Welcome, all, to my end of year special in which I review the best pop culture had to offer in 2011. All right, the best of pop culture that I managed to stumble across which, let's face it, isn't all that much. And, all right, also it's just stuff I managed to stumble across this year. Some of the items on my list have been around for a while but the cave in which I live occasionally prevents me from finding these things earlier.
But whatever. I'm making a list of my favorite books, movies, music and television from the past year. And, as a special treat, I will find a way NOT to mention my shiny Jayne hat or my eternal love for all things Whedon.
Oh. Well, never mind that last part...
Shall we start the list?
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Here's a reprint of my review of this novel: There are no words to express just how goddamn beautiful this book is. It’s magical and gorgeous. I love her characters, I love the setting, I love how Stiefvater’s words weave together this tapestry of… I want to saw ‘awesomeness’ but to use that word is just not right because I think this book transcends awesomeness. It’s the kind of book that inspires me to write and I shall read it every year from now on. Maggie Stiefvater, I bow down to your brilliance. Oh, and one more thing: Apparently, this novel will be made into a movie. Please, movie people, do it right. Otherwise, I might have to kill you with my brain.
Where She Went- Gayle Forman. The sequel to her novel “If I Stay”. I wasn’t sure where this novel was going to go but I’m so glad I picked up it and went along for the ride because I really did love it. It was simply a fantastic read. I always love emotions when they’re raw and messy and that was definitely the case with this book. Of course, I thought the story dragged just a bit in the middle when Adam and Mia were reunited. Too much chatter and I wanted to get back to the internal messy emotions. But still, a wonderful, wonderful novel that made me swoon.
A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin. All right, so technically I haven't even read this book yet but still, I know it deserves a place on this list. I hope to be reading it in the coming year. Please, if you have read it, no spoilers in the comments. If you do, I may have to kill you with my brain... (by the way, I hear Martin has posted the first chapter in the next book on his site. And I hear it's around 6,000 words. Yowzah!)
ANYTHING by John Green- I know his books have been around for a while but I just started reading them this year. If you haven't read this author, I highly recommend you remedy that NOW. Right now. Go ahead. I'll wait. His latest novel, The Fault In Our Stars, will be released on January 10th and I can't wait.
Adele- Specifically her album '21', specifically the tracks "Rolling In The Deep" and "Someone Like You". Not very original, I know, as this album as appeared on just about every Top 10 list this year but I still love it.
Florence + The Machine- Specifically the album "Ceremonials", specifically the tracks "Seven Devils", "Leave My Body" and "Shake It Out"
The Black Keys- Specifically the album "El Camino", which technically I haven't yet listened to but come on. It's the Black Keys and they're awesome. Ergo, so will this album.
Birdy- Specifically her debut album "Birdy", specifically the tracks "Shelter", "Skinny Love" and "Without A Word". I've already listed videos for the other two songs in this blog so today, I'll feature "Without A Word." It's really lovely.
I didn't see very many movies this year but here are some I did see and loved enough to put on this list:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two.
Come on. This cannot be a surprise. I waited for months to see the movie and on the day of its release, I went and sat in a very long line for hours just to get into the theater. All right, so yes, I found the epilogue a little cheesy but this is a great wrap up to an awesome film series.
Again, maybe not my most original selection but this was one funny movie. I heart Kristen Wiig.
Crazy Stupid Love.
I loved this movie. And not just because Ryan Gosling took off his shirt. A very funny, touching movie.
The Walking Dead- I don't even like the horror genre. I mean, not even a little bit and yet, I can't get enough of this show. It is freaking terrifying and I seriously can't watch it before I go to bed because I have zombie nightmares all night long. And yet, I can't get enough. The only thing that would make it better is if Andrea was eaten by Walkers and Darryl got his own show.
Community's "Remedial Chaos Theory" episode. This was the ep where the gang hangs out in Troy and Abed's apartment and order a pizza. It doesn't sound very awesome, I know, but it's the roll of a die that makes this episode great. The Glee themed episode, The Apocalypse Redux episode and the one where Jeff and Shirley play a lot of foosball also deserve a shout out. Very mad at NBC for taking this show off the schedule.
How I Met Your Mother's "Bad News" episode. This was the countdown episode that led to the news of Marshall's father's death. Hilarious and heartbreaking.
Happy Endings- My god, I love this show. I think "Secrets and Limos" is one of my favorite episodes (love Jane's line "I'm not entirely sure I'm not the universe") but the one where Megan Mullally shows up as Penny's mother is pitch perfect. Big shout out to my brother and sister-in-law for introducing me to it!
Parks and Recreation- Pretty much any episode. There is so much hilarity to be found in this half hour. I'd like to give a special shout out to the episode where Donna and Tom take a depressed Ben shopping for a Batman costume as well as the End of the World episode.
What were some of your favorite things from this past year? Oh, and be sure to tune in tomorrow when I take a look back at my goals and resolutions from 2011 and see just how well I did...