Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Favorites

My Three Favorite Books of 2012

3. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing
This book was absolutely fascinating. I just couldn't get enough of Ernest Shackleton's expedition and couldn't believe all of the hardships he and his crew went through being stranded for nearly two years (!) during their failed attempt to reach the South Pole in 1914. I really enjoyed this one.

"'It's hard to realize one's position here,' Macklin wrote, 'living in a smokey, dirty, ramshackle little hut, with only just sufficient room to cram us all in, drinking out of a common pot, and laying in close proximity to a man with a large, discharging abscess. A horrible existence. But yet we're pretty happy.'"

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
An absolutely lovely story set on a post-World War II English island. Compelling, sweet, heart-wrenching, hilarious, and perfect. I wanted walk along the Guernsey shore with Juliet, cook with crazy Isola, and sit quietly with the darling Dawsey. And most of all, I wanted to emulate the courage of the bold and daring Elizabeth, one of the most thrilling and inspiring literary heroines I've ever encountered. A must-read.

"I'm sorry I can't send you my notes on Charlotte and Emily--I used them to kindle a fire in my cook stove, there being no other paper in the house. I'd already burnt up my tide tables, the Book of Revelation, and the story about Job."

1. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
I am having trouble finding the words to describe exactly how enthralled I was with this book. This true story of the unbelievable experiences of Olympic runner Louie Zamperini in the Pacific during World War II is gripping, entertaining, brutal, unimaginable, and ultimately (somehow) uplifting. Hillenbrand has created such a fleshed-out world, full of an amazing amount of statistics, background information, and vivid descriptions that bring this astounding story to life. I cannot recommend it enough.


"Awed to silence, forgetting his thirst and his hunger, forgetting that he was dying, Louie had known only gratitude. That day, he had believed that what lay around them was the work of infinitely broad, benevolent hands, a gift of compassion."


My Three Favorite Movies of 2012

3. The Avengers
I saw "The Avengers" three times in the theater, more than any other this year. This movie was so entertaining; I had an absolute blast every time. It's fast-paced, engrossing, and, most importantly, hilarious. Thumbs up.
"That man is playing Galaga! Thought we wouldn't notice. But we did."

2. Safety Not Guaranteed
I got two copies of The Artist for Christmas. I plan on exchanging one of them for Safety Not Guaranteed. What an interesting, sweet, funny, and unexpected little film. Put it on your Netflix queue.
"Stormtroopers don't know anything about lasers or time travel. They're blue collar workers."

1. Pitch Perfect
I've seen this movie five times and I am far from tired of it. So well-made and so FUN. Endlessly quotable, great characters, awesome musical numbers, a completely swoon-worthy guy, and... I don't know! I don't know what else to tell you! It's number one on my list, so that should be enough to convince you. GO WATCH IT.
"The Sock-a-pellas, proving it doesn't get better for everyone after high school."

My Three Favorite Events of 2012

3. Trips, particularly to New York to see NEWSIES, but also two insanely fun trips to Galveston with friends, a college roommate reunion in St. Louis, and a week-long stay with the family in Phoenix over Thanksgiving. Unreal.

3b. But seriously, Newsies. The best show I've ever seen ever. Boom. I said it. I still dream about seeing Newsies (as recently as last night). Somehow I still can't seem to properly express how incredible it was or how much it meant to me that my friends and family sent me to New York to see it for my birthday. But it was an amazing, amazing experience. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it.

2. Moving in with my roommates. I was alone in my apartment for five years, and I honestly really enjoyed living by myself. But then the opportunity to move in with friends came along, and I'm so glad I jumped at the chance. Living with Emily and Lacey has been encouraging, hilarious, comforting, refining, and SO MUCH FUN. It makes all the difference, having people to come home to. To grocery shop and cook with. To watch"Pitch Perfect"  and "The OC" and "Chopped" with. (Oh my word, so much "Chopped." We love it.) Living life alongside these girls is SUCH a joy, and I feel constantly blessed to live with such kind and FUN people. We give out (figurative) roommate gold stars for doing dishes, go see movies in our pajamas, text each other about what the cast of Newsies has been tweeting about (honest to goodness), and make homemade marshmallows JUST BECAUSE WE CAN. I'm having the time of my life.

1. CIMI-BABY. YOU GUYS. MY SISTER IS GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!!! We found out on Christmas morning, and I might have let out an ear-splitting scream. Maybe. I'm just so excited!!! Right now the baby is the size of a lemon, or maybe an orange, depending on which pregnancy site you go with (PICK A FRUIT AND STICK WITH IT, Y'ALL!). But by July 6th, it will be a real live baby. And I will be the most rockin' aunt that ever rocked aunt-dom.

A BABY, you guys. An adorable, tiny little bundle of a crazy cool kid. It's going to be amazing.

I can't wait.

4 comments:

reneamac said...

1. I take your recommendations very seriously. Thank you for being my personal pop-culture guru.

2. SO happy for you about your community-oriented roommates. Pure goodness, a treasure.

3. You'll have some competition for that Rockinest Aunt when P & J's adoption process completes. ;) In all seriousness, you will make a fabulous aunt. Lakhayyim!

SKMorbys said...

Favorite Blog in 2013? THIS ONE!!! :)

katieleigh said...

I love Guernsey, so much. Reading it made me want to be friends with those characters too. And yes, Unbroken is amazing. (I hear it's been optioned for film!)

Valerie said...

@Katie- Can't wait for an Unbroken movie! I also read that Guernsey is in development with Kate Winslet attached to star, Kenneth Branagh to direct. I hope it happens!