's be friends! Video: This is it boys, this is war.
- "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers is a sweet, simple love song that makes me smile. "I don't know where I belong / I don't know where I went wrong / but I can write a song." Yep, sounds about right. Video: I'd be standing on Canal and Bowery.
- This didn't come out this year, but I discovered it only recently: "Settle Down" by Kimbra. I have Alan to thank for introducing me to this gorgeous song that's more than a little bit unsettling. Video: On just one knee for now.
- Honorable mentions: Of Monsters and Men - "Little Talks", Imagine Dragons - "It's Time", Gotye - "Somebody That I Used to Know", Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (Like... ever.), Jay-Z & Kanye West - "N***as in Paris"
- Guilty pleasure: Maroon 5. Yeah, I know. I can't help it if One More Night is catchy as hell.

Best movie seen in theaters: Come on, did anyone really think I was going to award this to something other than The Hobbit? It's not the best movie ever made (or even the best Middle-earth movie ever made), but I just want to love it and squeeze it and call it George. Martin Freeeeeeman.
Movie I regret not seeing in theaters: The Hunger Games. It was amazing and so true to the book, especially visually.

Favorite TV show discovered this year: Teen Wolf. Shut up. It's one of those shows that's deceptively mainstream, but a lot of thought goes into it if you look past the hott dudes with no shirts on. Although there's that, too. Female gaze FTW.
Honorable mention: The Legend of Korra. It's no Avatar, but it tries.
Best rediscovery: Dollhouse. I never finished watching it the first time, but watching it again for Mark Watches I'm catching all sorts of nuance and awesomeness I didn't see before. Also TOPHER MY HEART.

Life stuff

Biggest life change of 2012 (positive): I got a job motherfucker. It is such a relief to be able to support myself! Working full-time is something I wasn't even sure I would be able to do, but I've been doing it for six months now and so far I'm not dead.
Biggest life change of 2012 (negative): I like my job, but I am really sad that it makes me so busy and tired that I can't foster kittens anymore. I miss my kitties so much. I haven't had one since Pippin and he was almost a year ago... but I remember how overwhelming it was even while working only 20 hours a week, and I know I'd run myself ragged if I tried to do it now. Someday, perhaps, I will be able to foster again. In the meantime, I have my own kitty and she is wonderful (and I'm sure especially happy that I'm not fostering anymore), but I miss getting to know all the different kitty personalities, and there's something special about the teeny-tiny ones. They're challenging and rewarding and when you finally earn their trust and love, it's a wonderful thing.

Speaking of tiny creatures--If it was a big year for me, it was huge for my niecelet, who turned 1 this year. I mean, she learned to walk and run and talk and do sign language! How awesome is that? Even though I only get to see her every few months, I love watching her grow up. She's not just "aww, cute baby" anymore--she's turning into a person.

I hope everyone has an awesome New Year's Eve. Happy 2013!

top five fictional pets

  • Dec. 3rd, 2011 at 1:48 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fannish5 meme stolen from [livejournal.com profile] entwashian's post here:

Keep in mind that I haven't read a lot of the classic animal books like Because of Winn-Dixie, The Underneath, anything by Kate DiCamillo, etc. And it's been forever since I've read Shiloh, A Cricket in Times Square, The Incredible Journey etc. So I'm just using recently read stuff for this.

Also, I don't have any live-action movie or TV animals because they never look right to me. Animals can't act. So usually they just have animals sitting there and then add a lot of inaccurate sound effects, like cats yowling when they're supposed to be calm and friendly. A friendly meow is different from a distressed yowl, you guys.

So anyway:

5. Smut from Dairy Queen. Because her name is Smut! She was named after "corn smut" which is blackish and sometimes found in ears of corn. Her fur looks like that. Also because she's just a pet, no supernatural powers, except making D.J. feel better, which is what pets do.

4. Pongo from One Hundred and One Dalmatians (movie). The scene where he's trying to find a mate for himself and Roger, omg, hilarious.



3. The Colonel from The Hundred and One Dalmatians (book). In the movie he's kind of a bumbling idiot, but in the book he's a stately old dog who teaches the puppies military strategy. Puppies! Military strategy! He promotes people every time they do something awesome, and then at the end of his chapter after chasing after the inept dog thieves and biting them as hard as he can, he promotes himself. Love it. Honorable mention: Cruella de Vil's cat, who helps them get revenge on Cruella at the end because Cruella drowned her kittens.

2. Sirius, the Dog Star, from Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones. Because, the entire book. I mean, just read it. Honorable mention: Tibbles the cat, who helps him out of more than one scrape.

1. Buttercup from the Hunger Games trilogy. Not only is he a fucking badass and THE REAL STAR OF THOSE BOOKS, he's responsible for making me cry, every single time I read the trilogy. Those of you who have read it may know the moment I am talking about. I just lose it.



More honorable mentions: Hedwig the owl, Pounce the magical kitty (who may or may not be a god) from the Beka Cooper books, Chester the paranoid cat from Bunnicula.

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