What a crazy year this has been. It's the year that my big appetite for music became voracious and I sought out friends and resources to feed it. It's the year that I "discovered" audio books as a natural result of driving for work - a lot. It's the year I didn't go to the theater as much as I used to, but everything came to DVD so much quicker. It's the year I hoped to finish my book. It's the year I started this blog.
This is a very personal best list, so the things that I'm highlighting as my favorites of 2008 may not have been released in 2008, just discovered by me in this year that's soon to be past.
Books - 2008 is the year I read more nonfiction, romance and thriller than ever before, not to mention almost all of Jennifer Weiner and Jennifer Crusie, Spiderwick and Neverland and a lot of David Sedaris. Out of the almost 150 books I've read this year, my 15 favorites in roughly the order I read them:
1. His Dark Materials (3) Philip Pullman
2. Gregor and the Code of Claw, Suzanne Collins
3. When a Man Loves a Weapon (this will be released in 2009), Toni McGee Causey
4. Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me, Ed. Ben Karlin
5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (about halfway through the year now), Junot Diaz
6. The Rescue Artist, Edward Dolnick
7. The Ruby Key, Holly Lisle
8. To Kill a Mockingbird (finally read this!), Harper Lee
9. Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, Daniel Wallace
10. Calumet City, Charlie Newton
11. Finn, Jon Clinch
12. A Very Long Engagement, Sebastien Japrisot
13. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
14. Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
15. The Wolfman, Nicholas Pekearo
Notables: Continued reading some of my favorite series - the "Alice" books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson books, and Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty. Also was blown away by a trio of historical romance writers - Gaelen Foley, Sherry Thomas and Suzanne Enoch, who gloriously re-invent the genre and write freaking well. Agnes and the Hitman and Faking It made me laugh myself hoarse. And I've been crazy about the Twilight series, of course, really impressed with how things wrapped up in Breaking Dawn.
Movies - I used to go to a movie by myself every Sunday, but that habit sadly went away. However, as a three year + member of Netflix, I still saw over 100 movies this year (and I did get to the theater some, of course). I'm going to try to approximate the order I saw them in.
4. Shoot 'Em Up
5. Across the Universe
7. Live Free or Die Hard
8. Dear Frankie
9. I'm Not There
11. Dark Knight
12. My Blueberry Nights
13. The Brave One
15. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
16. Mamma Mia!
17. Wall*E - in some ways, my favorite of the year
18. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
20. I Could Never Be Your Woman
21. Rachel Getting Married
22. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Notables: Much, much better than I'd heard/you'd think - Speed Racer, Good Luck Chuck and The Cutting Edge 3. 21 and Atonement almost made my list, so I guess that makes me a big James McAvoy fan.
TV - This was the year my t.v. became largely decorative. When I forgot how to hook the cables and wires back up after Gustav and relied almost entirely on watching t.v. on my computer. But the shows I love, I love all the more for it. No particular order here.
1. How I Met Your Mother
2. Bones (NOT happy it's moving to Thursdays)
3. So You Think You Can Dance (Cat Deely's the bomb, Joshua wasn't my fav and we need DVD)
4. Survivor (yes, I still love this show)
5. In Plain Sight
6. Top Chef
7. Moonlight (NOT happy this got canceled)
8. Pushing Daisies (NOT happy this got canceled)
Notables: Big Bang Theory surprises me, whenever I manage to catch it, with how funny it is.
Music -This was the year of music. I've never been such an avid music listener and collector.
1. Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show (most listened to song in my iTunes)
2. Forever in Blue Jeans, Jason Castro (he wasn't my favorite, but this stuck in my head)
3. Toxic, Yael Naim (cover of Britney, haunting and freaky)
4. Fake Is the New Real, Alice Smith
5. Johnny and June, Heidi Newfield
6. Be My Husband, Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice
7. So What, Pink
8. Another Way to Die, Alicia Keyes and Jack White
9. American Boy, Estelle and Kanye
10. Just Like a Woman, Charlotte Gainsbourg
11. Holding Out for a Hero, Frou Frou
12. Are You Strong Enough to Be My Man, Sheryl Crow
13. You Got Growing Up to Do, Patty Griffin and Joshua Radin
14. Echo, Cyndi Lauper
15. Comes Love, Billie Holiday
16. Whatever Lola Wants, Ella Fitzgerald
17. Love Song, Sara Bareilles
18. See You Again, Miley Cyrus (say what you want, but this song is catchy and cool)
20. Missed Me, Dresden Dolls
19. Hide and Seek, Imogen Heap
20. Arms of a Woman, Amos Lee
21. Lilac Wine, Katie Melua
22. Do I Move You, Nina Simone
23. Hurt, Johnny Cash
1. Across the Universe soundtrack (oh glorious TV Carpio, put out a cd already! Dana Fuchs!)
2. Juno soundtrack
3. Once soundtrack
4. Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis
5. Volume 1, She & Him
6. Black Snake Moan soundtrack
Performers, period -
1. Patty Griffin - I'm delirious over Patty Griffin
2. Jenny Lewis
3. Lucinda Williams
4. Emmylou Harris
5. Allison Moorer
6. The White Stripes, Jack White notably
7. The Dresden Dolls
8. Roisin Murphy
9. Katie Herzig
11. Krista Detor
Notables: My love for Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, The Magnetic Fields, Cake and The Beatles, always vibrant, has been renewed. I grew to really appreciate Kanye West (though my first love for him came after his infamous quote after Katrina). And I learned that, as amusing as I find it when my neighbor M. sings the lyrics to "Ding, Ding, Dong," I am NOT a fan of Gunther.
Websites - These are the websites I checked every day in 2008, once I knew about them!
1. Post Secret
2. I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
3. Living With Music - writers blog about music!
4. GalleyCat - how could I leave this one off?
My Favorite Things - What I've been loving this year
1. Favorite Home Away from Home - Cheers, my coffeeshop
2. Friends - you know who you are and likely, you've introduce me to a lot of great music and food this year. I love you for it, this year and all years.
3. Family - for the pictures, the drama and the support.
4. Local Music - The Zydepunks, The New Orleans Bingo! Show, Loose Marbles and Gal Holiday
5. Food - the roast beef po'boy at Parkway just may be my favorite thing I've eaten this year
6. Lessons - dancing, parallel parking, how to be a better writer (friends again, thank you)
7. Libraries - Nola and BR, so very excited about having multiple library cards
8. Writing - NaNoWriMo, PerNoWriMo, Write or Die, Jamey
9. Epiphany - being excited and finding others who're also excited about the same things.
10. City - New Orleans. Of course and always.
That's it, Emilie's Top List for 2008. Enjoy. Argue. Applaud. Whatever. :)